Thursday, 16 April 2009

Israel's spy

This from LA Times:

A former Lebanese security officer and his wife have been arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel.

The intelligence branch of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (ISF) have locked up a retired brigadier general identified only as "Adib A." and his wife on suspicion of belonging to an Israeli spy network.

[Note the Tayyar website identify him as Retired General Adib Alaalam]

The general was described as a “valuable catch” in the left-leaning daily Al Akhbar by an unnamed high-ranking security official. Though retired, he continued to maintain an office at the general directorate of the ISF, which he allegedly turned into a communications center for passing information to the Israelis.

News of the arrests comes just one month after military prosecutor Rashid Muzhir said he would seek the death penalty for two brothers arrested and charged with espionage last year.

According to another security source quoted by Al Akhbar, the retired general has confessed to working with Israeli intelligence services for the last 10 years, but insists his role was limited to gathering information and that he never carried out assassinations or bombings.

Suspicion fell on his wife as an accomplice based on information she gave during questioning.

Both hail from Lebanon's Bint Jbeil area along the border with Israel and could potentially have access to information about Lebanese security forces and militant groups there.

The official said ISF intelligence has been monitoring a group operating throughout Lebanon and especially south of the Litani river for several months now, indicating that more arrests are probable.

The network was reportedly uncovered after a young man was detained for possession of a large weapons cache. The youth was later linked to Israeli intelligence agents in Europe, but the charges could not be proven and the case was left to European spy agencies.

The paper went on to note that the investigation is expected to reveal even more sensitive information, “especially since the directorate [of General Security] has started coordinating with more than one party relevant to intelligence operations in Lebanon,” referring, most probably, to Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group.

Twice in the last seven months, Hezbollah has handed over suspected spies to the Lebanese army after conducting its own investigations.

In November, the group arrested brothers Youssef and Ali Jarrah for their alleged link to the assassination of Hezbollah official Imad Mughniyeh, and in February, Marwan Faqih was detained and accused of supplying bugged cars to the militia. All three were handed over to the Lebanese army.

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