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Israeli spies in Lebanon

by Daily Star Saturday, Jul. 22, 2006 at 6:47 AM

Another terrorist cell was caught earlier this year in Lebanon, which was charged with having links to the fundamentalist group Al-Qaeda. The group was also charged with planning the assassination of Hizbullah�s secretary-general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

By Leila Hatoum

The Daily Star

Beirut, July 20: Over 20 people have been arrested by the Lebanese security forces for spying for Israel and pinpointing targets for its warplanes in the southern suburbs, local and international outlets.

Reports emerged early on Wednesday, picked up from an article by a German news agency quoting an anonymous Lebanese security source as saying that a 26-member network was caught giving signals and information to Israel.

According to Al-Arabiyya television, the spies had been signalling to the Israelis and informing them where to target, adding that several of the suspects had confessed.

But acting interior minister Ahmad Fatfat denied any knowledge of the reports: "not heard of the arrest of these people by the Lebanese security forces." A Hizbullah spokesperson said the group hadn�t heard of the news yet, despite the fact that the media reports said the spies were caught in Beirut�s southern suburbs, a key stronghold for Hizbullah.

Israeli warplanes and warships have been relentlessly bombarding the southern suburbs for the past week. Earlier last month the Lebanese Army�s intelligence agency uncovered an Israeli spy cell in Lebanon. which had managed to carry out several assassinations across the country. Mahmoud Rafeh, the reported leader of the Mossad-linked terrorist network, confessed to carrying out assassinations and spying for Israel.

Judicial sources said that Rafeh admitted receiving a list of names of Lebanese and Palestinian political figures to be assassinated on orders from Israel.

During interrogation, Rafeh confessed to the killing of Islamic Jihad member Mahmoud Majzoub and his brother Nidal, in mid May. He also claimed the killing of Hizbullah officials Ali Hassan Deeb and Ali Saleh on August 16, 1999 and August 2, 2003, respectively and that of Jihad Jibril, the son of the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command leader Ahmad Jibril in May 20, 2002.

However, he denied any involvement in a string of assassinations in Beirut during 2005 and having any knowledge of who was behind the attacks.

Before the war began, military investigating magistrate Adnan Bolbol had been expected to begin questioning witnesses in the Mossad case this month.

Another terrorist cell was caught earlier this year in Lebanon, which was charged with having links to the fundamentalist group Al-Qaeda.

The group was also charged with planning the assassination of Hizbullah�s secretary-general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

So far, judicial and security investigations are ongoing to reveal the truth behind the cell and links to the assassination plan.
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