Israel mum on mysterious devices found in Lebanon

One of the devices

One of the devices

Israel has refused to either confirm or deny it planted a number of communications interception devices that were uncovered last week by security forces in southern Lebanon. Responding to a “request for clarifications” issued by the United Nations, the Israeli government said simply that “collecting intelligence in southern Lebanon will continue as long as the government in Beirut is not in full control of its territory”, an obvious reference to Hezbollah, the Shia Islamic political and paramilitary organization that controls large parts of Lebanon. Three the devices were found last week, attached to a telecommunications cable on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese village of Houla. Interestingly, two of the devices self-destructed by exploding as Lebanese security personnel were approaching. Members of the Lebanese Armed Forces decided to detonate a third device, fearing it too might explode at any moment. Since then, Lebanese television has been reporting random explosions in southern Lebanese villages, as more devices self-destruct, most likely to prevent detection and capture by Lebanese security forces. Meanwhile, the Lebanese government has said that the mysterious equipment was used exclusively against Hezbollah’s own telecommunications network, which functions independently of the Lebanese government’s telecommunications infrastructure, for reasons explained here.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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