Lebanon charges PKK Kurds with spying for Israel

PKK banner

PKK banner

By IAN ALLEN| intelNews.org |
Lebanese authorities have detained three alleged members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on charges of spying for Israel. The three arrestees, whose names have not been released to the media, were reportedly arrested last week by Lebanese military intelligence forces in Jounieh, a town located on the Mediterranean coast, about 15 kilometers north of Beirut. The arrests form part of a wider Lebanese counterintelligence offensive that has netted over 100 alleged Israeli agents in Lebanon since April of 2009. But news of the detentions have inflamed an ongoing discussion in Turkey about alleged covert links between Israeli intelligence agencies and Kurdish separatists operating in Turkey, Iraq and Syria. Read more of this post

Lebanon releases German suspected of spying for Israel

Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Bekaa Valley

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
German officials have confirmed reports from Lebanon that a German citizen has been released after being questioned in connection with Israeli espionage activity in eastern Lebanon. Manfred Peter Mog, 58, who has lived in Lebanon since 1999, was detained on Monday by Lebanese counterintelligence officers, who suspected him of sharing “sensitive information” with Israeli intelligence operatives. It is believed that Mr. Mog, an engineer who has worked since 2009 at the Liban Lait dairy factory in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, was questioned in connection to “sophisticated transmitters” found in his possession. But the German Foreign Ministry on Wednesday firmly denied that the German citizen had had any charges brought against him by the Lebanese government. Soon afterwards, unnamed Lebanese officials confirmed that Mr. Mog had indeed been released without charges, following intense questioning by counterintelligence officers. It is worth noting that there have recently been several intelligence stories linking Israel and Germany. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #385

  • Indian, Pakistani spy chiefs meet in Islamabad. The meeting between the Director of India’s General Intelligence Bureau, Rajiv Mathur, and his Pakistani counterpart Javed Noor, took place in the aftermath of the arrest of Madhuri Gupta, second secretary at the Indian high commission in Islamabad, Pakistan, who is accused of passing on secrets to Pakistan’s ISI spy agency.
  • CIA releases documents on Korean War. The US Central Intelligence Agency has released a document collection that includes more than 1,300 redacted files consisting of national estimates, intelligence memos, daily updates, and summaries of foreign media concerning developments on the Korean Peninsula from 1947 until 1954.
  • Lebanon to probe top government officials in Israeli spy ring case. The arrest of a senior Lebanese phone firm manager, who is accused of spying for Israel, has prompted prosecutors to ask that several senior government officials be stripped of their immunity so that they can be investigated in relation to a nationwide crackdown on alleged Israeli spy rings in the country.

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News you may have missed #379

  • Lebanon arrests Palestinian for spying for Israel. Lebanese police have arrested a Palestinian refugee from the Burj al-Shemali refugee camp on suspicion that he was spying for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, a police spokesman said last week. More than 70 people have been arrested in a nationwide crackdown on alleged Israeli spy rings in Lebanon, launched in April 2009, some of them policemen and security officials.
  • US spy agency chief nomination held up by Congress. US Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein says she won’t hold confirmation hearings for James Clapper, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the next Director of National Intelligence, until she completes her top priority, namely congressional passage and presidential signature on the 2010 Intelligence Authorization Bill. 
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News you may have missed #301

  • Six more arrested in Lebanon for spying for Israel. The Lebanese army has arrested at least six more people in southern and northern Lebanon, among them former army officers, on suspicion of spying sharing information about the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah with Israeli intelligence service Mossad. Dozens of alleged Israeli spy cells have been uncovered in Lebanon in recent months.
  • Survey of US spy agencies’ web presence. US intelligence agencies are using the Web to share information and engage the public. Some offer mobile versions and social networking tools –others badly need an update.
  • Danish journalist admits using job as cover to spy for Israel. Herbert Pundik, a Danish former newspaper editor, has admitted he used his journalism credentials to spy for Israel for a decade in the 1960s, saying he felt an obligation as a Jew.

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News you may have missed #297

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News you may have missed #0166

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News you may have missed #0123

  • Get ready for body cavity airport searches! Security officials are concerned over a tactic newly employed by al Qaeda, whereby suicide bombers store explosives inside their bodies to avoid detection.
  • Did the US do a deal with Russia on Iran? Two weeks ago, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hinted that Russia could back tougher sanctions against Iran’s nuclear energy program. Does this signify a deal with Washington, namely US scrapping its missile shield program if Moscow would back efforts to impose tougher sanctions against Iran?
  • Lebanese mayor accused of spying for Israel. Lebanese authorities say Ziad Homsi, mayor of the city of Saadnayel, was recruited by Israeli intelligence in Beijing, China. Lebanon’s immense counterintelligence operation is widening by the hour.

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Busted spy ring in Lebanon was Israel’s top network in the Arab world

Hezbollah parade

Hezbollah parade

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
French newspaper Le Figaro has published a well-researched account of an ongoing counterintelligence operation in Lebanon, which has resulted in the dismantling of an enormous network of Israeli spy cells in the country. The paper describes the discovery of the Israeli spy network as “one of the most resounding defeats in [Israel’s] history”. IntelNews has been following the counterintelligence operation from its very beginning last February. Since then, over 70 Lebanese nationals have been charged with conducting espionage operations on behalf of Israel, of whom nearly 40 have been apprehended. According to Lebanese officials, the dismantled spy ring was probably Israel’s most important intelligence network in the Arab world. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0076

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Russians helped Lebanon bust Israeli spy ring, claims site

FSB agent

FSB agent

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Israeli website DEBKAfile claims that the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) is the primary counterintelligence force behind the busting of the Al-Alam spy ring in Lebanon, which intelNews has been monitoring since February, when it first erupted. The website, known for its contacts with intelligence circles, says that it was Russian, not French, surveillance technology that helped uncover the spy ring. The article cites “Western intelligence sources in the Middle East”, who apparently revealed that a specialist FSB unit was commissioned by Hezbollah, the Shia Islamic political and paramilitary organization that controls large parts of Lebanon, to root out the massive spy ring. The unit then proceeded to do so “with the help of super-efficient detection systems”, DEBKAfile claims. Read more of this post

Newspaper publishes names of suspected Israeli spy ring members

As-Safir

As-Safir

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A Lebanese newspaper has published the names of 22 Arabs arrested in conjunction with the Al-Alam spy ring affair, which intelNews has been monitoring since February, when it first erupted. The catalogue, aired by As-Safir newspaper, contains the arrestees’ address and employment details, and includes photographs of three of the suspects. Over 70 individuals have so far been arrested in connection with the Al-Alam spy ring, which Lebanese authorities allege was operated by Israel and operated predominantly in southern Lebanon. Detained suspects include two Palestinians, one Egyptian, and at least 37 Lebanese citizens, one of whom was a retired brigadier. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0021

  • US Vice President refuses comment on CIA-DNI dispute. Speaking to ABC’s This Week, Biden refused to take sides on the ongoing turf battle between CIA director Leon Panetta and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, over who should have a say in appointing CIA station chiefs around the world. Biden simply said he preferred to “comment on that next week”.
  • Lebanese officer suspected of spying flees to Israel. A Lebanese army colonel, who was about to join the nearly 40 individuals who have been arrested in southern Lebanon in connection to an alleged Israeli spy ring, managed to escape to Israel last week, sources say. 
  • Did former CIA director George Tenet get drunk at the palatial house of Prince Bandar, former Saudi ambassador to the US? Tenet is apparently disputing it, but he is not disputing that he spent the night there. 
  • Analysis: The history of CIA-ISI relations. In this well-researched article, Mark Mazzetti argues that US-Pakistani intelligence interactions show there is no such thing as a friendly intelligence service.

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News you may have missed #0002

Lebanese arrest second member of Israeli spy ring

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Early yesterday morning I wrote that Adib Al-Alam, a retired Lebanese brigadier general who was arrested last Saturday on charges of spying for Israel, was “part of a wider spy ring operating out of the town of Bint Jbeil, in southern Lebanon, and that more arrests are likely to follow before too long”. Several hours later, Lebanese officials announced the arrest of J’ Al-Alam, nephew of Abid Al-Alam, in the town of Naqoura, on charges of spying for Israel. Like his uncle, J’ Al-Alam is a Lebanese Christian and, like is uncle, is rumored to be an employee “in a non-civilian capacity” of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF). Read more of this post