News you may have missed #768

CIA headquartersBy IAN ALLEN | |
►►‘CIA could get bin Laden but can’t get a gym’. As CIA Director, General David Petraeus is credited by some as having helped turn the tide in the Iraq War, flush the Taliban from southern strongholds in Afghanistan, and infiltrated al-Qaeda in Yemen. But his campaign to improve the Agency’s fitness gyms has been a marathon effort –one that defeated other CIA directors over a course of some 16 years. Petraeus arrived at the CIA in 2011 to find two basement gyms at the Langley, Va., headquarters, one with original flooring dating to 1964. One gym is so small it can’t contain the punching bags and medicine balls that spill into the hall, where people stretch out and do mat exercises.
►►Israel convinced Hezbollah behind Bulgaria bombing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that his government has gathered “unquestionable intelligence” showing that the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, backed by Iran, was behind a suicide bombing in Bulgaria last week that killed five Israeli nationals. The Israeli leader said the Mossad had drawn close parallels between the attack in Bulgaria and a foiled operation in Cyprus earlier this month, involving an alleged Hezbollah operative.
►►Hezbollah silent on reports of Israel spy arrests. Hezbollah would not comment on a local newspaper report on Wednesday, which said the Lebanese Shiite party had detained three men, including two of its own members, for spying for Israel. Lebanese daily newspaper An-Nahar said Hezbollah’s security apparatus had detained two Hezbollah members and a member of a Bekaa village municipal council on the suspicion that they have been collaborating with Israel.

Lebanon releases German suspected of spying for Israel

Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Bekaa Valley

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 #402

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Lebanese officials claim arrest of Israeli spy

Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star quotes unnamed official sources who report the arrest of an alleged Israeli spy in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatiyeh. The arrestee has been identified as Kamal Faqih, a Lebaneze citizen who lived for several years in France before returning to Lebanon to work in the oil retail industry. Lebanese security sources claim Faqih was recruited either by Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate, or by Mossad, fifteen years ago while living in France. It is thought that Hezbollah, the Shia Islamic political and paramilitary organization that controls large parts of Lebanon, was initially alerted to Faqih’s “suspicious behavior” during the July 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. Read more of this post

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