Lebanon dismantles 17 Israeli spy networks
The Information Branch of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces dismantles 17 Israeli spy networks, saying their activities spanned the Lebanese soil all the way to Syria.
The largest anti-spy operation in Lebanon over the past 13 years uncovered the largest Israeli spy network, as the Ministry of Information unveiled that the Lebanese Internal Security Forces dismantled 17 Israeli spy networks.
Acting Minister of Information Abbas Halabi said Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi told a cabinet meeting 17 Israeli spy networks were uncovered in Lebanon following successive operations, noting that they played both a local and regional role.
"The Lebanese Minister of Interior will be holding a press conference to reveal more details about the spy networks," Al Mayadeen correspondent reported, adding that those connected to the networks are being closely investigated, and they are yet to be arrested.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati hailed the work of the internal security forces' information division, saying they achieved a huge accomplishment that evaded Lebanon from any destabilization attempts.
Parliament speaker Nabih Berri also hailed the accomplishment, issuing a statement describing it as a "qualitative achievement."
12 of those detained had knowledge of working for "Israel"
The Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper reported that the Lebanese information division launched the operation four weeks ago and has captured 20 members so far.
Investigations revealed that at least 12 of those detained had knowledge they were working for "Israel," while others claim they believed they had been working for international organizations and NGOs.
The dismantling of these networks is one of the biggest security operations in Lebanon since 2009, the newspaper reported.
One of the spies, according to Al-Akhbar, works in one of the NGOs that emerged following the October 17, 2019 protests, and has admitted to receiving funding to purchase thousands of masks with the phrase, "All of them means all of them... and [Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan] Nasrallah is one of them."
Three spies said their employers ordered them to obtain real estate information to identify the names of real estate owners in different areas. They were also asked to rent apartments in several areas and leave their keys in certain places.
Between 2009 and 2014, the Lebanese authorities arrested more than 100 people on charges of espionage for "Israel".