Middle East

Lebanon arrests 21 Zionist spy network busts

Beirut: Lebanon said yesterday that it had arrested at least 17 Zionist spy network suspects and judicial sources reported 21 arrests in one of the nation’s largest crackdowns in recent years. Interior Minister Bassam Malawi told the Cabinet that security forces “has cracked down on 17 spy networks working for (the Zionist entity).” Adjacent Lebanese and Zionist entities remain in the official state of war.

Mr. Harabi said the ring was operated “regionally and locally” without detailing or confirming the number of people arrested. The arrest was part of an operation carried out by the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF). Prime Minister Najib Mikati said the arrest helped stop “efforts to tamper with security and disrupt national stability,” according to a Cabinet statement read by Harabi. Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri praised the operation as a “unique achievement.”

The newspaper Al-Akhbar, which supports Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah movement, reported on the bust yesterday, calling it the biggest operation against suspected Zionist agents in the country in 13 years. ISF intelligence forces began cracking down four weeks ago, saying that Lebanese, Palestinians, and Syrians were detained, some of whom were later released.

A prominent judiciary told AFP that 21 people had been arrested and the case was referred to a military court. According to judicial sources, their main task was to “collect data on Hezbollah’s military and security scenes” at the group’s bases in the Beqaa Valley, in the southern suburbs of the capital Beirut, in southern Lebanon.

Sources said the suspect also collected information about other leaders and politicians, adding that one of the suspects was a member of Hezbollah, who “refused to hand over to the judiciary in Lebanon.” Sources said the alleged spy handlers “abused difficult living and social conditions, making it easier to recruit them for these missions.”

Lebanon is in a serious economic crisis, with about 80% of Lebanese suffering from poverty amid rapid inflation and long-term electricity cuts. Al Akhbar reported that at least 12 of the suspects in custody knew they worked for Zionist organizations and believed that the rest provided information to global companies and nonprofits. ..

The Zionist organization and the Shiite movement Hezbollah fought a 33-day war in Lebanon in 2006. Between April 2009 and 2014, Lebanese authorities detained more than 100 people accused of spying on Zionist organizations. .. However, the arrest rate has declined in recent years. – AFP

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/lebanon-arrests-21-in-zionist-spy-networks-busts/ Lebanon arrests 21 Zionist spy network busts

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