Egypt arrests alleged Israeli spies who plotted to kidnap tourists
Egyptian security forces have arrested several people suspected of belonging to an Israeli spy network operating in Egypt.
Egyptian security forces have arrested several people suspected of belonging to an Israeli spy network operating in Egypt. The alleged network reportedly consists of two fugitive Israeli officers and four Egyptian nationals.
The State Security apparatus is currently conducting a highly secretive investigation of the suspects.
Investigations have so far revealed that network members had succeeded in establishing two communications offices, one in Cairo and one in the UK, through which they recorded telephone calls made by prominent Egyptian government officials. The calls were then allegedly transferred to a communications office in Israel.
Investigations have further revealed that one of the Israeli officers had managed to recruit a female Egyptian public relations director working at a tourism company to supply him with information, in return for money, about places frequented by certain groups of tourists–including those from China and Japan–near the border region of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
After being provided with the information, the Israeli officer was then able to kidnap a number of tourists who were allegedly taken to Israel. After several days, kidnapped tourists were then reportedly returned to the place from which they had been abducted. The operation’s apparent objective was to destabilize security in the Sinai Peninsula.
Confessions by the defendants have revealed that the two officers had recruited a former female basketball player and her friend to rent a communications office in Cairo, which was run by a third person who has also been arrested. This office was reportedly linked to a communications office in the UK.
The defendants were thus able to monitor and record telephone calls made from certain landlines in Egypt–as specified by the two officers–which were then transferred to the UK office before being re-transmitted to a communications office in Israel.
Egyptian security forces have arrested and detained the Egyptian suspects pending investigation, while public prosecutors have charged them with conducting espionage for a foreign country, recording telephone calls without permission, and forming a “terrorist cell” aimed at disrupting public order.
Interpol, meanwhile, has been asked to issue arrest warrants for the Israeli suspects.
Israel said it had no information about the case.