Iraqi Man Arrested in Lebanon for Being Israeli Spy, Report Says

The Iraqi was allegedly part of a 'sabotage network' that he also recruited his brother in Iraq to spy for Israel

FILE PHOTO: A Hezbollah fighter stands guard as Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah delivers a speech shown on a screen during a rally commemorating "Liberation Day," which marks the withdrawal of the Israeli army from southern Lebanon in 2000, in the southern town of Nabatiyeh, Lebanon, Sunday, May 24, 2015.
FILE PHOTO: A Hezbollah fighter stands guard as Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah delivers a speech shown on a screen during a rally commemorating "Liberation Day," which marks the withdrawal o AP

Lebanon's official state news agency reported on Saturday that the country's security forces have detained an Iraqi citizen for allegedly spying for Israel.

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According to the report in the National News Agency, the man confessed during his interrogation to being recruited by a unit belonging to Israel's Defense Ministry that focuses on Arab nations and which trains fighters and carries out assassinations.

The man's Israeli handler, the report said, asked for information about the Lebanese army and key personalities in the country. The person was reportedly also asked to recruit people in Lebanon to form a "sabotage network," and that he also recruited his brother in Iraq to spy for Israel.

The report said the man was brought before a judge and that the investigation continues as local authorities hope to arrest additional suspects. The report did not divulge any information on the man's identity or what access he might have had to sensitive intelligence.

It should be noted that the report was highlighted in different media outlets identified with Hezbollah, including the group's Al-Manar network. Hezbollah and Lebanese security forces make sure to publicize such arrests, though the number of reports has declined since 2009, when reports about Israeli spy rings were frequently featured in local media.

Lebanon and Israel technically remain at war, and more than 100 people in Lebanon have been arrested since 2009 on suspicion of collaborating with the Jewish state.

Israel generally does not comment on such allegations.

Israel and the United States both regard Hezbollah, which dominates Lebanese politics and maintains an armed militia that has had a significant part in fighting for President Bashar Assad in Syria, as a terrorist organization.

The group was founded as a resistance movement against Israel's occupation of the predominantly Shi'ite Muslim south Lebanon which ended in 2000, a role that meant Beirut allowed it to keep its arms after the country's civil war ended in 1990. In 2006 Israel and Hezbollah fought a month-long war.

With reporting by Reuters and the Associated Press