Lebanese intelligence services say they have uncovered a spy network working for Israel, the Lebanese A-Safir daily newspaper reported yesterday.

According to the report, the network has been active since 1990 and was exposed in a complex operation dubbed "Surprise at Dawn." The operation was launched following the assassination of the Islamic Jihad secretary general in Lebanon Mahmoud al-Majdoub and his brother Nidal with a car bomb last month.

A senior Lebanese intelligence source predicted that the interrogation of suspects could lead to the exposure of Lebanese and Palestinian agents working for Israel on Lebanese soil.

The source said it was possible these agents were involved in a long series of explosions and assassinations in Lebanon.

According to the report, Lebanese intelligence identified the car used in the al-Majdoub assassination as owned by Mahmoud Qassem Rafa, 59, a retired policeman. Security forces began following the man after his financial situation radically improved several months ago.

Surveillance has been tightened in the past week and intelligence services wire-tapped into his phone. Rafa was arrested several days ago in the early hours of the morning coming home.

In his interrogation, Rafa confessed to his involvement in the al-Majdoub assassination, as well as in the killing of senior Hezbollah member Ali Salah and in several other incidents.

Lebanese intelligence services said that the investigation now focuses on the source of the explosives in the al-Majdoub assassination and on Rafa's network associates, some of whom already managed to flee the country.