Report: Lebanon suspects citizens aided Israel in planting espionage cameras
Lebanon president prepares complaint to submit to UN over the cameras; Lebanon radio attributes explosion Wednesday to IAF covering up espionage.
Lebanon is investigating the possibility that Lebanese collaborators aided Israel in planting the espionage cameras discovered by the Lebanese army, the Lebanese newspaper A-Nahar reported on Friday.
The Lebanese Army said on Wednesday that it had uncovered two Israeli spy installations in mountainous areas near Beirut and the Bekaa Valley – one on Sannine mountain and another on Barouk Mountain.
Later that same day, an explosion in the country was attributed to the Israel Air Force trying to destroy the discovered spy equipment, the Voice of Lebanon radio station reported on Thursday.
It is still unclear whether there is a connection between the device that was allegedly bombed near Sidon and the spy installations that the Lebanese Army said it had uncovered in the mountains.
The report in A-Nahar said the cameras were camouflaged in an extremely sophisticated manner, which was causing difficulty for investigators to determine when and how exactly they were planted.
This is not the first time that Lebanon has suspected its citizens of spying for Israel. Earlier this year, Lebanese security authorities arrested two employees at a state-owned mobile telecom firm on suspicion of spying for Israel.
Lebanon's president is preparing to submit an official complaint to the United Nations Security Council over the spy instillations, Army Radio reported on Friday.
While announcing his intention to submit the official complaint, President Michel Sleiman praised on Thursday the "importance of cooperation between the Lebanese Armed Forces and Hezbollah, which helped uncover Israeli spy violations."
Though details surrounding the espionage cameras remain unconfirmed, Lebanon released pictures on Thursday which show a device bearing the words "mini cloud" in Hebrew, along with the name of the manufacturer - "Beam Systems Israel Ltd." - in English.
According to reports, the installations included photographic equipment as well as laser and broadcast equipment.
The system found on Sannine Mountain included a camera, a device to send images and a third to receive signals, the Lebanese army said. The device found in Barouk was "much more complicated."
The Lebanese army said it plans to remove the cameras and urged citizens to inform authorities about any suspicious objects they find. The military was tipped off about the systems by the militant Hezbollah group, the Lebanese army said in a statement.
Hezbollah fought a 34-day war against Israel in 2006 that left 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis dead.