Lebanon arrests Russian suspected of spying for Israel

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2023

BEIRUT: Lebanese authorities have arrested a Russian national suspected of spying on the Iran-backed Hizbullah group on behalf of its arch-rival Israel, a security official told AFP on Monday.

Hizbullah had told Lebanese security forces that a Russian citizen “was recruited by the Israelis for a reconnaissance mission of their headquarters in the southern suburbs of Beirut and south Lebanon”, the official told AFP.

Security forces arrested him around two weeks ago at Beirut airport while he was trying to flee with his wife and child, the official said.

It came after Hizbullah told security forces that the suspect had tried to break into an apartment in Beirut´s southern suburb, a stronghold for the group.

Following his arrest he was interrogated at the general security department and then referred to military prosecutors who are now in charge of the investigation.

On Friday, the interim chief of Lebanon´s General Security agency Elias al-Baysari said authorities had arrested “a two-person network with ties to the enemy (Israel) at Beirut airport, and who were tasked to carry out operations” in Lebanon.

“We interrogated them and referred them to the competent military judiciary,” he added, without providing details on the nationality of the detained.