Israeli papers: Security official arrested in Syria for involvement in spy ring

Israeli papers reported Friday the arrest of a security official in Damascus, for allegedly passing information to an Egyptian man accused of spying for Israeli intelligence.

The reports, which appeared in Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post, follow the arrest in Egypt of two Israelis and one Egyptian on charges of espionage for Israel. Members of the spy ring were charged with recruiting agents in Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon to deliver information to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

According to Haaretz, Israel's Channel 10 quoted Syrian security sources as telling Arabic media that Syria and Egypt are collaborating to investigate the case.

The Haaretz report also said that the Syrian official exchanged information with the Egyptian member of the spy ring for a large sum of money. The information was then passed on to the Mossad.

The Egyptian suspect on trial is the owner of an export company, who allegedly provided information to the Mossad and worked in telecommunications in order to identify potential recruits.

In confessions to his Egyptian interrogators, he said that his Israeli handlers had instructed him to travel to Syria using a phony passport, where he was told to deliver sums of money to a senior Syrian security agent in the employ of the Mossad. He also confessed to having attempted on behalf of Israel to recruit Syrian and Lebanese nationals working in the telecommunications sector.

Egyptian authorities reportedly passed the names of those he had contacted on to Syrian and Lebanese authorities.

Other spy rings are allegedly being identified in Lebanon and Syria in light of the case.

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