New Israeli spy story of Ilan Grapel reminds us of older spy rings in the region
The outing of Israeli-American spy found in Tahrir Square just this month has tickled our spy sensors awake and got us craving some spy drama, only to be found perhaps in a bygone era. But in this case, we need not delve back that far. Inpsired to revisit the not-so-ancient anals of Egyptian history of espionage webs or spy cases, we can hark back to a recent spy ring in the region- specifically an Egypt/ Israel ring uncovered just 2009/10.
Al Bawaba offers you a taster to stimulate your spook senses and set you on a journey of international intelligence ingrigue that went on in the peak of spy-activity in the region. Through the prism of a recent spy ring discovered 2009/10, here is a throw-back to the stealthy and deadly operations of Mossad who grew out of terrorist roots in Haganah, the Irgun, Zvai Leumi and the Stern Gang. Those that recall the atmospheric spy series of events that emerged on the back of the Munich Olympic massacre- captured in the recent movie, can relish the most recent Arab-Israeli spy-game discovery since.
Blundering spy antics from Mossad as the Dubia-British operation to execute a Hamas figure-head, reveals a drop in standards of old-school spy successes. Gone are the smooth, slick operator days of the 70s that evaded detection, but instead we seem to have ushered in a clumsy era of attempts to capture that mood, embodied in recent flop spy-capade with Israeli-American 'agent' allegedly recruited to spark a conflict between the Egyptian people and the army. Just last week it came to light that there was, sure enough, as we’d kept hearing dictators tirelessly 'protesting', some interference and ‘planting’ from the hands of 'infiltrators' and a conspiratorial concoction of foreign forces at play- at the root of the protest movements. An Israeli under-cover at Tahrir Square, Illan Grapel. This was the stuff of spy novels, Bond and flashed us back to the era of high-level spy-games, Cold War, Hegev- Mossad.
On FB this Ilan Grapel flaunted his presence in Egypt in recent revolution-charged months, boasting “preaching at Al Azhar,” an Islamic university in Cairo. Even sleeping (with the enemy) at the Al-Azhar Mosque Is it any wonder he was caught- not showing the professional deftness of a tradition and a calliber stock of spies before him.
Since the onset of peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, there have been, reportedly, over 70 spy rings exposed by Egyptians. However, Israeli intelligence does not solely target Egypt, and Lebanon has also seen a number of figures arrested on charges of spying for Israel, the most recent of which was a senior figure and prominent politician General Fayez Karam, who was of 'Aouni' affliliation in the Lebanon context.
Israel can boast the feat of placing its spies in some foreign embassies in various Arab countries, which is something that has been revealed in books by former Mossad spies. Delving back, 2010 in the Middle East, spawned a wave of spy-cracking. This crackdown was marked by the disgraced departure of the Israeli ambassador to Egypt back with his head between his tail to Tel Aviv. Here's why.