The Lebanese media on Wednesday provided extensive coverage on the alleged Mossad network uncovered by the security forces. The Lebanese army has announced it had captured members of a terrorist network allegedly working for the Israeli Mossad and that a suspect confessed to his role in assassinating Hizbullah and Palestinian officials.
The army arrested Mahmoud Abu Rafeh, a 59-year-old Lebanese citizen and retired police officer, for a May 26 car bombing that killed Mahmoud Majzoub, a senior Islamic Jihad official, and his brother in front of their home in the southern city of Sidon. Rafeh "had links to Israeli intelligence," a statement said.
According to the reports, he has also confessed to his role in killing two Hizbullah officials in 1999 and 2003 and the 2002 killing of Jihad Jibril, the son of Ahmed Jibril, leader of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).
Rafeh was part of a "terror network working for the Israeli Mossad," and its members took "training courses in and outside Israel," the statement said. Investigators found Israeli computers, cameras, ammunition, military uniforms and forged identity cards in ring members' hideouts, it added.
As Safir newspaper said a manhunt is currently underway to catch another suspect whom it identified as Hussein Khattab, a Palestinian official in the PFLP-GC.
An Nahar daily reported that Rafeh had been working for the Mossad since 1994. Israeli intelligence agents stayed at the flat Rafeh had rented in Sidon near the residence of the Majzoub brothers to monitor their movements, the paper said.
Hizbullah's deputy leader, Sheikh Naim Qassem, called the arrest and confession "a message" to all Lebanese that their country was not immune from "direct Israeli influence." "Israel still sees Lebanon as a field to achieve political and future gains," Kassem told Hizbullah's Al Manar television late Tuesday.