Franklin Lamb: Israeli Spies and Fake IDs
...The Spy Hunt
In the Burj Abu Haider section of Beirut this morning ( pro March 14th neighborhood) this observer found two main subjects being discussed by pro-Hariri poll workers. One is the concept of “Hasana Niyabya” or Parliamentary Immunity. This is important because in addition to the 38 alleged spies arrested (made possible by Hezbollah intelligence and technology working with Lebanon’s Internal Security Force (ISF) it is rumored that following Sunday’s voting no fewer than four current members of parliament allied with the US Team are going to be arrested for spying for Israel. The post election arrest of two Cabinet Ministers and “a higher political figure” are also hinted at. They are safe until they lose their parliamentary immunity when the votes are counted creating a new parliament or unless the new parliament passes a third Immunity Law very fast to shield wrongdoers (two earlier “let the past be the past and we can move forward” amnesties were enacted in 1992 and 2005). It was the fear “Israeli spy outings” that dominated Joe Biden’s agenda when he met with the US Team last month. The majority wanted US help in postponing the election, and thereby retaining Parliamentary immunity, but Joe said no. This issue is just one reason that observers here are predicting fireworks after the votes are counted.
“Is he/she an Israeli spy?” is a question being asked a lot this week. If someone ‘high up’ does not show up for work at a government ministry the whispers flow.
At 9:00 am this morning, President Michel Suleiman visited the headquarters of the General Directorate of the internal security forces in Ashrafiyeh (East Beirut) to be briefed on achievements made in the arrests of Israeli spy cells. Police chief Gen. Ashraf Rifi on Tuesday expected more arrests in the investigation into spying for Israel that has already led to dozens of people being arrested.
"We have not completed the mission," Rifi said. "We have files that are still being prepared for arrests."
The wave of arrests began in April with the detention of former ISF Brig. Gen. Adib al-Alam and has now included two serving colonels in the Lebanese army as well as at least five members of the security forces. "Most played central spying roles and confessed to falling into the snares of the Israeli enemy," Rifi to the media, citing sex, money and politics as possible motives behind the detainees' decision to spy for the Israeli secret service, Mossad.
What is making some politicians nervous is Salesman’s pledge to hold those responsible for any security breach during and following (emphasis mine) the elections accountable...