Lebanese security forces have uncovered more than 15 alleged Israeli spy networks, according to a report Monday by the Hezbollah-aligned Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper.
According to the report, each of the rings operated independently across Lebanon and even Syria. The paper called the discovery “one of Lebanon’s biggest security operations” since 2009.
The operation reportedly began four weeks ago, when the Lebanese Internal Security Forces Directorate began tracking the networks — which it said were tasked with collecting information of Hezbollah and various Palestinian factions in the country — one by one.
According to Al-Akhbar, security forces initially uncovered two alleged moles — a senior official in the directorate and a member of Hezbollah who had previously fought in Syria, saying that he had been recruited by an organization claiming to be working for the United Nations.
In Damascus, a man was also arrested for providing maps of roads and buildings in the Syrian capital.
A number of workers in nonprofits in Lebanon were also arrested for their part in the alleged rings. One of them was said to have collected information about Beirut’s Dahieh district — a Hezbollah stronghold.
In total, it was reported that 35 suspects were summoned for questioning, with 20 arrested. The paper said that the suspects came from different nationalities, among them Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians.