Photo: Hagai Aharon
Azzam Azzam. Charged with spying in Egypt
Photo: Hagai Aharon

Egypt charges 4 with spying for Israel

Egyptian citizen arrested, charged with espionage; arrest warrants issued against three Israelis, who are currently in Canada and Turkey. State prosecutor says Egyptian man was recruited during his stay abroad

Egypt has charged an Egyptian who holds Canadian citizenship and three Israelis with spying for Israel, a state prosecutor said on Saturday.


High State Security Prosecutor Hisham Badawi said the Egyptian, Mohamed Essam Ghoneim el-Attar, 31, had been arrested and charged, but the rest of the spy ring were in Turkey and Canada, although arrest warrants had been issued for them.


The three Israelis were identified by the state news agency MENA as Daniel Levi, Kemal Kosba and Tuncay Bubay. Kosba and Bubay also hold dual Turkish citizenship, MENA said.


Badawi said the Israelis had recruited Attar while he was living in Turkey in Aug. 2001, and had assisted him in obtaining a residency permit in Canada under a fake name and found him work in a bank.


Attar was paid to spy on Egyptians and Arabs during his time in Turkey and Canada, and used his position in the bank to obtain information on specific accounts, Badawi added.


He was also expected to scout and approach potential recruits, according to Badawi, and was paid USD 56,000 between Aug. 2001 and Jan. 1 2007, when he was arrested at Cairo airport entering Egypt for a family visit.


Badawi said Attar had been under investigation since Jan. 2002.


Attar would stand trial before a High State Security Emergency court, Badawi added.


Israeli security sources in Jerusalem responded to the report of this affair, saying they knew nothing of the matter.


The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that at this point, details are being verified and there is no information other than what has been published in the media.


AP contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 02.03.07, 18:41
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