Several Arab media outlets, including the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar television station, reported Wednesday that Mauritania has uncovered "a large Israeli spy ring" in the country, allegedly headed by Arab businessmen.
The report originated from a Mauritanian news website and has not been corroborated by any Mauritanian, Arab or Israeli source.
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According to the report, the spy ring was exposed when one of its members, identified as "Fares Albanah," a Palestinian who is also a Jordanian national, was arrested for larceny.
When authorities searched his house, they found a handwritten letter addressed to the UAE ambassador in Mauritania, in which he allegedly confessed to being a Mossad spy, as well as to being involved in the assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010.
The letter also detailed the man's alleged involvement in a 2010 crash of an Ethiopian plane off the coast of Beirut.
Hezbollah's TV station said that Albanah asked the Mauritanian authorities not to turn him over to the Jordanian Intelligence Services, in exchange for "valuable information on the Mabhouh assassination, the plane crash and the Israeli spy ring in the country."
The letter also supposedly detailed the named of several other "collaborators."
The report noted that the matter was brought to the attention of UAE ambassador in Mauritania, "who dismissed it."
A Mauritanian authorities' investigation is ongoing.
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