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Monday Dec. 20, 2010 4:31 PM (EST+7)
Egypt uncovers network spying for Israel

Read more: Egypt, Israel, spy, businessmen, security, telecom companies

CAIRO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Egypt has uncovered a spy ring that included two Israelis and an Egyptian businessman helping them recruit operatives working for telecoms companies, according to a government official and state security documents.

State security prosecutors have announced a spying network that included an Egyptian and two Israelis, said Hicham Badawi, an attorney in the Egyptian state security service.

According to a document shown to reporters by Badawi on Monday, security officials arrested the 37-year-old Egyptian, the owner of an import-export firm, in August on charges of spying for Israel in cooperation with the two Israelis, who had already left Egypt.

It alleged the Egyptian accepted $37,000 in exchange for providing them with information about Egyptians working in telecommunications companies who could be recruited by the spy ring in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.

The general prosecutor ordered the transfer of three accused persons, who included two Israeli fugitives and one detained Egyptian, to be sent ... before the emergency state security supreme criminal court on the charges of spying for Israel and harming the country's national interests, Egypt's state news agency MENA reported.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli official declined immediate comment on the allegations.

Egypt has maintained strong diplomatic and economic ties with Israel since they signed a peace accord three decades ago.

Resentment lingers among ordinary Egyptians over Israel's conflict with the Palestinians, but arrests of people accused of spying for Israel are uncommon. (Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; writing by Tom Pfeiffer; editing by Andrew Dobbie)






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