Last Updated: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:22 am (KSA) 08:22 am (GMT)

Egyptian spy admits luring a Lebanese daily's editor

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) shakes hands with Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) shakes hands with Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Tarek Abdel Razzak Hassan, the Egyptian accused of spying for Israel has confessed in a court that he tried recruiting the editor-in -chief of one prominent Lebanese newspaper, the Cairo-based al-Masry al-Youm reported on Wednesday.

In his confession before the Supreme State Security Prosecution, Hassan aged 37, said that he received instruction from an officer from the Israeli Secret Service, Mossad, to lure and recruit the editor-in-chief of one of the big newspapers in Lebanon known for its close ties with Syria and Hezbollah.

Name of the newspaper kept anonymous, but Hassan tried to lure the editor-in-chief by offering lucrative deals such as the editor’s opportunity to produce his own TV program with a budget worth $200 thousands, in addition to other preliminary incentives to join Mossad such as tourist trips to Africa.

His Mossad training in Asia

Hassan also confessed that he went to India to receive training by Joseph Dimore, one of the two Israelis who are still fugitives after being discovered by the Egyptian authorities.

In 2007 Hassan traveled to Thailand under the request from Dimore where he frequented the Israeli embassy there.

Dimore introduced him to the other Israeli escapee, Diddy Moshe. Moshe trained Hassan to collect information clandestinely, and make fake IDs.

Dimore also asked Hassan to travel to Cambodia, Laos, and Nepal to continue training.

Hassan was given by Moshe a laptop computer equipped with a hard-to-penetrate encrypted program as a way to communicate between each other. He also gave Hassan a laptop case which contains the means to hide documents that cannot be detected through the eyes or hardware.

He sets up companies to recruit potential spies

 The Mossad chose 8 of 50 applicants for tests before recruiting them as agents 
Tarek Abdel Razzak Hassan, the Egyptian accused of spying for Israel

In addition to the high-tech espionage gadgets, Hassan was supplied with a mobile phone with a Hong Kong company tag, and money to set an import and export company in China under a new email and alias “Khalid Sharif” registered in Hong Kong.

The company aim was for “Khalid Sharif” to be engaged with business transactions with Syrian traders involved in the export of olive oils, sweets, and real estate to China as a way to select the “suitable” ones to be later recruited by Mossad.

According to the al-Masry al-Youm English version, Hassan claimed the Mossad shackled him with debt to coerce him to continue his Mossad cooperation.

“They made me continuously spend the money so that I’d constantly require more,” he said.

Prosecutors interrogated Hassan for more than 18 hours over several days. He confessed to having received dozens of requests from Egyptians, Syrians and Lebanese nationals willing to work for a company he had advertised on the internet.

“The Mossad chose 8 of 50 applicants for tests before recruiting them as agents,” he told prosecutors.

His lawyer Nemat al-Sayed said she can prove that her client did not receive information from any of the purported applicants. “The investigation is devoid of evidence proving the defendant's guilt,” she said.

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