The Egyptian authorities have arrested an Israeli citizen on suspicion of spying and attempting to incite a security vacuum in order to make the revolution fail. Ilan Chaim Grapel is also suspected of attempting to fuel sectarian strife in Egypt.
Adel Saed, the spokesperson for Egypt’s General Prosecutor, said that the ex-soldier was apprehended in a 5-star hotel in Cairo; his computer and three mobile phones were seized and found “to contain sensitive information that may harm Egypt’s security”. He had, it is alleged, been sent to Egypt in order to recruit local people to get involved in espionage activities.
According to Mr Saed, Grapel raised doubts in the minds of some of the youth involved in the revolution when he started to ask for information about places where he could incite demonstrators to engage in violence against the army. The accusations against him include the collection and recording of information on developments in Egypt to be used in a way that would harm the revolution and the country’s political, economic and social interests. This included details of Egyptian Islamists, sectarian violence and problems relating to the Coptic Christian community.
Egyptian intelligence claims that the suspected spy was a soldier in the Israel Defence Forces who served in Lebanon in 2006 before being invalided out. He is being held for up to 15 days while the General Prosecutor is investigating the case. “Once that is done,” said Saed, “further details will be made public.”