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Israel reveals details of spy cells operating Egypt

October 25, 2019 at 1:31 am

Israeli spy Marcel Nino

The Israeli news website Walla revealed “some details about the Jewish espionage network that worked in Egypt during the 1950s, headed by the spy Marcel Nino, who died hours ago.”

Elie Ashkenazi, Walla’s military correspondent, stated in a report translated by Arabi21, that Nino was one of the critical elements in the Israeli intelligence network based in Egypt, after being exposed by the Egyptian intelligence, where she was detained for 15 years before returning to Israel. Nino worked as a liaison between the elements of intelligence networks in the course of Israeli espionage operations, and secured the transfer of equipment for the active spying groups in the cities of Cairo and Alexandria.”

Ashkenazi explained that “this case was known in Israeli intelligence history as a ‘shameful action.’ Nino was born in 1929 in the Egyptian capital Cairo and worked early in the ‘small guard’ groups of the Jews in Egypt. She then established a budding relationship with Haim Victor Saadia, who was looking for volunteers with Zionist aspirations.”

He pointed out that “Victor was behind the first contact between Nino and Shlomo Hillel, the chairman of the Jewish Agency in Egypt at the time. Nino then met with Abraham Dar and afterwards began her work in the Jewish espionage network inside the Egyptian territory. Her secret name was ‘Claude.’ Nino was a Liaison officer between the elements of Israeli intelligence groups, and supervised the transfer of equipment for these networks.”

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Walla’s military correspondent asserted that “Abraham introduced Nino to all the elements of the Jewish cell in the Egyptian cities of Cairo and Alexandria. In 1952, she met Meir Bent, who worked in Egypt on another intelligence mission separate from the two remaining cells established by Abraham Dar. Bent began to assign Nino to send some equipment to the members of the two cells. He has also supervised Nino’s education, training on photography and writing confidential camouflage messages.

The report revealed that “the 13 members of both espionage networks worked for long years in Egypt in dormant cells, and in May 1954 the responsibility of the two cells were transferred to Evry Elad. In July 1954, members of the two cells began to carry out acts of sabotage inside the Egyptian territory, aiming at disrupting Egypt’s relations with Western countries, particularly Britain and the United States.”

The report highlighted that “a tactical mistake led to the detection of the spies of the cell, and subsequently revealed the rest of the members of the two cells. On 11 December 1954, the trial of the cells’ members started, and the sentences varied between the death penalty, by hanging, life in prison and many extended years of imprisonment.”

The report stressed that “Israeli military censorship imposed a complete blackout on the case and called it a ‘shameful action.’ For years later, the case was addressed by coded symbols. In 1968, Egypt and Israel, although at war at the time, agreed to release Nino with three other members of the cell, and they reached Israel.”

Ashkenazi concluded that “as soon as Nino arrived in Israel, she was awarded and promoted to become a general in the intelligence corps. She later learned Hebrew, then English and American literature at Tel Aviv University, until she died at 90 years old, hours ago.”