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An Egyptian Spy Deported from China! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A few days before the end of 2010, the Egyptians were met with an unwelcome surprise, when an Israeli espionage network was uncovered, operating in the field of telecommunications, as well as other areas. The network was administered by an Egyptian, who had been residing in China for the past few years. With a sigh of sorrow, a renowned television reporter said “Although 31 years have elapsed since we signed the Peace Agreement [with Israel], they are still spying on us.” Each interviewed guest in every satellite talk show stressed that there is no peace between Egypt and Israel, and that an enemy must remain an enemy. Then, television screens and newspapers began showering us with details. A young reporter, who specializes in reading between the lines of newspaper articles, said “the network had set up advanced listening devices to monitor senior Egyptian state officials. One copy of the recorded conversations would then be sent to London and another one to Tel Aviv”. He went on to cite the example of one girl, “who worked as a hostess in a tourist company in Sharm el-Sheikh. She was appointed by the Israeli Mossad agency to gather information regarding the arrival dates of Chinese and Japanese tourist groups, so that Israeli intelligence could kidnap them, and thus mar the reputation of tourism in Egypt.” Of course, the reporter did not happen to mention how many times Japanese or Chinese tourists have been kidnapped. The obvious reason for this is that no single tourist of any nationality has been kidnapped in Sharm al-Sheikh.

Newspapers occupied themselves with publishing further confessions of the young man accused of espionage. Via these confessions, the press was able to talk about advanced communication devices that have been set up stations in Rafah and Gaza. A reporter interviewed a number of knowledgeable professors on the subject, and it was clear to any observer that some of these guests relied, in their information about espionage, upon one single book by Miles Copeland, entitled “The Game of Nations”, published in the early 1950s. As for others, it was clear that they had not read said book, or indeed any other book!

Puzzled and confused, the reporter had to ask whether this case consisted of one or two incidents of espionage. Here a security expert intervened by phone and decisively said that this was one case, and it was incorrect to allege that some employees of mobile phone companies were also implicated. Yet the defendant’s testimonies brought us something new everyday, and with every piece of information being leaked, we were able to deduce that Mossad officers these days have become extremely naïve. They seem to have forgotten all that they learned about espionage and the rules of the job, or at least what has appeared in the books they published, or in the successful or unsuccessful operations they carried out.

I am sure that the accused spy’s confessions were extracted from him by his own free will, without pressure or threat, and I will provide evidence of this shortly. He claimed that an Israeli operation officer had introduced him to another Egyptian citizen in China, who had managed to recruit hundreds of Egyptians. The spy said that he was requested by his new acquaintance to travel to Egypt, in order to help him in his work. However, he categorically refused, for he stated as a condition to the Israelis that he would not take any action that would cause harm to the Egyptians.

We can observe the defendant’s desire to highlight that he never drinks alcohol, nor has affairs with women, nor does he eat pork. In the lie detection test, he was asked twice by an Israeli officer: Do you love Egypt? He answered yes, and his truthfulness was confirmed. As you can see, this individual is able to resist the lures of alcohol, women and pork, and loves his country Egypt. Nevertheless, his only weakness is his desire to work as an Israeli spy.

The only information the spy disclosed about his Egyptian associate in China was that his code name was ‘the Professor’, and that he can be found in a cafe in Gamet el-Dowal al-Arabiya Street in Cairo. (If you read the book by my late friend Maher Abdul-Hamid, the first and most famous person to have written about espionage and the operations carried out by the Egyptian intelligence, you would find that there are individuals named ‘the Professor’ in more than one tale).

This flow of information continued until the Prosecution Office issued a sudden statement on Wednesday night, in which it said: “State security investigations have revealed that Tariq Abdul-Raziq, who is accused of espionage, presented the Israeli Mossad organisation with a list of names of Syrians, Lebanese, and Egyptians, who had registered at websites, constructed by Mossad, with the aim of hiring new recruits. Mossad provided [Abdul-Raziq] with the passwords to these websites, and also published advertisements about fictitious companies claiming to be hiring engineers and technicians, in the field of communications. [Abdul-Raziq’s] job was to nominate potential recruits whom he considered qualified to work for Mossad. Mossad officer Edi Moshe did not tell the spy which candidates were ultimately recruited, but he was able to guess by viewing the websites, and noticing that some names had disappeared from the list. However, a judicial source stressed that Mossad did not recruit any other Egyptians via the defendant in this particular espionage case. Furthermore, the source stressed that the other spy, nicknamed ‘the Professor’, whose name was mentioned by Tariq Abdul-Raziq, was a fictional character whom the defendant fabricated, in order to justify his shameful crime and to show how the Mossad officer –the second defendant in the case –convinced him to continue cooperating, and act against Egyptian interests. The judicial source clarified that there are no other Egyptian defendants, and never before has Mossad disclosed its secret agents to anyone in such a naive manner.”

The investigative authorities became certain that the defendant fabricated ‘the Professor’, through his account of how the Mossad officers dealt with him. In fact, to believe his confessions, one must be extremely naïve. Hence the question is: Is ‘the Professor’ character the only creation in this story, or are there other fabrications?

The sole source of information in this case is the defendant himself. This means that it will be almost impossible to access the truth, or it may be impossible already. Other parties will never make confessions or statements voluntarily. An investigator can clarify whether the defendant travelled to one place or another, but there is no way of knowing whom he met there, or the agreements he made.

If this were a film, I would believe little of its content. It seems that the defendant undertook the writing of events and played the sole leading role, except in two scenes, namely when he sent an email to Mossad requesting recruitment, and his final scene whereby he went to the Egyptian embassy. As for the rest of the content, I find myself unable to believe it.

Unless this man suffers from a mental illness, brought about by failure, poverty and expatriation – something to be decided by physicians alone – he can be considered a compulsive liar. In other words, he is a character who is by no means truthful, and who enjoys telling lies and fabricating stories. No power on earth would push him to being truthful, under any circumstances.