By ZEINA KARAM, Associated Press – Thu Jan 12, 4:51 am ET
BEIRUT – The Lebanese army has detained a man on suspicion of collaborating for years with Israel's Mossad spy agency, Lebanese media and officials said Thursday.
The state-run National News agency identified the man arrested earlier this week as Elias Younes, a retired employee of the state telecommunications company Ogero.
Judicial and security officials speaking to The Associated Press confirmed the report but said Younes has not yet been charged and was being questioned on the suspicion he dealt with Israel during his years as an Ogero employee.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. They declined to provide more details, pending further investigation.
The man's family could not be immediately reached for comment.
Al-Manar TV, owned by Lebanon's anti-Israel Hezbollah group, hailed the arrest as a major achievement, describing Younes as the "dean of collaborators and spies."
It said he had been dealing with Israel for "over 35 years," supplying information regarding marine security as well as names, numbers and other valuable telecommunications data.
Lebanese officials claim that Israel regularly recruits spies in Lebanon and has penetrated the telecommunications networks.
The two countries remain in a state of war and spying for or collaborating with Israel can be punishable by death.
Lebanon has arrested dozens of alleged collaborators in the past few years, including several people working in the telecommunications industry.
It has also accused Israel of planting espionage devices in southern Lebanon.
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