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February 20, 2014 12:52 pm

Report: Egypt Spies Alerted Israel to German Dolphin Submarine Buy, Russian Contract to Upgrade Tanks

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Egyptian Army medical personnel in Afghanistan. Photo: WikiCommons.

Egyptian Army medical personnel in Afghanistan. Photo: WikiCommons.

Leaked confessions from a pair of Egyptians accused of spying for Israel on Thursday allegedly revealed that the most serious intelligence delivered was a report in 2010 that Egypt was buying four German Dolphin submarines and signing a contract with Russia to upgrade 35 tanks, according to Egypt’s Al-Masry Al-Youm.

According to the newspaper, which claimed to have access to signed confessions, the intelligence reports submitted to Israel  also described military exercises by the Egyptian army, the military council at the time of the revolution, and the popularity of religious movements. The reports were sent via an encrypted laptop that the Israeli intelligence had provided and the accused agents were paid €500 ($685) per report.

The two alleged spies, Ramzi Ahmed al-Shebini and Sahar Salama, on Monday were referred to a criminal court, along with unnamed Israeli Mossad agents, who would be tried in absentia.

In the confession, al-Shebini said he repeatedly approached Israeli embassy officials in Rome to offer his services as a spy, but was rebuffed. When the Israelis finally relented, al-Shebini said he was trained by collecting information about certain churches, universities and hotels in Italy.

He recruited Salama who works for a newspaper of the armed forces. After six months, Israel accepted her as part of this espionage team and provided the pair with a bag to hide secret reports. Salama’s first reports were about Army celebrations at the military academy’s graduations and on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War in 2009. She was then assigned to monitor army clubs and hotels, certain military industrial and agricultural projects, and military recruitment procedures.

In total, nine suspects, three Egyptians and six Israeli Mossad officers, were fingered in the spy ring, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm earlier in February. Charges include transferring information about armed forces deployment, headquarters, security ambushes, infiltrators, jihadists and the Rafah border crossing in Sinai that could harm national interests, the report said.

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