Mossad in Egypt?
The Jerusalem Post reports:
“Two Swedish reporters were held for hours on Wednesday by Egyptian soldiers accusing them of being Mossad spies, the reporters’ employer, daily newspaper Aftonbladet, reported. The soldiers reportedly attacked the reporters, spitting in their faces and threatening to kill them. Four Israeli journalists were arrested by Egyptian military police in Cairo on Wednesday. Three of those arrested work for Channel 2 and the fourth is from Nazareth.”
The article is headlined: “Pro-Mubarak demonstrators are targeting the press,” and conflates the roughing up of CNN’s Anderson Cooper with the arrest of the Israeli “journalists” — but it is the up-until-now-neutral military, not Mubarak’s thugs, who have detained the accused Mossad agents. For more on the history of Mossad operations in Egypt, go here (and here). Suffice to say that this isn’t the first time Israel’s intelligence agency has intervened with provocateurs to justify a crackdown.
So let’s step back and look at the progression of events: a peaceful anti-Mubarak demonstration is attacked by pro-Mubarak thugs, and suddenly accused Mossad agents are arrested. And the Israelis are now coming out in public, brazenly calling on their Western allies to tamp down their criticism of Mubarak.
Update: According to the Committee to Protect Journalists:
“Police arrested four Israeli journalists for allegedly violating the curfew in Cairo and for entering the country on tourist visas, according to news reports. Three of the journalists reportedly work for Israel’s Channel 2, while the fourth reports for an unnamed Israel-based Arabic news website, according to news reports. But Channel 2 told CPJ that the station does not employ the three journalists. The names and correct affiliation of the arrested reporters remain unclear.”
“[Thanks for the tip to commenter "Watson."]
Update 2: JTA reports the four Israeli reporters have been released.
Update 3: NPR reports:
“Israel Radio said one of the journalists worked for an Arabic-language portal based in the Israeli Arab town of Nazareth. Israel’s Channel 2 TV denied reports that three of its reporters were among those detained.
“Israel’s Foreign Ministry released a statement calling on Israeli reporters in Egypt to “remain alert, act responsibly and follow the rules.”"
Yeah, and the rules are : don’t get caught.