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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not a Mossad spy, just a fool

The story of Ilan Grapel, the American-Israeli accused of spying on Egypt for the Mossad, is gathering legs.
Alleged Mossad spy Ilan Grapel claimed he was a Muslim in the visa request he submitted to the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram reported Wednesday.
Well, if he had said he was a Jew, it wouldn't have taken this long to arrest him.
The report also said that Grapel tried to gather information on the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, signed in Cairo, and on the feeling toward the agreement within the Egyptian public.
Why is that spying? What did he do? Take a public opinion poll?
According to al-Ahram, an interrogation of Grapel revealed that the Mossad asked him to "penetrate" all political parties and organizations, especially the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties, and find out what the situation in Egypt would be like if the Muslim Brotherhood ruled and what impact this would have on Israeli-Egyptian relations and on relations between Iran and Egypt.
Other than 'penetrating' that sounds like what's called 'political analysis' in most of the world. And by the way, since when is the Egyptian government so concerned with protecting the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists?
Grapel reportedly sent the Mossad documents and images over the internet from several cafes in Cairo, but did not send anything from his hotel room in order to mislead authorities and to maintain secrecy. He also tried to recruit Egyptians to rise up against the Army, al-Ahram said echoing earlier Egyptian reports.
Okay, if that last sentence is true, it's serious.

But I don't believe Grapel was acting for the Mossad. I think he's just a naive fool who was trying to freelance on his own (if that). And I'm glad that the US is handling this rather than Israel - he's much more likely to get off with being expelled from Egypt and declared persona non grata.

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