Egypt Accuses American of Spying for Israel

Ilan Grapel reportedly immigrated to Israel from Queens, New York

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 13, 2011 8:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – Yesterday Egypt arrested an alleged Israeli spy—and today it emerged that Ilan Chaim Grapel is an American who immigrated to Israel, Reuters reports. Egyptian officials say Grapel was sent to Egypt to build a team “trying to gather information and data and to monitor the events of the January 25 revolution." They say Grapel tried to incite violence among Egyptian protestors, hoping to spark a face-off with the military “and spread chaos in the Egyptian public and harm the state's political, economic, and social interests.”

Grapel reportedly noted on Facebook that he was preaching at a Cairo Islamic university, a comment that was later removed. Grapel appears to be the same man who told Haaretz he moved to Israel three years before its 2006 war with Lebanon and ended up enlisting in the Israeli Defense Force. Israel, however, denies the reports. “There is no such thing, no Israeli agent has been arrested in Egypt,” an official told the BBC. “These reports are false.”

Egyptian broadsheet newspapers present on their June 13, 2011 front page pictures of Ilan Grapel.   (Getty Images)
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