'Spy' held in Egypt is US law student

2011-06-13 21:35

kalahari.com

Jerusalem - A man who Egyptian authorities have arrested on charges of being an Israeli spy is a 27-year-old American-Israeli law student who was doing an internship at a nonprofit organization in Cairo, a classmate said on Monday.

Egypt says Ilan Grapel is a Mossad agent, and pictures of him in Israeli military uniform have been published in Egyptian papers. The semiofficial Al-Ahram daily identified him in a headline as a "Mossad officer who tried to sabotage the Egyptian revolution".

However, Will Felder, a 29-year-old law student at Emory University in Atlanta identified Grapel as a classmate originally from Queens, New York.

Grapel moved to Israel, where his grandparents live, as a young man and did his compulsory military service during the 2006 war between the Israeli military and Hezbollah.

He was wounded in the fighting, Felder said, and Israeli news websites on Monday published what they said were old pictures of Grapel lying in his hospital bed.

Grapel later returned to the US for law school and was in Cairo doing a legal internship with a local nonprofit organization ahead of his return to Emory for his third and final year of studies, Felder said.

"His parents became concerned because he hadn't shown up for work," Felder said, and then saw their son's name being reported as that of "a Mossad spy who had been arrested".

An acquaintance in Israel, Ziki Ud, told Israel Radio that Grapel had an avid interest in the Middle East and had studied Arabic. Ud, too, said he doubted the allegations were true.

Travelling under real name

The fact that Grapel appears to have been traveling under his real name, and that his connections to Israel would have been easy to find on the internet, also appear to suggest it was unlikely he was a spy.

A 2006 New York Daily News story, for example, reported that Grapel had been wounded by shrapnel in fighting in south Lebanon. The same article said he studied international relations at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and moved to Israel in 2005.

The Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, citing security sources, said Grapel had recently attended protests and "incited the protesters to acts of riots and sabotage." It said he also tried to "plot discord between the people and the army".

The army has controlled Egypt since the authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak was deposed in a wave of popular protests earlier this year.

Grapel was equipped with "communication devices, laptops, CDs, and flash memory", the paper reported.

Egypt, like other Arab states, has a long history of blaming internal problems on Israeli saboteurs.

Yigal Palmor, a spokesperson for Israel's foreign ministry, said Egyptian authorities have yet to officially inform Israel about the arrest of an Israeli citizen on espionage charges.


- SAPA

Read more on:    mossad  |  israel  |  us  |  egypt  |  espionage
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

We will give you police - Zille

A total of 250 000 police on the streets is one of the election promises Helen Zille made during an anti-drugs and gangsterism march in Manenberg, Cape Town.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.