Lebanese is ‘most dangerous’ suspect in Iran-linked spy cell in Saudi: report
A Lebanese national is considered the “most dangerous” among 17 other suspects arrested in an Iran-linked espionage cell in Saudi Arabia, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported Thursday.
The Lebanese detainee, a businessman who holds a European passport, is described by the newspaper as “the central, and most dangerous, player within this spy network.”
There is also an Iranian in the cell, who is a media figure and is known for his religious seminars. However, details were not given regarding the private satellite channel he appears on.
The Iranian is a PhD student in the current affairs department at the Islamic University of Medina. He is reportedly Sunni, not from the Shiite sect which most Iranians adhere to.
Investigations into his background are ongoing.
“It is not yet certain whether he was directly and consciously involved with the espionage cell, or whether this is part of an Iranian attempt to falsely implicate him,” the newspaper reported.
The other 16 detainees are Saudis, one of whom has worked in the main branch of a high-profile Riyadh bank, and has over 35 years of banking experience.
Another is said to be a university professor in Riyadh, with a master’s degree and doctorate in education from the United States.
Another suspect is a doctor working in a major hospital in Riyadh as a renal consultant in the children’s ward.
The doctor reportedly used his position to provide information about important Saudi figures receiving treatment in the hospital.
In its first official allegation against Iran, the Saudi Interior Ministry on March 26 said the arrested suspects had direct connections with Tehran.