Israeli Bedouin tycoon charged with espionage

Yaakub Abu AlQian, the Bedouin businessman who was placed third on Moshe Ya’alon’s defunct Knesset list, has been indicted on three counts of espionage before the Beersheba District Court. Accused of consorting with a foreign agent representing Iran, he was arrested on June 10 on suspicion of contacts in Turkey with Lebanese-Iraqi agent Hyder al-Mashhadani, a liaison agent for Iranian intelligence. He was in custody for 20 days before the gag order on his case was partially removed this week and he was allowed to contact an attorney.

The indictment cites serious offenses detrimental to national security by Abu AlQaian who knowingly passing information to Iranian intelligence, including updates on the situation in Israel and its leaders, including Defense Miniser Benny Gantz, via its agent,. He also hoped to develop business ties in the Gulf. Security sources add that the information he passed was of minor value compared with his willingness to establish clandestine ties with an enemy of Israel, which have long been sought by Tehran.

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