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Britain to Uncover Details of Israeli Spy who Infiltrated its Intelligence Bureau in 1950s

Britain to Uncover Details of Israeli Spy who Infiltrated its Intelligence Bureau in 1950s

Tuesday, 24 September, 2019 - 05:45
Thames House, the headquarters of the British Security Service (MI5) is seen in London, Britain, in this file photograph dated October 22, 2015. (Reuters)

British classified files on an Israeli agent who was spying on the Kingdom will be released on Tuesday, uncovering a case that has been kept under wraps for decades.

They will reveal that Cyril Hector Abraham Wybrew, who occupied the rank of major, worked at the Joint Intelligence Bureau when he was exposed as a spy working for Israel in 1950.

This case will be among many files that Britain’s MI5 will reveal.

Wybrew worked for the British intelligence in the Middle East during the World War II. He handled Palestinian affairs at the Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME), an organization made up of a number of British intelligence agencies based in Cairo, Egypt.

SIME was set up in 1939 and was aimed at gathering intelligence and setting up a network of agents in the Middle East.

The official files said that the SIME interrogated Wybrew in 1942 during his mission in Palestine after suspecting that he was involved in “financial improprieties” and had links with Jewish espionage agencies.

The man was about to be referred to the military court, however, the British government dropped all charges against him and released him from service in 1943.

A document, dated May 26, 1950, shows that the British security apparatuses asked that Wybrew stay under surveillance while working at the Ministry of War, despite knowing that he was in contact with three Israeli intelligence officers. They aimed to keep him under their watchful eye in order to discover his collaborators.

The case is an embarrassment to British intelligence that should have questioned Wybrew’s relationship with the Israelis when he worked for SIME during the British mandate in Palestine.

It is also a rare case of Israel being exposed of spying on the British through an agent who had infiltrated their intelligence agencies.

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