Ilan Grapel, a rising third-year student at the Emory University School of Law, was arrested as a suspected Israeli spy in Cairo last Sunday. He is currently being detained in Egypt and may face trial within the next week.
Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported that Grapel has confessed to providing the Mossad, Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, with daily intelligence reports and working to recruit Egyptian citizens to aid his espionage campaign. He was arrested at his hotel room last weekend.
Friends and family of 27-year-old Grapel have maintained that Grapel, who they say is spending the summer interning with Saint Andrew’s Refugee Services, a non-governmental legal aid group that helps resettle refugees, is not a spy.
“He is not a Mossad spy,” Irene Grapel, the student’s mother, said in an interview with the New York Post. “That’s ridiculous! He’s been in school for the last two years.”
She added that Grapel was a supporter of the Arab cause, calling him an “Arabist.”