An Egyptian-born American was arrested by Syrian authorities on suspicion of being an Israeli spy, but his relative, Tarek Shalaby defends him to German news agency DPA, stating that “Radwan never went to Jerusalem or the West Bank.”
Syrian Arab News Agency (Sana) said that Mohamed Radwan was detained, along with a number of foreign residents, for supposedly having visited Israel recently and spying for them.
“The family is still trying to know his whereabouts. We have contacted the Egyptian and American authorities to help us.”
According to Sana, Radwan confessed that he received money to record videos and take pictures of the ongoing troubles in Syria. He reportedly said he was selected for that job because he is based in Syria.
Mass protests erupted recently in the country to demand immediate political reforms. The demonstrations follow popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, which toppled presidents Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, respectively.
There are also ongoing protests in Yemen, Bahrain and Libya, with the latter being the subject of a Western-led attack on Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in a bid to protect civilians.