Nisha Jadeja
NCC Cadet (India), Defence Aspirant and Strategic Affairs Enthusiast.

Ashraf Marwan: The Spy Who Fell to Earth

Source:- Ashraf Marwan. (Screenshot from "The Israeli Connection," via YouTube)
Source:- Ashraf Marwan. (Screenshot from "The Israeli Connection," via YouTube)

Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, has always bailed out its little nation against the combined Arab troops in the previous three wars, even before the real conflict started. It had a higher success rate than any other Arab agency since it utilized dual agents who were Arabs themselves. One such story is that of Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian spy who worked for Israel and revealed various key secrets, including military methods that helped Israel to beat Arabs while being numerically and resourcefully outnumbered by their adversaries.

Ashraf Marwan was a high-ranking Egyptian official who worked as a double agent for both nations and helped bring about peace. Marwan was born in Egypt on February 2, 1944. His father served in the presidential guard brigade as a military officer. Marwan was recruited into the army while he was just 21 years old. He received his diploma from Cairo University. In chemical engineering, he got first-class honors. In 1965, Marwan was playing tennis in Heliopolis, an Egyptian capital suburb, when he met a beautiful young woman called Mona Nasser. She was the president’s favorite and third daughter. She was likewise head over heels in love with Marwan. However, her dad, President Gamal Abdel Nasser, thought that Marwan was more involved in his daughter due of her political standing than her personal attractions. Regardless, he approved of the marriage. It happened in July 1966. Mona Nasser’s father, on the other hand, avoided and distrusted her spouse.

Source:- President Nasser of Egypt (left), shakes hands with Ashraf Marwan (right), during Marwan’s wedding to Nasser’s daughter, Mona (centre), on 7 July 1966. Photograph: Anonymous/AP

Some claim Ashraf Marwan to be the 20th century’s finest spy. In 1970, Marwan was summoned by the Israeli embassy in London and given a position in Egypt’s top-secret cell, and his career as a spy started with his acceptance of the offer. Mossad was first distrustful of him, according to the book “The Egyptian Spy That Saved Israel,” but once the intelligence he supplied proved helpful and trustworthy, Mossad began to trust him. He worked as an Israeli agent for almost 30 years till 1998, but Egypt has never been made aware of his treason and disdain for his nation.

Beginning in 1969, Marwan served in the presidential administration, first under Gamal Abdel Nasser and subsequently as a close advisor to his successor, Anwar Sadat. Dr. Marwan was enlisted by Egyptian intelligence before to the October 1973 conflict, and he may have given wrong information to the Israeli Mossad before the 1973 Arab-Israel war. Marwan’s fame got greater in Egypt. Following his father-in-death law’s in September 1970, he reportedly provided classified Israeli papers to Nasser’s successor, Anwar Sadat, and grew in prominence as a consequence. Any misgivings Mossad had about Marwan were heightened three years later, in April 1973, when he transmitted a communication to the Israelis warning of an imminent Egyptian onslaught.

Egypt and Syria prepared a third and conclusive assault on Israel, a small Jewish state in the core of the Arabian peninsula that had beaten the Arabs in the prior 2 wars, in 1948 and 1965. Although Marwan, code-named “Angel,” only warned the Mossad 24 hours before the Arab armies’ shock invasion, his previous knowledge of Egyptian military war preparation and leadership debates rendered Egypt “transparent” to Israel throughout the conflict. Despite the fact that he only alerted Israel’s Mossad 24 hours before the strike, it was obvious that creating a plan on such short notice would be tough. However, Israel was fast to organize its troops and stop the operation, as well as destroy major military sites in Egypt and Syria before they were utilized for attack.

The novel “The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel,” written by Israeli writer Uri Bar-Joseph, Professor of Political Science at the University of Haifa, explains one of the most intriguing detective cases in the historical memory of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which resulted in yet another Arab defeat at the hands of Israel. According to the book, Israel’s Mossad used to pay him $50,000-$100,000 each time he delivered information once or twice a month, in addition to other incentives and gifts. This was a significant amount in the 1970s, and it’s probable that’s why he was free to enjoy his retirement in London, where he was found dead in 2007. Following the Yom Kippur war, Israel honored Marwan with a $100,000 cash bonus in acknowledgment of his early warning of the imminent attack, which saved many Israeli lives but murdered many of his own people.

Source:- Ashraf Marwan (right) and The Angel: The Egyptian Spy who Saved Israel (Wikipedia/ Eyalevron and Raafat)

Marwan’s ascension to the leadership continued after the 1973 conflict. On February 14, 1974, he was named Secretary to the President of the Republic for Foreign Relations. Marwan, on the other hand, had gathered a considerable number of personal opponents by that time, who accused him of profiting from his connection to Sadat. However, Marwan’s tenure in the White House ended in March 1976. Marwan left Egypt in October 1981 to seek a career in business in London. Dr. Marwan worked in close collaboration with Egyptian intelligence. Implanting Marwan as a double agent is a common Russian method in which the agent provides his target with 95 percent correct information before supplying false data at a vital point.

Marwan has collaborated with Egyptian, Israeli, Italian, American, and British intelligence throughout the years, according to one expert. Some Israeli authorities refused to believe that he was playing the Mossad, stating that Dr. Marwan solely worked for the Mossad despite the fact that every evidence contradicted this assertion. In 2002, Ahron Bregman, an Israeli novelist, was one of the bogus claims. According to Eli Zeira, the director of Israel’s Military Intelligence in 1973, Bregman obtained his information from Maj. Gen. (ret.) Dr. Marwan, who conveyed accurate information to Israeli intelligence only to deceive them and earn their trust, according to the Israeli Agranat Commission, which investigated Israeli leaders for the reasons for their failure in the war.

Marwan died in mysterious circumstances on June 27, 2007, after “falling” from his London home’s balcony. According to his wife and family, he voiced fears about being followed before to his death. His wife accused the Mossad of carrying out the killing. Marwan is the fourth notable Egyptian to die in a similar fashion in London. According to press accounts, the Metropolitan Police Service is more persuaded that Marwan was murdered, a notion that Marwan’s eldest son, Gamal, shares. Gamal Mubarak, son of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and intelligence head Omar Suleiman were among those who attended Marwan’s state burial in Egypt, which was conducted by Egypt’s highest-ranking religious leader, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy.

The Angel, a 2018 Netflix film based on the Professor Uri Bar-book Joseph’s book, was received with indignation by Egyptian media, who dubbed it a historical rewrite. Marwan was a true spy or a double agent, and his entire life and die is utterly unexplained. The Spy Who Fell to Earth, written by Ahron Bregman about his relationship with Marwan, was published in 2016. Salon Productions obtained the rights to adapt the book into a feature documentary in 2017.

About the Author
I am a second year student of Bachelors in Defence and Strategic Studies at School of Internal Security, Defence and Strategic Studies(SISDSS) in Rashtriya Raksha University, India. I am a national-level Handball player or state-level cricket player and also associated with India's National Cadet Corps in 1 Gujarat Girls Battalion. My areas of interest include India's national security, India-Israel relations, Israel's military or warfare studies.
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