Lebanon Says It Captured American Suspected Of Infiltrating From Israel

Colin Emery Doyle, whom Lebanon says it captured after he illegally crossed into the country through the security fence from Israel on January 15, 2019. (Hezbollah's Central Media)

Lebanon’s army intelligence have detained a man on suspicion that he crossed into Lebanon from Israel, a military official said Thursday. The country’s state news agency said the detainee is a U.S. citizen. YWN published a report on Tuesday stating that the IDF was investigating a breach in the Northern border.

Lebanon and Israel each bans its citizens from visiting the other country. There are no border crossings at the tightly-controlled frontier.

The military official, who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, gave no further details saying the man is being questioned and once they have information the army will release a statement.

State-run National News Agency said the man who was detained is a U.S. citizen adding that he was detained in the southern port-city of Tyre where he had been staying since Tuesday. It added that the man is being questioned under the supervision of judicial authorities.

The man was identified by Lebanon as Colin Emery Doyle. Lebanese media reported that he appeared to be mentally unstable.

The U.S. Embassy said in a statement: “We’ve seen media reports of the arrest of a U.S. citizen. We take our obligation to assist U.S. citizens abroad seriously and stand ready to provide all appropriate consular services.”

It added that due to privacy considerations, “we have no further comment.”

Suspicion about someone crossing the tightly guarded border known as the Blue Line began to surface on Tuesday.

The Israeli military said: “Israeli army troops identified a break in the fence and signs that point to the suspicion of a person crossing the border from Israel into Lebanon. The incident is under investigation.”