A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

a bicycle built to view

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on December 20, 2008

This morning when I checked the Lebanese news I learned that a “spy bicycle” – one equipped with a camera – had been found “between Jumblatt’s residence and Future TV“. Hunh? I used to live in the next neighborhood over, and I can tell you that no bicycle – not even a bicycle built for giant – would be large enough to monitor the two buildings at the same time. They’re in the same neighborhood, but they are still at least half a mile apart from one another.

But that wasn’t all. Apparently this super-bicycle was also monitoring the headquarters of BankMed, the Hariri-owned bank, which is located on Clemenceau and the road leading up from the Phoenicia. Again: one bike, able to do all this spying?

Now Lebanon posted a photograph of the bicycle in question on its website – and when I saw it, I burst out laughing:


What espionage professionals would use a bright purple, women’s bicycle as a spy vehicle? How many people have you seen biking around within the city of Beirut? How many of them have been women? And how many of them have been riding technicolor bikes?

I wonder how long it took the ISF to notice the bicycle, and to “confiscate” it.

And I wonder whether the disclosure that the bike belongs to David-Munir Nabti, the recent face of the Democrats Abroad – Lebanon group, will have any impact on President-elect Obama’s popularity in Lebanon.


6 Responses to “a bicycle built to view”

  1. Since the mid 80’s, ISF agent are wearing this ridiculous urban warfare outfit…It is about time to look more like policemen than soldiers.

  2. Yahoo has a fleet of about twenty of these bicycles all over the world! They’re part of Yahoo’s “Start Wearing Purple” campaign (http://startwearingpurple.yahoo.com/).

  3. Kheireddine, I always thought those uniforms were rather romantic – like they were dressed to blend in perfectly into any black-and-white film. But you are right: they are a bit over-the-top, especially given the ISF’s usual activities.

    Yahoo – very interesting. I’m going to do a follow-up blog on this campaign.

  4. […] a bicycle built to view […]

  5. Here’s the link to the “Purple Pedals Project” of Yahoo’s “Start Wearing Purple” campaign:


    The photographs from these bicycles are uploaded to Flickr, a photo sharing site owned by Yahoo. This bicycle is part of this marketing campaign!

  6. Rami said

    Spycycles 😉

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