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Wars, Weapons and Terrorists : Clandestine Operations of the Polish Military Intelligence Station in Beirut, 1965–1982


[ 1 ] Instytut Podstaw Bezpieczeństwa, Wydział Bezpieczeństwa Narodowego, Akademia Sztuki Wojennej | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[5.3] Security studies

Year of publication


Published in

The International History Review

Journal year: 2021 | Journal volume: vol. 43 | Journal number: issue 1

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • Bejrut (Liban)
  • Broń
  • Liban
  • Polska
  • Szpiegostwo
  • Terroryzm
  • Wojna
  • Wywiad wojskowy
  • Zimna wojna
  • Beirut (Lebanon)
  • Cold war
  • Espionage
  • Lebanon
  • Military intelligence
  • Poland
  • Terrorism
  • War
  • Weapons

EN This article examines the Polish Military espionage in Lebanon during the Cold War. Thorough analysis of recently declassified files of the Zarząd II Sztabu Generalnego Wojska Polskiego (Second Board of the General Staff of the Polish Army) allows reevaluation of the role played by the intelligence station codename “Cedr”/”Balbek” in Beirut from 1965 to 1982. The available archival records challenge the notion that Polish military intelligence was effective and conducted a long-term espionage strategy in Lebanon. In fact, since its establishment, the station lacked HUMINT capabilities and relied mostly on open source data. Moreover, the ambitious plans to set up a special intelligence post in Lebanon in case of the outbreak of a Third World War were hindered because of the civil war that started in 1975. Internal instability and bloody military conflict, however, enabled Polish intelligence to acquire significant amounts of Western-made weaponry, which boosted at the same time clandestine contacts with Middle-Eastern terrorist organizations. Warsaw profited from the Lebanese civil war by supplying different factions with arms and by using murky brokers and middle-men for obtaining embargoed goods.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

125 - 135





Publikacja będąca początkowo na zasadach tzw. Early Access, o statusie artykułu: Article in press. Bibliografia na stronach 133-135.

Open Access Mode

publisher's website

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Points of MNiSW / journal


Points of MNiSW / journal in years 2017-2021


Publication indexed in

Scopus | WoS