Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The alleged Israeli spy who reportedly infiltrated Hezbollah and frustrated attacks against Israel held a number of important positions, including supervising the personal security of the organization’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai.
The man, known as “M.Sh.,” caused great damage to the Shi’ite organization, and his arrest was seen by the Hezbollah leadership as an important achievement.
The alleged Mossad member was reportedly arrested weeks ago and held an important position in Hezbollah’s Unit 910, which carries out operations against specific Israeli targets, according to a report that broke the story on Tuesday in the Lebanese website El Nashra.
Sources told the Kuwaiti newspaper that M.Sh. was a resident of a village in south Lebanon and comes from a family that includes religious figures known for their loyalty to Hezbollah. But the sources added that M. Sh.’s arrest would not hurt his family, which “cannot be blamed for his deeds.”
M.Sh. reportedly advanced in Hezbollah until he became responsible for Nasrallah’s personal security with an emphasis on surveillance.
After the spy was discovered, Hezbollah was quick to discharge the unit’s fighters and spread them around to other units. The commander was similarly discharged after the spy reported his activities to US and Israeli intelligence, Al-Rai reported.
According to a report by the Al-Janoubia website on Tuesday and reported by the Lebanese NOW website, the espionage involved more than one person – a cell – that was “the most serious [intelligence] breach in Hezbollah’s history.” M.Sh. held the position of deputy chief of Unit 910, the report said.
Quoting sources close to Hezbollah, the report added that under questioning, it was revealed that Mossad made periodic payments totaling $1 million.
According to sources quoted by El Nashra, the Mossad spy worked undercover as a businessman and traveled a great deal. The Mossad allegedly recruited M.Sh. in a western Asian country.
The report said M.Sh. worked with the Mossad for a number of years and foiled many Hezbollah operations that were meant to avenge the assassination of commander Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus in 2008. The Shi’ite group accuses the Mossad of carrying out the attack.
The double agent also supposedly exposed information about operatives operating abroad, leading to the arrest of Hezbollah agent Muhammad Amadar in Lima, Peru, in October.
The recurring failures of Unit 910 “caused a state of frustration in the party’s ranks,” and led to the creation of a separate secret unit run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Al-Janoubia reported.
“After close monitoring of the most important security officials, the unit arrested five Hezbollah members including the [Unit 910 deputy chief],” the sources said.