'Syrian embassy aided Hezbollah prisoner's escape'

Report: Syrian embassy in Cairo issued a false passport, documents to convicted Hezbollah terrorist in order to help return him to Beirut.

February 17, 2011 12:26
1 minute read.
Escaped Hezbollah terrorist Chehab signals victory

Chehab V Hezbollah 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)


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The Syrian embassy in Cairo aided Egyptian Hezbollah president Mohammed Yousef Mansour, known as Sami Chehab, in leaving Egypt by issuing him a false passport, a Syrian source told Kuwaiti Arabic-language daily Al-Seyasseh Wednesday.

Chehab, exploiting the chaos that had erupted in Egypt during demonstrations that called for president Hosni Mubarak's ouster, had escaped the prison where he was serving a 15-year sentence for planning terrorist activities on Egyptian soil. Following his escape, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah sent an adviser to Syria's intelligence head in order to request that Syria provide Chehab with a false Syrian passport and documents, the source told Al-Seyasseh. The Syrian intelligence head was reportedly eager to help.

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The Syrian embassy then issued Chehab a new passport - replacing one that "was lost" - which he used to travel from Egypt to Khartoum where members of the Sudanese Hezbollah cell helped usher him to the international airport. From there, Chehab flew to Syria, and crossed over into Lebanon.

Chehab appeared in a Beirut rally Wednesday, waving Hezbollah flags and raising his hands in a V-victory sign.

The Shi'ite group said that Mansour was among the thousands of prisoners across Egypt who are believed to have escaped or been set free shortly after the revolt against longtime president Hosni Mubarak erupted Jan. 25. But this was his first public appearance.

Mansour was convicted in 2010 along with 25 others of spying for Hezbollah and plotting attacks in Egypt.

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