Australian national charged with spying for Hamas

Saudi-born man caught at Ben Gurion Airport after trying to enter Israel; indictment says he received weapons training in Syria.

April 19, 2011 20:46
1 minute read.
Hamas members [illustrative].

Armed Hamas members celebrate Mubarak resignation 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

An Australian citizen of Saudi origin was indicted in the Central District Court on Sunday for membership in the Hamas terrorist organization and attempting to aid the organization in attacking Israel.

The man, Ia'ad Rashid Abu Arja, was arrested by the police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) last week, when he attempted to enter the country at Ben Gurion Airport.

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According to the indictment, Abu Arja was recruited to Hamas and met with its operatives in Syria, where he also underwent weapons training. The indictment states that Abu Arja, who has a background in computers, was asked to acquire technologies for encryption, photography, and missile guidance.

The indictment states that the purpose of his visit to Israel was to test whether he would be able to get past Israeli security and enter the country for future missions. He was also allegedly asked to form business contacts with local companies.

Police and Shin Bet forces told Channel 2 news that Arja's attempt to enter Israel is one more example of ongoing efforts by Hamas and other terrorist organizations to recruit agents who have the ability to enter the country and establish various connections here.

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