Friday, February 22, 2013

Hezbollah agent in Cyprus gathered info on Israeli flights

A potential disaster of a terrorist attack in Cyprus was thwarted, and the investigation led to the capture of a Hezbollah agent who'd collected data on Israeli flights to the island:
Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, one of the suspects in a thwarted terrorist attack against Israelis in Cyprus in July, said on Friday that he was sent to record the time of arrival of flights from Israel, Army Radio reported.

According to the report, Yaacoub testified in court on Thursday that he was told by his superiors to document the landing times of flights from Israel.

The New York Times reported the Cyprus bomb-plot suspect was payed "$600 per month since 2010" by Hezbollah.

The Times quoted a written testimony read before the court where Yaacoub described acting as a courier for the group in Turkey, France and the Netherlands.

Providing a rare insight into the operations of the Lebanese militant group, Yaacoub said that if his handler wished to contact him, he would send a message "about the weather," The Times reported.

“I work for my party,” Yaacoub said. “Whenever they asked me to do something, I delivered,” The Times quoted his testimony as stating.

Yaacoub was also given the code name "Wael," The Times reported, quoting the bomb-plot suspect as saying that "in general, the party is based on secrecy between members. We don’t know the real names of our fellow members."

The bomb-plot suspect said that as a member of Hezbollah, he had the right to refuse to participate in terrorist operations, The Times reported. "If I was asked to participate in attacks, I had the right to refuse," he said.
There might be a bit of taqqiya involved in that last statement there: what if he thinks he doesn't "because it is Allah's will" that he does take part in the attacks?

It's very fortunate that the attack was prevented. And if these agents can be exposed, that would help prevent future disasters too.

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