By D. Bender
The Islamist terror organization Hezbollah has indirectly admitted that an Israeli spy infiltrated its ranks, Lebanon’s Daily Star reported on Monday.
“There is no party in the world as big and sophisticated as Hezbollah that was able to stand with the same steadfastness despite some major infiltrations,” Hezbollah deputy chief Naim Qassem told local Al Nour radio, referring to recent reports of the arrest of a senior member of the group, Mohammed Shawareb, and his trial for allegedly spying for Israel.
“Hezbollah has worked intensely on battling espionage among its ranks and in its entourage. Some cases [of espionage] surfaced, and they are very limited cases,” Qassem said.
In the wake of the reported unmasking of the Mossad mole who posed as an aide to Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Lebanon-based terrorist group quickly tried to limit exposure of their operations abroad, Israel’s NRG News reported at the time.
Israel holds the Iranian-backed Shiite group responsible for local attacks as well as a string of terror bombings against Israeli and Jewish targets in several countries, including, in 2012 alone, Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, and Israeli embassy personnel in India and the Republic of Georgia.
Senior sources within Hezbollah told Kuwait’s Al Rai newspaper that, following the exposure of the “Zionist agent,” the group opted to disband Unit 901, responsible for operations in several countries, and disperse its agents.
Senior Hezbollah officials interrogated agents who might have had contact with the alleged Mossad agent and several were dismissed.
Shawareb reportedly belonged to one of the most respected families in southern Lebanon, who were apparently aware of his activities with the Israeli intelligence organization.
According to the Al Rai report, Shawareb managed to infiltrate senior positions in Hezbollah and was responsible for foreign activity and internal issues of the Shiite organization.
The agent, apparently, was trusted by the terror group’s leadership, including Nasrallah, and was partly responsible for the sheikh’s physical safety.
According to the report, the agent was able to prevent revenge attacks over the assassination of secretive senior operative, Imad Mughniyeh, in a massive car bombing in February 2008.
Hezbollah boasts of its ability to prevent the infiltration of spies in its ranks, but this is not the first time that foreign agents have penetrated the group. In 2011, Nasrallah said that at least two of his men confessed to spying for the CIA.