Lebanese media report (if the site is down, try the Google cache) that Hezbollah uncovered a high level cell operating in one of its most critical intelligence units. Here is a second interesting article about the unmasking of the cell, which reveals:
“After a series of failed security operations outside Lebanon, Hezbollah managed to uncover a Mossad cell within its ranks… [it is] the most serious [intelligence] breach in Hezbollah’s history,” Beirut-based Al-Janoubia reported on Tuesday. The news outlet quoted “sources close to Hezbollah” as saying the cell included four Hezbollah members operating under the command of a Mossad infiltrator, who was the deputy-chief of the party’s foreign operations apparatus (Unit 910). It was that double agent who apparently tipped off the Mossad about the plans Hezbollah allegedly had in several locations in the world, including Peru, Bangkok, Azerbaijan and, possibly, Cyprus.
Lebanese media also point to the possibility that the mole revealed information that allowed the Mossad to assassinate a senior Hezbollah figure, Hassan al-Laqqis. Israel has also assassinated key Syrian regime figures, though it’s not known whether this agent played a role in that.
Unit 910 is Hezbollah’s equivalent of the Mossad. It’s also known as the group’s External Operations Unit. The double agent for the Israelis was given several payments of $1-million each for sabotaging Hezbollah attacks around the world against Israeli targets. The planned bombings were meant to avenge the Mossad’s assassination of Hezbollah’s number two operative, Imad Mugniyeh, in Damascus, several years before. Israel’s plot to kill the top militant was in large part revenge for Hezbollah’s success in the 2006 Lebanon war in counteracting Israel’s military advantage. The Islamist militia prepared a massive tunnel network offering it the element of surprise, which led to high casualties, especially in the IDF’s armored units. To an extent, Hamas adopted the same strategy in Gaza during last summer’s war, which led to the death of 58 IDF soldiers.
Hezbollah’s main response to, and defense against the claim it is sponsoring these terror plots, is to blame the Mossad for trying to implicate it:
The Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar website ran a news story about Hamdar on its Spanish edition, calling the case “another Mossad manoeuver against Hezbollah…The pressure during the interrogation, the presence of the Mossad agents, the absurd evidence like the pictures of the Lima airport, using a Lebanese citizen who denied any link to Hezbollah have all the ingredients of a new Mossad attempt to involve the Lebanese party in a false conspiracy and damage its reputation in Latin America and at the international level,” Al-Manar’s report reads.
Ironically, this is totally true. Mossad is trying to expose Hezbollah’s terror operations and is the culprit in this case. The information, however, isn’t concocted but from a high level Lebanese turncoat, and is apparently the truth.
After the failure of the various plots, the Islamist group suspected a mole in its midst. Because it didn’t know who to trust, it enlisted the help of the Iran Revolutionary Guards, which created a special secret unit that began surveilling Hezbollah’s top intelligence figures. It finally detected five members of Unit 910 who had betrayed Hezbollah secrets to Israel. The result was the arrest, according to Al Jazeera (Arabic), of Muhammad Shawraba.
Coincidentally, in 2012 the Mossad created Stop 910, a website and Twitter feed (whose last tweet was December 9th) solely devoted to sabotaging the work of Unit 910. The website aimed to recruit spies within the Unit and identify and kill those who worked there. Coincidentally, Stop 910 itself exposed Shwarba in a posting from April, 2013. Aside from the information from the accompanying screenshot, it said this:
Shouraba personally took part in terror attacks in the past, and was involved in the elimination of individuals in Lebanon who belonged to the communist stream. In the late 1980’s, he worked with Hezbollah’s operations apparatus, and in the mid-1990’s, he transferred to the ESO. He currently works under Talal Hamia
Exposure of Shawraba would either mean he hadn’t yet been recruited; or the Mossad deliberately outed him so that Hezbollah wouldn’t think he was being protected by Israel.
As McClatchy wrote in its profile, the site was a pretty damn brazen act, which no western intelligence agency would go near with a ten foot pole. It has the ballsiness and braggadocio of Mossad written all over it as I wrote here:
Another intelligence official based in Europe expressed dismay at many of the details the site reveals…
“I can’t believe this thing,” he said. “It actually contains a significant amount of raw intelligence that would be literally illegal for American or European services to release to the public without the highest level of clearance.”
He added, “Now anyone can go online and get an idea of how much information we or the Israelis have on some of these guys…
“This is not how we do tradecraft in the West, I think it’s very foolish,” he added.