Arrested Israeli Spy Allegedly Infiltrated Upper Echelons Of Hezbollah; Led Foreign Operations Branch; Mossad Gets Sloppy?
Various news outlets are reporting that “an agent of Mossad’s spy agency infiltrated the upper echelon’s of Hezbollah’s security apparatus; and, leaked information about the Lebanese-Shi’ite group for several years before being discovered and arrested recently by the group. Hugh Naylor, writing in the December 20, 2014 Washington Post, says “the espionage activities of the man, identified as Mohammad Shawraba, would represent one of the most significant security breaches of the highly secretive organization.” Mr. Naylor said the arrest has been widely reported in Lebanese and Arabic media — and, Mr. Shawraba reportedly helped Israel thwart numerous Hezbollah operations.” Mr. Shawraba had headed Hezbollah’s Foreign Operations Unit since 2008, a position which certainly would have made him extremely valuable to the Mossad. The Times of Israel has identified the man as Mohammad Shorbah, rather than Shawraba.
“Hezbollah uncovered and arrested Mohammad Shawraba, and they consider his arrest a significant achievement…despite the blows that his activities dealt to their operations,” said one official familiar with the incident. Mr. Shawraba was apprehended with the assistance of Iranian intelligence,” said the official, who added Hezbollah had become increasingly suspicious of a mole within its highest ranks.
“Citing an unnamed security source, the Lebanese English-language Daily Star reported Mr. Shawraba is being tried in a Hezbollah court. He was arrested with four other people who worked for him in the foreign operations unit, which works against Israeli interests in foreign countries,’ Mr/ Naylor wrote. Hezbollah reportedly became suspicious of Mr. Shawraba, after five attempted retaliations against Israel over the Imad Mughniyeh killing had failed.” Mughniyeh, also known in Western intelligence circles as “The Prince of Darkness” for his alleged role in the 1983 Marine Barracks Bombing in Lebanon, was killed by a car bomb in Damascus in 2008.
The Times of Israel, in their December 19, 2014 edition, said Hezbollah “began searching for a mole in its ranks, after Bulgaria accused it of responsibility for a bus bombing in the Bulgarian resort town of Burgas in 2012 that killed five Israeli tourists, and a local bus driver. The Times of Israel reports that Shorbah had informed Israel that Hezbollah was responsible for the bombing; and, Jerusalem in turn, informed Bulgarian authorities. The Bulgarian Foreign Minister accused Hezballah of being behind the attack — arousing the group’s concern that they had a traitor in their midst.
Shorbah reportedly worked as a traveling businessman; and, was recruited by the Mossad in a “western Asian” country; and, had been paid about $1M for his services
Either the Mossad got sloppy here; or, much like Robert Hansen and the Soviets did here in America, some spies were exposed or “given up” in the hopes of keeping someone even more well placed an valuable out of harms way. One hopes it is the latter; but, one suspects it is the former — and the Mossad got sloppy. V/R, RCP