Lebanese authorities have arrested a Shiite sheikh in southern Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel, a security source told The Daily Star Tuesday.Michael Totten interviewed Husseini and described him in his book, The Road to Fatima Gate.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lebanese intelligence personnel arrested Sheikh Mohammad Ali Husseini, leader of the obscure Arab-Islamic Resistance group, late Saturday in his apartment in the Riz complex just east of the southern port city of Tyre and took him to the Defense Ministry in Yarze, east Beirut, for questioning.
The source said information gathered about Husseini over the past 10 days led to his arrest.
The Lebanese intelligence unit also confiscated computer sets, communication equipment and documents from Husseini’s home.
Reporters based in south Lebanon said Husseini, who is critical of both Hezbollah and the Amal Movement of Speaker Nabih Berri, has been funded by Saudi Arabia since 2008.
Husseini is not just a Shi'ite cleric. He is a direct descendant of Mohammed himself, a "sayyed," and Totten described him as being "untouchable" in Lebanon. While reporters are severely restricted from taking photographs in the Hezbollah controlled sections of the country, when they are with Husseini they can do whatever they want because no one would dare challenge him. He outranks Nasrallah as a cleric, according to Totten.
Husseini is against war and terrorism, writing an entire book about nonviolence based on Quranic sources. Unfortunately, he has little political power.
His "resistance movement" was a publicity stunt to try to co-opt Hezbollah's message of resistance, and it failed badly.
This is not merely another spy case. This is Hezbollah showing exactly how powerful they really are.