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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hezbollah CFO flees to Israel? (update)

I was waiting for confirmation of this story first noted in The Jewish Press and Israeli site Terror Watch, and here it is:

Hezbollah’s CFO has fled to Israel taking with him large sum of stolen money, classified documents and maps, local news media reported on Friday.

The news website, Now Lebanon, cited Hezbollah officials saying that the 29-year old telecommunication engineer, Hussein Fahs, has crossed to Israel carrying with him $5 million in embezzled money from the group. Fahs is also head of Hezbollah’s operational communications network.

In September, Fahs, who is native of southern Lebanon, was arrested along with other four Hezbollah members over the suspicion of embezzling the group’s funds and collaborating with Israel, Yoni Alpert’s [sic] Terror Watch reported.

The operation to arrest the five was a collaborative one between Hezbollah and Iranian intelligence. Hezbollah, which has long been a staunch ally to both Iran and Syria, officially became part of the Lebanese government in 2011.

According to Al-Joumhouria newspaper, he was arrested while on his way to an unknown destination by 20 Iranian intelligence officers at Beirut’s Hariri Airport. At the time it was suspected that they stole at least $5 million in Iranian aid funds.

Cases of Lebanese nationals collaborating and spying for Israel are not new.

On Tuesday, Imad al-Zein, a Lebanese Military Tribunal Judge, issued eight arrest warrants against Lebanese citizens charged of collaborating with Israel, Lebanon’s National News Agency reported.

The eight arrested include seven women and one man and were all charged in absentia. They were also natives of southern Lebanon, a region known for being a Hezbollah stronghold.

Since 2009, Lebanon has arrested more than 100 people on suspicion of spying for Israeli intelligence, including high-ranking security and telecommunication officials, Nahar Net said.
Interestingly, Debka reports that Israeli sources deny this story. (UPDATE: So does Israel Radio.) So until Fahs surfaces, the facts are not all in yet.