February 25, 2010 in Nation/World

Son of Hamas founder claims he was spy

In book, he describes being longtime informant for Israel
Aron Heller Associated Press

JERUSALEM – The son of one of Hamas’ founders says in a new book that he served as a top informant for Israel for more than a decade, providing top-secret intelligence that helped prevent dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks against Israelis.

Mosab Yousef’s memoir, “Son of Hamas,” is being published next week in the United States, and highlights of the book and an interview with the author appeared Wednesday in Israel’s Haaretz daily.

The revelation of such a high-level informant would deal another blow to Hamas, which suffered a key setback last month when one of its top commanders was assassinated in Dubai last month. Dubai authorities have accused Israel of carrying out the hit, and there have been reports that a Hamas insider assisted the killers.

Hamas, however, claimed it was suspicious of Yousef’s activities for years, and had kept a close eye on him to prevent him from gathering valuable information. His father, Sheik Hassan Yousef, a founder of the Islamic militant group in the 1980s and still a senior figure, issued a statement through his lawyer saying his son had been “blackmailed” by Israeli authorities during a stint in jail in 1996.

Mosab Yousef, dubbed “the Green Prince” by his handlers, told the Haaretz daily that he was one of Israeli intelligence’s most valuable sources in Gaza. His reports led to the arrests of several high-ranking Palestinian figures during the violent Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule that began in 2000, the newspaper said.

The younger Yousef converted to Christianity and moved to California in 2007.

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