An Israeli intelligence officer who spent more than 10 years as the secret handler of a top agent inside the Hamas terrorist organization has come out of the shadows for the first time, revealing his identity at a Washington, D.C., event on Wednesday where his former agent was honored.
It wasn’t for ego or applause. Indeed, the man identified as “Captain Ghonim” could face jail time back in Israel for having broken his cover.
So why did he do it?
To speak to the character of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a top Hamas leader, whom the pro-Israel Endowment for Middle East Truth honored in the Senate Caucus Room.
“Mosab is not a terrorist,” Ghonim told the audience. “I have known him for more than 10 years.”
Ghonim said he plans to go to the court in San Diego where an immigration judge has threatened to deport Yousef back to the Palestinian territories on grounds that he was a member of a terrorist organization and had taken part in terrorist operations.
“Mosab prevented killing. He prevented violence,” Ghonim said. “Mosab, I will be with you in this trial and I will tell the truth.”
The deportation hearing is a cruel irony for Mosab Yousef, who came to this country after his cover as a secret Shin Bet agent inside of Hamas was blown.
Now the Department of Homeland Security wants to deport him, after denying his request for political asylum on grounds that he was potentially “a danger to the security of the United States” and had “engaged in terrorist activity,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Yousef recently authored a best-selling book, “Son of Hamas,” in which he recounts his many years working under cover for Israel to prevent Hamas-sponsored terrorist attacks.
In the book, he describes in passionate terms his gradual rejection of Islam and his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his personal savior.
The Israelis called him “the green prince,” because he was the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding leader of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
In “Son of Hamas,” Yousef describes how he learned from his father’s entourage about major terrorist attacks being planned and risked his life to inform the Israelis ahead of time so they could arrest those involved or take other preventive measures.
Addressing a packed crowd in the huge ornate Senate Caucus Room, Yousef alternated between harsh accusations against his former faith and humor.
“I switched gods. I was very devoted to that god of hate. But I witnessed enough suffering of people devoted to a fake god, and I am not going to stop,” he said.
“Why did I leave Islam? The simple answer is, the god of Islam didn’t like music. He didn’t like Jews. He didn’t even like Muslims! And I can prove it. He is enslaving Muslims with fear.”
Yousef said he came from an environment of fear and now embraces the God of liberty. “All the credits go to my God who died on the cross,” he said.
“The God of Islam is a terrorist. He condones killing. The Quran mandates killing of everybody who doesn’t accept Islam.”
Despite all the death threats he has received since his identity as a Shin Bet informer became known, he said he intends to “keep fighting the God of Islam.”
“My people don’t realize they are worshipping their biggest enemy,” he said. “If Israel disappeared tonight, Palestinians would be killing each other the next day.”
Yousef’s memoir tells harrowing stories of life in an Israeli prison, where Hamas cell leaders tortured fellow prisoners suspected of cooperating with the Israelis.
He also describes the deep respect that developed between him and his Shin Bet handler, described in the book only by the letter “G.”
Yousef introduced Ghonim Wednesday night as “a great brother, a true friend, a family member. He was a man of his word.”
The Department of Homeland Security is using selected quotations from Yousef’s book to make its case against him in the San Diego immigration court.
Homeland Security attorney Kerri Calcador cited passages of the book as “proof” that Yousef worked for Hamas while spying for Israel and that he provided aid to terrorists.
"At a bare minimum, evidence of the respondent's transport of Hamas members to safe houses . . . indicates that the respondent provided material support to a [Tier I] terrorist organization," Calcador wrote.
Yousef’s father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, disowned his son after learning of his involvement as a Shin Bet informer.
“If Mr. Yousef were a security threat, you'd expect that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency would have found reason to detain him. Yet he remains free to travel and even to hit the book-selling circuit,” the Wall Street Journal wrote in a recent editorial.
“Mr. Yousef is a native of the West Bank, which is where he would presumably return if he is deported and where Hamas would immediately seek to kill him. Under the Convention Against Torture, the U.S. has an international treaty obligation not to return people to countries where their lives would be at risk,” the paper noted.
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