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HIZBULLAH NETWORK

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In summer 2005, when Israel withdrew from Gaza, the Hizbullah in Lebanon decided to take advantage of the new situation and to try to transform Gaza, by supporting Hamas, to yet another outpost of Iran on the borders with Israel (see – TANGLED-ISRAEL ).

For that purpose Hizbullah sent a senior agent from its intelligence apparatus (Unite 1800) Mohammad Kabalan, probably a Druze according to his name, to facilitate the flew of weapons from Iran to Gaza through the Bedouin tribes of Northern Sinai.  Pretending to be a Lebanese businessmen – Mohammad Kabalan purchased some legal businesses in Cairo and El-Arish and weaved a network among the Sinai Bedouins, who feel strong resentment toward the Egyptian regime (see – .Sinai Hizballah Hunt )

The network was very successful in smugglings very large amounts of weapons to Gaza and sending people from Gaza, through the Rafah Tunnels, to advanced trainings in Lebanon and Iran. There is no doubt that in that stage the Egyptian ignored and disregarded the phenomena.

In early 2007 Mohammad Kabalan, who was under constant inspection of the Egyptian security services, was replaced by his deputee Hani Sami Shihab, a name which suggested he is a Christian Lebanese, while his real name was Moustafa Mansour – a typical Shiite name. One of his first deeds was to buy few apartments in location which overlook the Suez Canal.

Shihab/Mansour expended the mission of the network to gather intelligence about Israelis in Tourist resorts in Sinai, about the ship trafficking in the Suez Canal and to form a terror network able to strike in Sinai, most likely, to kidnap an Israeli from Sinai to Gaza Strip. The network also provided strategic intelligence to Hizbullah and Iran about the Suez Canal. Shihab/Mansour had three Lebanese assistants but his network was manned by Egyptians, Palestinians, 7 Israeli Arabs, Bedouins, people from Sudan, Hamas sympathizers and Fatah sympathizers as well. The network included more then 80 people.  From a certain point the Hizbullah network began to pose a threat not to Israel but to Egypt as well giving the ongoing deterioration in the Iranian-Egypt relations and the religious tension between Shiites and Sunnis in the Middle East.

During 2007 and 2008 Israeli Mossad (Intelligence Service) managed to run few networks in Lebanon, at least one of those networks succeeded to penetrate into the Hizbullah Intelligence apparatus and provide Israel, and eventually Egypt, with details about the extent of the Hizbullah network in Egypt, its abilities and open options and the threat to Egyptian interests. The Israeli intelligence network in Lebanon provided, most likely, also the basic information about the Monchegorsk Case and the basic infrastructure of intelligence for the PORT-SUDAN Bombing.

Indeed already from 11/2008, gradually, many members of the Hizbullah network were arrested secretly while others were put under extensive surveillance.    

Egypt’s state prosecutor accused Hizbullah, on Wednesday 04/08/2009, of planning to carry out attacks inside Egypt, as Israel warned its citizens that they faced an “immediate and concrete” threat in the country. “The state prosecutor has received a statement from state security which shows that leaders from the Lebanese Hizbullah have called on its cadres to recruit members to its movement … with the aim of carrying out acts of aggression inside the country”. The prosecutor’s statement also accuses Hizbullah of “spreading Shiite ideology” (see – EG Hizballah Network  )

Hizbullah, eventually, approved its responsibility on the Network in Egypt but said the network was aimed against Israel solely and not, in any way, against any Egyptian interest. Vice versa the Egyptian authorities claimed that the network, indeed, formed an infrastructure to attack Egyptian interests in Sinai, the Suez Canal and national institutions when the time would be right.

* Mohammad Kabalan was sentenced, on Wednesday 04/28/2010, in Cairo, to life imprisonment in absentia.

* Hani Sami Shihab escaped the Egyptian jail in late 01/2011, following EGYPT’S REVOLUTION. On 02/16/2011, he attended a mass Hizbullah rally in Beirut and welcomed as a hero (see – Egypts Mass Jail Breakout).

 

* Related topics – 

 

 

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