Shin Bet Nabs Hezbollah Recruiter at Ben Gurion Airport

August 10, 2015

2 min read

A Swedish citizen with a Lebanese background was arrested in Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport last month for connections to Hezbollah, security officials cleared for publication Sunday.

A joint investigation by Israel’s Security Agency, the Shin Bet, and the Lahav 433 anti-fraud unit led to the arrest of Hassan Khalil Hizran, 55, as he arrived in Israel. He was targeted out of concern he was involved with the Lebanese terror organization, Hezbollah.

During his interrogation, Hirzan acknowledged recruiting for Hezbollah and working in cooperation with the group.

The Central District Court filed an indictment against Hizran Sunday for passing information, contact with a foreign agent and property transactions with a terrorist organization.

According to the report, Hirzan visited Lebanon with his family in 2009, at which time he was invited to meet with Hezbollah officials. Hirzan agreed, and over the course of several secret meetings with Hezbollah representatives, he learned the group intended to recruit Palestinians living in Europe, as well as other foreign citizens, in order to take advantage of their access to Israel. It was hoped such operatives would be able to provide intelligence information to Hezbollah.

During subsequent meetings in Lebanon in 2011 and 2013, Hirzan was asked to recruit Israeli citizens, particularly those with ties to Jews, or who have access to military or security personnel or government officials. Hirzan was also called upon to gather information on the IDF, including weapons, tanks and military bases.

In addition, Hirzan said he was questioned by Hezbollah during his visits regarding Ben Gurion operation protocols, such as security arrangements and passport control.

In exchange for his efforts, Hizran received $2,300 in 2009 and $800 in 2011. Hizran also provided information about the association called “The House of the Lebanese”, which operates in Malmö, Sweden.

According to the Shin Bet, members of “The House of the Lebanese” are Shi’ite Muslims engaged in social and cultural activities and keeping a close eye on Hezbollah activities.

The Shin Bet pointed out, “The operation against Hizran proves the attractiveness Hezbollah sees in recruiting foreign citizens with access to Lebanon and Israel.”

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