Before resettling to America, Yousef was a loyal Hamas operative, expected to follow in his father’s footsteps. But he soon became disillusioned with Hamas, after witnessing them brutalizing and torturing their own members. As a result, Yousef ended up working as an undercover agent for Shin Bet, the elite Israeli security service and served for over a decade as the agency’s most valuable resource for information about the terrorist group’s leadership and activities.
HAARETZ According to Yousef, “Hamas will never make peace with the Israelis. That is against what their God tells them. It is impossible to make peace with infidels, only a cease-fire, and no one knows that better than I. The Hamas leadership is responsible for the killing of Palestinians, NOT Israelis,” he said.
“Palestinians do not hesitate to massacre people in a mosque or to throw people from the high floor floor of a building, as they did during their takeover of in Gaza.” “I tell you with certainty that the Israelis care about the Palestinians far more than the Hamas or Fatah leadership does.”
Hamas leaders would commit beatings, floggings, needles under the fingernails, melting of plastic on the body, weeks of sleep deprivation on anyone who they accused of collaborating with the enemy.
NPR During the 1980s and 1990s, the Yousef family was akin to royalty among Palestinians in the West Bank. Mosab Hassan Yousef’s grandfather was a popular imam. And his father was one of the founding members of the militant Islamist group Hamas.
In the eyes of his family, he is a traitor to his faith and people. If he were to walk the streets of his home town, he would be killed on sight. Today, he lives in Southern California, taking security precautions lest he be assassinated. There is no question that Mosab Hassan has burned his bridges behind him.
In his memoir, SON OF HAMAS, Yousef tells his story. He experienced a sort of epiphany, turning against Hamas and his family, to become a key informant for the Israeli intelligence agency the Shin Bet. The intelligence he provided allowed Israeli officials to prevent acts of terror, saving many innocent lives.
Some of the victims of the suicide bombers were wanted by the Americans for murders of their citizens. It was his information that helped crack cases that the Israelis could not crack.
The Hamas Network in America:
• Hamas supporters have long operated in the United States. Internal Hamas documents and FBI wiretaps introduced as evidence in various federal criminal cases clearly show the existence of a nationwide Hamas network engaged in fundraising, lobbying, education and propaganda dissemination dating back to the 1980s.
• The network formalized its existence in 1988, when it created the Palestine Committee in the US. The Committee’s goals included “increasing the financial and the moral support for Hamas,” “fighting surrendering solutions,” and publicizing “the savagery of the Jews.”
• The Palestine Committee spawned several public-facing organizations, most of which are based out of Chicago, Dallas, and Washington DC. They included the all-purpose Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), the financial arm represented by the Occupied Land Fund (which later became the Holy Land Foundation, HLF), and the think tank United Association for Studies and
• In 1993, the FBI wiretapped a meeting of top Hamas activists in the US held in Philadelphia. The wiretaps show internal discussions on how to improve activities in support of Hamas within the US and how to shield them from the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization. US-based Hamas activists agreed that hiding their affiliation and intentions was the best tactic to avoid
negative consequences. “I swear by Allah that war is deception,” said one senior leader, “[d]eceive, camouflage, pretend that you’re leaving while you’re walking that way. Deceive your enemy.” “Let’s not hoist a large Islamic flag and let’s not be barbaric-talking. We will remain a front so that if the thing [the U.S. government ban on Hamas] happens, we will benefit from the new happenings instead of having all of our organizations classified and exposed.”
• Over the years, US authorities have conducted several activities to clamp down on the network, including deporting and prosecuting Hamas operatives and shutting down multiple front organizations. The 2001 designation of HLF and subsequent prosecution of part of its leadership for funneling approximately $12.4 million to Hamas constitutes to date the largest
successful terrorism financing prosecution in US history.
• Yet, US-based Hamas networks and individuals have displayed a remarkable resilience and many of the core activists of the Palestine Committee are still engaged in various forms of support (albeit at times purely political and not material) for Hamas.
h/t Marvin W