'Son of Hamas' wins asylum in US

Thursday, July 01, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Mosab Yousef, the son of one of Hamas' founders and a former undercover spy for Israel, has been granted asylum in the US after successfully battling a Department of Homeland Security effort to deport him.

From 1997 to 2007, Yousef aided Israel's security forces after becoming disillusioned with the brutality and hatred of Hamas and other terror groups. Several senior Israeli security officials said Yousef was by far the most valuable informant Israel ever had in its battle against Palestinian terrorism.

Shortly after he began helping Israel, Yousef secretly converted to Christianity. Just recently he published his book, "Son of Hamas," which details his spiritual journey as well as his activities on Israel's behalf.

It was the details of that book that Homeland Security officials used as evidence when they claimed that Yousef was a national security threat and should be sent back to the so-called "West Bank." Yousef insisted that he was no terrorist, and argued that being deported would be a death sentence, as Hamas would like nothing better than to kill such a traitor to its cause.

Yousef's former handlers in the Israel Security Agency broke with protocol and flew to the US to testify on his behalf. Whether because of their testimony or for some other reason, Homeland Security officials announced in court on Wednesday that they were dropping all objections to asylum. The judge ruled that Yousef would be officially granted asylum following a routine background check.

Yousef's case had sparked much interest in Israel, where he was responsible for saving the lives of perhaps hundreds and even thousands of Israelis. Many saw the effort to deport Yousef as a two-faced move by the Obama Administration, which claims to be fighting terrorism, but at the same time tip-toes around groups like Hamas and their Palestinian supporters.

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