Hizbullah recruits minors to spy, run drugs

Friday, May 28, 2004

TEL AVIV Hizbullah has been using drugs to recruit Israeli minors to spy on Israel.

Israeli officials said Hizbullah has been recruiting Israeli Arab minors from Israel's northern border with Lebanon. The officials said the Arab youngsters were offered the drugs in exchange for intelligence information.

The Israeli statement said the two Israeli Arabs were asked to gather information an Israeli military position at the entrance to Rajar. The two were also asked to obtain photographs of Israeli military bases, details of bus routes to Tel Aviv and Kiryat Shemona, updated maps of Israel and computer disks with information on Israeli cities.

So far, Israeli authorities have arrested two Israeli Arab minors from the border village of Rajar recruited by Hizbullah. The minors were hired by Hizbullah to smuggle drugs into Israel, Middle East Newsline reported.

From there, the Israeli youngsters were asked to relay intelligence information on Israeli military and civilian facilities along the border of Israel and Lebanon. Rajar has been divided into a Lebanese- and Israeli-controlled portion.

"The youths were asked to provide Hizbullah with intelligence information," an Israeli statement said. "Their activities were foiled at an early stage."

Officials said Hizbullah has tried to recruit numerous residents of Rajar, with freedom of access into Israel and Lebanon, to spy for the Shi'ite insurgency group. They said drugs are employed to tempt Israeli Arabs to work for Hizbullah.

The two minors were said to have confessed to Israeli authorities that they had been smuggling drugs for a Lebanese drug dealer known as Abu Yusuf. After a short period, Abu Yusuf brought the minors to Lebano to meet Hizbullah operatives.

The Hizbullah liasion in the operation, the statement said, was Abu Yusuf.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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