A Jordanian-Palestinian man, on Saturday evening, appeared on Syrian TV, claiming he gave Israeli agents vital information that led to the 2008 assassination of a top Hezbollah military commander in Damascus.
The man, identified as Ayad Youssef Nueim, who is in prison in Syria for allegedly spying for Israel, said he was recruited by Israel in 2006 and met a year later with his operators, who asked him to travel to Syria and gather information.
"I met my operator in a settlement in Gush Etzion," he noted, "I was in touch with an operator called Daud. They gave me a phone and a computer.
The "secret agent" described his working method, saying he would call his operator once a week from the coastal city of Latakia, where he attended school.
"They asked me to give general information on the place, such as how many Muslims live there, how many Christians, the number of churches, their internal problems, what do people do for a living, unemployment rate, demographic composition etc'.
Asked to record plate numberNueim claimed that in February 2008 he was asked to leave Latakia and travel to Damascus in order to follow Iranian diplomats or Hezbollah members. "I couldn’t track them. I was asked to do it again a few days later, but again I couldn’t find them. I contacted my operators and told them, so they instructed me to return to Latakia," he said.
Ten days later, Nueim recalled, He was asked to return to Damascus again in order to gather information about an SUV that turned out to belong to Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah commander.
"I asked why I needed to return to Damascus again, and he told me to go to a side street. I went there, but saw nothing. After 15 minutes I called, and he told me go to the Carmel hotel.
"There was nothing there," he said, "I kept walking and then I saw two men standing next to an SUV. I went out on the main street and then the operator called. I gave him the plate number, and he asked me to verify it. I said 'enough, I've been on the street for two hours, I can’t stay here anymore.'"
Nueim noted that after he returned to Latakia, he found out through the internet that it was the same vehicle in which Mughniyeh was assassinated.
"I returned to Jordan and my operator told me to meet him in Jerusalem. When I arrived, they changed my phone numbers and gave me two Belgium numbers and some code words, so that I can transfer information about ships and more."
According to Nueim, He was also asked to spy on the naval activity in Syria. "I was instructed to follow the shipments that come into the ports of Tartus and Latakia – I was asked to report anything suspicious," he said, adding that he stayed there until he was arrested.
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