Mysterious website seeks intelligence on Hezbollah operatives
October 27, 2013
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org
Intelligence circles in the Middle East are abuzz with news of a mysterious website that appears to offer substantial financial rewards in exchange for information about alleged members of militant group Hezbollah. The website, located at stop910.com, describes its mission as helping end “Hezbollah-perpetrated terrorism in Lebanon and abroad”. It specifically targets the Lebanese group’s Unit 910, believed to be tasked with international operations, including intelligence gathering from around the world. Hezbollah is a Shiite militant group and political party that controls large swathes of Lebanese territory. It was founded in 1985 in response to the invasion of southern Lebanon by the Israel Defense Forces. It is largely funded by Iran and in recent years has come out in support of the Syrian government in the ongoing Syrian Civil War. Much of the stop910.com website consists of dozens of photographs of alleged Hezbollah operatives. Some are identified by name or alias, but the website asks for further information on them, including their real name, primary residence and telephone numbers or email accounts associated with them. Other photographs show images of unidentified individuals, whom the website describes as suspects known to be members of Hezbollah’s Unit 910. Next to each photograph, the website provides an allegedly secure link, which visitors can use to upload information and request payment. The website, which is currently blocked by most Lebanese Internet service providers, claims to represent an alliance of Western intelligence organizations. But McClatchy Newspapers contacted two Western intelligence officials who said the website was almost certainly an Israeli effort to gather information on Hezbollah activities. The United States-based news agency said it spoke to an unnamed “official based in Beirut […], who works for a European intelligence service”. The official told McClatchy that he had seen the website and “wondered why they [the Israeli intelligence services] lied” about who was behind the project. The news agency spoke to another unnamed “intelligence official based in Europe”, who dismissed the project as bad spy tradecraft. “I can’t believe this thing […], it’s very foolish”, he said. And he added: “it actually contains a significant amount of raw intelligence that would be literally illegal for American or European services to release to the public without the highest level of clearance”. The unnamed intelligence official continued: “now anyone can go online and get an idea of how much information we or the Israelis have on some of these guys”.