Details of Arrest of Jihad Shuman
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Following complex intelligence activity by the Israel Security Agency, ISA (formerly known as the GSS), aided by the Israel Police (Jerusalem District), Jihad Aya Latif Shuman – a Shi’ite Lebanese citizen, born in 1969 – was recently arrested.
Jihad Shuman entered Israel on December 31, 2001 on a British passport and subsequently lodged at the Novotel Hotel in eastern Jerusalem. He later moved to Jerusalem’s Dan Panorama Hotel. On January 5, 2001, he was arrested in central Jerusalem under the alias of Gerard Shuman.
A search of his possessions turned up the following: A kippah, a timer, tourist maps of the Jerusalem area, a large sum of money, a video camera, two disposable cameras, and several cellular phones that he had purchased in Israel.
Jihad Shuman was handed over to the ISA for investigation. During his investigation, the following details became known: That he was Shi’ite, a Lebanese citizen, and a graduate of the American University in Beirut’s computer studies program.
In the context of the briefing he received before being dispatched, he was told to leave Lebanon on his Lebanese passport and go to the United Kingdom where he was to leave his Lebanese passport in a hidden drop in a public place (where it would be collected by a third party). He was directed to fictitiously rent an apartment and a voice mail box in London, and purchase a cellular phone. Additionally, he was directed to go to a travel agency that enables plane tickets to be purchased with cash. Before arriving in Israel, he was briefed by his operator to speak only English and deny his Arab identity so as not to arouse suspicion. Jihad was directed to memorize a drop in Wadi Joz (between Mt. Scopus and the Old City) where certain objects were concealed. Upon arriving in Israel, he went to the drop and began digging in order to retrieve the objects.
Jihad Shuman has confessed that he phoned his operators in Lebanon on a regular basis in order to update them. He was detained for investigation before he could complete his mission. From his investigation and other information in the hands of the ISA, it has become known that he is a Hizbullah activist from Lebanon who arrived to perpetrate terrorist missions and attacks inside Israel.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, on Monday, February 19, 2001, signed a six-month administrative detention order against Jihad Shuman.
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