JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli army has uncovered a Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
The terror cell, dubbed by Hezbollah as the “Golan File,” is still in its early stages but already has stockpiled intelligence and weapons, as well as recruited operatives, the Israel Defense Forces said.
It was recently able to gain a foothold in the area after troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad recaptured the area from rebels last summer.
“All the groups and individuals operating in the infrastructure of the ‘Golan portfolio’ are hidden from the eyes and knowledge of each other, as well as of the local population, including the Syrian regime,” an unnamed intelligence officer said in an IDF statement. “In this manner, the leadership of the case can act in secrecy in the region without fear of the regime’s recognition of the infrastructure.” It reportedly has been kept secret from Assad.
The IDF said the cell is led by Lebanese commanders and made up of Syrian mercenaries, many from local villages.
It is run by Abu Hussein Sajid, also known as Ali Mussa Daqduq, who served in operational roles when Israeli soldiers were deployed in the Southern Lebanon security zone. He led Hezbollah’s division in Iraq in 2006, and was captured and jailed by the Americans in 2007 for killing five U.S. soldiers. He was released in 2012 and worked for the next six years with Hezbollah’s special forces before joining the cell.