The son of a founder of Hamas who converted to Christianity and sought political asylum in the U.S. is facing deportation.
Mossad Hassan Yousef is scheduled to appear in a San Diego immigration court June 30 because the Department of Homeland Security considers him a threat to national security.
“I am not worried about this. I am outraged,” Yousef wrote in a blog post. “My only concern is about a security system that is so primitive and naive that it endangers the lives of countless Americans. Honestly, [the judge’s] verdict really does not matter. If he rules to deport me, I will appeal. And Homeland Security has assured me that, if he rules in my favor, they will appeal. And this insane merry-go-round can go on like that for decades.”
Yousef is the oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a respected imam and one of seven founders of the Palestinian terror organization that has violently opposed Israel for decades. He accepted Christ in 2005 after being invited to a Bible study six years earlier and later spied for the Israeli intelligence organization Shin Bet.
Yousef, who released his memoir Son of Hamas in March, said he arrived in the U.S. in 2007 on a tourist visa and seven months later went to the Department of Homeland Security, told them who he was and applied for political asylum.
“They were shocked,” he said. “I told them: ‘Hey, you didn’t discover me. You didn’t catch me. I came to you and told you who I am to wake you up.’ I wanted them to see that they have huge gaps in their security and their understanding of terrorism and make changes before it’s too late.”
He said his application for asylum was denied in February 2009 because Homeland Security said “there were reasonable grounds for believing [he] was a danger to the security of the United States and because [he] engaged in terrorist activity,” Yousef wrote.
“Yes, while working for Israeli intelligence, I posed as a terrorist,” Yousef said. “Yes, I carried a gun. Yes, I was in terrorist meetings with Yasser Arafat, my father and other Hamas leaders. It was part of my job. And I passed on to the Shin Bet all the information I gathered during those meetings and saved the lives of many people-including many Americans.”
He said while working with USAID on a water project in the West Bank for five years, he warned the U.S. of potential threats. “I wasn’t being paid to do that,” he said. “I did it because of a Christian morality that taught me to love, not hate.”
Yousef said the FBI does not see him as a threat and advised Homeland Security to drop the case against him, but the department is still pursuing the deportation hearing.
“If Homeland Security cannot tell the difference between a terrorist and a man who spent his life fighting terrorism, how can they protect their own people?” he asked. “Why is Homeland Security wasting its time investigating a former Israeli intelligence operative, instead of looking for the real terrorists out there?”
Yousef is asking his supporters to write letters to Kerri Calcador, senior attorney for Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division. He also invited those in San Diego to attend his hearing June 30 in San Diego.