A major operation by Hezbollah in Ikoyi and Lekki areas of Lagos was foiled yesterday with the arrest of the leader by Nigerian security agents acting on international intelligence alert.
NewsmakersNG exclusively gathered that security agents arrested the Hezbollah leader, Ali Mohamed El-Hassan somewhere in Ikoyi at the zero- hour of a major operation.
According to sources in the intelligence community, El-Hassan, a Nigerian citizen, was recruited by Hezbollah in 2011, at a religion conference in Tehran, the capital city of Iran.
He was later trained in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and recently operated as undercover for UNIT-400, the special forces unit of the Quds Force.
He was found to have also used a fake passport of Sudan to operate.
El-Hazzan lives in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Founded in the early 1980s, Hezbollah which literally means Party of Allah is a Shia Islamist militant group based in Lebanon. It is considered as one of the richest groups on the US terrorist list, with an estimated $500million in financial assets.
According to Wikipedia, it’s paramilitary wing is the Jihad Council, and its political wing is the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc party in the Lebanese parliament. Since the death of Abbas al-Musawi in 1992, the group has been headed by Hassan Nasrallah, its Secretary-General. The organization or its military wing are considered terrorist organizations in 18 countries, the Arab League and the European Union.
In 2013, Nigerian security agents uncovered a stash of heavy weapons after the arrest of three Lebanese found to be members of Hezbollah in northern Nigeria.
They were arrested during raids on their residences between May 16 and May 28, 2013, in Kano.
Security agents revealed that a raid on the residence of one of the Lebanese uncovered 11 60 mm anti-tank weapons, four anti-tank landmines, two rounds of ammunition for a 122 mm artillery gun, 21 rocket-propelled grenades, 17 AK-47s with more than 11,000 bullets and some dynamite.
The three men later charged, by the state security service, were identified as Mustapha Fawaz, Abdallah Tahini, and Talal Ahmad Roda, the owners of Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park in Abuja. They were arraigned on 15-counts of terrorism-related acts, trafficking weapons and money laundering, but they pleaded not guilty.
The Federal High Court in Abuja later cleared two of the suspects, but found Roda guilty of conspiracy. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.