Some of the dismay about the possibility of Mosab Hassan Yousef being deported, comes from knowing that The Department of Homeland Security knows his background well and knows he is not a security risk.
Israel Matzav sheds some light onto the bizarre deportation quest:
Homeland Security is well aware of the author’s history, and in fact is using it against him. According to Mr. Yousef, a letter from Homeland Security attorney Kerri Calcador cites passages in “Son of Hamas” as evidence of his connection to terrorist leaders and suggests that the work he did for Hamas while spying for Israel provided aid to terrorists. “At a bare minimum, evidence of the respondent’s transport of Hamas members to safe houses . . . indicates that the respondent provided material support to a [Tier I] terrorist organization,” the U.S. lawyer wrote.
But unless Ms. Calcador knows more than she’s saying, this is bizarre. As a spy for Israel, Mr. Yousef had to make his colleagues believe he was a loyal member of Hamas. He used that trust to gain information that he provided to Israeli intelligence, which used it to prevent terror attacks and save lives.
One of Mr. Yousef’s handlers at Shin Bet confirmed his book’s account to the Israeli daily Haaretz, and his father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, has disowned him from the Israeli prison he has occupied since 2005. (See our Weekend Interview with the younger Yousef, “They Need to Be Liberated From Their God,” March 6, 2010.)
The problem seems to be that, under a provision of U.S. immigration law, anyone who is shown to have provided “material support” for terrorist organizations is automatically denied asylum.
In the relentless way that bureaucracy works, this is being interpreted as leaving little discretion for deserving exceptions like the case of Mr. Yousef. In some cases Homeland Security does have the power to issue a waiver of this “no admission” rule—an option that was not exercised before Mr. Yousef’s asylum was denied.
If Mr. Yousef were a security threat, you’d expect that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency would have found reason to detain him. Yet he remains free to travel and even to hit the book-selling circuit. A senior government official tells us that Homeland Security will “not be mounting a stiff defense” of the 2009 decision to deny him asylum, which is at least one burst of common sense.
Please visit Israel Matzav for the entire article, and browse through the information on this site. Yousef’s deportation hearing is June 30, 2010. Time is very short.