Abu Dhabi: Agents of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Tehran’s most powerful security and military organisation which is responsible for protection and survival of the regime, set up a terrorist Hezbollah cell in the UAE in association with agents of the Lebanon-based terrorist Hezbollah group, a top UAE court heard on Monday.
A prosecution witness told the Federal Supreme Court, presided over by judge Falah Al Hajeri, the sleeper cell had worked in the UAE since 2004 until it was busted in 2013, when it turned active.
“The terrorist cell used sex and alcohol to recruit a group of agents including H.A.S.H., an Emirati who communicated classified information to Hezbollah spies,” the witness told the court.
The witness added the defendant passed on information about government, security, military and economic institutions as well as UAE’s arms deals with various countries to the Hezbollah agents.
The man, the witness said, also furnished sensitive information about political, security and business leaders to the Hezbollah agents.
“The intelligence services of Iran and Hezbollah gathered the information with a view to targeting sensitive locations in the UAE,” the witness told the court.
Another witness told the court the terrorist Hezbollah cell grouped seven members — two Emiratis, four Lebanese and a Canadian-Egyptian woman.
“The Emirati men were photographed naked and under the influence of alcohol and the clips were later used to recruit them by the intelligence of Iran and Hezbollah,” the witness told the court.
The witness added the woman was an engineer in a major oil company and passed on classified information about oil and gas fields. “The woman also worked as a freelance photographer with two magazines, furnished pictures and information about Emirati leaders to the Hezbollah agents,” the witness said.
The court adjourned the hearing to May 23.
The General Prosecutor earlier told the court that the accused established and managed an international group belonging to Lebanon-based Hezbollah without official permission or licences.
Earlier this month, three men charged with setting up an affiliate of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group in the UAE were sentenced to six months in prison to be followed by deportation, the Federal Supreme Court ruled on Monday.
The men were found guilty of setting up an office of the militant group in the UAE and carrying out commercial, economic and political activities without licences, the court ruled.
In November 2014, the UAE branded 80 groups as terrorist organisations, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Daesh in line with a federal law on combating terrorism. Hezbollah also figured in the list, including Shiite Hezbollah in the Gulf states and brigades with the same name in Iraq.
The list includes Muslim Brotherhood’s local and regional affiliates, as well as Al Qaida-linked groups operating in different parts of the region.
Several brigades fighting on both sides in the Syrian conflict along with Islamist groups in Libya, Tunisia, Mali, Pakistan, Nigeria’s Boko Haram as well as Afghanistan’s Taliban account for the bulk of the list.
The move followed a similar step taken by Saudi Arabia in March 2014.
In another case, the State Security Prosecution charged a group of six — two Jordanians, a Syrian, an American, a Belgian and a Palestinian — with associating with the terrorist Al Nusra Front, a militia fighting against the Syrian government.
Prosecutors said the group provided the militia with cameras and other equipment and set up a Twitter account to promote its terrorist ideology. The court adjourned the hearing to May 16.
Hussam Ebrahim Ahmad, 27, a Sudanese, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined Dh250,000 for hacking the portal of a major oil company in the UAE, the court heard. It also ordered the computers and other equipment used in the crime to be confiscated.
In another case, the court looked into a medical report of A.S., charged with insulting the Federal National Council and the 2015 elections.
The report showed the defendant suffers from a mental disorder which affects his understanding and knowledge of people around him.
The court adjourned the hearing to May 9 to allow the lawyer to present his defence.
Two Somalis, charged with setting up and running a Twitter account to prmote Daesh’s terrorist ideology, had their hearing adjourned to May 16 to allow the lawyer to present his argument.