U.S. Judge Agrees To Grant Ex-Israeli Spy Asylum

A former Israeli spy has been tentatively granted asylum in the United States. Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of one of the founders of Hamas and feared for his life if he were deported. Yousef went against his father's group and spied for Israel. The ruling came after the federal government dropped concerns that Yousef was a terrorist threat.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, host:

Now this note about a spy who broke his own cover. Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of a man who helped found the militant Palestinian group Hamas. Yousef was arrested by Israel, but then agreed to give intelligence about Hamas to the Israeli government.

Mr. MOSAB HASSAN YOUSEF (Former Spy): I wanted them to be behind bars, and I worked very hard to arrest them. And if they discovered me, they would kill me without hesitation.

KELLY: That's Yousef speaking with me on this show a few months ago and insisting his life would be at risk if he returned home to Gaza. He's been here in the U.S. on a tourist visa and while here he wrote a book about his work for Israel's security service, Shin Bet.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Yousef was denied asylum in the U.S. last year by a court that said he'd been involved in terrorism. But yesterday, when Yousef asked again for asylum in a San Diego court, his request was granted. He told the Associated Press that he wants to become a U.S. citizen.

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