About This File
SAN DIEGO - An immigration judge tentatively granted asylum Wednesday to the son of a Hamas founder who turned his back on his father's terrorist group and became a spy for Israel.
The ruling came after the federal government abruptly dropped concerns that Mosab Hassan Yousef was a terrorist threat.
Yousef, 32, was greeted by a small group of cheering supporters as he left an immigration detention center where the 15-minute hearing was held under heavy security.
He had argued that he would be killed if he was deported because he spied on Hamas for Israel's Shin Bet intelligence agency and abandoned Islam after becoming a Christian.
"I will keep fighting the ideology that is behind terrorists because I know how they think," he told reporters in the parking lot. "I know that this is the real danger that is facing liberty, facing freedom, facing humanity."
The Department of Homeland Security initially denied Yousef's asylum request in February 2009, saying he had been involved in terrorism and was a threat to the U.S.
Kerri Calcador, a government attorney, gave no explanation in court Wednesday for the sudden change in the U.S. position.