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Old 07-30-2008, 04:26 PM
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Exclamation Hezbollah (a.k.a. Hizbollah, Hizbu'llah)


Since this organiztion continues to be a contriversal subject and especially its history. I have desised to start a history threat on it with only well documented and linked sources being allowed to posted to the thread so the forum can establish a historical base on the organization we can refer people to when they want to argue about the subject. So if you want to post to this thread due your homework BEFORE Posting!

What are Hezbollah's origins?

We have to establish where the organization came from first.
http://www.geocities.com/martinkramerorg/Hizbullah.htm
Martin Kramer
The Islamists who call the shots in Lebanon.



Hizbullah in Lebanon

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World

________________________________________

HIZBULLAH IN LEBANON. A political and social movement that arose among Lebanon's Shi'is in response to the Islamic revolution in Iran, Hizbullah means 'the Party of God,' after the Qur'an (5.56): '"Lo! the Party of God, they are the victorious." During the 1980s, Hizbullah drew on Iranian support to become a major political force in Lebanon and the Middle East. It gained international renown, first for its attacks against the American, French, and Israeli forces deployed in parts of Lebanon, and later for its holding of Western hostages. Hizbullah also emerged as the major rival of the established Amal movement for the loyalty of Lebanon's Shi'is. Hizbullah's declared objective has been the transformation of Lebanon (and the region) into an Islamic state, a goal it has pursued by diversified means, ranging from acts of violence to participation in parliamentary elections.

Origins

The foundations of Hizbullah were laid years before the Iranian revolution, in the ties that bound the Shi'i ulama (religious scholars) of Iran and Lebanon. Many of these ulama were schooled together in the Shi'i theological academies in Iraq, especially in the shrine city of Najaf. During the late 1950s and 1960s, these academies became active in formulating an Islamic response to nationalism and secularism. Prominent ulama lectured and wrote on Islamic government, Islamic economics, and the ideal Islamic state. In Najaf, the Iraqi ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and the exiled Iranian ayatollah Ruhollah al-Musavi Khomeini both subjected the existing political order to an Islamic critique. Lebanese ulama and theological students overheard and joined in these debates.

Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, the future mentor of Hizbullah, was an exemplary product of Najaf's mix of scholasticism and radicalism. Fadlallah was born and schooled in Najaf, where his father, a scholar from south Lebanon, had come to study. Fadlallah imbibed the ideas then current in Najaf and went to Lebanon in 1966, where he made his Beirut husayniyah (a Shi'i congregation house) into a center of Islamic activism. Sayyid Musa al-Sadr dominated the Shi'i scene at the time, and Fadlallah had a modest following. But in the 1970s, Fadlallah received an important reinforcement: Iraqi authorities expelled about a hundred Lebanese theology students as part of a crackdown on Shi'i activism in the shrine cities. The expelled students became disciples of Fadlallah on their return to Lebanon, and later formed the core of Hizbullah.

In Iran the early foundations of Hizbullah were laid by members of Iran's Islamic opposition who found refuge in war-torn Lebanon during the 1970s. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) took this opposition under its wing and provided the Iranian dissidents with training and forged documents. Graduates of the Palestinian camps included Muhammad Montazeri, the son of a leading opposition cleric and future founder of the Liberation Movements Department of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards; and Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, future Iranian ambassador to Syria, who was to play a critical role in the creation of Hizbullah. Both men arrived in Lebanon from Najaf, where they had studied under Khomeini, and both joined Khomeini in Paris in 1978.

After the Iranian revolution of 1979, the Shi'i traffic between Lebanon and Iran intensified. Fadlallah and his disciples became frequent visitors to Iran, while former Iranian dissidents who had spent time in Lebanon returned as emissaries of the Islamic revolution. Muhammad Montazeri made the first attempt, in 1979, to send six hundred Iranian volunteers to Lebanon, where they proposed to launch a jihad against Israel. However, the Lebanese government successfully appealed to Syria to block the entry of the volunteers, and most got no further than Damascus. Muhammad Montazeri, who accused 'liberals' in Iran's government of failing to support his mission, died in a Teheran bombing in 1981.

The obstacles to an effective partnership between Lebanon's Shi'is and Iran lifted only in 1982, following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the deployment of American and French peacekeeping forces in Beirut. Syria, although defeated in battle, was determined to drive all other foreign forces out of Lebanon by encouraging popular resistance, especially among the Shi'is. Many Shi'is were receptive, believing that Israel and the West planned to restore Maronite privilege by force. When Iran offered to assist in mobilizing the Shi'is, Syria approved, permitting Iran to send about a thousand Revolutionary Guards to the Bekaa (Biqa) Valley in eastern Lebanon. There they seized a Lebanese army barracks and turned it into their operational base.

Emboldened by the arrival of the Iranians, Fadlallah and a number of young ulama declared jihad against the Western and Israeli presence in Lebanon while pledging their allegiance to Khomeini. Similarly, a faction of the Amal militia led by a former schoolteacher, Husayn al-Musawi, went over to the Revolutionary Guards, accusing the Amal movement of failing to resist Israel's invasion. Iran's ambassador to Damascus, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi (appointed in 1981), established a council to govern the new movement. The council included the Iranian ambassador, Lebanese ulama, and security strongmen respnsible for secret operations and the movement's militia. Later, the council created the post of secretary-general, held successively by Shaykh Subhi al-Tufayli, Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi, and Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah. Fadlallah declined all formal office, but his rhetorical genius and seniority assured his moral prestige in the movement.

The movement drew its support from two components of Shi'i society. It especially appealed to some of the larger Shi'i clans of the Bekaa Valley, for whom the war in Lebanon had brought prosperity fueled by the expansion of smuggling and hashish and opium cultivation. The leadership of the Amal movement, based upon the Shi'i professional and commercial classes, made insufficient room for this emerging counter-elite of the Bekaa Valley. With the encouragement of the Iranian emissaries based in the valley, the clans flocked to Hizbullah. Ba'labakk, capital of the Bekaa Province, practically became an autonomous zone for Hizbullah. Its buildings were plastered with posters of Khomeini, and draped with Iranian flags.

The message of Hizbullah also appealed to the Shi'i refugees who had been forced by war into the dismal slums of southern Beirut. They included the Shi'is driven from their homes in the Phalangist assault on Palestinians in eastern Beirut (Nab'a and Burj Hammud) in 1976 and many more who fled the south following the two Israeli invasions of 1978 and 1982. Fadlallah personified their grievance. His ancestral villages in the south (Bint Jubayl and Aynata) had come under Israeli assault, then occupation; he lost his first pulpit in Nab'a during the Phalangist siege of 1976. These Shi'i refugees felt a strong sense of identification with the Palestinians and a deep resentment against Israel, the Phalangists, and the West. Many young Shi'i refugees even joined Palestinian organizations during the 1970s, from which they acquired fighting experience. When Israel forced these organizations from Beirut in 1982, Shi'i fighters who were left behind joined Hizbullah, which promised to continue their struggle.

Jihad Against the West and Israel

Hizbullah systematically formulated its doctrine in its 'open letter' of 1985. "We are proceeding toward a battle with vice at its very roots," declared the letter, 'and the first root of vice is America.' The letter set four objectives for the movement: the termination of all American and French influence in Lebanon; Israel's complete departure from Lebanon "as a prelude to its final obliteration"; submission of the Lebanese Phalangists to 'just rule' and trial for their 'crimes'; and granting the people the right to choose their own system of government, "keeping in mind that we do not hide our commitment to the rule of Islam."

From the outset, Hizbullah conducted its struggle on three discreet levels--open, semiclandestine, and clandestine. Fadlallah and the ulama openly preached the message of resistance to Islam's enemies and fealty to Khomeini in mosques and husayniyah, which became the focal points for public rallies. The Revolutionary Guards trained the semiclandestine Islamic Resistance, a militia-like formation which attacked Israeli forces in south Lebanon. The Organization of the Islamic Jihad, the clandestine branch of the movement, operated against Western targets. It was reputedly led by Imad Mughniyya, a shadowy Shi'i figure from south Lebanon and a veteran of Palestinian service, who became the subject of much lore during the 1980s.

The violence of Islamic Jihad catapulted Hizbullah to prominence. Assassinations of individual foreigners escalated into massive bombings, some of them done by 'self-martyrs,' which destroyed the U.S. embassy and its annex in two separate attacks in 1983 and 1984; the Beirut barracks of American and French peacekeeping troops in two attacks on the same morning in 1983; and command facilities of Israeli forces in the south in 1982 and 1983. Hundreds of foreigners died in these bombings, the most successful of which killed 241 U.S. marines in their barracks. As a result, the United States and France withdrew their forces from Lebanon; Israel, whose forces also came under attack by the Islamic Resistance, retreated to a narrow 'security zone' in the south. In solidarity with Iran, Islamic Jihad also bombed the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait in 1983, in an effort to compel Kuwait to abandon its support of Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War. Hizbullah activists were also responsible for a spate of fatal bombings in Paris in 1986, meant to force France to abandon its policy of supplying Iraq with arms.

Hizbullah also conducted operations to free members who had been imprisoned by governments in the Middle East and Europe. These included the hijacking of an American airliner in 1985, to secure the freedom of Lebanese Shi'is held by Israel, and two hijackings of Kuwaiti airliners in 1984 and 1988, to win freedom for Lebanese Shi'is held by Kuwait for the bombings there. The hijackers killed passengers in each instance to demonstrate their resolve. In addition, Islamic Jihad and other groups affiliated with Hizbullah abducted dozens of foreigners in Lebanon, mostly American, French, British, and German citizens, for the same purpose. Some of these foreigners were traded for American arms needed by Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, but the motive for the wave of abductions remained the release of Hizbullah's imprisoned fighters elsewhere. Only when the hostage holding became a political burden for Iran did it prevail upon Hizbullah to free the hostages. The last French hostages were freed in 1988; the last American and British hostages in 1991; and the last Germans in 1992.

Although the movement's ulama disavowed all direct knowledge of operations, and occasionally expressed reservations, they harvested the credit (and blame) for Hizbullah's jihad. Their mosques filled to overflowing, and their statements and interviews resonated in the media. However, they themselves became the targets of assassination and abduction. Fadlallah narrowly missed death in a massive car bombing in 1985, which killed eighty persons; Israel abducted a local Hizbullah cleric, Shaykh Abd al-Karim Ubayd, in 1989; and Israeli helicopter gunships killed Hizbullah's secretary-general, Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi, and his family, in an attack on his motorcade in 1992.

Hizbullah also found that its growing appeal among Lebanon's Shi'is made enemies within the existing Amal movement. As Hizbullah gained momentum, it sought unimpeded access to the south, so it could promote the struggle against Israel. Amal regarded this as an encroachment on its last strongholds. Beginning in 1988, occasional skirmishes with Amal escalated into civil war. More than one thousand Shi'i combatants and civilians died in this fighting, which was characterized by atrocities and assassinations. Hizbullah usually enjoyed the upper hand in fighting, but Syrian intervention denied it the fruits of victory. The strife ended in late 1990 in an accord mediated by Syria and Iran.

Although Hizbullah battled its adversaries, it also cooperated with Iranian aid agencies to fund a wide range of social and economic projects. These included a hospital and pharmacies in Beirut; small textile factories and sheltered workshops to employ families of members and 'martyrs'; book allowances and scholarships for students; and street paving in Beirut and the digging of wells and reservoirs in rural areas. Hizbullah sponsored a scout movement, summer camps and a soccer league. The movement published a weekly newspaper and operated an independent radio station. These activities broadened the base of the movement, and enhanced its ability to field fighters.

Resistance and Democracy

By the end of its first decade, Hizbullah had fought and bought its way into the hearts of perhaps as many as half of Lebanon's Shi'is, but the objective of an Islamic Lebanon remained remote. On the basis of the 1989 Ta'if Accord, Syria enforced an end to the civil war, based on a fairer confessional balance. Syria also disarmed the militias, and launched a determined drive to build up the authority of a Syrian-backed government in Beirut. And in 1991, the governments of Syria and Lebanon sat down with Israel in direct talks to discuss territory, security and a possible peace.

Hizbullah's place in the new Syrian order remained uncertain. In Beirut and parts of the south, Hizbullah surrendered its weapons and turned over positions to the reconstituted Lebanese army. In 1992, Hizbullah and the Revolutionary Guards evacuated the Lebanese army barracks near Ba'labakk, which had served as operational headquarters for ten years. Nevertheless, Hizbullah's Islamic Resistance enjoyed an exemption from the general disarming of militias to permit it to continue a guerilla war of attrition against Israel's 'security zone' in the south. The Islamic Resistance increased its operations, even in the midst of peace talks, and Syria pledged to disarm it only after a complete Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

Hizbullah also opposed implementation of the Syrian-guaranteed Ta'if Accord, which it denounced as an American plan. Hizbullah denouced the first stage of implementation, establishing Muslim-Christian parity in government, for perpetuating confessionalism. Hizbullah advocated a straightforward referendum on an Islamic state; in such a state, the Christians would be entitled to protection, not parity. However, Iran prevailed upon Hizbullah to participate in the 1992 parliamentary elections, the first held in twenty years, despite the fact that the elections still apportioned seats by confession. In the Bekaa Valley, Hizbullah swept the Shi'i vote, and the movement made a credible showing in the south, collecting a total of eight parliamentary seats--the largest single block in the fragmented parliament.

In parliament, Hizbullah organized as an opposition to the Syrian-backed government. It denounced the government's negotiations with Israel and denied all interest in cabinet positions. In most respects, Hizbullah still remained an extraparliamentary movement--a point emphasized by the deliberate obscurity of the movement's parliamentary candidates. Hizbullah signalled that its actual leaders would remain in the mosques and in the fighting ranks of the Islamic Resistance. But the 'Party of God' had moved one reluctant step toward becoming a true hizb (political party) of its followers. It remained to be seen whether Hizbullah's votes would succeed where its violence had failed, in creating an Islamic Lebanon.

Bibliography

Carre, Olivier. L'utopie islamique dans l'Orient arabe. Paris, 1991. Chapters 9 and 10 deal with the thought of Fadlallah.

Delafon, Gilles. Beyrouth: Les soldats de l'Islam. Paris, 1989. The best journalistic account to date, based in part upon Hizbullah's own publications.

Kramer, Martin. Hezbollah's Vision of the West. Washington, D.C., 1989. Analysis of Hizbullah's discourse on its adversaries, relying on the movement's own texts.

Kramer, Martin. "The Moral Logic of Hizballah." In Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind, edited by Walter Reich, pp. 131-57. Cambridge, 1990. Considers the debate that occurred in Hizbullah over 'self-martyrdom' operations and the abduction of foreigners.

Kramer, Martin. "Redeeming Jerusalem: The Pan-Islamic Premise of Hizballah." In The Iranian Revolution and the Muslim World, edited by David Menashri, pp. 105-30. Boulder, 1990. Attitudes in Hizbullah toward Iran and other Islamic movements.

Kramer, Martin. "Hizbullah: The Calculus of Jihad." In Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities, Militance, and Economies, edited by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, pp. 539-56. Chicago, 1992. General overview of the movement, with extensive bibliographical notes.

Kramer, Martin. "Sacrifice and Fratricide in Shiite Lebanon." In Violence and the Sacred in the Modern World, edited by Mark Juergensmeyer, pp. 30-47. London, 1992. On the rivalry between Hizbullah and Amal.

Mallat, Chibli. Shi'i Thought from the South of Lebanon. Oxford, 1988. The early debate among Shi'i ulama (including Fadlallah) which informed Hizbullah's doctrine.

Piscatori, J. P. "The Shia of Lebanon and Hizbullah: The Party of God." In Politics of the Future: The Role of Social Movements, edited by Christie Jennett and Randal G. Stewart, pp. 292-317. Melbourne, 1989. An introduction to the movement with an emphasis on its social base.

Rieck, Andreas. Die Schiiten und der Kampf um den Libanon: Politische Chronik, 1958-1988. Hamburg, 1989. Exhaustive chronicle of Shi'i politics in Lebanon, including the emergence and development of Hizbullah.

Shapira, Shimon. "The Origins of Hizballah." Jerusalem Quarterly 46 (Spring 1988): 115-30. Traces the origins of the movement through early initiatives and organizations.

U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, and U.S. Senate, Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition. Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair, With Supplemental, Minority, and Additional Views. Washington, D.C., November 1987. Includes many American intelligence reports and assessments of Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad.

Martin Kramer, "Hizbullah in Lebanon," The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), vol. 2, pp. 130-33.

related interest
For an overview of Hizbullah's strategy, see Martin Kramer, Hizbullah: The Calculus of Jihad.

For a detailed account of the life and thought of Ayatollah Fadlallah, see Martin Kramer, The Oracle of Hizbullah.

further reading

In The Path Of Hizbullah (Modern Intellectual and Political History of the Middle East)

by Ahmad Nizar Hamzeh



Hezbollah

by Hala Jaber

Hizbu'llah: Politics and Religion (Critical Studies on Islam Series) (Critical Studies on Islam)


by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb

Hezbollah: The Changing Face of Terrorism

by Judith Palmer Harik

Hezbollah: A Short History (Princeto...slim Politics)

by Augustus Richard Norton

Hizbullah (Hezbollah): The Story from Within

by Naim Qassem

Hizb'allah in Lebanon: The Politics of the Western Hostage Crisis

by Magnus Ranstorp

An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi'i Lebanon (Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics)

by Lara Deeb

Fadlallah: The Making of a Radical Shi'ite Leader

by Jamal Sankari

Lightning Out of Lebanon: Hezbollah Terrorists on American Soil

by Tom Diaz, Barbara Newman

Voice of Hezbollah: The Statements of Sayed Hassan Nasrallah


Lebanese Political Parties: Hezbollah (The Party of God)



Beacon of Hatred: Inside Hizballahs Al-Manar Television

by Avi Jorisch

The Axis of Evil: Iran, Hizballah, and the Palestinian Terror


by Shaul Shay
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Lightbulb Iran's Terrorist Asset: A History of Imad Mugniyah

Iran's Terrorist Asset: A History of Imad Mugniyah


By Carl Anthony Wege

The resiliency of Hezbollah in its conflict with Israel shattered the strong confidence in Israeli arms and is becoming a source for inspiration and tactical doctrine among Islamists. The unexpected ability of Hezbollah to withstand a rather concerted Israeli effort to rout the organization and pacify southern Lebanon was built in part by Imad Mugniyah.

History of "The Fox"

During the last quarter century, it was Haji Imad Fayez Mugniyah that helped to guide Hezbollah's covert operations and who served as an operative for Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Born in Tayr Dibbuth near Tyre in southern Lebanon on July 12, 1962, he was the oldest of four siblings from the extended family of Sheikh Muhammed Jawad Mugniyah, a prominent Lebanese cleric of the Musawi clan [1]. During Imad's childhood, his family moved to the Bir al-Abed section of Beirut and he was barely a teenager of 13 years when Lebanon's civil war broke out in 1975 (The Jerusalem Report, August 22, 1991). The crucible of the war transformed Imad Mugniyah into an effective terrorist. He apparently joined Fatah in 1975 (where he served until 1982) and shortly thereafter was recruited by Fatah's Force 17 (Asharq al-Awsat, August 11). Due to his young age, the opportunities in Force 17 were necessarily limited but it was probably around this time that Mugniyah had his initial exposure to bomb construction through his later brother-in-law, Mustafa Badr al-Din.

Mugniyah and his brothers Faud Mugniyah and Jihad Mugniyah all stayed behind after the PLO evacuation of Beirut following the Israeli invasion of 1982. Thereafter, Shiite militants from Islamic Amal, Lebanon's Daw'ah and the Association of Muslim Ulema in Lebanon formed the Hezbollah organization under the auspices of Iran's Revolutionary Guards [2]. Shiite clans such as the Hamiya, Musawi, Aqeel, Shahadehs and Ezzedeen facilitated the Guards' incorporation into Lebanon's Islamist movement [3]. Imad Mugniyah's familial relationship with Shiekh Muhammad Jawad Mugniyah cemented his religious ties within the Musawi clan and to the larger Shiite community. This, combined with his experience in Fatah, facilitated his entry into the new Hezbollah organization where he was responsible for the personal security of Hezbollah spiritual leader Sheikh Fadlallah in Beirut (The Jerusalem Report, December 3, 2002). Mugniyah may have first become acquainted with Fadlallah through hearing his sermons at Beirut's Bir al-Abed Mosque located in the district of Beirut where Mugniyah grew up.

In 1983, Imad Mugniyah married his cousin, Sa'ada Badr al-Din, and had two children during that decade. The children were Fatima Mugniyah, born in August 1984, and Mustafa Mugniyah, born in January 1987 [4]. In September 1991, Mugniyah's wife and children were moved to Tehran for security reasons. Mustafa Mugniyah, Imad's son, is now coming to an age where various intelligence services will have an interest in him, but currently there is little concerning him in open literature.

Imad Mugniyah's most important patrons were found in the al-Quds Force, a special operations unit part of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, and various elements of Iran's intelligence organs. The direct operational link between Mugniyah and the Revolutionary Guards is likely through the Protection and Intelligence Department supporting the al-Quds headquarters facilitating external operations [5]. Mugniyah was involved in operational supervision of multiple Hezbollah terrorist activities throughout the 1980s (The Jerusalem Report, August 6, 1989). In the aftermath of the 1985 TWA 847 hijacking, he left the security of Fadlallah to his brother Jihad Mugniyah and moved into the Hezbollah Security Apparatus [6]. It was this entity that initiated the hostage taking and other operations under Hezbollah auspices using the name Islamic Jihad (al-Jihad al-Islami) throughout the mid-1980s.

Mugniyah was personally absent from Lebanon during the later part of 1987 when he was in northern Iran. He went to Qum in January 1988 and returned to Lebanon in 1990 [7]. Mugniyah became progressively more distant from day-to-day Hezbollah operations and more closely associated with Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The relationship between Imad Mugniyah and the Revolutionary Guards was one of mutual exploitation. Mugniyah acted as a Guards asset by filling an important niche in many operational environments furthering Iranian foreign policy goals. Conversely, Mugniyah had a great patron in the Guards with the infrastructure and resources of a state to facilitate Mugniyah as a notable in his own right both in Hezbollah and within the Musawi clan. This enabled Mugniyah to create his own client and patronage networks as a terrorist facilitating his operational capabilities.

By the early 1990s, Iran's foreign operations extended to Sudan where Mugniyah was said to have been introduced to Osama bin Laden in 1993 (Asharq al-Awsat, August 11). Throughout the 1990s, Mugniyah apparently worked to establish Hezbollah support cells everywhere from North Carolina to Latin America to Africa. Mugniyah's current age and value as an operational asset for the Revolutionary Guards preclude his direct involvement in risky operations. The kidnap operation against Israeli Defense Force soldiers that ignited this summer's Israeli-Lebanon war, for example, was unlikely to have merited his participation. If he was involved, his actual role would have likely been mentoring the commanders who did carry out the operation.

Conclusion

With the dawn of the new century, Mugniyah acquired some maturity as a terrorist archetype. His elevation to such maturity is witnessed by his accompanying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Damascus to meet with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad earlier this year to discuss security issues for both states (London Times, April 23). Yet details and particulars about his personal life are scant, and reports lacking public documentation concerning him are plentiful (London Times, April 23). Although the passage of time may degrade Mugniyah's ability to directly engage in operations, his longevity may create in him a sense of strategic vision.

Demonstrating Mugniyah's operational maturity, Hamid Zakiri, a defector from the Guards' al-Quds Force, argued that Mugniyah himself facilitated the escape of senior al-Qaeda personnel to Iran after September 11. This included some of Osama bin Laden's close family members. Zakiri also alleged that Mugniyah was taking an active role in organizing Shiite resistance in southern Iraq (Asharq al-Awsat, August 11). The Shiites in Iraq may well come to bear arms against the West as their brethren in Lebanon have done under the influence of Iran and with the assistance of operatives like Mugniyah. Lebanon's battle of Bint Jubail, where Hezbollah held off the full fury of the IDF for 28 days, is testament to the quality of Hezbollah arms and operational skills (al-Jazeera, September 5). The hard won status of Hezbollah in the face of Israeli military might in the August confrontation is for politicians like Hassan Nasrallah to exploit. Yet in the twilight war between Hezbollah and the West, it is men like Imad Mugniyah that keep men like Hassan Nasrallah alive.

Notes

1. Chibli Mallat, "Shi'a Thought From The South of Lebanon," Oxford: Center for Lebanese Studies, 1988; "Report Says Beirut Kidnappers Are Inmates Relatives," Associated Press October 13, 1986.
2. Simon Shapria, "The origins of Hezbollah," Jerusalem Quarterly, 46 Spring 1988, pg. 124.
3. Hala Jaber, "Hezbollah: Born With a Vengeance," Columbia University Press, 1997, pg. 117.
4. Shaul Shay, "The Axis of Evil," Transaction Publishers, 2005, pg. 68.
5. "Iran Brief," Middle East Data Project, January 6, 1997.
6. Terrorism and Political Violence, 6 (3) pg. 307.
7. Ibid.

February 13, 2008
Death of a Terrorist: Imad Mugniyah


by James Phillips
WebMemo #1815

Yesterday's reported death of the terrorist mastermind Imad Mugniyah, if true, is a major blow to the Hezbollah organization, its backers in Iran and Syria, and other terrorist groups who have cooperated with Hezbollah or Iran, often working through Mugniyah. He was involved in many of the most lethal and high-profile terrorist attacks in the Middle East and elsewhere over the past 25 years. His death, which may have been the outcome of an Israeli counter-terrorist operation, is an important victory in the global struggle against terrorism.



A Bloody History


Imad Mugniyah, who led the special operations section of the radical Lebanese Shia Hezbollah terrorist group, had a long history of planning and executing terrorist atrocities. He was involved in a string of some of the deadliest terrorist attacks against Americans in recent history, including: the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks at Beirut Airport that killed 241 Americans participating in peacekeeping operations (and the bombing of French peacekeeping troops that same day, which killed 58); the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut that killed 63 people, including 17 Americans; the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in Lebanon, which resulted in the murder of a passenger, a U.S. Navy diver; the kidnapping of scores of Americans and other westerners held hostage in Lebanon (which later triggered the Iran-Contra affair); and numerous attacks on Western and Sunni Arab diplomats and government facilities in Lebanon and the Persian Gulf.



Mugniyah, the son of a Lebanese Shia cleric, trained with Yasser Arafat's Fatah terrorist group in Lebanon in the late 1970s and became part of Force 17, Arafat's personal security force. After Israel's 1982 intervention in Lebanon--triggered by cross-border Palestinian terrorist attacks--prompted Arafat's expulsion from Beirut, Mugniyah joined the newly formed Hezbollah ("Party of God"), a radical movement inspired and strongly supported by Iran's Shia revolutionaries. He initially served as a bodyguard for Hezbollah's spiritual leader, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein Fadlallah, but quickly rose to become a key leader of Hezbollah's terrorist operations, earning the alias of "the Fox."



In addition to his shadowy role within Hezbollah, Mugniyah was a favorite surrogate of Iran, reportedly working closely with Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force unit, which maintained a long-term presence in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, a Hezbollah stronghold. Mugniyah reportedly played an important role in arranging the training of Palestinian terrorists by Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards. He helped arrange the aborted 2002 transfer of 50 tons of Iranian arms to the Palestine Liberation Organization, using the freighter Karine A, which was intercepted by Israeli naval forces before it could smuggle its deadly cargo into Gaza.



Mugniyah also is widely believed to be responsible for arranging the training of al-Qaeda personnel by Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon and Sudan in the mid-1990s. This assistance is believed to have significantly boosted al-Qaeda's killing power, which dramatically increased by the end of the decade. Al-Qaeda's 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, and wounded more than 5,000 people in simultaneous operations that used huge truck bombs similar those used in past Hezbollah operations.



Mugniyah also was an important ally of Syria's Assad dictatorship, which used Hezbollah as a useful club to harass Israel and facilitate Syrian domination of Lebanon. When he reportedly was killed by a car bomb yesterday, it was in the well-to-do Kafar Soussa district of Damascus, in close proximity to Syrian intelligence offices. The demise of its Lebanese ally under these circumstances is a major security lapse and an acute embarrassment for Syria's police state.



Who Was Responsible?


It is not known who killed Mugniyah. He had many enemies in the Arab world, particularly Sunni Arab governments who had been stung by his pro-Iranian terrorist operations and many Lebanese who loathed him because of his many murders on behalf of his Iranian and Syrian sponsors. But Israel, one of the chief targets of Hezbollah terrorism, also had strong reasons to retaliate against him.



In addition to numerous attacks against Israeli forces in Lebanon, Mugniyah was one of the major suspects in the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, which killed 29 people, and the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center, which killed 85 people. In recent years, he reportedly also was actively involved in arranging training for Palestinian terrorists, particularly members of the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist groups. He may even have played a role in planning Hezbollah's July 2006 kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, which provoked a 34-day war in southern Lebanon.



Israel has denied responsibility for Mugniyah's death. But Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian backers are likely to hold Israel responsible anyway. Hezbollah may well respond with cross-border rocket attacks against Israel or another major terrorist attack against Israeli targets elsewhere in the world, particularly at the end of the traditional 40-day mourning period for Shia martyrs. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad may also join in, possibly with Iranian-provided rockets recently smuggled into Gaza.



But regardless of the consequences, Mugniyah's demise is an important achievement. It demonstrates that no terrorist is immune from retaliation for his crimes, despite the lavish support and protection extended by two of the world's most ruthless dictatorships. The removal of "the Fox" from the F.B.I.'s "Most Wanted" list is long overdue.



James Phillips is Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.


<FONT size=2>
<FONT color=#000000><FONT face=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica>
'Mughniyeh co-founded Hizbullah'


<DIV align=left>For 25 years, Hizbullah operations chief Imad Mughniyeh was one of the world's most wanted terrorists, involved in endless attacks against Israel and the United States, including the abduction of two IDF reservists in 2006 and the bombing of US embassies in Africa.


Less known than Osama bin Laden but considered a greater outlaw, Mughniyeh was implicated in the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut that killed more than 300, as well as the 1994 bombing of the Israelite Mutual Association building in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people, and the 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy in the same city, in which 29 died.

He apparently had strong ties with al-Qaida, and according to the testimony of Ali Muhammad - a senior al-Qaida operative who was arrested for involvement in the attacks on American embassies in Africa - Mughniyeh met with bin Laden in Sudan in 1993. Hizbullah, Muhammad said, provided explosives training for al-Qaida fighters. This relationship - and the fact that Mughniyeh was Hizbullah's liaison to al-Qaida - has led Western intelligence agencies to raise the possibility that he was also involved in the September 11 attacks.

Born in Tyre, Lebanon, in 1962, Mughniyeh did not attract attention until 1976, when he joined the PLO's Force 17 as a sniper targeting Christians on the Green Line dividing West and East Beirut. RELATED

Fatah officials told The Jerusalem Post that he had been very close to Yasser Arafat when the PLO was based in Beirut.
"His nickname was tha'lab [the fox], and today he's considered the second most important figure in Hizbullah after Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. We're very proud to have had a Palestinian holding such a high position in Hizbullah," said a Fatah official who said he had known Mughniyeh well during the '70s and '80s.

When the IDF forced the PLO to leave Lebanon in 1982, Arafat entrusted Mughniyeh with transferring the organization's weapons to Lebanese armed groups allied with the Palestinians. Mughniyeh, who refused to leave Beirut with the PLO leadership, joined the the Shi'ite Amal militia headed by Nabih Berri. He and Nasrallah later left the movement to form Hizbullah.


The first terrorist attacks in which he was implicated were the 1983 bombings of the US Embassy and barracks housing US Marines and French paratroopers, who were part of the Multinational Force in Lebanon. Around 350 people were killed.
In 1985, Mughniyeh was believed to have been one of the terrorists who hijacked a TWA flight on its way from Athens to Rome. The plane was forced to land in Beirut and afterwards flew to Algeria before returning to Beirut. He was later indicted in the US for the murder of one of the hostages on board, a US Navy diver.


On October 10, 2001, Mughniyeh appeared on the FBI's first "Top 22 Most Wanted Terrorists" list. A reward of $5 million was offered for information leading to his capture.

He has also been linked to the Karine A weapons ship that Arafat tried to use to smuggle arms into the Gaza Strip in 2001, as well as the kidnapping of three IDF soldiers in October 2000 by Hizbullah and the abduction of reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser in the summer of 2006.
Mughniyeh was Hizbullah's chief liaison with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and was believed to have spent most of his time in Teheran under tight Iranian security. Outside of Iran, he reportedly never slept in the same place twice and constantly looked over his shoulder.

In January 2006, Mughniyeh is believed to have traveled with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Damascus for a meeting with Nasrallah, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Salah.

"He knew that he was on the FBI's list for many years, and he has lived many years according to this understanding - and this was strengthened following the Second Lebanon War," said Col. (res.) Dr. Eitan Azani, deputy executive director of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the IDC Herzliya and a former head of the Lebanese Desk at IDF Military Intelligence.
In contrast to bin Laden, Azani said, Mughniyeh "did not have a political role, but was strictly involved in operations, like the chief of General Staff."
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Exclamation "Hezbollah's West Bank Terror Network" (August-September 2003)

Some Arabs and Muslims claim "Hezbollah" has only acted as a defensive organization to defend Lebanon and the “Lebanonese” against Israel let us also examine the Truth or falsehood of these claims.




Vol. 5 No. 8-9 Table of Contents









MEIB Main Page
August-September 2003










Hezbollah's West Bank Terror Network
by Matthew A. Levitt



Following the assassination of senior Hezbollah security operative Ali Hussein Saleh on August 2, leaders of the militant Lebanese Shiite group lost no time in pointing the figure at Israel. While such accusations against the Jewish state have long been routine whenever a car bomb explodes in Lebanon, this time Hezbollah officials had good reason to suspect the long arm of Israel. According to Israeli military sources, Saleh was a liaison between Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist cells operating in the West Bank.[1]

Over the last three years, Hezbollah has steadily intensified its involvement in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, gravitating from the provision of material support and training for Palestinian terrorist groups to the direct recruitment of Palestinian operatives under its own command and control. Among the activities Hizballah¹s Palestinian squads have conducted are arms smuggling, recruitment, attempted suicide bombings, sniper and roadside shooting attacks, preoperational surveillance of Israeli communities and army bases, and planned kidnapping of Israelis.[2] Most recently, according to Israeli intelligence, Hezbollah's Palestinian operatives were responsible for the August 12 suicide bombing in Rosh Ha'ayin that left one person dead and six wounded.[3]

Information about Hezbollah's network in the West Bank comes largely from the statements of captured operatives and other information made public by the Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet). ISA's findings appear credible; they are based on multiple confessions and intelligence sources, and Western sources have confirmed their general veracity.

Hezbollah and the Al-Aqsa Intifada
Hezbollah, a militant Shiite Muslim organization established in Lebanon by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has been single-mindedly devoted to fighting Israel for over 20 years. Following the withdrawal of Israeli forces from south Lebanon in May 2000 (for which it rightly claimed credit), Hezbollah was obliged to scale back its guerrilla warfare against Israeli forces, though it still carried out sporadic cross-border attacks in the Shebaa Farms area of the Golan Heights.

Following the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, Hezbollah shifted its resources to the Palestinian front. It's television station, Al-Manar, increased its daily broadcast hours from four to 24, spewing forth a relentless stream of incitement against Israel. It also dramatically increased its support for Palestinian terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Hezbollah was involved in three major attempts to smuggle arms to the territories. In January 2001, Israel intercepted a ship carrying a large load of weapons, the San Torini, that had embarked from Lebanon. A year later, Israel intercepted the Karine A, which embarked from Iran with a Hezbollah-trained crew. In May 2003, Israel seized an Egyptian fishing boat, Abu Hassan, attempting to deliver explosives from Lebanon to Gaza. One member of its crew, Hamad Masalem Mussa Abu Amra, was a Hezbollah explosives expert. Other efforts were made to smuggle weapons into the West Bank via Jordan.

Ultimately, however, Hezbollah aspired to build its own network of operatives in the territories. Since the mid-1990s, it had recruited several terrorist operatives from Europe and attempted to infiltrate them into Israel. In 1996, for example, Israel arrested Hussein Makdad, a naturalized German citizen working for Hezbollah, after he was injured while constructing a bomb in an East Jerusalem Hotel. The following year, Hezbollah recruited Steven Smyrek, a German convert to Islam, trained him in Lebanon, and sent him to Israel to photograph prospective targets for terrorist attacks. In January 2001, Israeli security forces arrested Jihad Shuman, a Lebanese member of Hezbollah who entered the country with a British passport.

The movement had also succeeded in recruiting a network of Israeli Arabs. Hezbollah commissioned Lebanese drug dealers who had a long history of smuggling contraband across the border - only now they supplied drugs in exchange for espionage and arms smuggling. However, most of these operatives were motivated not by ideological solidarity, but by the prospect of financial gain. Few were willing to actually carry out terrorist attacks and they tended to cooperate with the Israeli authorities once they were uncovered.

Recruiting Palestinian Terrorists
At the time of the second intifada's outbreak, Hezbollah had enjoyed only limited success in directly recruiting Palestinian operatives. One of the most notorious was Masoud Iyyad, an officer in Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat's Force 17 Presidential Guard, who traveled to Lebanon in the summer of 2000. After returning to Gaza, Iyyad directed a terrorist cell that carried out half a dozen relatively minor grenade and mortar attacks during the first months of the intifada. However, he was killed in an Israeli helicopter strike in February 2001.

By mid-2001, however, Hezbollah and the IRGC had begun a far-reaching campaign to directly recruit Palestinians to plan and carry out terror attacks on their behalf. Palestinians who had been wounded in the uprising were the primary source of early recruits - not only had they already demonstrated their commitment to fighting Israel, but their injuries provided a perfect pretext for them to leave the country. An ostensibly humanitarian organization called the Iranian Committee for Aiding Wounded Victims of the Intifada flew hundreds of mild to moderately wounded Palestinians (it was conspicuously uninterested in the severely wounded) to Tehran and provided them with free medical care at military hospitals. During their recuperation, the prospective recruits were showered with attention (e.g. invited to speak at events commemorating the struggle against Israel) and persuaded to join Hezbollah. Among those involved in the recruitment drive were Iran's ambassador to Jordan, Nosratollah Tajik, Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Detainees and Freed Detainees Affairs Hisham Abdel al-Razek, and Abu Mahadi Najafi, a senior Hezbollah operative.

A number of these operatives were later arrested by the Israeli authorities and provided detailed accounts of their recruitment. Shadi Jaber was recruited by Abu Mahadi after he arrived in Iran for medical treatment in January 2001. Upon his return to the West Bank, he recruited other operatives and planned a number of operations, such as the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. He also facilitated the transfer of additional wounded Palestinians to Iran, all the while remaining in contact with his Hezbollah handler in Iran via cellular phone.



Another captured Hezbollah operative, Jihad Albasha, recounted how he received red carpet treatment after arrived in Iran in April 2001 - he even had his picture taken with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. He was also recruited by Abu Mahadi, who provided him with $30,000 to set up a terrorist cell and proposed that he open a construction company in the West Bank as a cover for the transfer of additional funds.[4]

In the summer of 2002, Hezbollah recruited four Tanzim operatives and attempted to transport three of them into Lebanon through Jordan and Syria for military training at Hezbollah training camps. They were recruited by Omar Hamdan Mohamad Seif, who had himself been trained in such camps. Although one of these men was denied entry into Jordan, the other two - Dargem Salah and Iyad Kasem - made it to the camps, where they learned to fire Uzis and M-16s, throw grenades, and prepare and detonate explosives. Upon completing their training, they were ordered by Hezbollah commanders to conduct surveillance on potential Israeli targets, collect pre-operational intelligence, and execute terrorist attacks.[5]

The Return Brigades
Palestinian terrorist cells established by Lebanon-based Hezbollah and IRGC operatives were organized into a network known as the Return Brigades (Kata'ib al-Awda). The operational and political objectives of the Hezbollah-run, Iranian-funded network were confirmed by confessions from various Return Brigades operatives arrested around September 2002. Chief among these was Ghaleb Abdel Hafiz Abdel Kader Ikbariya, a PA activist from Shweike near Tulkarm.

In his confession, Ikbariya said that IRGC commanders had begun to establish a new organization comprised of a military wing and a political wing. The military wing was tasked with conducting terror attacks (e.g., the suicide attack Ikbariya himself was caught planning together with Fatah leaders in Jordan and IRGC commanders in Lebanon) while the political wing would "infiltrate representatives into the PA and the Palestinian security mechanisms" to take over "when and if the current Fatah infrastructure collapses."[6] Although the two were supposed to be compartmentalized from each other, overlap between the terrorist and political wings led to the arrest of several political activists - like Ikbariya - for their roles in terrorist plots. Ikbariya claimed that his handlers, Bassem Soudki Ahmad Yassin and Fouad Bilbeisi (both senior Fatah leaders in Amman), reported not only to the IRGC but also to Fatah Central Committee member Mohammad Amouri and Palestine Liberation Organization Political Department chief Farouq Kadoumi.

According to the ISA, prior to Israel's April 2002 West Bank counterterrorism offensive, some of these cells were funded through renegade Fatah colonel Mounir al-Maqdah, who is based in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon - a fact that Maqdah recently confirmed in an interview.[7] However, after discovering that Maqdah was pocketing more of the Iranian funding than had been anticipated, Tehran decided that it was better off relying primarily on Hezbollah officials and IRGC commanders in Lebanon. Maqdah still funnels Iranian funds to the West Bank, but on a far diminished scale.[8]

Return Brigade leaders are required to inform Hezbollah and/or and IRGC commanders immediately before and after their operatives conduct an attack, and financial disbursements are only made in specific amounts and at prearranged intervals after full accounting of previous expenditures. Their primary contact is Qais Ubaid, an Israeli-Arab Hezbollah operative in Lebanon who played a central role in the October 2000 kidnapping of Israeli businessman Elchanan Tannenbaum.[9] The cells also communicate and receive instructions via senior Fatah leaders in Jordan, most notably Yassin and Bilbeisi, who, according to statements of captured Return Brigades members, are both "operated by the IRGC."[10]

Different cells of the Return Brigades maintain close operational cooperation with each other, maximizing resources, personnel, and training. For example, brigade leaders smuggled one operative abroad for sniper training, then sent the new sniper around the West Bank to train other Tanzim cells.[11] They also work with other Palestinian terrorist groups. In June 2002, Israeli authorities conducting a search in Hebron arrested Fawzi Ayub, a Lebanese-born Hezbollah operative who entered the territories by sea using a forged American passport shortly after the outbreak of the intifada.[12] Not coincidentally, the arrest occurred around the same time as the discovery in Hebron of a type of mine that had previously been used only by Hezbollah in Lebanon.[13] Indeed, Hezbollah bombmakers trained Hamas to maximize the lethality of their homemade explosives. For its most deadly suicide attack - the March 2002 bombing that killed 29 and wounded 172 Passover celebrants at the Park Hotel in Netanya - Hamas reportedly called in a "Hezbollah expert for advice in building an extra-potent bomb."[14]

Hezbollah has also used the Return Brigades to expand its terror capabilities internationally. In mid-2003, Israeli forces arrested Ghulam Mahmud Qawqa, a member of both Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Return Brigades, for his role in several al-Aqsa bombings in Jerusalem. According to information discovered after his arrest, Qawqa had also been engineering attacks on Israeli interests in Europe and Asia on behalf of Hezbollah. In late 2002, Qawqa tasked a Lebanese woman he knew in Germany to photograph the Israeli embassy in Berlin from multiple angles for a possible attack.[15] Around the same time, a Jordanian friend employed in China helped Qawqa make arrangements to travel there via Jordan in order to assassinate Yitzhak Shelef, Israel's ambassador to China. Qawqa had also approached a Hezbollah operative to assist with the mission, but was arrested before he could make the trip.[16]

Now that it controls an extremely capable terrorist network in the West Bank, Hezbollah has established itself as a proactive spoiler of Middle East peace - it can directly commission terrorist attacks even if major Palestinian terrorist groups abide by a cease-fire. Although Israel is working covertly to undermine Hezbollah's terrorist network, Hezbollah's massive rocket arsenal would make a direct military assault on its infrastructure in Lebanon quite costly. Indeed, the group's artillery in south Lebanon is deadly enough - in retaliation for Ali Hussein Saleh's assassination, Hezbollah shelled northern Israel, killing a teenager. Meanwhile, the Bush administration's efforts to pressure the governments of Lebanon and Syria into disarming Hezbollah have born little fruit.

Notes
[1] "Suicide Bombings Expose Fragility of Cease-fire," Forward, 15 August 2003.
[2] "Iranian Activities towards Inflaming the Palestinian Intifada," Israel Security Agency, December 2002 (author¹s personal files)
[3] Author interview with intelligence sources, September 2003.
[4] "Iranian Activities towards Inflaming the Palesitinian Intifada," Israel Security Agency, December 2002 (author¹s personal files).
[5] Ibid.
[6] "IRGC Intentions to Establish a Substitute Organization for the Palestinian Authority," Israel Security Agency, 12 October 2002. (author¹s personal files)
[7] Nicholas Blanford, "Al-Aqsa cells being funded and guided from Ain al-Hilweh," The Daily Star, 4 July 2003.
[8] Author interview with intelligence sources, July 2003.
[a9] Author interview with intelligence sources, July 2003.
[10] "IRGC Intentions to Establish a Substitute Organization for the Palestinian Authority," Israel Security Agency, 17 October 2002 (author¹s personal files)
[11] Author interview with intelligence sources, July 2003.
[12] "Hezbollah (part 1): Profile of the Lebanese Shiite Terrorist Organization of Global Reach Sponsored by Iran and Supported by Syria," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Israel, June 2003; and author interview with intelligence sources, July 2003.
[13] James Bennet, "Israeli Killed As His Commandos Demolish West Bank House," The New York Times, 16 February 2002.
[14] Molly Moore and John Ward Anderson, "Suicide Bombers Change Mideast's Military Balance," The Washington Post, 18 August 2002.
[15] "Germany Surprised to Learn From Press of Plan to Kill Israeli Envoy," Spiegel Online (Hamburg), 3 January 2003, translated by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 4 January 2003; "Hezbollah (part 1): Profile of the Lebanese Shiite Terrorist Organization of Global Reach Sponsored by Iran and Supported by Syria," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Israel, June 2003; and author interview with intelligence sources, July 2003.
[16] Ibid.

Hezbollah's West Bank Terror Network


Hezbollah's West Bank Terror Network

By Matthew Levitt
Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, August�September 2003

Following the assassination of senior Hezbollah security operative Ali Hussein Saleh on August 2, leaders of the militant Lebanese Shiite group lost no time in pointing the finger at Israel. While such accusations against the Jewish state have long been routine whenever a car bomb explodes in Lebanon, this time Hezbollah officials had good reason to suspect the long arm of Israel. According to Israeli military sources, Saleh was a liaison between Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist cells operating in the West Bank.[1]

Over the last three years, Hezbollah has steadily intensified its involvement in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, gravitating from the provision of material support and training for Palestinian terrorist groups to the direct recruitment of Palestinian operatives under its own command and control. Among the activities Hizballah's Palestinian squads have conducted are arms smuggling, recruitment, attempted suicide bombings, sniper and roadside shooting attacks, preoperational surveillance of Israeli communities and army bases, and planned kidnapping of Israelis.[2] Most recently, according to Israeli intelligence, Hezbollah's Palestinian operatives were responsible for the August 12 suicide bombing in Rosh Ha'ayin that left one person dead and six wounded.[3]

Information about Hezbollah's network in the West Bank comes largely from the statements of captured operatives and other information made public by the Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet). ISA's findings appear credible; they are based on multiple confessions and intelligence sources, and Western sources have confirmed their general veracity.

Hezbollah and the Al-Aqsa Intifada
Hezbollah, a militant Shiite Muslim organization established in Lebanon by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has been single-mindedly devoted to fighting Israel for over 20 years. Following the withdrawal of Israeli forces from south Lebanon in May 2000 (for which it rightly claimed credit), Hezbollah was obliged to scale back its guerrilla warfare against Israeli forces, though it still carried out sporadic cross-border attacks in the Shebaa Farms area of the Golan Heights.

Following the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, Hezbollah shifted its resources to the Palestinian front. Its television station, Al-Manar, increased its daily broadcast hours from four to 24, spewing forth a relentless stream of incitement against Israel. It also dramatically increased its support for Palestinian terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Hezbollah was involved in three major attempts to smuggle arms to the territories. In January 2001, Israel intercepted a ship carrying a large load of weapons, the San Torini, that had embarked from Lebanon. A year later, Israel intercepted the Karine A, which embarked from Iran with a Hezbollah-trained crew. In May 2003, Israel seized an Egyptian fishing boat, Abu Hassan, attempting to deliver explosives from Lebanon to Gaza. One member of its crew, Hamad Masalem Mussa Abu Amra, was a Hezbollah explosives expert. Other efforts were made to smuggle weapons into the West Bank via Jordan.

Ultimately, however, Hezbollah aspired to build its own network of operatives in the territories. Since the mid-1990s, it had recruited several terrorist operatives from Europe and attempted to infiltrate them into Israel. In 1996, for example, Israel arrested Hussein Makdad, a naturalized German citizen working for Hezbollah, after he was injured while constructing a bomb in an East Jerusalem Hotel. The following year, Hezbollah recruited Steven Smyrek, a German convert to Islam, trained him in Lebanon, and sent him to Israel to photograph prospective targets for terrorist attacks. In January 2001, Israeli security forces arrested Jihad Shuman, a Lebanese member of Hezbollah who entered the country with a British passport.

The movement had also succeeded in recruiting a network of Israeli Arabs. Hezbollah commissioned Lebanese drug dealers who had a long history of smuggling contraband across the border -- only now they supplied drugs in exchange for espionage and arms smuggling. However, most of these operatives were motivated not by ideological solidarity, but by the prospect of financial gain. Few were willing to actually carry out terrorist attacks and they tended to cooperate with the Israeli authorities once they were uncovered.

Recruiting Palestinian Terrorists
At the time of the second intifada's outbreak, Hezbollah had enjoyed only limited success in directly recruiting Palestinian operatives. One of the most notorious was Masoud Iyyad, an officer in Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat's Force 17 Presidential Guard, who traveled to Lebanon in the summer of 2000. After returning to Gaza, Iyyad directed a terrorist cell that carried out half a dozen relatively minor grenade and mortar attacks during the first months of the intifada. However, he was killed in an Israeli helicopter strike in February 2001.

By mid-2001, however, Hezbollah and the IRGC had begun a far-reaching campaign to directly recruit Palestinians to plan and carry out terror attacks on their behalf. Palestinians who had been wounded in the uprising were the primary source of early recruits -- not only had they already demonstrated their commitment to fighting Israel, but their injuries provided a perfect pretext for them to leave the country. An ostensibly humanitarian organization called the Iranian Committee for Aiding Wounded Victims of the Intifada flew hundreds of mild to moderately wounded Palestinians (it was conspicuously uninterested in the severely wounded) to Tehran and provided them with free medical care at military hospitals. During their recuperation, the prospective recruits were showered with attention (e.g. invited to speak at events commemorating the struggle against Israel) and persuaded to join Hezbollah. Among those involved in the recruitment drive were Iran's ambassador to Jordan, Nosratollah Tajik, Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Detainees and Freed Detainees Affairs Hisham Abdel al-Razek, and Abu Mahadi Najafi, a senior Hezbollah operative.

A number of these operatives were later arrested by the Israeli authorities and provided detailed accounts of their recruitment. Shadi Jaber was recruited by Abu Mahadi after he arrived in Iran for medical treatment in January 2001. Upon his return to the West Bank, he recruited other operatives and planned a number of operations, such as the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. He also facilitated the transfer of additional wounded Palestinians to Iran, all the while remaining in contact with his Hezbollah handler in Iran via cellular phone.

Jihad Albasha
Another captured Hezbollah operative, Jihad Albasha, recounted how he received red carpet treatment after arrived in Iran in April 2001 -- he even had his picture taken with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. He was also recruited by Abu Mahadi, who provided him with $30,000 to set up a terrorist cell and proposed that he open a construction company in the West Bank as a cover for the transfer of additional funds.[4]
In the summer of 2002, Hezbollah recruited four Tanzim operatives and attempted to transport three of them into Lebanon through Jordan and Syria for military training at Hezbollah training camps. They were recruited by Omar Hamdan Mohamad Seif, who had himself been trained in such camps. Although one of these men was denied entry into Jordan, the other two -- Dargem Salah and Iyad Kasem -- made it to the camps, where they learned to fire Uzis and M-16s, throw grenades, and prepare and detonate explosives. Upon completing their training, they were ordered by Hezbollah commanders to conduct surveillance on potential Israeli targets, collect pre-operational intelligence, and execute terrorist attacks.[5]

The Return Brigades
Palestinian terrorist cells established by Lebanon-based Hezbollah and IRGC operatives were organized into a network known as the Return Brigades (Kata'ib al-Awda). The operational and political objectives of the Hezbollah-run, Iranian-funded network were confirmed by confessions from various Return Brigades operatives arrested around September 2002. Chief among these was Ghaleb Abdel Hafiz Abdel Kader Ikbariya, a PA activist from Shweike near Tulkarm.

In his confession, Ikbariya said that IRGC commanders had begun to establish a new organization comprised of a military wing and a political wing. The military wing was tasked with conducting terror attacks (e.g., the suicide attack Ikbariya himself was caught planning together with Fatah leaders in Jordan and IRGC commanders in Lebanon) while the political wing would "infiltrate representatives into the PA and the Palestinian security mechanisms" to take over "when and if the current Fatah infrastructure collapses."[6] Although the two were supposed to be compartmentalized from each other, overlap between the terrorist and political wings led to the arrest of several political activists -- like Ikbariya -- for their roles in terrorist plots. Ikbariya claimed that his handlers, Bassem Soudki Ahmad Yassin and Fouad Bilbeisi (both senior Fatah leaders in Amman), reported not only to the IRGC but also to Fatah Central Committee member Mohammad Amouri and Palestine Liberation Organization Political Department chief Farouq Kadoumi.

According to the ISA, prior to Israel's April 2002 West Bank counterterrorism offensive, some of these cells were funded through renegade Fatah colonel Mounir al-Maqdah, who is based in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon -- a fact that Maqdah recently confirmed in an interview.[7] However, after discovering that Maqdah was pocketing more of the Iranian funding than had been anticipated, Tehran decided that it was better off relying primarily on Hezbollah officials and IRGC commanders in Lebanon. Maqdah still funnels Iranian funds to the West Bank, but on a far diminished scale.[8]

Return Brigade leaders are required to inform Hezbollah and/or and IRGC commanders immediately before and after their operatives conduct an attack, and financial disbursements are only made in specific amounts and at prearranged intervals after full accounting of previous expenditures. Their primary contact is Qais Ubaid, an Israeli-Arab Hezbollah operative in Lebanon who played a central role in the October 2000 kidnapping of Israeli businessman Elchanan Tannenbaum.[9] The cells also communicate and receive instructions via senior Fatah leaders in Jordan, most notably Yassin and Bilbeisi, who, according to statements of captured Return Brigades members, are both "operated by the IRGC."[10]

Different cells of the Return Brigades maintain close operational cooperation with each other, maximizing resources, personnel, and training. For example, brigade leaders smuggled one operative abroad for sniper training, then sent the new sniper around the West Bank to train other Tanzim cells.[11] They also work with other Palestinian terrorist groups. In June 2002, Israeli authorities conducting a search in Hebron arrested Fawzi Ayub, a Lebanese-born Hezbollah operative who entered the territories by sea using a forged American passport shortly after the outbreak of the intifada.[12] Not coincidentally, the arrest occurred around the same time as the discovery in Hebron of a type of mine that had previously been used only by Hezbollah in Lebanon.[13] Indeed, Hezbollah bombmakers trained Hamas to maximize the lethality of their homemade explosives. For its most deadly suicide attack -- the March 2002 bombing that killed 29 and wounded 172 Passover celebrants at the Park Hotel in Netanya -- Hamas reportedly called in a "Hezbollah expert for advice in building an extra-potent bomb."[14]

Hezbollah has also used the Return Brigades to expand its terror capabilities internationally. In mid-2003, Israeli forces arrested Ghulam Mahmud Qawqa, a member of both Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Return Brigades, for his role in several al-Aqsa bombings in Jerusalem. According to information discovered after his arrest, Qawqa had also been engineering attacks on Israeli interests in Europe and Asia on behalf of Hezbollah. In late 2002, Qawqa tasked a Lebanese woman he knew in Germany to photograph the Israeli embassy in Berlin from multiple angles for a possible attack.[15] Around the same time, a Jordanian friend employed in China helped Qawqa make arrangements to travel there via Jordan in order to assassinate Yitzhak Shelef, Israel's ambassador to China. Qawqa had also approached a Hezbollah operative to assist with the mission, but was arrested before he could make the trip.[16]
Now that it controls an extremely capable terrorist network in the West Bank, Hezbollah has established itself as a proactive spoiler of Middle East peace -- it can directly commission terrorist attacks even if major Palestinian terrorist groups abide by a cease-fire. Although Israel is working covertly to undermine Hezbollah's terrorist network, Hezbollah's massive rocket arsenal would make a direct military assault on its infrastructure in Lebanon quite costly. Indeed, the group's artillery in south Lebanon is deadly enough -- in retaliation for Ali Hussein Saleh's assassination, Hezbollah shelled northern Israel, killing a teenager. Meanwhile, the Bush administration's efforts to pressure the governments of Lebanon and Syria into disarming Hezbollah have born little fruit.

Notes
[1] "Suicide Bombings Expose Fragility of Cease-fire," Forward, 15 August 2003.
[2] "Iranian Activities towards Inflaming the Palestinian Intifada," Israel Security Agency, December 2002 (author's personal files)
[3] Author interview with intelligence sources, September 2003.
[4] "Iranian Activities towards Inflaming the Palesitinian Intifada," Israel Security Agency, December 2002 (author's personal files).
[5] Ibid.
[6] "IRGC Intentions to Establish a Substitute Organization for the Palestinian Authority," Israel Security Agency, 12 October 2002. (author's personal files)
[7] Nicholas Blanford, "Al-Aqsa cells being funded and guided from Ain al-Hilweh," The Daily Star, 4 July 2003.
[8] Author interview with intelligence sources, July 2003.
[9] Author interview with intelligence sources, July 2003.
[10] "IRGC Intentions to Establish a Substitute Organization for the Palestinian Authority," Israel Security Agency, 17 October 2002 (author's personal files)
[11] Author interview with intelligence sources, July 2003.
[12] "Hezbollah (part 1): Profile of the Lebanese Shiite Terrorist Organization of Global Reach Sponsored by Iran and Supported by Syria," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Israel, June 2003; and author interview with intelligence sources, July 2003.
[13] James Bennet, "Israeli Killed As His Commandos Demolish West Bank House," The New York Times, 16 February 2002.
[14] Molly Moore and John Ward Anderson, "Suicide Bombers Change Mideast's Military Balance," The Washington Post, 18 August 2002.
[15] "Germany Surprised to Learn From Press of Plan to Kill Israeli Envoy," Spiegel Online (Hamburg), 3 January 2003, translated by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 4 January 2003; "Hezbollah (part 1): Profile of the Lebanese Shiite Terrorist Organization of Global Reach Sponsored by Iran and Supported by Syria," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Israel, June 2003; and author interview with intelligence sources, July 2003.
[16] Ibid.

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)





Hezbollah's West Bank Terror Network (August - September 2003)

By Matthew Levitt, a former FBI counterterrorism intelligence analyst, is senior fellow
in terrorism studies at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington D.C.





Terrorism from Lebanon- Hizbullah
2004


29 Jan 2004http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/terrorism-...n-%20hizbullah


Terrorism from Lebanon: Hizbullah

Agreement on release of prisoners and kidnapped Israelis in Lebanon: PM Sharon speaks with Avitan, Avraham, Sawaid, Tannenbaum and Arad families - Jan 29, 2004
The release of security prisoners and administrative detainees - Jan 29, 2004
Bodies of three soldiers positively identified - Jan 29, 2004
IDF preparations to carry out the exchange deal - Jan 29, 2004
IDF Delegation Departs to Germany - Jan 28, 2004
Cabinet Communique - Jan 25, 2004
Israel Government statement on prisoner exchange- Jan 24, 2004

Planes with Tennenbaum, soldiers' bodies lands in Germany - Haaretz, Jan 29, 2004
IDF sends unit to Germany to identify soldiers remains - Haaretz, Jan 28, 2004
Germany: We'll free prisoners for Arad - Haaretz, Jan 26, 2004
Cabinet Decision: Framework Principles for the Agreement to Release Israeli Prisoners and Hostages Held in Lebanon -
Nov 9, 2003

Israelis Held by the Hizbullah since October 2000
Mediator visits Tannenbaum in Hezbollah captivity - Ha'aretz, Aug 26, 2003
Two years since the kidnapping of Elhanan Tannenbaum - Ha'aretz, Oct 15, 2002

Other border incidents
U.S.: Hezbollah 'deliberate action' led to Israeli response - Haaretz, Jan 21, 2004
Israel Air Force targets Hizbullah outposts - IDF Spokesman, Jan 20, 2004
IDF NCO killed and another severely injured in anti-tank missile strike at IDF bulldozer on the Israel-Lebanon border - IDF Spokesman, Jan 19, 2004
Haviv Dadon, 16, of Shlomi, was killed by shrapnel from an anti-aircraft shell fired by Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon - Aug 10, 2003
Main Events on the Israel-Lebanese Border since the IDF Withdrawal - updated Aug 10, 2003
Letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Recent Hizbullah Attacks - Aug 8, 2003

Background Hezbollah - Profile of the Lebanese Shiite Terrorist Organization - June 2003
Hezbollah's West Bank Terror Network - by Matthew A. Levitt, Middle East Intelligence Bulletin - Aug-Sept 2003



Terror Attacks on Israel Since Oslo Peace Accord






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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Lightbulb Hezbollah attacked and killed 241 Anerican Servicemen acting as Peace Keepers

View the official history of the US Marine Corps deployment to Lebanon 1982-1984



1983 Beirut barracks bombing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Be...rracks_bombing


Iran Used Hezbollah to Kill 241 U.S. Servicemen
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...7/ai_n17182065


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Default 1980-1983 Hezbollah Emerges

1980-1983 Hezbollah Emerges


A Delicate Balance


Christians have traditionally held more political power than Muslims in Lebanon, despite constituting a smaller percentage of the overall population. This disparity helped to spark Lebanon's civil war.

At the time of Lebanon's independence from French colonial rule in 1943, its population had already suffered through a century of religious conflict. The new republic sought to end strife between Muslims and Christians by granting each group equal political power, apportioned according to their roughly equivalent populations at the time. This political resolution seemed satisfactory until important demographic shifts took place in the 1970s.

Higher birth rates in the Shiite community, coupled with the influx into Lebanon of some 300,000 Palestinians (King Hussein of Jordan expelled them in 1970), caused the Muslim community to swell. By 1970, Muslims comprised 60 percent of the total population, and by 1975, their leaders were pressing for government representation that matched their larger numbers.




One of the many buildings destroyed in downtown Beirut during the country's civil war. (photo: Robert Zayed)The situation was exacerbated in the mid-1970s by the war between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Having created a state within a state in southern Lebanon, the PLO began launching guerrilla attacks against Israeli positions at the border. To strike back at the PLO, Israel helped supply and train the Christian Phalangists, a right-wing Christian Lebanese militia.

Then on April 13, 1975, unidentified gunmen killed four Christians in Beirut during an attempt on the life of Pierre Gemayel, the leader of the Christian Phalangists, and the conflict boiled over. The Phalangists retaliated by attacking a busload of Palestinians, killing 26 innocent people. The situation deteriorated further, and Lebanon was soon engulfed in war.

The toll of all-out civil war was a fragmentation of the country along religious lines. Mixed neighborhoods disintegrated as civilians moved to areas dominated by their own religious group. The political machinery of the country, only precariously balanced along religious lines, was also pulled apart.




A bronze statute of Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, who ruled Syria for nearly 30 years until his death in 2000. Syria, a supporter of Hezbollah, has occupied Lebanon since 1976. By 1976, Beirut -- once known as the Paris of the Middle East -- had been reduced to rubble and cracked in half, with the Christian and Muslim communities officially separated on opposite sides of the city.

Syria Steps In

Syria was soon drawn into the fighting, in a development with important repercussions for the evolution of Hezbollah. President Hafez al-Assad, fearing that the war would spill across Syria's borders, sent his army into Lebanon in May 1976. Al-Assad's troops sided with Christian forces, crushing the Muslim militias. (Which is most interesting since Syria supports and sponsors Hezbollah, a hardline Shia Muslim terrorist group.)

In October 1976, the war was officially ended during a conference of the Arab League. Syria secured a mandate to maintain some 40,000 troops in Lebanon. (These Syrian forces would later prove instrumental in backing up Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.)




The late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, center, is greeted by supporters after arriving at the airport in Tehran Iran in this Feb. 1, 1979, photo. Khomeini returned from exile to lead the Islamic revolution in his country. (AP/Wide World Photos) Although the factionalism that had ignited the civil war was suppressed by the Syrian occupation, it was not extinguished. Tensions gained new life in 1979 when the Islamic revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini swept through Iran. The example of Khomeini's insurrection in Iran inspired 900,000 Lebanese Shiites, many of them poor farmers and laborers, to political activism. Amal, a key organization that preceded Hezbollah, was formed in 1975 by a Shiite cleric named Imam Musa Sadr. Sadr had been raised in Iran and trained at the same religious schools attended by Khomeini. He helped to found the Higher Shiite Council as a lobbying force for the Shiite community in Lebanon. This council was later enlarged by Sadr's Movement of the Deprived, which pressed for social and economic development in Shia villages. Shiite resistance emerged as a formidable force for the first time in modern Lebanese history.

1980-1983 Hezbollah Emerges
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Lightbulb 1975-1979: Civil War in Lebanon

1975-1979: Civil War in Lebanon



Israel Invades Lebanon




Buildings destroyed during Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The invasion created hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled from the fighting. Although the Syrian occupation brought a semblance of order to Lebanon, border clashes between Israel and the PLO continued to flare. In June 1982, Israeli defense minister Ariel Sharon ordered 120,000 soldiers to invade southern Lebanon. The Israelis met little resistance from Syrian troops, and they routed the PLO within days. Within weeks they had seized a quarter of Lebanon, including the entire southern portion of the country. (It is not really mentioned here [as it should be] how the PLO's continued attacks on Israel made the Israel Defense minister feel that action had to be taken as few nations can long standby by with continuous motor, rocket, and ground attacks being launched from a neighboring country upon your civilian population before you must respond militarily to stop the murder of your civilians if the neighboring country either is unable or refuses to stop those responsible.)

Only PLO strongholds in Beirut remained out of Israeli reach. The administration of then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan intervened out of fear that a battle to the finish between the Israelis and Palestinians would destroy the prospect for peace in the region. Responding to a call from Lebanese authorities, Reagan sent in U.S. Marines to help evacuate the PLO from Lebanon.

So in late August 1982, a contingent of 800 U.S. Marines arrived in Beirut as part of a multinational peacekeeping force that included an equal number of Italian troops and French troops. The peacekeeping force transported thousands of Palestinian guerrillas to Syria within weeks, effectively ending the PLO's state within a state in Lebanon. Reagan withdrew U.S. forces by mid-September.

The Massacre of Palestinians


A Palestinian woman brandishes helmets during a memorial service in Beirut, September 27, 1982, for victims of Lebanon's Sabra refugee camp massacre. She claimed the helmets were worn by those who massacred hundreds of her countrymen. (AP/Wide World Photos) Then tragedy struck, radically altering both the U.S. role and the future of Hezbollah. On the evening of September 16, 1982, Christian Phalangists swept into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps outside Beirut and slaughtered hundreds of Palestinian civilians. Eyewitness reports and subsequent Israeli inquiries established that Israeli commanders permitted the Christian militia to enter the camps. Sharon himself later testified that he had approved of the men going into the camps in order to detain PLO guerrillas. But he also insisted that he had no advance knowledge that a massacre of civilians would take place. Regardless of intent, the massacre caused a significant shift in the balance of power in Lebanon, one with important implications for the emergence of Hezbollah.

The deadly incident was a strong reminder of the volatility of the region, and in an effort to maintain stability, the Reagan administration demanded a withdrawal of Israeli troops from Beirut and called for the redeployment of a multinational peacekeeping force. By the end of September 1982, U.S., French and Italian troops had once again descended upon Beirut. The soldiers were set up in temporary barracks at the Beirut airport.




A rendition of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who sent 1,000 of his Revolutionary Guards to Lebanon after the Israeli invasion. These elite forces helped to train and form Hezbollah.

The peacekeeping force, under the leadership of the U.S. Marines was charged with overseeing the withdrawal of Israeli troops. But in the eyes of many Shiites, the peacekeeping force merely represented another foreign invader. After all, during the shelling of PLO positions at the time of the Israeli invasion, it had been the Shiite community, which comprised 80 percent of the population in southern Lebanon, that had suffered the brunt of casualties. And now the United States, an ally of both Israel and the PLO, had re-entered the picture with a military show of force.

Complicating matters, the newly installed Khomeini regime in Iran had sent 1,000 Revolutionary Guards, the regime's elite fighting force, to southern Lebanon at the conclusion of the Israeli siege. The Revolutionary Guards provided military training for the existing Shiite militia and helped form Hezbollah, a new, more radical Islamic faction.




A man praying at a mosque in Lebanon. The Lebanese Shiite community emerged as a formidable fighting force in the early 1980s after receiving training and support for Syria and Iran.The Shiite militia, numbering roughly 15,000 men, had now fought nearly every faction in Lebanon, including the Israelis, the Christians, the Sunni Muslims and the remaining forces of the PLO. The Shiites also were experiencing fragmentation amongst themselves -- as Amal, the largest militia, struggled to settle sectarian differences peacefully, the more radicalized Shiites aimed for the establishment of an Iranian-style Islamic state in Lebanon. And the growing ranks of the disaffected gravitated toward Hezbollah and the leadership of a cleric-poet named Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah.

1983-1991: Target America


Suicide Bombs



The United States Embassy building in Beirut, after being struck by a suicide bomber on April 18, 1983. (AP/Wide World Photos) By early 1983, the multinational force made up of U.S., French and Italian soldiers had settled into their peacekeeping duties in Beirut. This military presence soon pushed the United States into direct confrontation with groups allied with Hezbollah. In March 1983, U.S. Marines were fired upon for the first time while patrolling areas near the Beirut airport. A Lebanese radio station later announced that "a militant Shiite Muslim faction aligned with Syria and Iran" was responsible for the attacks.

Although U.S. officials vowed no change in U.S. policy as a result of the attack, the next strike proved harder to shrug off. Less than a month later, on April 18, 1983, a suicide bomber drove a truck loaded with high explosives into the U.S. embassy in Beirut. The blast killed 60 people, including 17 Americans. Hours later, an organization called Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.




The explosion of the Marine Corps building in Beirut, Lebanon, created a large cloud of smoke that was visible from miles away. (Department of Defense) The United States now was confronted with a rather shadowy enemy. From the start, it seemed to U.S. intelligence analysts that Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah were in some way connected. Both organizations pledged fervent allegiance to Iran, both were based in the Baalbeck region of the Bekaa valley and both were known to have received weaponry from Syria. In addition, the groups shared the same leaders, including a man named Sheikh Hussein Mussawi.

U.S. intelligence sources began suggesting that Islamic Jihad was simply a cover used by Hezbollah for carrying out its terrorist attacks. This charge was repeatedly denied by Hezbollah's spiritual leader, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, who insisted that Hezbollah stood for moderation and restraint. When asked by Western reporters to clarify Hezbollah's objectives, he responded in vague terms: "It is a mass movement that concentrates on facing political problems. Maybe it is closer to the Islamic revolution in Iran than others due to its religious commitment."

Debate Over U.S. Policy



The devastation of the barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, left Marines searching through tons of rubble for their missing comrades. (Department of Defense)Some within the Reagan administration, including Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, argued that threats posed by shadowy organizations was reason enough to evacuate the Marines. But instead of withdrawing forces, President Reagan deployed an additional 2,000 Marines to Beirut by mid-September 1983.

The arrival in Lebanon of more American soldiers was met with swift and devastating force. On October 23, 1983, a truck bomb destroyed the U.S. Marine barracks at the Beirut airport, killing 241 American soldiers. Until September 11, 2001, this was considered the greatest loss in U.S. history of American lives in a terrorist attack. Islamic Jihad once again claimed responsibility. While the Reagan administration considered a military response to the truck bombing, Islamic Jihad continued its campaign against American targets. In January 1984, Islamic Jihad gunmen killed Malcolm Kerr, the president of the American University of Beirut. Months later, William Buckley, chief of the CIA's Beirut station, became Islamic Jihad's first American kidnap victim. Buckley was eventually smuggled to Teheran via Damascus aboard an Iranian plane. He died in Iran after being tortured.

We know today that "Imad Mughniyeh" co-founder of Hezbollah was behind the Marine barracks murder of 241 American servicemen in Lebanon on a Peacekeeping mission with other nations. So those that say Hezbollah only defends Lebanon are lying!
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Exclamation Hezbollah involved in Attack on Argentine Jewish Community Center

Investigation finds Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian involvement in 1994 bombing of Argentine Jewish Community Center


Background:
On July 18, 1994, a terrorist attack was mounted on the Jewish community's AMIA building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 200 and injuring 250 people. The AMIA building was totally destroyed and heavy damage was caused to the surroundings. The attack was perpetrated by a suicide terrorist driving a car bomb containing hundreds of kilograms of explosives. A similar plan was used in the March 17, 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in which 30 people were killed and over 200 injured.

The Argentinian Intelligence Service recently completed a comprehensive report on the international aspects of the terrorist attack on the AMIA Building. The main conclusions of the report are as follows:
  • The Iranian Government instigated the attack. Its implementation was the responsibility of then-Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian.
  • Iranian Intelligence charged Hezbollah with mounting the attack.
  • Hezbollah's operational unit abroad led by Imad Mughniya perpetrated the attack. Syria was also in the know.
Hezbollah was assisted by an extensive network of collaborators inside Argentina. Most of them were in the Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay border triangle and in the Floresta neighborhood of Buenos Aires itself. These local collaborator networks were set up and nurtured by the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires and were at Hezbollah's disposal for the attack.

The Plan:
The decision to mount another attack in Argentina was taken in August 1993, by Iran's Supreme National Security Council. Present at the meeting were spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei, then president Hashemi Rafsanjani, then Foreign Minister Velayati, then head of Intelligence and Security Affairs Mohamed Hijazi, and then Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian.

The decision was influenced by the successful March 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, by deteriorating relations between Argentina and Iran at the time, and by Hezbollah's operational potential in Argentina. The decision was passed on to Fallahian in the form of a fatwa on behalf of Khamenei.

The responsibility for planning the attack was placed on Fallahian. Fallahian determined that Hezbollah's attack apparatus abroad headed by Imad Mughniya would perpetrate the attack in the same way it had perpetrated the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.
The decision was made to prepare a "target file" on the AMIA building. The date was determined according to a situation assessment of developments. The main pretexts for moving the attack on the AMIA building from theory to practice were both Iran's desire to avenge Argentina for downgrading bilateral relations and reneging on mainly strategic cooperation agreements, and its desire to hit Israeli and Jewish interest wherever they may be. It is also possible that Iran saw Israel and the Jews in Argentina as being behind the adverse developments in its relations with Argentina.

Hezbollah, in order to further its plans to attack the AMIA building, used an extensive network of collaborators - Lebanese expatriates in Argentina. The Lebanese community in the Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay border triangle was especially helpful to Hezbollah, as were those in the Floresta neighborhood of Buenos Aires. A smaller and compartmented group of expatriates provided logistic assistance to further the attack.

In this context, in the past few years, several similar networks of Hezbollah's attack apparatus abroad were exposed elsewhere in the world, including in South East Asia, and the Middle East. The use of collaborators emerged as Hezbollah's preferred method, which it still uses. This strategy is also largely reminiscent of local Al-Qaeda networks, which were widely exposed after 9/11.

Hezbollah's network of collaborators in Argentina was carefully built and nurtured by the Iranian Embassy there as early as the 1980's. Originally, this was designed to increase support for the Islamic revolution in Muslim communities all over, especially Shiite communities. There is a wealth of evidence in many countries that these collaborator networks were exploited for setting up dormant terrorist cells that could be called upon to assist in perpetration attacks like the ones in Argentina.

The relevant authorities in Iran worked to further this goal as follows:
  • The Foreign Ministry supplied diplomatic cover for the attack, and was used as a branch of the Intelligence Ministry in Argentina.
  • Specifically, as the date of the terrorist attack on the AMIA building approached, there was a sharp increase in Iranian diplomatic couriers visiting Argentina. This could give rise to suppositions that they were transferring equipment for the attack, or that their role as diplomatic couriers could have been cover for their true activity as Iranian intelligence ministry agents. Some of them stayed in Argentina for longer periods than usual for diplomatic couriers or possibly it was to mask Hezbollah's behind-the- scenes preparations for the attack at the time.
Iran's Islamic Guidance Ministry set up and nurtured a relationship with Muslim communities abroad where it officially focused on propaganda, education and cultural activities. In practice, however, it was a cover for Intelligence Ministry activity and it independently furthered the attack infrastructures. In the case of Argentina, the Ministry played a key role since its Buenos Aires representative, Mohsen Rabani, was instrumental in planning the local attack infrastructure.

Iran's revolutionary guard (IRGC), especially since the 1990's, worked together with the intelligence ministry to further terrorist infrastructures and attacks abroad according to the regime's interests. With regard to the AMIA building terrorist attack, the IRGC provided extensive support for Hezbollah with training and instruction, financial and logistic-infrastructure assistance.

Iran's intelligence Ministry was charged with implementing the attacks via Hezbollah. The evidence indicates that the Ministry carried out operational controls on the outline, assisted in procuring the explosives and perhaps in smuggling it into Argentina and transferring it to the perpetrators. The ministry also ran the other Iranian establishment stations in Argentina as needed to mount the attack.

It should be recalled that following the investigation by Judicial Authorities in Germany of the 1992 assassination of four Kurdish oppositionist leaders to the Tehran regime (the Mykonos Affair), the German court unequivocally ruled after the trial in 1997, that the terrorist act was instigated and implemented in a way largely reminiscent of the AMIA building attack.

When it was decided in 1993 to prepare the attack, all the elements involved in Iran and in Hezbollah were instructed to promote the attack: Intelligence collection was gathered more quickly, operational aspects were evaluated, a political plan of action was prepared to exploit the attack and to attenuate possible damage, and logistical preparations were made.

For example, in late 1993, Rabani, who was still serving in Argentina at the time, made several enquiries about purchasing a Renault-traffic commercial vehicle, which was used later to mount the attack. At the time, Rabani also traveled to Iran several times before returning there permanently in March 1994, before the attack.

It seems that preparations for the attack were already in an advanced staged by early summer of 1994. Another situation assessment by Iran and Hezbollah led to the decision to mount the attack. After the final preparations were made, the terrorist attack was perpetrated six weeks later.

The Attack:
In June 1994, and in the days prior to the attack in mid-July, it was possible in retrospect to detect several signs indicating changes in the routine of those involved. For example, the Iranian intelligence station chief in Buenos Aires left Argentina suddenly and in a hurry, ten days before the attack. The Iranian Ambassadors in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay were also absent from their posts for the attack period.

Several days before the attack, the suicide attacker entered Argentina. He belonged to Hezbollah in Lebanon. His name was Ibrahim Hussein Berro. He entered Argentina through the border triangle accompanied by a Hezbollah collaborator in the area. Apparently, the car bomb was prepared somewhere in Buenos Aires at the same time. It is known that the car was parked in a public lot not far from the AMIA building some three days before the attack. In the days before the attack, many telephone calls were recorded between Iranians and Hezbollah collaborators in Argentina and Lebanon and Iran.

On July 18, 1994, a few hours before the attack, the suicide attacker called his family in Lebanon and said "he was going to be united with his brother" (his brother was killed in a car bomb against IDF forces in Lebanon in August 1989). At 09:53 of the same day, Berro drove the Renault-traffic loaded with hundreds of kilograms of explosives into the entrance of the AMIA building and detonated it.

On September 9, 1994, Hezbollah announced on Hezbollah's radio station 'Nur' in Lebanon, the death of one of it's men in action in South Lebanon. His name: Ibrahim Hussein Berro. Hezbollah chose this way to announce his death several months later, ostensibly unconnected with the attack on the AMIA building.

Hezbollah tries to depict itself as operation only in Lebanon, thereby avoiding in any way possible being identified as a terrorist organization, and certainly not one that operates internationally. It thusly avoids claiming responsibility for the terrorist attack in Buenos Aires, and only after a great delay and fabricating the circumstances, did it announce the death of its perpetrator.

ARGENTINA CHARGES IRAN, HEZBOLLAH IN 1994 JEWISH CENTER BOMBING, AFP,OCTOBER 25´, 2006



Argentine prosecutors charged Iran and the Shiite militia Hezbollah with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish charities office in Argentina that killed 85 people and injured 300.

Prosecutors demanded an international arrest warrant for then-Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and six other top Iranian officials at the time of the attack, and a former Hezbollah foreign security service chief, Imad Fayez Moughnieh.

In a country with a murky record in pursuing the 12-year-old case, relatives and friends of the victims called on President Nestor Kirchner to take swift and strong action to bring it to trial.

In a statement, Argentine chief prosecutor Alberto Nisman declared: "We deem it proven that the decision to carry out an attack July 18, 1994 on the AMIA (the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association, a Jewish charities association headquarters in Buenos Aires) was made by the highest authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran which directed Hezbollah to carry out the attack."

AMIA, supported by Israel and the United States, had long accused Iran of organizing the attack and getting Hezbollah to carry it out.

Those accusations, based on intelligence gathered by the secret services of Argentina, Israel and the US, have been consistently rejected by the Iranian government and Hezbollah.

In Beirut, a Hezbollah source said she had not yet heard that the Shiite militia had been formally charged but that it came as no surprise.

"I have not yet heard that but it is not new," she told AFP. "The Zionists want that (the two parties be charged)."

The Jewish community in Argentina, some 300,000 strong and the largest in South America, had marked the July 18 bombing annually with a demand that justice be served for the attack, the worst on Argentina's soil, and another 1992 attack against the Israeli embassy, which claimed 22 lives.
No one has been tried in Argentina or in any other country for the 1994 attack and the police have not identified the perpetrators of the earlier Israeli embassy attack.

On Wednesday, the Delegation of Israeli Associations of Argentina (DAIA) welcomed the charges as a vindication.

"That is what the DAIA has been saying for approximately 12 years, and validates all of our activities in the matter," Jorge Kirszenbaum, the DAIA president, told the Jewish News Agency.

The AMIA's group of families and friends of the victims called on the president to proceed with the international arrest warrants sought by prosecutors.

"We ask that the executive power take all possible actions -- diplomatic, pursuit and international capture -- with regard to the suspects, with the vehemency and intensity that the situation merits," they said in a statement.

Investigation of the bombing has been a festering issue in Argentina, as Argentine Jews and international rights groups have criticized Argentine leaders for their inability or unwillingness to find those behind the bombing.
On September 2, 2004, an Argentine court acquitted 21 former police officers and a trafficker of stolen cars who were charged with aiding the attackers. The same court then ordered former top government officials investigated for botching the case.

The court found that important evidence against the men had been "irregularly" obtained, and ordered an investigation of Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who presided over the case for nine years, as well as two prosecutors.

Galeano was accused of having paid 400,000 dollars to a key witness to testify against four police officers accused of having provided logistical support in the plot.



Breakthrough made in ’94 Argentina bombing


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - A Hezbollah militant has been identified as the suicide bomber who flattened a Jewish community center in 1994, killing 85 people in Argentina’s worst terrorist attack, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the breakthrough in the 11-year-old case came when investigators traveled to Detroit, where friends and relatives identified Ibrahim Hussein Berro, a Lebanese citizen, in a photograph.

Hussein Berro, a 21-year-old Lebanese citizen who “belonged to Hezbollah,” was driving the van packed with explosives July 18, 1994, when it exploded outside the Argentine Israeli Mutual Aid Association, prosecutor Alberto Nisman alleged.

The blast leveled the seven-story building, a symbol of Argentina’s more than 200,000-strong Jewish population.

Argentine investigators had faced domestic and international pressure to make headway in the case.

Hussein Berro had been identified as the suspected bomber in a resolution passed on July 22, 2004, by the U.S. House of Representatives that urged a solution to the case. The resolution said that Hussein Berro reportedly had been in contact with the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires.
Iran had no immediate comment on the latest developments.

Other anti-Semitic attacks in Argentina
The Jewish center bombing was the second of two attacks targeting Jews in Argentina during the 1990s. A March 1992 blast destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people in a case that has also been blamed on Hezbollah. Hezbollah has denied responsibility for both bombings.

Leaders of Argentina’s Jewish community accused Iran of organizing the attack. Tehran repeatedly has denied that.

Nisman said Wednesday that suspicions of Iranian involvement in the attack was among several lines of investigation.

Investigators believe the attacker entered Argentina in the tri-border region at the joint borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, a center of drug smuggling and alleged terrorist fund-raising, Nisman said.

For years, the Jewish community pressured Argentine law enforcement for progress in finding those responsible for the attack on the community center, which also wounded more than 200 people.

President Nestor Kirchner came into office more than two years ago promising to redouble efforts to find and prosecute the pepetrators.
But some here saw little new in Wednesday’s announcement.

“It doesn’t seem to me that there’s anything here that’s new and relevant,” leading Argentine political analyst, Rosendo Fraga, told The Associated Press.
However, Daniel Berliner, a spokesman for the Jewish community, said Wednesday’s announcement was encouraging.

A statement said prosecutors and Argentine intelligence officers worked with the FBI and anti-terrorism authorities in Detroit, where Nisman said two brothers of Hussein Berro were living and were key to his identification.

Evidence pointed toward Berro
Nisman said Argentine investigators went to Detroit in mid-September and obtained testimony from the brothers.

Additionally, Nisman said Hezbollah announced on radio in Lebanon on Sept. 8, 1994, that one Ibrahim Hussein Berro had died in combat with the Israeli army in Southern Lebanon. He alleged the announcement was an attempt to cover up the suspect’s death in the suicide bombing.

Some speculated that the bombing was inspired by Argentina’s support for the U.S.-led coalition that expelled Iraq from Kuwait during the Gulf War in the early 1990s. Others said that Argentina’s Jewish community, one of the largest in Latin America, represented an obvious target for Israel’s opponents.

Although Jewish community leaders and others have suspected the involvement of Middle East terrorists, no mastermind has been identified and the victims and their families have become increasingly bitter.
In 2004, about a dozen former police officers and an accused trafficker in stolen vehicles were acquitted of charges that they had formed a “local connection” in the bombing. Jewish activists continued to press for the identification of the “masterminds.”

Argentine intelligence report details Iranian hand in Buenos Aires bombings

By Yossi Melman
Three weeks ago, Miguel Tomas, the head of the Argentinian intelligence services, SIDE, met in Israel with the head of Mossad, Meir Dagan and senior Foreign Ministry officials. He presented his Israeli counterparts with a copy of a top secret report that blames Iran and Hezbollah for the bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) community center in Buenos Aires in July 1994 that left 85 people dead.

The report also states, although as a footnote, that Iran and Hezbollah were behind the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in March 1992 that killed 29 people and injured scores.

The report, which is thousands of pages long, contains transcripts of interrogations and wire taps, border control records and notes by name dozens of Iranian government officials, diplomats and intelligence officers, Hezbollah operatives and Argentinians and other South Americans who colluded in planning and executing the AMIA bombing.

The report concludes eight years of investigation into the bombing along with Mossad, the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Dagan and other Israeli officials have called the report "professional, poignant and bravely executed." Although Tomas, a senior Peronist Party member, was a political appointment and has headed Argentina's intelligence services for only a year, he did not hesitate to point an accusing finger at those held responsible for the bombing. Among those cited by the report are Iran's spiritual leader Ali Khamenei, who used to hold responsibility for the Islamic republic's intelligence services, the Iranian ambassador to Argentina at the time of the bombing, and Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah's operations officer, who is known to have close contacts with Iranian intelligence.

Mughniyah was behind the kidnapping of a TWA airliner to Beirut in 1985 and a number of kidnappings of Westerners in Lebanon during the 1980s. Mughniyah appears on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists and has a $25-million price on his head. He is also believed to be a high priority target of Israeli intelligence and, according to foreign sources, Israel has tried several times to assassinate him, most notably in Beirut in 1994, when a car bomb exploded outside his brother's house.

Although the report repeats the accusations of Israeli intelligence that Iran and Hezbollah were behind both the AMIA and the embassy bombings, this is the first time a non-Israeli or non-Jewish organization has clearly stated that Iran and its intelligence services initiated and executed the attacks.

False identities

The report includes border control records that show Iranian diplomats and government officials entered and left the country under false identities shortly before the AMIA bombing, and transcripts of telephone conversations between the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires and suspected Hezbollah operatives in neighboring countries.

The report also contains hundreds of pages of the testimony of Abdul Gassan Masbani, a senior Iranian intelligence officer who defected to Germany in 1996. Part of Masbani's testimony was published by the New York Times in July 2002. Masbani claims that Ali Khamenei and Hassan Rafsanjani, the Iranian president at the time of the bombings, were behind the two attacks and also supervised and financed the operations.

According to the SIDE report, the Iranian minister for intelligence affairs, Ali Falahian, was put in charge of the operations and recruited Hezbollah as subcontractors for the attacks.

Hezbollah placed its operations officer, Imad Mughniyah, in charge of the plan and he in turn was assisted by Iranian intelligence officers stationed in the Iranian Embassy and by local collaborators.

Hatred of Israel

The Argentinian report claims the attacks were motivated by hatred of Israel and the Jewish people and a desire to punish the regime of Carlos Menem for rescinding the commitment of his predecessor Raoul Alfonsin to provide Iran with knowhow and equipment for its nuclear reactors.

The report also claims that the presence of a large Jewish community and a strong pro-Iranian Muslim community living on the triangle between Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay, that could provide support for the operation was a major factor influencing the choice of target.

On the basis of the report, Argentinian federal judge Juan Jose Galiano, who has been investigating the affair for eight years, issued arrest warrants at the end of last week against Ali Falahian; Ali Akhbar Parvarash, who was education minister and at the time of the terror attack headed a religious delegation to an Islamic convention in Buenos Aires; Muhsen Rabbani, who was the Iranian cultural attache in Buenos Aires, but in fact was a representative of Iranian intelligence; and Barat Ali Balesh Abadi, who was a courier working for Iranian intelligence, and had a diplomatic passport. Although the report states the bombings were executed by Hezbollah operatives, Galiano did not issue a single arrest warrant against Hezbollah agents. Galiano also refrained from pointing a finger at the Iranian leadership and prefered instead to talk of "radical elements" in Iran.

Galiano's wording has further deepened the suspicions of the Argentinian Jewish community, which has previously accused both Galiano and the Argentinian judicial establishment of covering up the affair. Relatives of the victims claim that although the SIDE report is important, it diverts attention from suspects in Argentina itself, including collaborators and former police officers, who perhaps knew about the attacks but did nothing to prevent them.

However, the foreign office in Jerusalem has already expressed its gratitude to the Argentinian government. The Iranians for their part have summoned the Argentinian charge d'affaires in Tehran and warned him that if what they called "the smear campaign" against Iran continued, relations between the two countries would be undermined.

Iran & Hezbollah will get Interpol red arrest notices


IBeirut & Paris - Interpol said Thursday it would issue ``red notices'' for the arrests of six militants , five prominent Iranians and a Lebanese wanted in Argentina's worst terror attack. Iran said it would appeal the decision.


Argentina is seeking the Iranians in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Eighty-five people were killed and 200 were wounded when a van pulled up outside the seven-story building and exploded.

Argentine prosecutors allege the attack was orchestrated by leaders of the Iranian government and entrusted to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah.

Interpol said Thursday it would help Argentina seek the six arrests, but turned down the country's request for assistance in pursuing three other former top Iranian officials, including former President Hashemi Rafsanjani.
A challenge from Iran would effectively put the process on hold.

Mohsen Baharvand, the top Iranian diplomat in Argentina as its business attache, said Iran would argue in its appeal that the United States had applied political pressure in the case.

``The decision of Interpol is not acceptable for Iran,'' Baharvand told The Associated Press by telephone in Buenos Aires.

The Lyon, France-based international police agency said it would issue ``red notices'' for the six on March 31, unless either Iran or Argentina challenged the decision.

A red notice means a suspect is wanted for possible extradition. It cannot force countries to arrest or extradite suspects, but people with red notice status appear on Interpol's equivalent of a most-wanted list.

If Iran goes forward with an appeal, no red notices will be issued, and the matter could go before Interpol's general assembly in November, Interpol said.

Both Iran and Argentina are member countries of Interpol, whose executive committee ruled on the case after taking into account input from both countries.

``Both parties have been treated fairly and impartially by Interpol,'' Interpol President Jackie Selebi said in a statement.

The six people targeted with red notices are former Iranian intelligence chief Ali Fallahian; Mohsen Rabbani, former cultural attache at the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires; former diplomat Ahmad Reza Asghari; Mohsen Rezaei, former leader of the elite Revolutionary Guards; Ahmad Vahidi, a general in the Revolutionary Guards; and Hezbollah militant Imad Moughnieh, one of the world's most sought-after terror suspects.

A Lebanese national, Moughnieh is wanted for his alleged role in the kidnapping of Westerners in Lebanon in the 1980s, and suicide attacks on the U.S. Embassy and a U.S. Marine base in Lebanon that killed more than 260 Americans. His whereabouts are unknown.

Interpol denied Argentina's request for red notices for Rafsanjani, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati and the former ambassador of Iran in Buenos Aires, Hadi Soleimanpour. The agency did not explain its decisions, but said red notices were not an indication of the strength or weakness of a case against a person.

Luis Grynwald, head of the Jewish center in Buenos Aires, which was rebuilt after the attack, hailed Interpol's involvement.

``This shows that the Iranian regime has to cooperate in efforts to clarify this attack and not impede the search for the truth,'' he said.

Picture: Imad Moughnieh


Hezbollah & Iran: A Convergence of Interests

http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_...llah-iran.html
ca
A civil war guided by Iranian interests
Iran backed Hezbollah in Europe
Iran backed Hezbollah in South America

Facts about Hezbollah
Iran backed Hezbollah gunmen seized nearly all Muslim sectors of Beirut, the Lebanese capital, on Friday in the country's worst clashes since the 15-year civil war. At least 11 people have been killed and more than 20 wounded in three days of street battles. [1]

A civil war guided by Iranian interests

· “For the past months, the Head of the Iranian revolution, the Iranian president and the Iranian vice-president have been saying that Lebanon is a land where imperialism and Zionism need to be defeated,” said Antoine Basbous, political analyst in an interview on Friday. “This country has been designated as the scene of operations, a land of Jihad.” [2]
· “The Iranians through their Syrian portals have invested 30 billion dollars to turn Hezbollah into Iran’s military branch in the Mediterranean. […] The Shia movement has 40,000 to 50,000 missiles, good military training, social and sanitary structures and an Iranian-modeled society. Among the Shia civilians, more are dressing like Iranians and repeating the same slogans.” [3]
· After the 2006 war with Israel Hezbollah has been rearming itself and has increased its capacities using the Syrian passage. “Hezbollah has become a key player in the region. It is taking power today by turning Lebanon into a second Gaza, a center of regional confrontation at Damascus’ and Tehran’s disposal,” Basbous said. [4]
· The Lebanese Sunni Grand Mufti, Muhammad Rashid Qabbani, said that with these recent attacks Iran was threatening the union of the Muslims in Lebanon. He called Hezbollah "an armed gang of unlawful" which have carried out "ugly attacks" against the citizens of Lebanon. Shiite clerics however defended Tehran and accused the Lebanese government for the escalation. [5]

Iran backed Hezbollah in Europe

· Hezbollah is also active in Europe and poised to launch bloody reprisals in Britain for any Western attack on Iran, Richard Kemp, a former British intelligence chief, warned in November 2007. Kemp said the Iranian-backed group had established sleeper cells in London to carry out revenge attacks. He said: “The big question is how capable Hezbollah groups are in Europe. What I can say is that Hezbollah is probably the world’s most effective terrorist organisation, and that includes Al Qaeda.” [6]

· Hezbollah arrived in the European Union in the 1980s, along with refugees from the civil war in Lebanon. In the 80s and 90s, Hezbollah kidnapped more than 80 Westerners and killed hundreds of people in Lebanon, Israel, Europe and South America in terrorist attacks. Despite its deadly track record and a 2005 European Parliament resolution recommending the banning of the Iranian-funded group, it is still legal on the Continent. In Germany alone there are 900 Hezbollah supporters known to security authorities. [7]

France, Spain, Belgium and Sweden are preventing the EU from jointly designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. [8]

Iran backed Hezbollah in South America

• Hezbollah has taken root in South America, fostering a well-financed force of Islamist radicals boiling with hatred for the United States and ready to die to prove it, according to militia members, U.S. officials, and police agencies across the continent. From its Western base in the Tri-border Area, or Triple Frontier, a remote region that borders Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina, Hezbollah has mined the frustrations of many Muslims among about 25,000 Arab residents whose families immigrated largely from Lebanon. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Tri-border has become a top-level, particularly as tension mounts with Iran, Hezbollah’s main sponsor. [9]

• On July 18, 1994 Argentina faced it’s deadliest terrorist attack when the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires (AMIA, Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina) was targetted. The blast reduced the community centre to rubble, killing 85 and wounding more than 200. Argentinian prosecutors allege Iranian officials orchestrated the bombing and entrusted the Lebanon-based Hezbollah to carry it out. Among the wanted by Argentina are former Iranian intelligence chief Ali Fallahian, former leader of the elite Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezaei, and Hezbollah militant Imad Moughnieh, one of the world’s most sought terror suspects. [10] In late 2006, an Argentinean special prosecutor released a detailed report on the AMIA bombing, issuing arrest warrants for high-level Iranian officials and Hezbollah members involved in the attack. The Argentinean investigation concluded that Tehran transferred at least $152,812 to accounts controlled by Mohsen Rabbani, a Shiite cleric who at the time held diplomatic immunity as a cultural attache at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires. [11]

• Operating out of the Tri-border Area, Hezbollah is accused of killing more than 100 people in attacks in nearby Buenos Aires during the early 1990s in operations personally masterminded by Moughnieh. [12]

• The Iranian president asked his interlocutor to send his regards to Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and the organization's membership. [13]

Facts about Hezbollah

· Hezbollah—or “Party of God”—emerged in Lebanon in 1982 and became the region’s leading radical Islamic movement, determined to drive Israeli troops from Lebanon. Hezbollah now serves as an inspiration to Palestinian factions fighting to liberate occupied territory.

· Hezbollah was established by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. In its early days, Hezbollah had a contingent of some 2,000 men sent to Lebanon in 1982 to aid the resistance against Israel. [14] Inspired by the success of the Iranian Revolution, party leaders also dreamt of transforming Lebanon’s multi-confessional state into an Iranian-style Islamic state.
· Hezbollah receives substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran and Syria. Published reports that say Iran provides hundreds million dollars of aid annually are probably exaggerated. Iran probably provides financial assistance and military assistance worth about $25-50 million. Hezbollah is closely allied with, and often directed by, Iran, but has the capability and willingness to act independently. [15]

• Underscoring the heightened sense of Iran as a dangerous player, on July 18, 2006, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused Iran of supporting Hezbollah with weapons, “very similar if not identical to those used against British troops in Basra” in Iraq. Blair also accused Syria of supporting Iran “in many different ways” and both countries of providing financial support. Israel, the United States, the Europeans, and many Arab states have long claimed that Hezbollah receives its weaponry from Iran, a claim that many Iranian officials admit in private is true. [16]

• Senior Hezbollah official Kassam Allaik said Iran had its own groups in Lebanon, rebuilding bridges, roads, and mosques. Lebanon’s Finance Minister Jihad Azour also acknowledged that Iranian money is going directly to Hezbollah. Allaik, head of Hezbollah’s construction arm, Jihad Construction, has admitted that Iran is providing funds directly to Hezbollah to help the reconstruction effort. [17]

• Senior terror leaders in Gaza, including militants from Palestinian Authority President Abbas's Fatah party, admitted they are working to copy Hezbollah warfare tactics: “We are turning Gaza into south Lebanon,” Abu Ahmed, northern Gaza leader for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group, said. He also said: “We are importing rockets and the knowledge to launch them and we are also making many plans for battle." [18]

• Ahmed added: “We have warm relations with Hezbollah, which helps with some of the training programs…We don’t have anything to be ashamed of—that we are dealing with Hezbollah and that we are receiving training and information from them.” [19]

__________________________________________________ _____________________
References:
[1] « Hezbollah gunmen seize control of Beirut neighborhoods," by Bassem Mroue, Associated Press, 9 May 2008.
[2 ] «Une guerre civile atroce et cruelle se dessine» au Liban, Libération, 9 May 2008,
[3]Ibid.
[4]Ibid.
[5] « Eskalation im Libanon. Die Hizbullah kämpft für ihr Telefonnetz » by Rainer Hermann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9 May 2008, No. 108, S. 6
[6] Groves, Jason : « Hezbollah will avenge Iran strike », Daily Express, 25 novembre 2007
[7] "Die etwas andere Partei," by Alexander Ritzmann, Financial Times Deutschland, 4 May 2007
[8] Ibd.
[9] Gato, Pablo; Windrem, Robert: « Hezbollah builds a Western base,” Telemundo/Msnbc.com, May 9, 2007

[10]Gato, Pablo, Windrem, Robert : « Hezbollah builds a Western base », Telemundo/Msnbc.com, 9 mai 2007
[11] Keaten, Jamey : « Iran role in Argentina bombing examined », Associated Press, 5 novembre 2007
[12] Levitt, Matthew ; Lipton, Jake : « Dangerous Partners: Targeting the Iran-Hizballah Alliance », Policy Watch, No. 1267, 31 juillet 2007.
[13] Ibid
[14] Westcott, Kathryn : « Who are Hamas », BBC News, 19 octobre 2000
[15]GlobalSecurity.org
[16]Sciolino, Elaine : « Iran backs Hezbollah in Lebanon », International Herald Tribune, 19 juillet 2006
[17]Whittington, James : « Iran "sending funds to Hezbollah" », BBC News, 2 novembre 2006
[18]Klein, Aaron : « Hamas training in Iran, Lebanon », WorldNetDaily, 2 janvier 2007
[19] Ibid
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The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Exclamation Hezbollah: A Case Study of Global Reach

Hezbollah: A Case Study of Global Reach

Remarks to a conference on "Post-Modern Terrorism: Trends, Scenarios, and Future Threats,"�International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya, Israel

Thank you very much for your kind introduction. It's a pleasure to be here at ICT, an institution that makes such important contributions to both the academic literature available on the critical issue of terrorism and to the practical policy debates surrounding these issues as well.

Examining Hezbollah's international terrorist activity, that is its international presence and operations outside the Levant, not only illuminates the group's proactive and ongoing terror activities but provides a useful case study of a terrorist group of global reach as well.

Global Reach and Cross-group Pollination
Though the term has yet to be officially defined, "global reach" has nonetheless become the yardstick for determining whether or not a terrorist group warrants inclusion in the post-September 11 war on terrorism. Even within the "global reach" designation there exists an unstated spectrum of priorities. For example, al-Qaeda is legitimately going to receive more attention and resources than ETA in Spain or FARC in Colombia, even though both those regional terrorist groups are known for their links to other international terrorist groups and state sponsors.
To develop a more telling barometer for measuring the severity of a group's global reach, and therefore its prioritization as a potential target in the war on terror, it is useful to develop an understanding of the matrix of relationships between terrorist operatives, groups, fronts, and state sponsors. To be sure, these relationships are what make the threat of international terrorism so acute today, just as they served as the single most critical factor in facilitating the success of the devastating attacks on September 11, 2001.

Indeed, while terrorist groups remain the central structural unit in international terrorism, I believe the relationships between individual terrorists belonging to different groups are even more important. This crossover and pollination facilitates cooperation among groups -- in many cases operational, in others logistical and financial cooperation. Such links exist even between groups that don't share similar ideologies, leading to cooperation between religious zealots and secular radicals; between ideologically- or theologically-driven terrorists and criminal entities (as has been the case in several terrorist attacks in Iraq, where criminal elements played critical roles in attacks in return for monetary compensation); between Sunni and Shi'a groups; and between individuals whose person-to-person contacts require no agreement between their respective headquarters.

A particularly interesting example is the Madrid al-Qaeda cell, perhaps the most important cell broken up since September 11. Mohammad Zouaydi, a key al-Qaeda financier and the head of the cell, not only funded the Hamburg cell but dispatched a Madrid cell member to collect pre-operational surveillance of the Twin Towers and other U.S. landmarks a few years before the attacks. At the same time he financed al-Qaeda operations, Zouaydi also transferred money to Hamas. Similarly, the cell established relationships for logistical support not only with other al-Qaeda cells but with Basque terrorists (ETA) in the north of Spain.

These relationships become all the more important to terrorists operating outside their home regions in their respective Diasporas. In the case of radical Islamic extremists, Diaspora communities in the West often serve as a radical melting pot where like-minded individuals affiliated with different groups from geographically distinct regions assist one another for the sake of their larger cause. It is not uncommon to find a Tunisian member of an-Nada helping a Palestinian member of Hamas, or any number of other combinations of radical causes. Authorities therefore need to understand that terrorists do not carry membership cards in their wallets identifying themselves as members of a specific terrorist group, and that even if they did that would not capture the full scope of the individual's terrorist affiliations.

The case of Abu Musab al Zarqawi (aka Fadel Nazzal Khalayleh) offers a particular insightful perspective on the scope of the informal links, personal relationships, and organizational crossover between disparate terrorist operatives and groups. As the Zarqawi case makes abundantly clear, such networks of relationships are both geographically and organizationally diverse.

Zarqawi's links span the globe, including strong ties to terrorist networks in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Syria, Afghanistan, Germany, Britain, and elsewhere in Europe. The U.S. Treasury Department highlighted his ties to Hezbollah in its September 24, 2003, announcement designating him and several of his associates as Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entities.

Similar links between other Hezbollah entities and international terrorist members and groups are equally informative of Hezbollah's global reach. Take, for example, Bilal Khazal, a man now believed to be the senior al-Qaeda operative in Australia who is also suspected of ties to Hezbollah, and the al-Aqsa International Foundation, recently banned by the United States, Germany and Great Britain (though not the European Union). While al-Aqsa primarily served as a Hamas front organization, Sheikh Moayad, the head of the the al-Aqsa office in Yemen, was arrested in Germany and extradited to the United States for providing financial support to al-Qaeda as well. Moayad proudly told an undercover FBI informant that he not only funded Hamas but also raised millions of dollars, recruited operatives, and provided weapons to al-Qaeda. According to one report, one of the foundation's offices in Europe also raised funds for Hezbollah.

Clearly, assessing a group's global presence demands not only noting the activities of its operational activists -- those who pull the trigger, detonate the explosives or crash the airplane -- but also the logistical and financial supporters that make such operations possible. If September 11 taught us nothing else, we should all now recognize that logistical and financial support is critical to terrorist operations.

By any standard, including terrorist operations from Thailand to Argentina, logistical and financial support operations across the globe, and links to other terrorist groups, Hezbollah represents a classic example of a terrorist group of global reach and should be a prioritized target in the war on terror.

Hezbollah's Global Reach
Hezbollah holds a particularly disturbing, though often overlooked, place in the matrix of international terror. A few studies have noted Hezbollah's ties to other groups, like the Treasury Department announcement about Zarqawi, while others, like a report of the Council on Foreign Relations' Task Force on Terrorist Financing, highlight the crossover between Hezbollah institutions and those of other terrorist groups. For example, the Council report points out that "other Islamic terrorist organizations, Hamas and Hezbollah specifically, often use the very same methods -- and even the same institutions -- [as al-Qaeda] to raise and move their money."
Published reports suggest that Al-Qaida and Hezbollah have formed additional tactical, ad-hoc alliances with a variety of terrorist organizations to cooperate on money laundering and other unlawful activities. And yet, the debate persists. Is Hezbollah the "A-team of terrorists," as Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage suggests, or is Hezbollah purely a "resistance" organization whose "role is limited to the Lebanese lands," as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad insists?

After a careful assessment of Hezbollah's global presence and operations, research I conducted in preparation of an upcoming book on the subject, I suggest that Hezbollah is indeed a terrorist group of global reach.

Moreover, this conclusion is the consensus among the various intelligence professionals I've interviewed, including Israeli, Arab, American, Asian and European officials, and is also clear from the documentary evidence I've collected from sources as diverse as Filipino and Chilean law enforcement agencies.

Take, for example, a map produced by Israeli officials marking the locations of Hezbollah networks across the globe. While not necessarily indicative of an entire network in each of the highlighted countries (it may represent a single operative), the map provides a disturbing snapshot of Hezbollah's global presence.

Moreover, as the following surveillance photograph illustrates, Hezbollah operatives -- like those of other professional terrorist groups -- mold into their environments and can be very difficult to identify. This picture was taken by Canadian intelligence, and captures a Hezbollah member purchasing false identification for use in procuring dual-use technologies for Hezbollah. Unlike Hezbollah operatives patrolling the Lebanese-Israeli border, these members leave their yellow Hezbollah bandanas and flags at home.

According to U.S. authorities, concern over the threat posed by Hezbollah is well placed. FBI officials testified in February 2002 that "FBI investigations to date continue to indicate that many Hezbollah subjects based in the United States have the capability to attempt terrorist attacks here should this be a desired objective of the group." Similarly, CIA Director George Tenet testified in February 2003 that "Hezbollah, as an organization with capability and worldwide presence, is [al-Qaeda's] equal, if not a far more capable organization."

Hezbollah Modus Operandi
Though Hezbollah cells are not all identical, they do tend to display similar operational signatures in the form of typical modus operandi.

Consider a few examples:
Subtle Infiltration: Hezbollah operatives are expert at gaining entry to their target locations through extremely subtle infiltration. This should not surprise, as many Hezbollah operatives receive sophisticated training both in Lebanon and in Iran from Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) al-Quds Brigades. Members of a Hezbollah cell operating in Singapore in the late 1990s and into 2000 entered using a visa-waiver program similar to the one that recently suspended in the United States. Once they arrived, they quickly married local women to legalize their presence. Members of a Hezbollah cell in North Carolina, which raised significant sums of money for the group from the proceeds of an elaborate cigarette smuggling scam, entered the U.S. from South America using false documents, entered into sham marriages in Cyprus, and conducted their activities under multiple identities.

Fundraising: Hezbollah cells are frequently involved in fundraising activities, even if they are primarily operational cells. Hezbollah cells raise funds through charities acting as front organizations as well as via criminal activity like cigarette smuggling, drug production and smuggling, and credit card or other types of fraud. Hezbollah networks organize regular parlor meetings held in members' homes where a collection basket is passed around after watching Hezbollah propaganda videos, usually produced by al-Manar, the group's satellite television network. For example, the Charlotte network gathered on a regular basis to watch videos of live Hezbollah bombings in southern Lebanon before the Israeli withdrawal then collected donations to support such activities. Hezbollah operates front companies, and in South America the group is renown for pirating multimedia and engaging in Mafia-style shakedowns of local Muslim businesses.

Recruiting Locals: Contrary to conventional wisdom, Hezbollah is extremely adept at recruiting members from local populations in areas where they have networks on the ground. In Russia, Hezbollah operatives recruited Sunni Palestinian students studying at Russian universities, while in Uganda they recruited Ugandan Shia students and sent them to study abroad at an Iranian university where they also received military training together with Lebanese recruits in the use of small arms, making explosives, counter-interrogation techniques and escape planning. Before returning home, the Ugandans were provided fictitious covers and instructed to establish an operational network in Uganda.

In Southeast Asia, members of the network that was behind an attempt to bomb the Israeli embassy in Bangkok in 1994, as well as a series of other terrorist plots throughout the 1990s, were almost entirely Sunni. The leader of the network, Pandu Yudhawitna, was himself recruited by MOIS officers stationed in Malaysia in the early 1980s, and only later became the Southeast Asian point-man for Hezbollah operations and support activities there.

After realizing that state troopers were frequently pulling their vans over for speeding on the way from North Carolina to Michigan, Charlotte cell members hired Caucasian women to drive their vans to elicit less suspicion.

Multi-functional: Hezbollah cells are adept multi-taskers, responsible for a variety of logistical, financial and operational duties. They raise funds, recruit new members, conduct preoperational surveillance, provide logistical support, procure weapons and dual use technologies (for both Hezbollah and Iran), and conduct operations.

Investigators in several countries have concluded independently that security services should avoid looking for cells that are strictly engaged in fundraising, logistical support, or terrorist operations. Indeed, cells known only to have raised funds have later been found to have played active roles in terrorist operations, as was the case, for example, in the 1992 and 1994 suicide bombings in Argentina. In the words of one U.S. government official, "Hezbollah cells are always a bit operational."

Targeting U.S. Interests -- A Sampling
Indeed, Hezbollah has conducted a wide variety of operations targeting not only Israeli and Jewish targets, but also the United States. Typically, academics opine that Hezbollah has not targeting the United States since it bombed the U.S. embassy and marine barracks in the 1980's. In fact, there are several more recent instances of Hezbollah activity targeting the U.S., consider the following sampling:

� In 1989, Bassam Gharib Makki collected intelligence on Israeli, Jewish and American targets in Germany.

� In 1989 and 1990, authorities caught a Hezbollah cell operating in Valencia, Spain. The cell was caught smuggling weapons in a ship from Cyprus so they could be pre-positioned and cached in Europe. After tracking that shipment, authorities found additional explosives that had already been stashed in Europe. The cell was determined to have been targeting U.S. and Israeli targets in Europe.

� In 1997, Hezbollah was found to be collecting intelligence on the U.S. embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus.

� Throughout the mid- to late-1990s, Hezbollah recruited Palestinian students studying in Russia, and collected intelligence on Israeli, Jewish and American targets there.

� Throughout the 1990s, Hezbollah members were active in Singapore, recruiting local Sunnis, collecting intelligence on Israeli and U.S. ships in the Malacca Straits, and planning attacks. Authorities there uncovered a suicide speed-boat attack very similar to the one that was foiled about a year after September 11 off Gibraltar.

Hezbollah Terrorist Operations Abroad
Hezbollah is well known for several international terrorist attacks, most notably the 1992 and 1994 suicide bombings of the Israeli embassy and Jewish community center (AMIA) respectively in Argentina and the 1995 Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia. These, however, represent only two of Hezbollah's foreign terrorist operations.

Europe as a launching pad: Hezbollah has used its operatives throughout Europe to help operatives use Europe as a launching pad for entering Israel to conduct attacks or collect intelligence there. Hussein Makdad, a Lebanese national, entered Israel from Switzerland under a forged British passport in 1996. He was critically injured when a bomb he was assembling exploded in his Jerusalem hotel room. In 1997, a German convert to Islam, Stefan Smirnak, flew to Israel from Amsterdam using his own passport. Fawzi Ayoub, a Canadian of Lebanese decent, infiltrated into Israel on a boat traveling from Europe in 2000. Discarding his Canadian passport in Europe, he used a forged American passport to enter Israel. He was later arrested in Hebron, right around the time Israeli authorities found a roadside explosive device in Hebron that had previously only been used by Hezbollah in Lebanon. In 2001, Jihad Shuman, a British citizen of Lebanese decent, flew to Israel from the U.K. He flew from Lebanon to Europe on his Lebanese passport, and then on to Israel using his British passport.

In some of these cases, authorities have determined the operatives entered Israel to conduct operations, while in other cases it remains unclear if they entered Israel just to collect pre-operational surveillance, assist other operatives already on the ground, or conduct attacks themselves. Significantly, each of these operatives is believed to have been trained by elements tied directly to Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah's chief operations officer.

Operations in Southeast Asia: Hezbollah operations in Southeast Asia throughout the 1990s are almost too many to count. Like the infiltrations into Israel from Europe noted above, Hezbollah infiltrated at least one Malaysian operative into Israel to collect intelligence. After being recruited and undergoing Hezbollah training, Zinal Bin-Talib entered Israel, collected intelligence, and returned home without the knowledge of Israeli authorities who only discovered the successful penetration much later. Hezbollah has conducted significant fundraising in Southeast Asia; nearly succeeded to bomb the Israeli embassy in Bangkok in 1994; and collected intelligence on synagogues in Manila and Singapore. Hezbollah members procured and cached weapons in Thailand and the Philippines, and checked on them periodically to make sure they were still working in case they were called upon to conduct an attack at any given time. They collected intelligence on the El-Al office in Bangkok, on ships arriving in Singapore, and on U.S. Navy and Israeli merchant ships in the Malacca Straits. The Southeast Asian Hezbollah network recruited many local Sunni Muslims, and sent several to Lebanon for training. They procured false and stolen passports, and recruited and trained local operatives to conduct potential attacks in Israel and in Australia.

Operations in Africa: Hezbollah operatives in Africa help finance the group's activities by dealing in conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone and Liberia, a practice now conducted by al-Qaeda using the model and contacts established by Hezbollah. According to David Crane, the prosecutor for the Special Court in Sierra Leone, "Diamonds fuel the war on terrorism. Charles Taylor is harboring terrorists from the Middle East, including al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, and has been for years." A telling example of the personality types involved in this activity is Ibrahim Bah. Bah is an affiliate of deposed Liberian strongman Charles Taylor, as well as a commander with the RUF rebels in Sierra Leone. Bah underwent military and terrorist training in Libya, Lebanon (where he fought with Hezbollah units), and in Afghanistan. Over the course of his career Bah also served as a personal bodyguard to Libya's Muamar Qadaffi and fought with Hezbollah units in the Beka'a Valley in the 1980s.

Hezbollah conducts extensive fundraising operations in Africa -- as it does in other corners of the globe like South and North America -- not only through trading in illicit diamonds but by raising funds from the local Shi'a expatriate community as well. In some cases Shi'a donors are unwittingly conned into funding Hezbollah, while in others they are knowing and willing participants in Hezbollah's financing efforts.

As noted above, in one particularly interesting case in 2002, Ugandan officials disrupted a cell of Shi'a students who were recruited by Iranian intelligence agents and sent on scholarships to study at the Rizavi University in Mashhad, Iran. Upon their return, one student recruit, Shafri Ibrahim, was caught, while another, Sharif Wadulu, is believed to have escaped to one of the Gulf States. The two were trained by the MOIS, together with new Lebanese Hezbollah recruits, and sent home with fictitious covers to establish an operational infrastructure in Uganda.

Operations in other locations: Hezbollah activity in South America has been well documented, including its frenetic activity in the Tri-border area. The group's activities received special attention in the wake of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center there. The recently released Argentine indictment in the AMIA bombing reveals an extensive Hezbollah operational presence in South America. What is less well known, however, is that Hezbollah is also active in Chile, Venezuela, Cuba, Panama and Ecuador. Of particular concern to Law Enforcement officials throughout South America is Hezbollah's increased activity in free trade zones, especially under the cover of import-export companies.
Intelligence officials are equally concerned about Hezbollah activities in such diverse places as Romania, South Africa, Canada and Thailand.

Hezbollah and Iranian Commanders
The most significant modus operandi that runs through all Hezbollah global operations -- financial, logistical and operational -- is that all Hezbollah networks are overseen by and are in contact with senior Hezbollah and/or Iranian officials. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Hezbollah operatives were responding directly back to Sheikh Abbas Haraki, a senior Hezbollah military commander in South Beirut. Members of the Charlotte cell received receipts back from Hezbollah for their donations, including receipts from the office of then-Hezbollah spiritual leader Sheikh Mohammad Fadlallah.
The Charlotte cell was closely tied to a sister network in Canada that was primarily engaged in procuring dual-use technologies such as night vision goggles and laser range finders for Hezbollah operational squads. The Canadian network was under the direct command of Hajj Hassan Hilu Lakis, Hezbollah's chief military procurement officer who is also known to procure material for Iran.

In Southeast Asia, the Hezbollah network operating there throughout the 1990s was under the command of a senior Mughniyah deputy named Abu Foul. As noted above, Iranian MOIS agents stationed in Malaysia originally recruited some of the Hezbollah operatives there. Senior Hezbollah operatives and Iranian agents were also involved in the 1995 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, in Hezbollah's efforts to smuggle weapons to Palestinian terrorists through Jordan since 2000, in Hezbollah operations in South America (including the 1992 and 1994 bombings), and in the recruitment of students like those in Uganda. Throughout these and many other cases, a key common thread is the direct contact each cell maintains to senior Hezbollah and/or Iranian intelligence operatives.

Crossover Between Terrorism and "Resistance"
According to many, Hezbollah is merely a "resistance" organization responding to Israeli occupation of disputed land. The distinction is, appropriately, lost on most Western experts, given that the "resistance" groups in question employ acts of terrorism such as suicide bombings to achieve their goals. But no goal, however legitimate, legitimizes the use of terrorist tactics and the killing of innocent civilians.

Moreover, even by Hezbollah's own definition the group's acts of terrorism and resistance are not purely compartmentalized. Indeed, the same Hezbollah operatives are frequently involved in the group's terrorist activities and its support for Palestinian "resistance" (i.e. terrorist) groups like Hamas.

For example, Yousuf Aljouni and Abu al-Foul, two of the masterminds of the failed 1994 effort to bomb the Israeli embassy in Thailand, were subsequently apprehended in Jordan for smuggling weapons to Palestinian terrorists in 2001. In another case, Mohammad Dbouk, the one-time head of the Canadian procurement cell, underwent terrorist training in camps in Iran before serving Hezbollah in Canada and, upon his return to Lebanon from Canada, provided pre-operational surveillance for Hezbollah attack squads working under the cover of Hezbollah's satellite al-Manar television station. The pre-operational footage he took was used to plan Hezbollah attacks on Israeli positions prior to the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, and the live footage of the actual attack was then used to produce propaganda videos of the type seized in the homes of the Charlotte cell members. Perhaps the most blatant example of this crossover between terrorism and resistance is the case of the Karine-A weapons smuggling ship. The failed effort to supply 50 tons of military grade weapons to Palestinian terrorists was subcontracted to Hezbollah by Iran and was overseen by Hajj Bassem, a senior Mughniyah deputy.

West Bank Foothold and International Plots
Recently, Hezbollah has proactively mixed its "resistance" and terrorist activities by establishing a network of its own Palestinian cells in the West Bank. Hezbollah's West Bank foothold not only threatens Israel with terrorist attacks there, but in at least one case a Palestinian Hezbollah recruit sought to supplement his terror activities in Israel with attacks abroad.

Ghulam Mahmud Qawqa was arrested in 2003 for his role in al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade bombings in Jerusalem. Subsequent investigation determined he was also behind two international plots that were set in motion in late 2002. In one, he tasked a Lebanese woman living in Berlin to conduct surveillance of the Israeli embassy there in an effort to target either the embassy or the Israeli ambassador to Berlin, Shimon Stein. In a second operation, Qawqa asked a Jordanian friend living in China to help facilitate his travel to China, and, at the same time, sought the assistance of a Hezbollah operative in planning a mission to assassinate the Israeli ambassador to China, Yitzhak Shelef.

Avoiding Past Mistakes
Hezbollah maintains ad-hoc, person-to-person contacts with al-Qaeda terrorists, but this is not the main reason for prioritizing the group as a target in the war on terror. Its own activities are far more significant. As all of the above cases and many more make clear, Hezbollah is indeed a terrorist group of global reach. Current intelligence assessments from a variety of security services concur that Hezbollah remains capable and intent on attacking Israeli, American and other Western targets and therefore poses a current, serious threat. Hezbollah officials like Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah make this perfectly clear in their bellicose, threatening statements. In the wake of the Iraq war, these threats have become even more pronounced, venomous and unqualified.

Past experience teaches that failure to deal with the real and immediate threat Hezbollah poses today will have severe and painful consequences for the future. It took the international community more than a decade to get up to speed on the threat posed by al-Qaeda. In that time, al-Qaeda successfully built an entrenched and sophisticated international logistical and financial support network of the kind that eventually facilitated the attacks of September 11. There is no question that Hezbollah is engaged in exactly the same infrastructure-building today. Given our experience in September 2001 it should be abundantly clear that we ignore such activity, and the acute security threat it represents, at our peril.

Thank you very much.

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The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Arrow Background: The Iran-Hezbollah Relationship

Background: The Iran-Hezbollah Relationship

  • When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 with the aim of eliminating the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) use of the area as a base of operations for attacking Israel, the various radical Shiite groups operating there united against Israel's army with the training, arming and funding of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. [1] The united group of Shiites became Hezbollah.
  • Hezbollah's charter calls for the formation of a Shiite theocracy in Lebanon based on the values of the Iranian Revolution. [2]
  • Iran's support of Hezbollah stems from a shared religious ideology, a common desire to destroy Israel, end all Western influence in the region, an aspiration to strengthen its hold in the Middle East and battle the West. [3]
  • Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini is regarded by Hezbollah as its ultimate leader, and the group maintains close ties with Iran's leadership, especially the hard-line clerics who helped organize the party in the early 1980s. [4]
  • The creation of Hezbollah allowed Iran to wage war with Israel by using it as a proxy militant organization based in Lebanon with cells in the United States and the rest of the Western world. [5]
After lying about not supporting Hezbollah, Iran publicly stated
that it supports Hezbollah for being part of "the historic struggle against the Zionist cancer and
the USA."

Iran's Assistance to Hezbollah

Iran supports Hezbollah financially, militarily and ideologically. Militarily, Iran helps train guerrilla fighters, and delivers and purchases weapons for Hezbollah. Financially, Iranian funding enables Hezbollah to offer social services to the local communities and run a media empire. Ideologically, Iran and Hezbollah have similar shared goals and a vested effort to spread Islam and oppose the Western world. Iran transfers nearly $100 million annually to Hezbollah through the Qods Force, the Iranian Foreign Ministry, charities and its embassies in Damascus and Beirut. [6]


Evidence of Military and Financial Support
  • The elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard unit, the Qods Force, is responsible for training, arming, and providing Hezbollah intelligence on Israel. [7]
  • Written material captured from Hezbollah during the war Israel fought in summer 2006 against Lebanon-based Hezbollah guerrillas included a great deal of information relating to Iranian ideology as well as radical Shia ideas born of the Iranian Revolution. [8]
  • Captured Hezbollah militants have confessed that Iran runs training camps for Hezbollah and other militant groups within its borders, managed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, as well as other high-ranking Iranian officials. [9]
  • Iran provides Hezbollah with intelligence on Israel, technical assistance in weapons operation, training in Iranian camps, weapons including long-range Fajr rockets, anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, guns, rocket launchers and drone planes, many of which were used by Hezbollah during the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel conflict. [10]
  • Iran finances Hezbollah's official television station, Al-Manar, which was founded in 1991 and broadcasts extremist Islamic and heavily anti-Western material. [11]
  • Monetary aid to Hezbollah from Iran actually increased after Israel's disengagement from Lebanon in 2000 [12] as Iran began building up Hezbollah as a stronger military force, preparing it for a conflict with Israel culminating in the Hezbollah-Israel conflict. [13]
  • Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah stated in an interview that "Iran assists the organization with money, weapons, and training, motivated by a religious fraternity and ethnic solidarity."
A Shared Hostility toward Israel
Since Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran's 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic has been consistently hostile toward Israel, a belief that Hezbollah also espouses. This hostility became particularly evident when Hezbollah began firing hundreds of rockets into northern Israel in summer 2006, leading to Israel's 34-day defensive war against Hezbollah. [14]

"[Israel is] a cancer that needs to be removed at
its roots."

- Hassan Nasrallah,
Dec. 22, 2000 [15]


"With God's help, the countdown button for the destruction of the
Zionist regime has been pushed by the hands of the children of
Lebanon and Palestine…By G-d's will, we will witness the
destruction of this regime in the near future."

- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, June 3, 2007 [16]


A Common Antagonism Toward the West, Especially the U.S. and Europe

Both independently and in collaboration, Iran and Hezbollah have carried out major terror attacks against Israeli and Western targets over the past few decades.

IRAN

Iran, labeled by the U.S. State Department as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” bears responsibility for multiple acts of terror against the United States and Western countries. Iran also refuses to abide by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1696, which calls for it to halt its uranium enrichment program that could eventually be employed to develop nuclear weapons. [17]
  • The Iranian Revolutionary Guard held 15 Royal Navy personnel hostage from March 23 - April 4, 2007, claiming the Royal Navy was trespassing in Iranian waters. According to GPS evidence, however, the Navy was in Iraqi territory. While in captivity, the soldiers were forced to appear on Iranian television and admit they were in the wrong. At the same time, Iranian students attacked the British embassy in Tehran. [18]
  • Iran is responsible for the takeover of the American embassy in Iran in 1979 and the subsequent holding of 52 American hostages for 444 days. [19]
HEZBOLLAH [20]

Hezbollah, formally designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, is responsible for many past terrorist acts against Westerners. [21]
  • In 1983, Hezbollah blew up a van in front of the U.S. Embassy and detonated truck bombs near U.S. Marine and French army barracks killing 357.
  • Throughout the 1980s, Hezbollah kidnapped a number of Western citizens in executing some, and extorting the others for money or weapons. The group infamously hijacked an airplane in 1985, holding 39 American passengers for weeks.
  • Hezbollah is responsible for two attacks in Argentina: the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy and the 1994 bombing of the Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires.
Footnotes:

[1] "Iranian complicity in the present Lebanese crisis - July-Aug. 2006," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aug. 15, 2006, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terror+Groups/Iranian+complicity+in+the+present+Lebanese+crisis+-+July-Aug+2006.htm.
"Group Profile: Hezbollah," Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, May 17, 2007, http://www.tkb.org/Group.jsp?groupID=3101.
[2] "Group Profile: Hezbollah," Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, May 17, 2007, http://www.tkb.org/Group.jsp?groupID=3101.
[3] Haahr, Kathryn, "Iran's Changing Relationship with Hezbollah," Terrorism Monitor, Volume 2, Issue 19, Oct. 7, 2004, http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2368658.
[4] Erlich, Reuven, and Kahati, Yoram, "Hezbollah as a case study of the battle for hearts and minds," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC) June, 2007 http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/hezbollah_e_0607.htm.
[5] "Hezbollah as a strategic arm of Iran," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Sept. 8, 2006, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_hezbollah_e1b.htm.
[6] "Hezbollah as a strategic arm of Iran," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Sept. 8, 2006, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_hezbollah_e1b.htm.
[7] "Hezbollah as a strategic arm of Iran," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Sept. 8, 2006, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_hezbollah_e1b.htm.
[8] "Hezbollah as a strategic arm of Iran," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Sept. 8, 2006, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_hezbollah_e1b.htm.
[9] "Hezbollah as a strategic arm of Iran," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Sept. 8, 2006, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_hezbollah_e1b.htm.
[10] "Iranian complicity in the present Lebanese crisis - July-Aug. 2006," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aug. 15, 2006, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terror+Groups/Iranian+complicity+in+the+present+Lebanese+crisis+-+July-Aug+2006.htm.
[11] Jorisch, Avi, "Al-Manar: Hizbullah TV, 24/7," The Middle East Quarterly, Volume XI: Number 1, Winter 2004, http://www.meforum.org/article/583.
[12] "Hezbollah as a strategic arm of Iran," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Sept. 8, 2006, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_hezbollah_e1b.htm.
[13] "Iranian complicity in the present Lebanese crisis - July-Aug. 2006," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aug. 15, 2006, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terror+Groups/Iranian+complicity+in+the+present+Lebanese+crisis+-+July-Aug+2006.htm.
[14] "The Abduction of Udi Goldwasser and Eldad Regev," Banim, http://www.banim.org/en/hatifa_udi_elad_en.html.
[15] "Hezbollah: Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah," Anti-Defamation League, Sept. 29, 2006, http://www.adl.org/main_terrorism/hezbollah_overview.htm?Multi_page_sections=sHeadin g_5.
[16] "Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his Own Words," Anti-Defamation League, June 3, 2007, http://www.adl.org/main_Anti_Semitism_International/ahmadinejad_words.htm.
[17] "Resolution 1696," United Nations Department of Public Information, July 31, 2006, http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sc8792.doc.htm.
[18] "Timeline: UK-Iran stand-off," BBC, Apr. 3, 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6502801.stm.
[19] "Background Note: Iran," Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, United States Department of State, June 2007, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5314.htm.
[20] "Country Reports on Terrorism," Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, United States Department of State, April 30, 2007, http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2006/82738.htm.
[21] "Group Profile: Hezbollah," Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, May 17, 2007, http://www.tkb.org/Group.jsp?groupID=3101.
__________________
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The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Exclamation Nasrallah's Deputy Admits Iranian Control on Hezbollah's Operations

Nasrallah's Deputy Admits Iranian Control on Hezbollah's Operations

In an interview granted to an Iranian TV channel, Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hassan Nasrallah’s deputy, stresses that Hezbollah’s policy of terrorist operations against Israel (including suicide bombings and rocket fire) requires jurisprudent permission of the Iranian leadership.



Sheikh Naim Qassem in an interview granted to Iran 's Al-Kawthar TV channel: Hezbollah's attacks against Israel are guided by al-wali al-faqih (the ruling jurisprudent, i.e., Khamenei, the Iranian leader). The ruling jurisprudent is the one who allows and the one who prohibits (photograph: Ehud Yaari's report, Israeli TV Channel 2, April 16, 2007 ).

Highlights of the interview

1. In an interview granted on April 16, 2007 to Al-Kawthar, an Iranian Arabic-language TV channel, Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hassan Nasrallah's deputy, presented Hezbollah's concept of the “culture of shahada” (martyrdom for the sake of Allah, in Hezbollah terminology). That ideological concept, which grants religious Islamic legitimacy to suicide bombing attacks, is the cornerstone of Iran and Hezbollah's worldview, and is reflected in statements made by Hezbollah seniors and in ideological literature seized during the second Lebanon war.

2. During the interview, Sheikh Naim Qassem uncharacteristically admitted that Hezbollah does not pursue its own policy but rather submits to the authority of the Iranian leadership, which instructs it even on such military-operative issues as the confrontation with Israel . Such instructions are based on the ideology of the Iranian Islamic regime, set forth by Ayatollah Khomeini, whose key principle is the rule of the jurisprudent ( wilayat al-faqih ). The title used by Sheikh Naim Qassem to describe Hezbollah's source of authority is “al-wali al-faqih” (the ruling jurisprudent), a title formerly used by Ayatollah Khomeini and presently used by his successor, leader 1Ali Khamenei.





3. In the second part of the interview granted to Al-Kawthar, Sheikh Naim Qassem described the relationship between Hezbollah and the Iranian leadership, noting that:
a. Hezbollah was founded and commenced activities in 1982, based on a religious ruling made by Imam Khomeini, who considered jihad (holy war) against Israel to be an Islamic religious duty.
b. Hezbollah is committed to receive religious instruction regarding the nature of the confrontation with Israel from al-wali al-faqih (the ruling jurisprudent, a title nowadays reserved exclusively for leader Khamenei). For example, Sheikh Naim Qassem had the following to say about suicide bombing attacks: “No one may kill himself without a jurisprudent permission.”
c. Firing rockets on Israeli civilians also requires the jurisprudent permission of the Iranian leadership.
d. Hezbollah has means to inquire (implying with the source of religious authority, Ali Khamenei) “what can or cannot be done, what is our duty and what is subject to our own consideration.”
4. The above statements made by Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hassan Nasrallah's deputy, are yet another testimony that Hezbollah considers Iran and its leader Khamenei to be the highest source of authority of its activity and policy, including its policy of terrorist operations (even though in public statements Hezbollah often plays down the fact that its policy of terrorist attacks is set in Tehran). Based on that concept, which is unique to the Islamic revolution in Iran , Hezbollah nurtures Khamenei's personality cult among its operatives and among the Shi'ite community in Lebanon , portraying the “leader” as a role model and as an example to be followed (see Appendix B). It should be noted that Hezbollah seniors, namely Hassan Nasrallah in the past and Sheikh Muhammad Yazbek in the present, have been given the title of Khamenei's Islamic religious representative ( wakil shar'i ) in Lebanon . 2


5. The meaning of the statements made in Sheikh Naim Qassem's interview is that the Iranian leadership controls Hezbollah's policy, including its policy of terrorist operations. While Hezbollah does not necessarily need the approval of the Iranian leadership for each and every terrorist attack, the Iranian leadership has the ability to regulate the extent of Hezbollah's anti-Israeli activity by allowing or prohibiting various kinds of operations at various times.




6. Appendices:
a. Appendix A: translation of the interview into English
b. Appendix B: Hezbollah's nurturing of Iranian leader Khamenei's personality cult: a selection of materials seized in the second Lebanon war
Appendix A
Translation 3of excerpts from the interview granted by Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hassan Nasrallah's deputy, to Iran 's Al-Kawthar TV channel
In an interview granted on April 16, 2007, to Al-Kawthar, an Iranian Arabic-language TV channel, Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's deputy, laid out his concept of “the culture of martyrdom for the sake of Allah” ( thaqafat al-shahada ), that is, suicide culture. In the second part of the interview, Sheikh Naim Qassem provided insights into the nature of the relationship between Hezbollah and Iran . What follows are excerpts from the interview in English translation.

On martyrdom culture (known as “suicide culture” in Israeli and Western terminology)
“Regarding the culture of death [ thaqafat al-mawt ] or the culture of martyrdom [ thaqafat al-shahada ] or the culture of life [ thaqafat al-hayat ]—or whatever else we choose to call it—it is no secret that the materialist West and the infidels in general, and all those who see the power of Islam rise to influence—particularly with regard to the philosophy of martyrdom [i.e., suicide bombing terrorism]—they all take a negative stance, exerting pressure [on Islam] to make the believers abandon the culture of martyrdom [i.e., the culture of suicide bombers].

“What is the reason for that? They [the West] are looking for a purpose in this world, and they are competing on this world's terms. They know that if we compete [on the terms of] their world, they will defeat us, because they are stronger than us in the material sense. On material standards alone, they will [surely] defeat us. But if they compete against us on the level of faith, we will defeat them, because the power of faith in [times of] struggle is stronger and more influential [than material power].

“They [the West] challenge us and taunt us and give us such names as “the culture of death”, as if martyrdom were death, in order to make us give it up. If we give up martyrdom, our power will become a [faithless] power with [only] arms and a few people, and then they can defeat us. [Then] our enemies can defeat us.

“Do we really believe in the culture of death? Absolutely not. We believe in the culture of martyrdom [ thaqafat al-shahada ] and martyrdom is a noble, great, holy, and honorable thing. It is not a blame [that can be laid at our feet]. It is an honor for us to be accused of martyrdom culture.

“What is shahada ? It is death for the sake of Allah, may He be glorified, to protect what is true and righteous [in the spirit of Islam]. Can martyrdom change the fact that each man dies at a time of [Allah's] choosing? When the time comes [for human beings to die], they will not remain [alive] for even one hour or die one hour sooner.

“We say that, whatever the circumstances, each man dies at his predestined time. My brother, instead of dying in your bed—when your time comes—die on the battlefield by martyrdom for the sake of Allah [ istishhad ]. You will profit, since you will be ending your life in a wonderful way which is accepted by Allah, may He be exalted…

“… Let us see whether the culture of martyrdom is the culture of death or the culture of life. This is the culture of life. For all those who aspire to shahada aspire to improve their material lives [because martyrdom— shahada —is designed] to prevent the enemies from occupying their lands and live their lives in pride, dignity, and freedom. [Therefore] they improve their living conditions by preventing the enemies from realizing their objectives. Accordingly, it is the most honorable culture both in this life and [also] in the next—if [a person] ends his life [by martyrdom for the sake of Allah]...”

On the relationship between Hezbollah and Iran
Hezbollah relied [i.e., and relies still] in its Islamic religious position, which has to do with its activity in general and its jihadist activity in particular, on the decision of al-wali al-faqih [in Khomeinist ideology, the ruling jurisprudent]. The ruling jurisprudent is the one who allows and the one who prohibits . When Hezbollah commenced activities in 1982, it did so according to the opinion and religious ruling of Imam Khomeini, may Allah bless his secret, 4which considers the fight against Israel a duty. We are committed to his view .

“And yet, how should we fight against Israel ? What equipment should we prepare? When can we and when cannot we attack? These questions have Islamic and shar'i principles that may be followed whenever possible. We have backed our stance of jihad regarding the fight against Israel by a decision made by al-wali al-faqih. It is a jurisprudent decision, and as for all the other details—if we need shar'i counsel on what is allowed and what is forbidden on the [front] of jihad— we ask, receive general answers, and then apply [them]. This is even true for acts of suicide for the sake of Allah [ al-‘amaliyyat al-istishhadiyya ]—no one may kill himself without a jurisprudent permission.

“As the Shura [Council], 5we have the authority to give instructions regarding acts of suicide for the sake of Allah [ al-‘amaliyyat al-istishhadiyya ], and then transfer it to operative channels in order to carry it out. [However,] if a Lebanese civilian decides to carry out an act of suicide without consulting anyone, it is not known whether he commits a duty according to religious laws. He might be committing a felony, for despite the holiness of such an act, he needs to receive [the Shura's] permission. Also needed are operative channels [to carry it out] and someone able to assess whether the act will be beneficial or harmful, since it is a question of life and death.

“Even when it comes to firing rockets on Israeli civilians, when they [ Israel ] bombed the civilians on our side, to put pressure [on Israel ], even [that decision] requires an in-principle jurisprudent permission [ ijaza shar'iyya ].

“As for Hezbollah, it receives its general approvals from al-wali al-faqih [i.e., leader Khamenei], and if it has questions on matters pertaining to religious law, we have [communication] channels to determine what can or cannot be done, what is our duty and what is subject to our own consideration .”

Appendix B
Hezbollah's nurturing of Iranian leader Khamenei's personality cult: a selection of materials seized in the second Lebanon war 6


leader, Ali Khamenei, and the architect of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, displayed in rooms used by Hezbollah operatives in the village of Shihin (right) and the village of Bint Jbeil (left). Underneath the posters on the right is a large signboard with the text “ Al-Wilaya ” (i.e., “the rule” of the jurisprudent, which is a central component in Khomeini's teachings)


A booklet titled “My Leader” ( Qa'idi ), the title of Iran 's leader Ali Khamenei, seized by the IDF in the village of Yaroun . The booklet was published by Hezbollah's boy scouts movement (The Imam al-Mahdi Scouts). In the booklet, leader Khamenei is portrayed as a role model for teenagers to follow and as an example of a faithful jihad warrior who contributed much to the Islamic revolution in Iran.



The April page of Hezbollah's 2006 calendar. The image of leader Khamenei is in the upper left. The writing in the center says “Leader Day”, celebrated in the month of April.




In the course of the second Lebanon war, IDF forces operating in Maroun al-Ras seized four copies of a booklet titled “Al-Jihad”. Published in 2004 by the Imam Khomeini Culture Center 7 in Beirut , the booklet analyzes the significance of jihad based on Ali Khamenei's worldview. Khamenei also stresses the revolutionary message of jihad and portrays it as a central component of the Islamic revolution.



Right: the cover page of a booklet titled “Reviewing the Path of Eloquence”, seized by IDF forces in Kafr Kila (in the upper left is Khamenei's image). The booklet includes three lectures by Ali Khamenei. Left: the back cover of the booklet, featuring a selection of Khamenei's books published and distributed in Lebanon . The booklet was originally written in Persian and translated into Arabic in the Iranian city of Qom , the seat of the Iranian religious leadership.





A leaflet titled “The Text of the Speech Given by the Honorable Imam Commander Al-Sayyid Ali Khamenei, May He Prosper, On Recent Events”. Right: the cover page; left: a copy of the last page, which contains the Hezbollah emblem. The leaflet was seized by IDF forces in the village of Rajmin and was probably published in 2003. In the speech, Khamenei incites against the US and blames it for striving to dominate the world.




The cover of a book titled “The Elite and the Critical Moments”. The book, written by Ali Khamenei, was seized in the village of Einata . The book was published by Hezbollah's publishing house and it deals with Khamenei's teachings. It places particular emphasis on the idea of jihad.


The cover page of a booklet titled “The US is the Source of Terrorism” (portrayed prominently on the right is Ali Khamenei's image). The picture shows burning US and Israeli flags, beneath which are Palestinians crying against the background of the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem.


The text of a speech given by Ali Khamenei (March 2001) in which he criticizes the US and discusses the rule of the jurisprudent and the values of the Islamic revolution.


The text of a speech given by Ali Khamenei (date unknown) on the occasion of the month of Muharram (the first month of the Muslim year). The speech places emphasis on martyrdom in Islam ( shahada ) and the importance of the Islamic revolution.

http://noisyroom.net/blog/2007/05/22...hs-operations/

http://blog.technonllc.com/index.php...perations.html
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Hezbollah in Iraq

http://www.defensetech.org/archives/003575.html

Hezbollah in Iraq


Last week Defense Tech pulled out an interesting line from a June 22 briefing given to Pentagon reporters on operations in Iraq by Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno.

Odierno was asked several questions about the involvement of Iran in Iraq’s insurgency. As you’ll remember, he said specifically that Iran had been training insurgent mortar teams on how to quickly set up in cover, accurately fire and extract mortar teams before U.S forces could nab them.



He also said, in what probably passed through most reporters’ ears, this sentence in reference to evidence of Iran’s training and direction of Iraq insurgents (emphasis added):
And I think, you know, we've had some indications of that through some of the people we've detained, and I think in the future here we're going to lay some of that out for you. So I think -- we feel pretty confident about those links.
Well, now it looks like that has happened. Our sister site, Military.com, is reporting this morning an Associated Press story that indicates Lebanese Hezbollah was involved in a kidnapping attempt of U.S. troops in January. The terrorists were trained and advised by Iranian Quds force officers and instructed to carry out a high-profile hostage taking similar to the one that sparked the war with Israel last summer.
Iran is using the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah as a "proxy" to arm Shiite militants in Iraq and Tehran's Quds force had prior knowledge of a January attack in Karbala in which five Americans died, a U.S. general said Monday.
U.S. military spokesman Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner said a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative, Ali Mussa Dakdouk, was captured March 20 in southern Iraq. Bergner said Dakdouk served for 24 years in Hezbollah and was "working in Iraq as a surrogate for the Iranian Quds force."
The general also said that Dakdouk was a liaison between the Iranians and a breakaway Shiite group led by Qais al-Kazaali, a former spokesman for cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Bergner said al-Kazaali's group carried out the January attack against a provincial government building in Karbala and that the Iranians assisted in preparations.
Al-Khazaali and his brother Ali al-Khazaali, both captured in March, have told U.S. interrogators that they "could not have conducted it (the Karbala attack) without support from the Quds force," Bergner said.
Documents captured with al-Khazaali showed that the Quds Force had developed detailed information on the U.S. position at the government building, including "shift changes and defense" and shared this information with the attackers, the general said.
And CNN’s top investigative reporter in Iraq, Michael Ware, never an apologist for the U.S. invasion and occupation, bolstered the AP report with his own work based on interviews with Iraqi government officials who’d seen the forensic evidence and interrogation transcripts.
U.S. sources and Iraqi militia sources have said the carefully planned operation was meant to take captives who could be traded for five Iranians held by U.S. troops since a January 10 raid in Irbil, in northern Iraq. But the Karbala attack went awry, resulting in the deaths of the five Americans.
Qais Khazali, a onetime spokesman for anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army, was one of the men sought by American troops in connection with the attack. By the time of his March arrest, he had left the Mehdi Army and was leading one of the "special groups," according to U.S. intelligence.
In searching for Khazali, U.S. and allied troops found computer documents detailing the planning, training and conduct of the failed kidnapping. And they found Daqduq, whom intelligence officials said has admitted working on behalf of Iran.
And an interesting postscript to Ware’s report (watch the videohere): Dakdouk pretended to be a def-mute for a while until interrogators got him to talk, then he spilled the beans. Wonder how they got him to talk?

Officials: Captured Hezbollah agent helped plan deadly Karbala raid

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A top special operations officer from Lebanon's Iranian-backed militia Hezbollah has been captured in Iraq, where U.S. officials say he played a key role in a January attack that killed five Americans.

Ali Mussa Daqduq, an explosives expert, was captured in March in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, where he was helping train and lead Shiite militias fighting coalition troops, U.S. intelligence officials told CNN.
Daqduq pretended to be deaf and mute when captured, and his identity was not known for weeks, the officials said.

Once uncovered, however, they said he began to talk, and they now believe he played a crucial role in the January 20 attack in Karbala. Watch Michael Ware's report on Daqduq »

Hezbollah fought Israeli troops in a month-long war in southern Lebanon in 2006, a conflict sparked by a cross-border raid in which Hezbollah fighters killed three Israeli soldiers and took two others captive. The conflict ended with a U.N.-brokered cease-fire, and the Israeli soldiers remained captive when the fighting ended.

Intelligence officials say Daqduq is one of Hezbollah's top special operations commanders, an expert in the use of roadside bombs. The Americans say he, along with the Iraqi militia commanders he worked with, has admitted working with Iran's elite Quds Force special operations unit.
U.S. commanders have said for months that Iraqi militants have been receiving weapons and training from members of the Quds Force, an element of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Washington has demanded the Iranian government stop the flow of arms and militants across its border -- which, along with the diplomatic standoff over Iran's nuclear fuel program, has raised fears of a wider war in the region.

Iran, which has close ties to the Shiite parties that control Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government, has repeatedly denied the allegations. But U.S. intelligence officials said the Quds Force has been backing the creation of Shiite "special groups" modeled on Hezbollah, which holds sway over much of southern Lebanon.

The U.S. military declined official comment on Daqduq's arrest, as did the Iraqi government. But documents and forensic evidence, seen by members of the Iraqi government and shown to CNN, support the claims.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Daqduq was captured in a raid aimed at seizing another Shiite militant leader suspected of involvement in the January 20 attack in Karbala.

U.S. sources and Iraqi militia sources have said the carefully planned operation was meant to take captives who could be traded for five Iranians held by U.S. troops since a January 10 raid in Irbil, in northern Iraq. But the Karbala attack went awry, resulting in the deaths of the five Americans.

Qais Khazali, a onetime spokesman for anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army, was one of the men sought by American troops in connection with the attack. By the time of his March arrest, he had left the Mehdi Army and was leading one of the "special groups," according to U.S. intelligence.

In searching for Khazali, U.S. and allied troops found computer documents detailing the planning, training and conduct of the failed kidnapping. And they found Daqduq, whom intelligence officials said has admitted working on behalf of Iran.

Contacted by CNN, a Hezbollah spokesman in Lebanon said he would not dignify the U.S. allegations with a response. And it remains unclear why Hezbollah's leadership would risk sending advisers to Iraq: American intelligence officers suspect Hezbollah -- which is indebted to Iran for decades of military and financial support -- had no choice.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Mehdi Army deny receiving any military aid, though they say they share some of Hezbollah's ideals.

"I say clearly that we do not accept any logistic, financial, or any other kind of support from anyone outside the borders of Iraq," said Rassim al-Marwani, Sadr's cultural adviser.
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The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

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Exclamation Hezbollah in Iraq

Hezbollah in Iraq

Top Hezbollah Commander Captured In Iraq

June 7, 2008


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The U.S. military in Iraq has captured the deputy military chief of the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah, coalition officials said.

Iraqi sources said the U.S. Army has arrested the No. 2 figure in Hezbollah’s military wing. The sources said the unidentified Hezbollah commander was responsible for training the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army in the Baghdad area.

“The arrest is a major achievement and could provide an intelligence bonanza,” an Iraqi source said.

The U.S.-led coalition has reported the capture of a senior Iranian operative south of Baghdad. In a coalition statement, the operative was described as a “primary weapons smuggler and financier for Iranian-backed enemy fighters.”

The arrest was said to have taken place on Thursday in Mahawil, south of Baghdad. The coalition statement said the target was a leader of the Iranian-sponsored Special Groups.

“Acting on intelligence information, coalition forces conducted a raid on the home of the suspected Special Groups leader in Mahawil, south of Baghdad,” the statement said on Thursday. “He surrendered without incident.”

The U.S. military also reported the arrest of another senior Iranian operative. The unidentified operative, captured east of Kut, was identified as a Special Groups member and “the primary weapons smuggler and financier for Iranian-backed enemy elements in that area.”

“The suspect and an associate surrendered when coalition forces stormed their location,” the statement said.

brand new:hezbollah brigades in iraq-Ashtar rocktes(the flying IEDS)

Mature
hezbollah brigades in iraq :
Ashtars rockets (the flying IEDS)the dangerous newest weapons,attacked the us american base in our base in kesra-atach in 7/8/2008,and we can see during the attack a spy blink is OUT of control .

View Video Here:



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hezbollah’s Role In Iraq


http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/20...e-in-iraq.html

Iran’s role in Iraq has been hotly debated in the U.S., and has become one of the focal points of the Bush Administration’s policy. Less well known is that Iran has used Hezbollah to help with its plans in the country as well.

On July 1, 2008 the Associated Press interviewed an Iraqi army officer and two Shiite politicians who said they were Sadrists who spoke extensively about Hezbollah’s role in Iraq. They claimed that Hezbollah was operating two training camps east of Basra in Deir and Kutaiban since 2006. Up to ten Hezbollah instructors worked there training Special Groups militiamen from Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. When the Iraqi government launched Operation Knight’s Charge in Basra in March, the Lebanese operatives fled to Iran. They also said that Hezbollah was involved in two attacks on Coalition forces. First, it helped direct the January 2007 raid on Karbala’s provincial government office in which Shiite militiamen dressed as U.S. soldiers killed one U.S. soldier, and kidnapped four others that were later found dead. Second, the Lebanese group also took part in the kidnapping of five Britons from the Finance Ministry’s offices in Baghdad in May 2007. Hezbollah’s main role in all these acts has been as an intermediary between the Iranians and Iraqi Shiites.

Background

Hezbollah became involved in Iraq to assist its ally and patron Iran. As early as January 2004, there were reports that up to 100 Hezbollah fighters were in Iraq assisting Iranian intelligence. All of these operations have been under the command of General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards Qods Force, who oversees Iran’s policy in Iraq. Suleimani was the one that introduced Hezbollah into Iraq. Until his death in February 2008, Imad Mughniyeh was the top Hezbollah commander that worked with Suleimani. Mughniyeh is believed to have participated in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marines in Beirut and the 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy in Argentina.

The main task of the Lebanese has been to train Shiite militiamen in weapons, explosives, and tactics. Besides the two camps allegedly near Basra, Hezbollah has also worked with Iraqis in Sadr City, Iran and Lebanon. Their main students have been members of the Mahdi Army, known as Special Groups. The main Special Groups commander in Sadr City, Mahdi Khadam Alawi al-Zirjawi for example, along with up to 2,000 other Shiite fighters have all gone through these camps.

Hezbollah’s most famous contribution to the fighting has been the Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) that Hezbollah developed to fight Israel. The bomb has the capability to destroy American tanks. The British, in October 2005, were the first ones to publicly charge Hezbollah with giving the EFP technology to the Mahdi Army so that it could attack English troops stationed in southern Iraq. Since then the EFP has been used throughout central Iraq against Coalition forces.


Diagram of how EFPs are arrayed for an attack on a vehicle

Sadr has been quite open about his relationship with Hezbollah. In August 2007 the English Independent reported Sadr saying, “We have formal links with Hizbollah, we do exchange ideas and discuss the situation facing Shiites in both countries.” He continued, “It is natural that we would want to improve ourself by learning from each other. We copy Hizbollah in the way they fight and their tactics, we teach each other and we are getting better through this.” Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has also become more involved in Iraqi affairs. According to a Lebanese newspaper he allegedly spends a couple hours a day going over Iraq, and in May 2008 gave a speech about the “resistance” going on there.
U.S. and Iraqi Operations

When the U.S. and Iraqi governments began cracking down on Sadr’s militias in 2007 and 2008, they began confronting Hezbollah operatives as well. In March 2007 they captured a senior Hezbollah commander Ali Musa Daqduq in Iraq. Daqduq helped oversee training and recruitment of militiamen. In response, Hezbollah helped plan the raid on the Finance Ministry in Baghdad in May 2007 that captured five Britons as trade bait for Daqduq. The five are still held captive today. In March 2008, when Iraqi forces moved into Basra, they also captured a Hezbollah commander who was turned over to the U.S. Together, U.S. and Iraqi forces have gone a long way to break up Hezbollah’s operations in Iraq in 2008.

Conclusion

Since the 2003 U.S. invasion, Iran has extended its influence throughout Iraq, and used Hezbollah as part of its plans. Hezbollah are Shiite Arabs, making the recruitment and training of Shiite Iraqis easier. They have introduced deadly technology in the form of the EFP, and helped plan and carry out attacks on Coalition forces. Sadr proved a willing partner as he has modeled parts of his organization after Hezbollah with its social service and armed wings. With the surge and recent government crackdowns against the Mahdi Army, these networks are just beginning to be rounded up. As long as Iran chooses to confront the U.S. in Iraq militarily however, Hezbollah can be expected to have a presence in the country.

SOURCES

Allam, Hannah, Landay, Jonathan, and Strobel, Warren, “Is an Iranian general the most powerful man in Iraq?” McClatchy Newspapers, 4/28/08

Associated Press, “Shiite militia may be disintegrating,” 3/21/07

Ayman, Dr. Hashemi, “A detailed and dangerous report about the Iranian role in the destruction of Iraq,” Homeland Security US.net, 3/19/06

Azzaman, “Assassinated Hizbollah leader had links with Iraq’s Mahdi Army,” 2/22/08

BBC, “Iran ‘behind attacks on British,’” 10/5/05

Bruno, Greg, “Iran’s Revolutionary Guards,” Council on Foreign Relations, 10/25/07

Cordesman, Anthony, “Iraq’s Insurgency and Civil Violence,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, 8/22/07

Daragahi, Borzou, “Iran fomenting violence in Iraq, U.S. says,” Los Angeles Times, 3/10/08

Gordon, Michael, “Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says,” New York Times, 2/10/07
- “Hezbollah Trains Iraqis in Iran, Officials Say,” New York Times, 5/5/08

Gordon, Michael Filkims, Dexter, “Hezbollah may be helping militias,” San Francisco Chronicle, 11/28/06

Hendawi, Hamza and Abdul-Zahra, Qassim, “Hezbollah said to train Shiite militiamen in Iraq,” Associated Press, 7/1/08

Katzman, Kenneth, “Iran’s Activities and Influence in Iraq,” Congressional Research Service, 12/26/07

Latif, Nizar and Sands, Phil, “Mehdi fighters ‘trained by Hizbollah in Lebanon,’” Independent, 8/20/07

McElroy, Damien, “John Bolton: US should bomb Iranian camps,” Telegraph, 5/6/08

Paley, Amit, “U.S. Deploys a Purpose-Driven Distinction,” Washington Post, 5/21/08

Peterson, Scott and Blanford, Nicholas, “A gauge of Iran’s hand in Iraq,” Christian Science Monitor, 7/5/07

Phillips, James, “Iran’s Hostile Policies in Iraq,” Heritage Foundation, 4/30/07

Porter, Gareth, “US Military Ignored Evidence of Iraq-Made EFPs,” AntiWar.com, 10/26/07

Pound, Edward, “The Iran Connection,” U.S. News & World Report, 11/22/04

Roggio, Bill, “Iranian involvement in Iraq: an old or a new case?” Long War Journal.org, 10/15/07
- “Mahdi Army trains with Hezbollah,” Long War Journal.org, 8/20/07

Tanter, Raymond, “Iran’s Threat to Coalition Forces in Iraq,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1/15/04

Visser, Reidar, “The Sadrists of Basra and the Far South of Iraq,” Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, May 2008

Ware, Michael, “Inside Iran’s Secret War for Iraq,” Time, 8/15/05

White, Jeffrey, “Fighting Iran in Iraq,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2/14/07
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Exclamation HEZBOLLAH: An Experience, What's really going on?

HEZBOLLAH

An Experience
What's really going on?
http://www.greatdreams.com/hezbollah.htm
by Dee Finney

2-5-2002

updated 7-13-06






2-5-2002 - I was in the kitchen making breakfast. As I was flipping over the scrambled eggs, someone telepathically yelled in my ear, the name - 'HEZBOLLAH'. It was so loud, there was no ignoring it.

I was busy this morning, but hours later, this thought keeps coming back that I wouldn't have been told that if it wasn't important.

What is the connection to scrambling eggs or flipping eggs over? Why was this told to me while I was doing this activity, rather than at some other time - such as while I was watching the news about the Hezbollah, which has been mentioned numerous times since the World Trade Center plane crashes.

President George W. Bush, has included the Hezbollah as a terrorist group which he wants destroyed.

I understand that - but why was this particular group so significant that I had to think about it and write about it? What is it about flipping eggs or scrambling eggs? That we are thinking incorrectly about this group? That our ideas are scrambled? Or that their ideas are scrambled?

I am aware that some of what you read on this page will anger you. I am prepared for that. My point in doing this page is for information - not to choose one side over the other.

Here is what I found on the internet:

Note that some of this information will be from 'their' perspective - not just from the U.S.A. perspective.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



SEPTEMBER 15, 2005: Orthodox Jews gathered outside the United Nations in New York City, NY to express their opposition to the State of 'Israel' and Mr. Ariel Sharon, who was speaking in the United Nations.

Orthodox Jewish Rabbis and layman will gather, TODAY with G-d’s help, across the street of the United Nation Headquarters. They will join in expressing their opposition to the State of “Israel” and Mr. Ariel Sharon, who will be speaking today in the United Nations.

While the United Nations is celebrating its 60th anniversary, they have invited Heads of State of over 150 countries. Participating in this commemoration, is Mr. Sharon as the Head of State of the State of “Israel”.

The State of “Israel” has been recognized and legitimized as the representation and embodiment of the Jewish nation; this is patently and totally false. The State of “Israel” is an embodiment of illegitimacy; it is the antithesis of Judaism and can not be the representative of the Jewish People. In fact, the leaders of the Jewish People, who have been and are steadfast in their commitment to the Jewish religion, have always stood in opposition to the creation and to the existence of the State of “Israel”. The Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi J. Z. Dushinsky of blessed memory, forwarded a memorandum to the Secretary General of the United Nations, in the year 1947 prior to the establishment of the State, imploring the United Nations, not to allow the creation of the so called “Jewish State”.

Two horrific evils have coalesced with the confiscation of the Holy Land from the Palestinian people, and the creation of this State.

Firstly, this is a rebellion against G-d who has expressly forbidden us, the Jewish people, from ending the G-dly decreed exile, by creating our own State. This is regardless if the selected country to form this state in, is populated or desolate, and regardless, if it is the will of the indigenous population to help the Jews form their State, or if the State is being forced upon them.

Secondly, this rebellion against G-d has been compounded immeasurably by the fact that in order to create this state, a land has been taken, clearly against the will of the indigenous population, the Palestinian people. Their homes and properties have been confiscated and untold thousands have been expelled etc. their suffering continues unabated until the present day.

Therefore, we pray, that the return of Gaza be a token beginning and should usher in the day, when we should realize the transformation of the rule over the entire Holy Land, back to its rightful rulers, - the Palestinian People. We stress, not just Gaza and the West Bank, but the entire Holy Land.

Our passionate prayers are, that this should come about, speedily and peacefully, without any further bloodshed, pain or suffering.

May G-d enlighten the Jewish individuals who have been led astray, to understand G-d’s will and do His Will, with happy hearts.

Ultimately, may we merit to see the day, soon in our life time, when G-d will reveal His glory and all humanity will serve Him in peace and harmony. AMEN

Date: Thursday, September 15, 2005,

Place: At the Isaiah Wall outside the United Nations Headquarters

(First Avenue beween 42nd 43rd Street), in New York City,

Time: 3:30PM

MORE CURRENT NEWS


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



GENERAL DESCRIPTION ON THE WEB - FROM A CHRISTIAN GROUP -
NOT CONNECTED TO THE HEZBOLLAH GROUP

FROM: http://mb-soft.com/believe/txo/hezbolla.htm

Hezbollah - {hez' - bah - lah}

General Information
Hezbollah, or Party of God, is an informal umbrella group of Shiite Muslim militants in Lebanon that advocates the creation of an Islamic republic there. Formed in about 1983, it places Islam above Arab nationalism and has demanded that Westerners leave Lebanon and that Christians there be tried for crimes against Muslims. Hezbollah's more than 5,000 members, subsidized and trained by Iran, are concentrated in the southern slums of Beirut and al - Biqa (Bekaa) Valley; they become martyrs if they sacrifice their lives in what is considered a holy war.

The organization has no formal structure; its fluid membership includes such shadowy terrorist groups as Islamic Jihad, the Revolutionary Justice Organization, Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Arab Revolutionary Cells. Hezbollah groups have claimed responsibility for the 1983 bombings of the U S embassy and marine headquarters in Beirut, several hijackings, and the taking of Western and Israeli hostages. In January 1989, after months of armed clashes, Hezbollah signed a peace agreement with the mainstream Lebanese Shiite group, the Syrian backed Amal (Hope).

The 1989 death of Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini and a Syrian brokered Lebanese peace accord led to a decline in Hezbollah's influence in the early 1990s. Hezbollah's tactics and shadowy nature frustrated conventional political, diplomatic, and military strategies and contributed to a U S foreign policy scandal, the Iran Contra Affair. After the Persian Gulf War (1991), in an effort to end its international isolation, the Iranian government persuaded Hezbollah groups to release some hostages.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DESCRIPTION OF THE HEZBOLLAH GROUP FROM WWW.HIZBOLLAH.ORG

From: www.hizbollah.org/

HEZBOLLAH is an Islamic struggle movement. Its emergence is based on an ideological, social, political and economical mixture in a special Lebanese, Arab and Islamic context .

As a result of this background Hezbollah went through various decisive moments in its history. With the most important moment being in 1982 the year of the Zionist invasion of Lebanon. This invasion led to the occupation of the capital Beirut making it the second Arab capital to be occupied during the Arab-“Israeli” conflict, with Jerusalem being the first. This crossroad speeded up the presence of Hezbollah as a struggle movement that is totally affiliated in the long complicated and complex fight against the Zionist enemy. The starting point of that struggle being the Zionist occupation of Palestine, and then to many of the Arab lands in Egypt, Syria and Jordan leading up to Lebanon. All that led to the establishment of the identity of Hezbollah as a struggle movement against the Zionists. Add to that many social, economical, political and cultural ideals of the Shiaa in Lebanon. Another very important factor that developed Hezbollah was the establishment of the Islamic Revolution in Iran that was led by the late Imam Khomeini. This revolution consolidated new concepts in the field of Islamic thought mainly the concept of Willayat Al-Faqih. The revolution also generalized Islamic expressions against the west such as arrogance, the great Satan, hypocrites and the oppressed.

With this crossroad and with the historic tie between the Shiaas in Lebanon and in Iran, which is a doctrinal tie. As well as of the reason that Iran hosts the second most important religious school of the Shiaa in Qom with the second being the Al-Najaf school in Iraq. But because of many obvious reasons Qom has occupied the number one Shiaa school in the world today.

Due to that it was only normal for the ideological doctrine in Iran to take root in Lebanon. This tie was very quickly translated on the ground by direct support from the Islamic Republic of Iran through its revolutionary guards and then to Hezbollah that was resisting the “Israeli” occupation.

This religious and ideological tie between Hezbollah and Iran following the revolution with its stance towards the Zionist entity had a great effect on releasing vital material and moral support to Hezbollah. This support speeded up the acknowledgement of making Hezbollah one of the leading struggle movements against the Zionists. But during and after 1985 Hezbollah was the only such movement in this field.

It was not by sheer coincidence that Hezbollah turned into a struggle movement against the “Israeli” occupation. Because Hezbollah’s ideological ideals sees no legitimacy for the existence of “Israel” a matter that elevates the contradictions to the level of existence. And the conflict becomes one of legitimacy that is based on religious ideals. The seed of resistance is also deep in the ideological beliefs of Hezbollah, a belief that found its way for expression against the Zionist occupation of Lebanon. And that is why we also find the slogan of the liberation of Jerusalem rooted deeply in the ideals of Hezbollah. Another of its ideals is the establishment of the an Islamic Government.

The Islamic Resistance was able to direct very painful blows to the Zionist enemy forcing them to withdraw step by step. One of the principal withdrawals is that of 1985 leading up to the withdrawal from the Christian area Jezzine. And finally leaving the enemy with no choice but to withdraw completely as a final solution to their problems.

Hezbollah also used one of its own special types of resistance against the Zionist enemy that is the suicide attacks. These attacks dealt great losses to the enemy on all thinkable levels such as militarily and mentally. The attacks also raised the moral across the whole Islamic nation.

It is also vital to state here, that the resistance gained high credibility amongst the people and in all official statuses, both locally and internationally. The US also once stated that the resistance is a justified movement in facing the “Israeli” occupation.

The resistance also established an internal national axis in a way that was never witnessed in Lebanon before. This matter is of vital interest when we notice how Lebanon is divided into various religions, sects, ideologies, societies, cultures etc.

Today, Hezbollah is one of the most prominent Lebanese political parties that has its presence in the parliament with 8 MPs.

Hezbollah today also commands respect politically after it proved its strength with its presence by respecting the values of others in the field.

Hezbollah also sees itself committed in introducing the true picture of Islam, the Islam that is logical. Committed to introduce the civilized Islam to humanity.

Hezbollah also sees itself committed in introducing the Islam that is confidant in achieving justice, as well as introducing the Islam that protects all human rights. Introducing the Islam that supports education, the Islam that offers medical support. Hezbollah also has its own cultural plan to attract and convince through civilized and humanitarian means as specified in the human rights laws, far from any use of violence or coercion.

It should also be clear that the kind of Islam that Hezbollah seeks is a civilized one that refuses any kind of oppression, degradation, subjugation and colonization. Hezbollah also stretches its arm of friendship to all on the basis of mutual self-respect.

The Islamic path that Hezbollah follows is one of a message that aims to establish peace and justice to all humanity whatever their race or religion. Hezbollah does not have a problem with anyone, but it feels responsible towards him or her to clarify the true Islam far away of any fanaticism.

Hezbollah does not wish to implement Islam forcibly but in a peaceful and political manner, that gives the chance to the majority to either accept or refuse. If Islam becomes the choice of the majority only then will it be implemented. If not it will then continue to co-exist with others on the basis of mutual understanding using peaceful methods to reach peaceful solutions. And that is how the case should be to the non-Islamists as well.

Hezbollah - this is not in English (I don't know what it says - but it's here for reference for whoever can read this language.

Hizbollah - English site

The Israel-Hezbollah War


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From: http://www.danielpipes.org/articles/20000828.shtml

The Hezbollah in America: An Alarming Network
National Review
August 28, 2000

Mohamad Youssef Hammoud, an 18-year-old Shiite Muslim from Lebanon, arrived at New York's Kennedy Airport on June 6, 1992. He had come, accompanied by two close male relatives, from Caracas, Venezuela, where each of them had plunked down $200 for a counterfeit U.S. visa. American border guards caught the fraud, and the trio did not exactly begin their American careers with distinction; but they did begin them in character-with a crime. The U.S. government also responded in character, just as it would many times over the next eight years: It allowed them into the country.

Then followed a fairly typical sequence of events for illegal immigrants. In November 1992, Hammoud claimed political asylum on the (dubious) grounds that Israel's Lebanese allies were out to get him, making this fear his justification for buying a fake U.S. visa. A year later, in December 1993, an immigration judge turned down this transparent ploy and ordered Hammoud deported. To no avail: Hammoud promptly filed an appeal, which permitted him to stay longer. In December 1994, while still awaiting a verdict, he married an American named Sabina Edwards, and this gave him legal standing to apply for permanent residency. The Immigration and Naturalization Service did some sleuthing and found both the marriage certificate and the woman's birth certificate fraudulent, so in August 1996 Hammoud was again ordered deported, this time within the month.

The resourceful Hammoud then went underground. In May 1997, he married a second American, Jessica Wedel. In September 1997, while still married to Wedel, he took a third wife, Angela Tsioumas. (That she was already married to another man perhaps evened the score.) The INS, not too adept at record-keeping, mislaid its file on Hammoud's earlier marriage fraud and never noticed that both of the nuptial pair were married to others; so, on the basis of Hammoud's marriage to Tsioumas, the agency granted him conditional residency in July 1998. Only in October 1998 did Hammoud get around to divorcing Wedel.

To make matters even more interesting, the Hammoud-Tsioumas bond turns out to have been a complete fiction, just a way for him to acquire citizenship and for her to earn a few thousand dollars. Hammoud appears to have (truly) married a woman in Lebanon in 1999; Tsioumas has bragged that, as soon as Hammoud no longer needs her, she will marry other would-be Americans "for the right price."

One might imagine that Hammoud's desperate efforts to remain in the U.S. signaled his deep affection for the land of the free; or, at any rate, his longing to walk our streets paved with gold. But one would be wrong. Like so many other Shiites from the shantytowns south of Beirut, this young man has adopted the Ayatollah Khomeini's brand of extremist Islam and virulent anti-Ameri canism. As a member of Hezbollah, the main Islamist terrorist and political organization of Lebanon, Hammoud came here not as an immigrant, to become American-but as a missionary, to bring Hezbollah's message into enemy territory.


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Peres Asserts Iran Armed Hezbollah
Alan Friedman International Herald Tribune
Sunday, February 3, 2002

He Says 8,000 Missiles Were Sent

NEW YORK Israel said Sunday that Iran had supplied Hezbollah militants in Lebanon with 8,000 missiles that could hit Israeli cities, and warned Lebanon it would not tolerate any missile attacks from its territory.
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Citing what he called reliable intelligence information, Shimon Peres, the Israeli foreign minister, made the allegation in an interview with the International Herald Tribune.
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He also contended that North Korea had supplied Iran with a medium-range missile and that the two countries were cooperating to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting North America.
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Mr. Peres, who is attending the World Economic Forum meetings here, also distanced himself from a remark by the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who a few days ago said he regretted that Israel had not killed the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, 20 years ago.
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In making the charges against Iran and North Korea, Mr. Peres appeared to be providing a timely backup to President George W. Bush, who sparked anger in the Middle East last week when he charged that Iran, North Korea and Iraq formed an "axis of evil" and were developing weapons of mass destruction.
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Diplomats who asked not to be named said Mr. Peres had discussed the intelligence data on Iran's alleged role in providing missiles to Hezbollah during a meeting with Colin Powell, the U.S. secretary of state.
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"Iran has given Hezbollah a collection of 8,000 Katusha missiles with a range of between 20 and 70 kilometers over the last six months, and those missiles pose a direct threat to Israel," Mr. Peres contended in the interview.
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In a warning that singled out Lebanon but may actually have been aimed at Syria, which exercises suzerainty over Lebanon, Mr. Peres went on to say that "if Hezbollah thinks that they will fire those missiles at Israel from the Lebanon, then we have to warn Lebanon" that Israel would not stand for it.
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The Israeli foreign minister, who held two hours of talks in New York with aides to Mr. Arafat and also met King Abdullah of Jordan, said that Iran was working with North Korea on medium-and long-range missiles that could threaten Europe and North America.
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"Iran has received an old North Korean Shihab-3 missile with a range of 1,200 kilometers," Mr. Peres said. "And now Iran, in collaboration with North Korea, is trying to build a missile with a range of 10,000 kilometers that could threaten North America."
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The missile allegations come at an extremely delicate moment in domestic Israeli politics and in the region. Mr. Sharon is facing a threatened resignation from a rightist member of his cabinet because the prime minister met with a Palestinian delegation last Wednesday.
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On Sunday in New York, when asked to rate the chances of a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians on a scale of one to 10, Mr. Peres said "between three and four on a scale of 10."
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Mr. Peres grew visibly uncomfortable when asked whether he agreed with the statement by Mr. Sharon last week in which the prime minister said he regretted that Israel had not killed Mr. Arafat 20 years ago.
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"I didn't make that statement. Mr. Sharon did, and I don't wish to comment on Mr. Sharon's statements," he replied at first.
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But when pressed to offer his personal opinion as to whether Israel should have killed Mr. Arafat in the early 1980s, Mr. Peres offered a less cryptic response. "No, I was against killing Mr. Arafat then, and I am against it today," he said.
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"At the time, Arafat had passed an Israeli Army position and our soldiers had their rifles trained on him and could have easily shot him. But Begin gave the order not to shoot Arafat, and Begin should be praised for that decision," he said, referring to then Prime Minister Menachem Begin. It was not clear if the episode occurred in 1982 or 1983.
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A spokesman for Mr. Peres said the minister still saw Mr. Arafat as the Palestinian leader.
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Israel has virtually confined Mr. Arafat in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Asked if this was constructive for the peace process, Mr. Peres quoted Mr. Sharon as saying, "if he becomes a partner for peace then he will not be confined."
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Mr. Peres, when pressed whether he thought confinement was the best approach, said, "I think it would be wise for Arafat to arrest the people who killed an Israeli minister." He was referring to Rehavam Zeevi, the Israeli minister of tourism who was shot and killed by Palestinian gunmen on Oct. 17.
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"The confinement," he added, "is more a matter of pressure than punishment. We said that people in Ramallah had murdered an Israeli minister in Jerusalem and we are telling Arafat who did it, and we demand that he arrest them."
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When asked if such an arrest could place Mr. Arafat at risk, Mr. Peres said, "My answer is that to be a leader is sometimes not so easy."
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Even as Mr. Peres spoke in New York, there appeared to be modest signs that, despite his prudent assessment, a cease-fire might be becoming more feasible. Among these sings were more moderate tones from Mr. Arafat and Mr. Sharon.
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Mr. Arafat on Sunday said in a statement that he condemned Palestinian "terrorist groups" that attack Israeli civilians and said he was "determined to put an end to their activities."
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Mr. Peres, on Sunday, welcomed those remarks as a step in the right direction.
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Separately, Mr. Sharon defended his meeting with senior Palestinian leaders and said he planned more such talks. This is despite harsh criticism of Mr. Sharon from hard-liners in his cabinet.
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In New York, Mr. Peres said that contacts with Palestinian officials "always" brought progress, but he cautioned that real talks aimed at establishing a cease-fire would resume only after Mr. Sharon returned home from a visit to Washington, where he is expected to meet President Bush on Thursday.
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Secretary Powell was expected to meet with senior Palestinian officials in Washington on Sunday.
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Hezbollah Proud to Be on Terror List

NewsMax.com Wires
Sunday, November 4, 2001

BEIRUT -- Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday the United States included his group on its list of terrorist organizations because it refused to relinquish its anti-Israel resistance and support of the Palestinian people.

Nasrallah said it was "natural" and expected that the U.S. lists Hezbollah as a terrorist organization "along (with) other struggling and resistance movements," which are being faced "with this violence and harshness exercised by Israel."

He said it was logical that Hezbollah be included on the list because after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, it refused to abandon resistance against Israel and provide support for the Palestinian people in their struggle to liberate their occupied land.

"It is our pride that the Great Satan (U.S.) and the head of despotism, corruption and arrogance in modern times considers us as an enemy that should be listed on the terrorism list," Nasrallah said. "I say to every member of Hezbollah (should) be happy and proud that your party has been placed on the list of terrorist organizations as the U.S. views it."

He said both Arabs and Muslims viewed Hezbollah as "the title for an honest, struggling and humanitarian resistance."

He blasted the United States for responding to Israel's wishes and including Hezbollah and the Palestinian groups of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in its new list of groups whose assets are to be frozen and thus accusing the Palestinians, who were "defending their existence and security" as being terrorists.

Nasrallah said the U.S. "is lying when it says that its war is not against Islam and the Muslims" while "it is engaged in a war against every Muslim who refuses to bow and kneel to the U.S."

He warned against providing any kind of assistance to the international coalition against terrorism and "those tyrants."



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Excerpted: ENN DAILY INTELLIGENCE REPORT-Thursday, May 8, 1997 Vol. 3 - 128

HEZBOLLAH TERRORIST OPERATIONS IN CANADA ...

By Steve Macko, ERRI Analyst

Officials say that the recent arrest of a Saudi Arabian national believed to be connected to a deadly terrorist attack in the Middle East in 1996 has given authorities a glimpse of what is said to be a largely hidden network of terrorists that use Canada to raise money, recruit members, provide a safe haven and plan additional terrorist attacks.

Many of the details of this operation remain secret, but official reports, court papers and transcripts of interviews with another individual accused of terrorism and deported in 1994 reveal what officials believe to be the pro-Iranian Hezbollah has established a presence in Canada.

It is the opinion of Canadian officials that Canada's open borders and its refugee policies make it easy for suspected terrorists to enter the country to hide or to find an easy way to get into the United States. The Saudi national, Hani Abdel Rahim al-Sayegh, is accused of belonging to Hezbollah and taking part in the 25 June 1996 terrorist bombing of a military complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

Court papers indicate that Canadian intelligence officers believe that Hezbollah members in Canada helped al-Sayegh find safe haven in the country last August.

Canadian intelligence learned a great deal about the workings of Hezbollah in Canada from a man accused of being a member who was deported from the country three years ago.

In a 1993 interview with agents of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Mohammed Hussein al-Husseini said, "Hezbollah has members in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, all of Canada." The man gave details of how Hezbollah conducts surveillance of important buildings in Canada, such as the CSIS' own regional headquarters in Montreal. He told the agents who were interviewing him: "If Hezbollah decided to get this building, it would get it."

The CSIS stated that it believed Hezbollah was prepared to order al-Husseini to commit an act of terrorism or violence in Canada or some other place. If Hezbollah did give such an order, al- Husseini would have carried it out.

During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the CSIS was widely criticized for conducting investigations in Arab neighborhoods, where residents felt unjustly singled out because of their background.

The former chief of strategic planning at the CSIS and who is now a political risk analyst, David Harris, said, "The situation in Canada is somewhat confused by the multicultural aspect of Canada."

The United States, France and other countries with large ethnic populations have also had trouble investigating suspected terrorists without being accused of stereotyping minority groups. Harris says that it is shortsighted to allow sensitivity to get in the way of national security. He said, "The very fact that you've got a group of people here with the track record for violence that Hezbollah has should be of grave concern to Canadians."

In the U.S., officials say that there was at least one Hezbollah cell in Canada in 1993. U.S. intelligence said that at the time, the Canadian arm of Hezbollah was providing planning and logistical support for terrorist attacks, perhaps in North America.

The CSIS recently gave its view of the scope of terrorist activities in Canada in its annual report to Parliament. The intelligence service said in its report that was filed on 23 April: "Many of the world's terrorist group's have a presence in Canada."

The CSIS said that it believed that the terrorist groups use Canada for fund raising, safe haven and recruiting Canadian citizens in ethnic communities. They also provide "logistical support for terrorism outside of Canada" and are developing the potential for "terrorist actions in Canada."

The interviews with al-Husseini did help to illustrate how Hezbollah operates in Canada. CSIS agents suspected al-Husseini of being involved in the 1988 hijacking of a Kuwaiti airliner.

According to al-Husseini, Hezbollah is made up as "a military organizational and popular apparatus." He also said that "orders for these three units come from Iran, but final approval is obatined from Hazzan Nasrallah and Sayid Fadlallah," who are the political and religious leaders of Hezbollah." Al-Husseini added that the cells were involved in "security activities, that is, hostage taking and explosives."

Al-Husseini gave the CSIS the names of people in Montreal and Ottawa who he said were members of Hezbollah. He also said that the terrorist group had a security service that could "gather information even on its own members, who are scattered all over the world."

Hezbollah is said to be capable of conducting in-depth surveillance in Canada and has sent video back to Lebanon because, according to al-Husseini, "Hezbollah wants to collect information on Canada, on life in Canada, its roads and so on, in case there's a problem with Canada."

Even with all of this great information that was obtained from al-Husseini, the reliability of his information has come into question. When questioned about al-Husseini, Gaetan Bais, the CSIS spokesman, said that much of the information that was gathered in three interviews with al-Husseini was gathered to support the suspicion that he was a terrorist. Al-Husseini was deported back to Lebanon three years ago.

Canada really has not been a prime target for Middle East terrorists. However, the country has been the victim of a few incidents. In 1985, 329 people were killed when an Air India flight from Toronto exploded off the coast of Ireland. In 1982, a Turkish military attache was assassinated in Ottawa.

Before being arrested in March, al-Sayegh had arrived in Canada by way of Rome and Boston. he was kept under close surveillance for several months.

The ENN DAILY INTELLIGENCE REPORT is a subscription publication of the EmergencyNet NEWS Service, which is a part of the Chicago-based Emergency Response and Research Institute. This publication specializes in Security/Terrorism/Intelligence/Military and National Security issues.
__________________
O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Exclamation HEZBOLLAH: An Experience, What's really going on? Part 2

HEZBOLLAH


An Experience
What's really going on?


http://www.greatdreams.com/hezbollah.htm
Israel retaliates for Hezbollah attack

April 14, 2001
Web posted at: 1:31 p.m. EDT (1731 GMT)

April 14, 2001

Web posted at: 1:31 p.m. EDT (1731 GMT)

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli combat planes struck a pair of Hezbollah targets inside southern Lebanon on Saturday in response to heavy fire targeting the Israeli military near Shebaa Farms, the Israeli military said. One Israeli soldier was killed, Israeli military officials said.

Hezbollah acknowledged launching a missile into a disputed area at the foot of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.


"Our fighters today hit an Israeli tank inside a position they attacked in the occupied Shebaa Farms," said a report on a Hezbollah television station.
Israel Defense Forces officials said their warplanes launched airstrikes in the border area and about a mile inside Lebanon.
Hezbollah said that Israeli soldiers fired back at their positions with artillery shells as well.

Israel occupied Shebaa Farms and the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. But Syria, Lebanon and Hezbollah say the area rightfully belongs to Lebanon and should have been part of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon last May.
The United Nations agrees with Israel that the area is Syrian land under Israeli occupation.

Hezbollah, considered largely responsible for forcing Israel to withdraw from its so-called "security border" in southern Lebanon, has kept up the fight, seeking the return of Shebaa to Lebanon.

A Hezbollah attack on February 16 killed one soldier and wounded two others near the border, and guerrillas captured three Israeli soldiers in the Shebaa Farms in October.

CNN Producer Shira Medding contributed to this report.

Lebanon Won't Freeze Hezbollah Assets


Group Is a Resistance Movement, Not a Terrorist Organization, Many Arabs Say

By Howard Schneider

Washington Post Foreign Service

Friday, November 9, 2001; Page A21

CAIRO, Nov. 8 -- Lebanon today rejected U.S. requests that it freeze the assets of the militant Hezbollah organization, showing that a tricky diplomatic war awaits the United States if the anti-terrorism campaign expands from military strikes against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden to other movements labeled as terrorist.

In the eyes of Lebanese officials and many Arabs in Lebanon and elsewhere, Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, despite its definition as such by the U.S. government. In Beirut and beyond, it is considered a national resistance movement whose guerrilla attacks forced Israel to end a two-decade occupation of the southern Lebanese countryside and which is still needed to recapture a final piece of Israeli-held land known as Shebaa Farms.

U.S. policy is based in part on a long memory of Hezbollah, particularly its role in the 1980s in kidnappings, plane hijackings and bombings of a U.S. Marine barracks and the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. But Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri on Wednesday told U.S. Ambassador Vincent Battle that the country will stand by the group that made the Israelis leave Lebanese soil and that plays a prominent role in Lebanese political life.
"The Lebanese position is clear on this subject. It is a decisive position based on Arab and Islamic solidarity," Hariri said after a day in which he conferred with other top Lebanese leaders, made an unexpected trip to Damascus to consult with Syrian President Bashar Assad and met with Battle.

Hariri's cabinet formally committed to this policy in a statement today. "And we are not about to change this policy under any circumstances because it is based on national convictions," President Emile Lahoud added in a separate declaration.

"The Lebanese government will continue to insist on the distinction between resistance organizations and terrorist organizations," Battle said, adding that Lebanon and the United States seem to be headed for "quite difficult" conversations.

The open disagreement between the United States and Lebanon over the nature of Hezbollah reflects a broader problem that the U.S.-backed coalition against terrorism will face if it carries the fight beyond Afghanistan. While the initial phase of the campaign has garnered support from many countries and at least tolerance from Arab states, there is concern particularly among the Arab countries that it will end up turning into an assault on groups and organizations that oppose Israel.

In addition to Hezbollah, the Bush administration last week moved to freeze the assets of the Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Damascus-based movement that recently acknowledged killing the Israeli tourism minister in retaliation for Israel's assassination of its leader; and other groups opposed to the peace terms accepted by the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

These groups enjoy no small degree of sympathy in such countries as Lebanon and Syria, but also in Jordan and Egypt, which are close allies of the United States. Action against those organizations, considered by many Arabs as legitimate political movements fighting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, would likely fracture the current coalition and further fuel anti-American sentiment in the region.

Even as Arab foreign ministers meeting in Damascus last weekend issued a strong condemnation of bin Laden, they also laid down a marker of sorts, with Farouk Charaa of Syria blasting the U.S. decision to put Hezbollah, the PFLP and others on a par with bin Laden's group, al Qaeda.

"It is a shame for any country in the world to see with its own eyes what Israel is doing and accuse those Palestinians or Lebanese who defend their land of terrorism," Charaa said at the meeting.

Of the individuals and organizations included on the list of terrorism targets so far, Hezbollah presents one of the trickiest diplomatic puzzles.
Its initial funding and inspiration came from the militant Shiite movement that toppled the shah of Iran in 1979. Its initial aims were to set up an Islamic government in Lebanon. In the last decade, however, Hezbollah's military activity focused on the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon until Israel pulled back in June 2000. More recently, attacks have been limited to Israeli positions in the Shebaa Farms area, which Syria and Lebanon say is Lebanese territory despite a U.N. finding that Israel captured it from Syria in 1967.

The organization grew along other fronts as well, opening schools and health clinics, operating a television station and electing members to the Lebanese parliament. In many of its current activities, it is similar to other Lebanese sectarian organizations, including the Shiite Amal party of Nabih Berri, the speaker of parliament, that also maintain armed militia components but have not been included on the U.S. list of terrorists.
Battle indicated in comments yesterday after meeting Hariri that the United States is sensitive to the difficulties the Lebanese government faces over Hezbollah and hinted that, unlike the uncompromising action against al Qaeda and bin Laden, there may be room to maneuver.

Under the list published last week, the United States could freeze funds in any financial institutions that refuse to seize Hezbollah's assets, which could have a disastrous impact on Lebanon's financial ties to Europe and the West. But Battle said it would be a "very, very long and technical and difficult exercise" to freeze any assets.

Hezbollah officials, however, said they will not change their orientation. "The U.S. lists don't bother us in the slightest," a Hezbollah commander, Sheik Nabil Qaouk, was quoted as saying in Beirut's Daily Star newspaper. "When America accuses Hezbollah, we take it as proof of the credibility of our goals."

Hezbollah in North Carolina?

Feds: Charlotte Cell Aided Militants

By Paul Nowell
The Associated Press

C H A R L O T T E, N.C., March 28, 2001 — A Hezbollah "cell" in Charlotte provided material support and resources, including cash and equipment, to the Islamic militant group Hezbollah, federal prosecutors alleged today.

An indictment handed down by a federal grand jury charged four people with conspiring to provide the Lebanon-based group with cash, night vision goggles, global positioning devices, mine detection equipment, cell phones and blasting equipment.


The indictment does not allege that they provided weapons.
"We hope to send a clear message that North Carolina, the United States and Canada are off-limits for illegal funding and procurement activities by individuals or organizations that support terrorism," said Chris Swecker, special agent in charge of the FBI's Charlotte office.

Last summer, the same grand jury indicted 18 people on charges of cigarette smuggling, money laundering and immigration violations. Six have pleaded guilty to immigration law violations and charges are pending against the remaining 12.

The indictment handed down Wednesday names six new defendants, none of whom is in custody. Three are accused of aiding Hezbollah and the other three face charges including cigarette smuggling and money laundering.

Profits from Cigarette Sales?
The three accused of helping Hezbollah were identified as Ali Adham Amhaz and Mohamad Hassan Dbouk, last reported to be living in Vancouver, and Hassan Hilu Laqis, whose last address was unknown.
The fourth man, Said Mohamad Harb, is among the group charged in July and has been held without bond in federal custody since then.

The government contends that Mohamad Youssef Hammoud, named in the original indictment, led a Charlotte-based group of Lebanese immigrants who bought cases of cigarettes in North Carolina, which has a low cigarette tax, and sold them at a profit in other states.

Prosecutors said the group diverted some of its profits to Hezbollah, a Lebanese-based faction that has been named by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization.

Today's indictment, which supercedes the one issued in July, means a total of 24 people have been named in 77 charges related to cigarette smuggling, immigration violations and aiding Hezbollah.




Hezbollah gets its way


Why Lebanon isn't euphoric about the impending pullout of Israeli forces.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Flore de Preneuf

May 13, 2000 | BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Israel has vowed to withdraw its troops from southern Lebanon in a few weeks, which will close a chapter of violence and occupation that lasted for 22 exhausting years. But paradoxically, the prospect is causing more concern than euphoria in Beirut.

Only the Islamic guerrillas who have fought Israel to a standstill are poised to celebrate -- with extra gunfire -- as the Israeli soldiers pull out. The guerrilla group, known as Hezbollah ("The Party of God"), will be one of the few Arab military groups ever to succeed in forcing Israel to back down. In the past few days, Hezbollah has stacked three rocket launchers on a pedestal on the Mediterranean seafront here and draped the installation with a banner proclaiming loudly, "Resistance is the answer."

The guerrillas, backed by Syria and Iran, have tried the patience of the Israeli public by inflicting a steady hemorrhage of human losses on Israel since 1985, when Israel established a 9-mile-wide "security zone" in southern Lebanon. The painful casualties made Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's electoral promise to pull out by July 7 a hugely popular pledge in Israel. At the same time, the war has earned Hezbollah patriotic credibility and political support in Lebanon.

Hezbollah propaganda aside, the Israeli withdrawal raises more questions in Lebanon than it answers. The dismantling of Israeli military outposts is only in its early stages, but already there are jitters in Lebanon. The change threatens to crumble a decade-old arrangement in which Syria ensured Lebanon's stability and Lebanon was hostage to Syrian interests.
In editorials and student demonstrations in April, the Lebanese started to challenge the overbearing presence of Syria in their country. Some 35,000 Syrian troops, ubiquitous spies and interference in domestic affairs have made Syria the de facto ruler of the area since the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1990.

The students -- mostly Christian supporters of exiled Lebanese Gen. Michel Aoun -- have vocally equated Syrian occupation with Israeli occupation and called for the end of both. The Lebanese army (loyal to Syria) crushed recent demonstrations in which 14 students were injured and several arrests were made. Some fear the crackdown could lead Lebanon into a new round of sectarian violence.

Given all that, "people aren't sure how they should respond to Israel's withdrawal," said Michael Young, a political analyst at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies in Beirut. "On the one hand, people hope the situation in the south will be neutralized after the pullout," he said. "On the other, people fear Syria will attempt to create violence." Violence would help Syria preserve the status quo in Lebanon and maintain some leverage against Israel in its bid to recover the Golan Heights.

Indeed, the guerrilla war waged by Hezbollah against Israel in southern Lebanon has been at the heart of Syria's strategy to reclaim the Golan Heights, a strategic wind-swept plateau that overlooks the Sea of Galilee and has been under Israeli control since 1967.

Syria's calculation was that Hezbollah would bleed Israel until it agreed to give back the Golan Heights in exchange for peace on its northern border. Israel also envisioned a withdrawal from Lebanon within the framework of a peace agreement with Syria. But that plan fell apart in March when Israel and Syria failed to agree on the borders of the Golan. Barak then announced that he would stick to his electoral promise and withdraw his troops from Lebanon anyway.

"The contingency plan became the plan," said Gebran Tueni, publisher of Lebanon's biggest daily, An Nahar. Analysts now speculate that Syrian President Hafez Assad will scramble for ways to sabotage the unilateral Israeli withdrawal and keep pressure on Israel to hand back the Golan. "For the first time the Syrians are reacting and not acting," said Tueni.
Assad has showed in the past few weeks that he may be willing and able to keep up the pressure. One way of achieving this is to question the comprehensiveness of the Israeli withdrawal and to challenge the new border being drawn by United Nations cartographers. Shebaa Farms, for example, a fertile patch of land near the ill-defined border between the Golan and Lebanon, cropped up seemingly out of nowhere last week, all groomed to become an apple of discord in diplomatic talks. (The Lebanese claim the farms are theirs, although U.N. maps place them south of the border.)

A more likely scenario for post-withdrawal mayhem, according to analysts, has Syria hiring new proxies capable of making Israeli lives unpleasant across the fence. Some expect that Hezbollah will decide to rest on its laurels and concentrate on politics after an Israeli withdrawal. But Lebanon shelters plenty of other groups that could easily be persuaded to play Syria's game: hawkish Palestinian refugees stuck in miserable dead-end camps in southern Lebanon, a multitude of semiclandestine Islamic organizations, even freelance terrorists. "All you need is someone lobbing the periodic Katyusha [hand-held Soviet-made rockets] into Israel," noted one analyst. "It's a perfectly credible line of threat."

After intense lobbying by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the Syrians accepted last week the idea of giving the U.N. Interim Forces in Lebanon a beefed-up role in policing southern Lebanon after an Israeli withdrawal. But few analysts predict UNIFIL -- a contingent of foreign "peacekeeping" troops that has been in Lebanon since the outbreak of the civil war -- will be capable of protecting Israel's border.

Israel has warned Syria that it will retaliate harshly against any attacks and put the blame squarely on Syria's doorstep. "I don't recommend that anyone, directly or indirectly, try to attack Israel, its residents or its army after we withdraw," Barak told Israeli Army Radio on Monday. "Anyone who tries to harm us will get what he deserves."

When the Israeli air force bombed two Lebanese electricity plants on May 4, after Hezbollah had killed an Israeli soldier, the Lebanese were infuriated. The strikes, which caused power cuts and costly physical damage, gave the Lebanese the feeling that, once again, they were being asked to pay the price for unfinished business between Syria and Israel.
The threat of similar retaliatory attacks on Lebanese infrastructure after the Israelis leave partially explains the noticeable lack of enthusiasm on the eve of the pullout. That threat also fuels the current resurgence of anti-Syrian sentiment here. Although few of Lebanon's problems would be solved if Syrian troops marched home tomorrow, the Lebanese blame their Arab Big Brother for keeping them in a state of war.

"When foreign powers want to wage war, they do it in our country," complained a student at Christian St. Joseph University in Beirut, who was active in the anti-Syrian demonstrations in April. "We've been at war for 25 years although Lebanon has no weapons industry. We pay for all the Arabs."

But the grumbling can only go so far. "Everything we do now can be exploited as a possible point for Israel," said Tueni, who penned a groundbreaking anti-Syrian editorial in March but urged the students to keep a low profile in April. "We must wait until after July," he said in an interview. If Christian students demonstrate in the streets, the Syrians can bring out thousands of loyal Muslims -- and that will "bring back the kind of sectarian conflict that served as a pretext for the Syrian presence in Lebanon in the first place," he said.
salon.com | May 13, 2000


Hezbollah puts pressure on Arafat



By ROSS DUNN
JERUSALEM
Thursday 1 June 2000

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has warned he is under intense pressure to abandon negotiations and emulate the Hezbollah, which forced the Israeli army to make a hasty retreat from southern Lebanon.

Mr Arafat said many of his supporters now believed the guerrilla fighters in the militant Islamic group, Hezbollah (Party of God), had demonstrated that the best way to deal with Israel was through the barrel of a gun. He said many Palestinians had lost hope that talks with Israel would achieve results.

"The peace process has stopped completely," Mr Arafat said, despite the fact that talks between Israel and the Palestinians were meant to resume last night, at a secret venue in the Middle East. His remarks also came on the eve of the summit in Berlin today between United States President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who are expected to discuss the prospects for a renewal of peace talks with Syria after Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Mr Clinton had been hoping to broker a comprehensive peace in the Middle East before leaving office later this year. But Mr Arafat said there was little reason to be optimistic in the near future about Israel and the Palestinians striking a deal.

In a meeting in the West Bank town of Ramallah with Israeli Environment Minister Dalia Itzik, Mr Arafat said: "We've reached an impasse." He did not believe that the two sides were close to reaching even a framework for a peace treaty which, according to their own timetable, should be ready for signing by September.

During his meeting with Mrs Itzik, Mr Arafat said: "You have to understand what sort of pressure is being placed on me by the public. My public perceives Hezbollah to be heroes who succeeded in getting the Israel Defence Forces out of Lebanon and believe that that is the route we should take as well."

Mr Arafat stressed that he was also under pressure from the Arab world to follow Hezbollah's example. "My situation is not simple, the pressure being applied on me is coming from every direction," he said. "The Palestinian people want to see results in terms of the release of prisoners. In practice they see that nothing is moving."

Similar concerns are being voiced by Israeli Cabinet ministers. "Nothing is moving and, if things continue this way, we will reach an uncontrollable, very dangerous explosion that will be nothing like what happened in the territories two weeks ago," one Israeli Cabinet minister, who declined to be identified, told the Hebrew daily newspaper Ma'ariv. "The Palestinian streets will erupt and that is liable to lead to a huge catastrophe."

Mr Arafat also said he was disappointed to find that the election last year of Mr Barak as Israel's Prime Minister had not brought more hope. He lamented the loss of Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister assassinated in 1995.

Mr Arafat said Mr Rabin was a tough negotiator but also a man who honored his word. "With him, a fight was a fight, and spat was a spat, a date was a date and a word was a word," he said.




by Andrea Levin

Whitewashing Hezbullah

The recent withdrawal of Israel from Southern Lebanon in the face of a long and grinding conflict there with Hezbollah prompted a familiar media phenomenon. A number of journalists rushed to put a friendly face on the Iranian-funded, Syrian-coordinated group, passing over its record of bloodletting and focusing on Hezbollah’s work as a social service operation.

Under the almost lyrical headline “Helping Hand of Hezbollah Emerging in South Lebanon,” (May 31, 2000), New York Times reporter Susan Sachs led the way, recounting the quasi-governmental activity of the Islamic organization, including its provision of medical care, home reconstruction, fresh water and insecticide-spraying. In addition, Sachs’ only reference to Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the group’s general secretary who regularly calls for Israel’s destruction, is mention of his respectful attitude toward Lebanese officials and the outpouring of affection for him.

Though Sachs admits that Hezbollah is “still considered by the United States and other nations to be a terrorist group that bombed embassies and kidnaped Westerners in the 1980's” the reporter is misleading about the chronology of carnage. Hezbollah did, indeed, specialize in deadly bombings in the 1980's, including two in Beirut on the same day in 1983 that killed 241 American marines and 56 French servicemen sleeping in their respective barracks.

But, contrary to Sachs, the bloodshed continued into the 1990's with multiple bombings in Argentina of Israeli and Jewish community facilities, one in March 1992 that killed 29 and another in July 1994 that killed 96. At the time this last event occurred it was one of the worst terrorist attacks ever in the Western hemisphere. (Notably, the New York Times did not report the 1994 Buenos Aires bombing on its front page.) Hezbollah is also credited with blowing a Panamanian airplane out of the sky the same year killing 21 people. None of the perpetrators of these crimes have been brought to justice.

National Public Radio eagerly picked up the New York Times’ theme of a rehabilitated Hezbollah in its national call-in program, “Talk of the Nation.” Breathlessly, Jerusalem correspondent Jennifer Ludden reported: “...there is incredible [Lebanese] public support for Hezbollah, especially at this point in time. In recent years, a wide range of Lebanese, not just Shiite Muslims but also Sunni Muslims and Christian Lebanese, have come to very much appreciate these guerilla fighters putting their lives on the line. The organization has had – under the leadership of Sheik Hassan Nasrallah – it has transformed away from kidnapings and bombings that really marked it in the 1980's (sic), and I think the Lebanese government does not provide social services across the board as much as people would like. Hezbollah has been filling a lot of gaps.”

When Ludden was asked by the program host whether Hezbollah now accepts Israel’s “right to exist” she giggled slightly and responded, “Mmm. Well, they stopped at the border. I think that, again, they have been very, very cagey. You know, again, some of the foot soldiers will talk about liberating Jerusalem, but I don’t think that the leaders see this as a realistic goal.”

These are some of the many “cagey” statements of Sheik Nasrallah: In a January speech he said, “When we speak about Jerusalem we don’t want anyone to misunderstand. We do not mean East Jerusalem. We do not mean the Holy Jerusalem...We do not mean Jerusalem, the city. When we say Jerusalem, we speak of it as a symbol of all Palestine and the entire nation that is under assault by the scheme of global arrogance and Zionism that throughout the past 50 years has been implemented on our land. ... Israel is a cancerous, usurping entity without legitimacy or legal character.”

On June 2nd in a speech broadcast via telephone to a Palestinian rally in Gaza, Nasrallah called on the Palestinians to “fight the Zionists with stones, daggers, knives and bombs, expel them from the land, and make them return to whence they came...” He urged Palestinians to undertake suicide bombings such as the one perpetrated at Beit Lid in Israel where 22 young Israelis were murdered. In this particularly savage attack, bombs exploded at timed intervals in order to kill those who rushed to help the first victims.

When a caller to the NPR talk show challenged Ludden’s praise for Hezbollah, noting that the group’s website contains language calling for Israel’s elimination, the reporter responded, “I haven’t logged onto the Internet site recently.”

At the same time Sachs and Ludden were deceptive about Hezbollah, special credit is due Ray Suarez and Martin Himel for sound and balanced coverage of recent Lebanon events on the Public Broadcasting Service’s NewsHour. In a May 26th segment, the program gave a clear sense of the aims of Hezbollah and the challenges faced by Israel, reviewing key history and current concerns. The broadcast served as a welcome reminder of what journalism can and should be.

__________________
O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Exclamation HEZBOLLAH: An Experience, What's really going on? Part 3

http://www.greatdreams.com/hezbollah.htm


Has American Pressure Sidelined Hezbollah?

by Gary C. Gambill



According to the Lebanese daily Al-Nahar, earlier this month the Lebanese Shi'ite Islamist movement Hezbollah agreed to suspend its war against Israeli forces in the disputed Shebaa Farms enclave.1 However, neither the Lebanese nor Syrian governments have publicly confirmed the deal (according to Al-Nahar, the lack of publicity was one of Hezbollah's preconditions) and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly declared in recent weeks that no halt to the violence would be forthcoming.

Nevertheless, it appears that the unprecedented level of American pressure on Damascus and Beirut to rein in Hezbollah over the last two months may have produced results - Hezbollah has not launched an attack against Israeli forces since October 22.



Demise of the Quid Pro Quo
In the immediate aftermath of September 11, the Bush administration excluded Hezbollah, along with Syrian-backed Palestinian groups, from its war on terror in order to secure the backing of Arab states. However, from the very beginning, American officials were concerned that Hezbollah's sporadic attacks against Israeli forces in the Shebaa Farms area, which had provoked Israeli retaliation against Syrian forces in Lebanon twice before this year, could undermine Arab cooperation in the war on terror by inflaming anti-Israeli sentiments in the Middle East. Thus, the United States offered the Lebanese government and its Syrian patron a quid pro quo: the US would not demand that Lebanon deploy troops to the border area or freeze the group's assets as long as Damascus and Beirut ensure that the group does not launch any additional attacks against Israeli forces.

For the first month after September 11, the American anti-terror campaign was strictly limited to the al-Qa'ida terror network. A September 24 executive order threatened sanctions against states or financial institution that do business with 27 groups and individuals tied to bin Laden. Although Hezbollah was included in the State Department's update of its list of foreign terrorist organizations on October 5, this merely confirmed an existing designation and carried with it no explicit threat of sanctions.2 On October 12, the Bush administration released an additional list of 39 individuals, which included the former head of Hezbollah's special overseas operations, Imad Mughniyah, and two other Lebanese nationals, but no members of the group's current leadership were mentioned.

Moreover, whereas American officials periodically raised the issue of Syrian-backed Palestinian groups, there was virtually no criticism of Hezbollah by US diplomats in Lebanon. The American ambassador in Beirut, Vincent Battle, was even reported by one Lebanese newspaper to have told guests at a recent dinner that Hezbollah has nothing to do with the terrorism that the US is combatting.3 In fact, when one Lebanese newspaper erroneously reported that American officials had demanded that the Lebanese government freeze the assets of a list of individuals that included Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and his predecessor, Sobhi Toufaili,4 Battle issued a heated denial. "They are not included on the list," he told reporters on October 19. "I won't say anything more about the lists ever again."5

The quid pro quo nearly fell apart when Hezbollah launched a mortar attack on Israeli outposts on October 3 - its first operation in three months. However, the attack did not cause any injuries or structural damage (in fact, Lebanese press reports suggested that it was deliberately intended not to do so), and American officials were apparently persuaded by Lebanese officials that the operation was merely a symbolic response to several days of Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace.

On October 22, however, Hezbollah launched a second attack on Israeli forces in the Shebaa Farms area, this time causing considerable structural damage. More importantly, shortly after the attack Hassan Nasrallah declared that more attacks would be coming and Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara publicly defended the operation.

Immediately after the attack, Battle contacted President Emile Lahoud and Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri to issue what one Lebanese official described as "a strongly worded message that sounded like a warning."10 In Washington, President Bush reportedly called Hezbollah a terrorist group of "global reach" for the first time during a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.6

The Gloves Come Off
Over the next two months, the United States steadily escalated pressure on the Lebanese government to act decisively to rein in Hezbollah. On November 3, the Bush administration added Hezbollah to its September 24 list of terrorist organizations - raising for the first time the threat of sanctions against states and international financial institutions that decline to freeze its assets. "The new executive order gave us more authority to act against individuals, against organizations that are associated with these terrorist groups, and against banks that facilitate the flow of funds for them," said US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.

However, Lebanese officials defiantly rejected US demands that they freeze Hezbollah's assets in the country. "The country will not follow the United States in freezing Hezbollah's assets because it views the group as a resistance movement and not a terrorist organization," said Finance Minister Fouad Siniora on November 6. "We stress that those who are trying to liberate their lands are merely practicing resistance," he added. Information Minister Ghazi Aridi called the classification "another useless attempt by the Americans to curb anti-Israeli resistance."7 Meanwhile, Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud joined his Syrian counterpart in canceling plans to attend a UN General Assembly session in New York.

In the weeks that followed, the US escalated the pressure. On November 11, US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice stated that Lebanon's lack of cooperation in the war on terror could jeopardize its "integration into the world economy" and put its economic "survival" at risk in an interview on ABC. The Lebanese press subsequently reported threats by the US to cut the $35 million in economic aid it provides to Lebanon each year and to block Lebanon's attempts to organize an international donor meeting to bail out the country's moribund economy (the Paris II conference has been repeatedly postponed due to lack of interest).


Since mid-November, Lebanes President Emile Lahoud and other officials have focused their diplomatic efforts on disputing the Bush administration's contention that Hezbollah is a terrorist group with "global reach," emphasizing that its activities are confined to Lebanon.

However, in a December 9 interview broadcast by the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI), Ambassador Battle reiterated that "Hezbollah is on the US list of terrorist organizations because it is a group that carries out terrorist acts and is capable of staging them [with] vast global reach." In an unusually direct affront to the Lebanese president, he added that Lahoud's claim that the group's activities are confined to Lebanon was "incorrect in light of the data available to the US administration" and "did not convince the American government." He pointed specifically to the fact that Hezbollah has trained members of the Palestinian Islamist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad - both of which are classified as terrorist groups by the Bush administration - and said that he had raised the issue of "Hezbollah's activities that transcend Lebanon" with Lahoud.



Later in the interview, Battle dropped a second bombshell indicating that he had received new instructions from Washington. "The Shebaa Farms are not Lebanese," said Battle, referring to the disputed enclave where Hezbollah has concentrated its attacks against Israeli forces. "They are simply an alibi."
Lebanese officials were stunned by Battle's unprecedented remarks, but played them down publicly. The following day, Lahoud said only that "Hezbollah has no activities that go beyond resisting Israel in the framework of the Arab-Israeli conflict" - a carefully-worded statement that did not actually dispute Battle's allegations (e.g. training Palestinian fighters could be said to be within the bounds of "resistance" to Israel).

Not surprisingly, Hezbollah officials and members of its parliamentary bloc condemned the ambassador's remarks. Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem called Battle statements "disrespectful and offensive," MP Muhammad Raad called them "Israeli-inspired blackmail," while MP Ibrahim Bayan declared that the Lebanese government "should expel the American ambassador." Interestingly, however, Nasrallah stopped short of calling for Battle's expulsion. The Hezbollah leader challenged the US ambassador to provide evidence that Hezbollah's activities go beyond resistance to Israel - a sleight of hand (Battle said that the group's activities go beyond Lebanon, not beyond resistance to Israel) intended to reframe the issue of what the US finds unacceptable - rather than categorically denouncing him.

After meeting with Lahoud in Beirut on December 14, US Assistant Secretary of State William Burns struck a conciliatory tone and carefully explained that the US objects to particular policies of Hezbollah, not the movement itself. "We do first recognize that Hezbollah has a number of different dimensions, as a political party, as a social welfare organization," said Burns, " but the United States continues to be concerned about terrorist activities that go well beyond . . . the borders of this country."

This did not elicit expressions of moderation from Hezbollah, however. That same afternoon, speaking before thousands of supporters during the Jerusalem Day rally in the Shi'ite southern suburbs of Beirut, Nasrallah declared that "suicide bombings are the only way to defeat the Zionists" and explicitly endorsed the killing of Israeli citizens. "Pay no attention to those who say there are civilians and soldiers in Israel," he said, "they are all occupiers and invaders, partners in crimes and massacres."

Shortly thereafter, US Ambassador Vincent Battle asked Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri to officially disavow Nasrallah's proclamation. The prime minister subsequently remarked, "Lebanon's position is clear. It was transparent in the April Accords [signed after Israel's 1996 Grapes of Wrath campaign] that both sides should stage no attacks on civilians on both sides of the frontier," but this statement was merely a reiteration of his government's acceptance of a US-brokered quid pro quo in south Lebanon, not a categorical rejection of violence against civilians.

The British EU Initiative
Amid this escalating war of words, the US backed a British initiative to thwart Lebanon's goal of entering the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Agreement, which would establish a free-trade zone on both sides of the Mediterranean by 2010. From an economic standpoint, relations with the European Union are much more important than relation with the United States. Over 80% of Lebanon's annual imports are from EU member countries, while its comparatively meager exports to the EU exceed those to the US. Moreover, the EU provides about one-third of economic aid received by Lebanon and accounts for more foreign investment than the United States. Although the association agreement would not have a direct short-term impact on the Lebanese economy, it would have a potentially enormous indirect effect by boosting investor confidence in Lebanon.

The association agreement was originally scheduled to be signed in early December. However, on November 30 the British demanded that the agreement include an explicit Lebanese commitment to combat terrorism during a meeting of senior EU officials in Brussels. After London officially submitted the demand on December 7, the EU delegate to Beirut, Patrick Renauld, announced that a new clause in the accord would stipulate that Lebanon "agree to cooperate with a view to preventing and repressing terrorist acts within the framework of [UN Security Council] Resolution 1373." According to Renauld, the anti-terror clause was "identical" to those included in EU association agreements with Algeria and Egypt and had "nothing to do with American demands regarding Hezbollah."8

While Hezbollah is currently not recognized by the UN as a terrorist organization, Lebanese officials feared that this could change in the future and prevent implementation of the association agreement. However, France, which has long refused to condemn Hezbollah operations against Israel, remained opposed to the clause. The next day, Prime Minister Hariri flew to Paris and met with French President Jacques Chirac to negotiate an alternative acceptable to the British. The French subsequently proposed a compromise whereby Lebanon will sign a separate letter to the EU secretariat pledging to combat terrorism.

On December 12, British Ambassador to Lebanon Richard Kinchen met with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in Haret Hreik, the first time a senior British diplomat has met with a leader of the group. After the meeting, Kinchen remarked that "there is still a cell or group [within Hezbollah] which is terrorist according to British law" and that continuing Hezbollah attacks against Israeli forces across the UN-drawn blue line go "beyond any claim to be resisting foreign occupation of Lebanese territory."

After Kinchen's meeting with Nasrallah, Britain tentatively accepted the compromise. Later that day, the French ambassador in Beirut announced that the agreement will be initialed in Brussels on December 20, but not actually signed, citing "technicalities involving the drafting of the texts." However, just days later, Lebanese officials announced that the initialing of the text had been postponed until January 10 due to a scheduling conflict.

While it is not yet clear why the initialing was postponed, it is possible that the Syrians did not want the Lebanese government to sign a letter to the EU committing to fight terrorism until after the EU had released its list of designated individuals and groups linked to terrorism later in the month.

These concerns would have been warranted, as Britain was lobbying for the inclusion of Hezbollah's "external security organization" (the "cell or group" within Hezbollah to which Kinchen referred) on the list. In fact, on December 27, the Associated Press, citing an advance copy of the list it had received from EU sources, reported that Hezbollah's "external security organization" was on the list. But when the EU released its list of "persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts" the next day, it conspicuously excluded Hezbollah, even though two Palestinian groups (Islamic Jihad and Izzedine al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas) were included.

Lebanese officials were ecstatic. "This shows that the position of Lebanon, which makes a distinction between resistance and terrorism, has been understood," said Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud the following day. However, it is likely that the last minute exclusion of Hezbollah resulted from some sort of understanding between the EU, the Lebanese and Syrian governments, and Hezbollah to suspend attacks on the Shebaa Farms, at least temporarily.

Whether Hezbollah would abide by such an understanding remains to be seen. Whereas the group largely abided by the terms of the April 1996 agreement, which banned attacks on civilians by Israel and Hezbollah, the comparison is misleading - the April 1996 accord was openly endorsed by both Damascus and Beirut. Since neither has publicly committed to a cease-fire against Israeli forces in the Shebaa Farms, the Lebanese and Syrian governments have not staked their credibility on its observance and Hezbollah has no face-saving justification for continued inaction.


For the time being, at least, the Lebanese regime is likely to rein in Hezbollah out of pure self interest. Prime Minister Hariri is making a concerted effort to drum up international support for holding the Paris II donor conference in February or March. Until then, both he and the Syrians know that the United States can and will derail the conference if the border with Israel heats up.

Notes
1 Al-Nahar (Beirut), 29 December 2001.
2 This list, compiled every two years, was virtually unchanged from the one issued in 1999. US citizens are prohibited from providing assistance to organizations on this list and American banks are required to freeze their assets.
3 Al-Anwar (Beirut), 25 October 2001.
4 Al-Safir (Beirut), 18 October 2001.
5 The Daily Star (Beirut), 19 October 2001.
6 The Jerusalem Post, 24 October 2001.
7 The Daily Star (Beirut), 7 November 2001.
8 Agence France Press, 7 December 2001 and 9 December 2001.


Hezbollah Warns Of Wider Conflict
  • Vows To Enter Battle If Israel Crosses Into Palestinian Territory
  • Israel Has Threatened Retaliation For Deadly Suicide Bombing
  • Hezbollah Has Been Quiet Since Israel Withdrew From Lebanon
  • BEIRUT, Lebanon, June 8, 2001
    (AP) Hezbollah guerrillas, who have largely held their fire since Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon a year ago, have warned they will renew attacks against Israel if it invades Palestinian territories.

    "An (Israeli) invasion of the Palestinian areas will lead to a flare-up in the entire region," Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah told Hezbollah TV Thursday night.

    "If a war erupts in the region, this war will not be in Israel's favor ... We will not abandon the Palestinian people and we will be with them in this battle. This is an ideological and religious commitment," the Shiite Muslim cleric said during a nearly three-hour call-in show on Hezbollah's Al Manar TV.

    Israel has threatened retaliatory strikes against Palestinian areas after last week's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed 20 young Israelis and the bomber. It was the deadliest Mideast terror attack in five years.

    But eight months of violence have subsequently subsided after cease-fire calls by both Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

    Hezbollah led the war against Israel's 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon that ended last May. The militant group, whose fighters control the Lebanese side of the border with Israel, says it has hundreds of rockets with a range of 14 miles inside Israel.

    Since the withdrawal, Hezbollah has fired no rockets into Israel. But the guerrillas have killed three and captured other three Israeli soldiers in the disputed Chebaa Farms area and denied Israeli accusations they were operating in Palestinian territories.

    Nasrallah said Hezbollah maintains an "old relationship and coordination" with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two militant Islamic Palestinian groups that have carried out a series of deadly suicide bomb attacks in Israel.

    He urged Palestinians to continue the fight against the Jewish state and Arab and Islamic states to provide them with help.

    "We are helping the (Palestinian uprising) as much as we can," Nasrallah said, adding Hezbollah "will not be late" in providing "a different kind" of military assistance.

    He did not elaborate, saying only, "We are constantly consulting with (Palestinian) leaderships and forces which are participating in the intefadeh," or the uprising.

    Nasrallah reported slow progress in negotiations through foreign intermediaries to swap the three Israeli soldiers and a reserve colonel lured and captured in Beirut with an unspecified number of Lebanese and other Arab prisoners in Israel.

    "If we reach the point where we consider that the four (Israeli prisoners) we have are not enough and that more are needed, then this matter will become a priority for us," Nasrallah said.

    He reiterated Hezbollah's demands that any prisoner swap must include the release of all Lebanese, other Arab, Palestinian and Iranian prisoners held in Israel.

    He said four Iranians, who vanished in 1982 during Israel's invasion of Lebanon, must be included in any exchange. Iran, which backs Hezbollah, also accuses Israel of holding the four men, including two diplomats. Israel denies the claim.

    Lebanon says Israel holds 13 Lebanese, including two Hezbollah leaders.

    In addition, Palestinian and Arab groups have given Hezbollah lists of more than 1,500 prisoners they want released in any swap.
Lebanese Government, Hezbollah Agree on Cooperation
2001.07.18

BEIRUT, July 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Lebanese resistance guerrilla group Hezbollah has agreed not to harm the government's economic recovery plan as long as the government promises not to interfere in its resistance against Israel, local media reported on Tuesday.

After a meeting with Prime Minister Rafik Hariri at weekend, Hezbollah, or Party of God, said that the two sides have reached an understanding on future cooperation.

A senior Hezbollah official said that the group would not mess with the government's economic plans while the government will not interfere in the resistance in any form.

According to the agreement, any disagreement between the two sides in the future will be dealt with through direct dialog and will not be exposed to the press. "There should be no disagreement over the resistance or strategic relations with Syria," the official said.

In addition, Hariri will meet with Hezbollah officials to solve differences on social and economic issues in the coming days.

Hezbollah spearheaded resistance before Israel withdrew from south Lebanon in May 2000. It vows to continue fighting against Israel as long as the Jewish state occupies the Shebaa Farms, which Lebanon and Syria say belong to Lebanon.

But Israel says that it occupied the farms area in the 1967 Middle East War and the issue should be resolved in its future negotiations with Syria.

The pro-Hariri newspaper, Al Mustaqbal, has criticized Hezbollah for what it called "ill-timed" operation against Israel, saying that it "might undermine the government's efforts to draw foreign investment."

Last week, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said that the group is willing to extend "a hand of cooperation" to the government and has no intention to topple Hariri's government.

Lebanon: 'Limits' on Hezbollah


BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Lebanese President Emile Lahoud has promised to place restrictions on the activities of the Islamic extremist Hezbollah group, according to a visiting U.S. congressman Sunday.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told reporters in the Lebanese capital Beirut that Lahoud "has conveyed a strong message of limitation on the reach of Hezbollah which I will take back to our State Department."

Hezbollah is on the list of foreign terrorist organizations which is published by the U.S. State Department. The United States believes it was behind the 1983 suicide bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 people, and the bombing of its embassy there. But it is a legal political party in Lebanon, with representatives in parliament and a network of social service operations.

Issa, who was among a four-member Congress delegation on a tour in the region, reminded reporters of President George W. Bush's declaration of war against "terrorist groups with global reach."

He added that Lebanon -- which says that Hezbollah is a legitimate resistance organization, not a terror group -- had given assurances that it would ensure the group's activities were localized in nature.

Issa said the congressional delegation would hold meetings back at the State Department and on Capitol Hill.

He said the delegation had "substantial meetings" in Beirut and Damascus where they met with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday and that leaders in both countries showed "willingness to enforce restrictions against any organization" that was involved in "terrorism with global reach."

"I believe that discussions here and in Syria will lead to these limitations," Issa told reporters after meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. "Lebanon like any other country has to do what it can as quickly as it can and as well as it can."
He said leaders in the region were dedicated to the war against terrorism and may even be helping more than the Americans would expect in that war.

In a statement released after the meeting, President Lahoud called on the U.S. to have "an objective vision" for solving world crises, especially the Arab-Israeli conflict, following the war on Afghanistan.

Lahoud reiterated condemnation of terrorism but noted again that it should not be linked to legitimate resistance.
Lebanon has refused to freeze the group's assets as requested by Washington.

In Damascus Saturday, Congressman Issa called on the Lebanese government to engage in dialogue with Washington over reforms needed to be undertaken by Hezbollah so that it would be removed from the U.S. terrorist list.

Hezbollah, which forced Israeli troops to pull out of south Lebanon last year after 22 years of occupation, pledged to continue fighting until Israel also relinquishes the disputed border area of the Shabaa farms.


Hezbollah threatens Haifa

Smoke rises from Beirut international airport after it was hit by Israeli warplanes today.
Photo: Reuters

July 13, 2006 - 10:00PM
Page 1 of 3 | Single page

Hezbollah guerillas threatened today to attack the major Israeli port city of Haifa and its surroundings with rockets if Israel strikes the Lebanese capital Beirut and its southern suburbs.

Such a strike would be the deepest ever into Israel by Hezbollah guerillas, who fired volleys of rockets against towns of northern Israel during the past day.

It was not clear if Hezbollah rockets have the range to hit Haifa, located about 30 kilometres south of the border.

The Israeli army said several Hezbollah rockets overnight had landed more than 20 kilometres south of the border, showing that Hezbollah has managed to extend its missiles' range.

"The Islamic resistance warns against targeting civilians and the infrastructure," a statement read on Hezbollah TV said.

"It [resistance] specifically announces that it will quickly shell the city of Haifa and nearby areas if the southern suburbs and the city of Beirut are subjected to any direct Israeli aggression," the statement said.

Earlier today, the Israeli army warned Lebanon to evacuate all residents from a southern Beirut neighbourhood where it believes Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah lives, Israeli media reported.

"We have we passed on a warning to Lebanon to evacuate all civilians from the [southern] neighbourhood of Beirut, which is a Hezbollah stronghold and where Nasrallah lives, and where the organisation's headquarters and weapons stockpiles are," the Ma'ariv NRG news website quoted a senior army official as saying.

Israel Radio carried a similar report.

The army said it had no comment on whether Nasrallah was a target for assassination.

An Israeli helicopter gunship killed Nasrallah's predecessor, Sheik Abbas al-Mousawi, in 1992.

Rockets fired at northern Israeli town of Safed
Lebanese guerillas fired three rockets at the northern Israeli town of Safed today and seven people were injured, one seriously, witnesses and medics said.

The rockets hit an immigrants' absorption centre and a college. Another rocket fell near a gas station.

Safed had not been targeted by rockets since the 1990s.

Israel bombs Beirut airport

Israel today bombed Beirut's international airport and enforced a naval blockade of Lebanon, a day after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight.

Israel's heaviest air campaign against Lebanon in 24 years smashed the airport's runways and also targeted Hezbollah television.

The newly refurbished Rafik al-Hariri International Airport is named after the slain former prime minister.

A police officer said there were no casualties when missiles fired from fighter jets hit the runways before dawn, leaving large craters in the tarmac.

Lebanese anti-aircraft batteries frantically fired at the invading planes and the airport was shut, forcing flights to be diverted to the nearby Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Lebanon said today the airport would remain shut for at least 48 hours.

"The airport will be partly operational within 48 hours, but reopening the airport is a political decision that will be decided by the cabinet," Transport Minister Mohamad Safadi told reporters.

"The runways have all been hit, although some less than others," he said.

"The closure of the airport has inflicted losses of $5 million only for today. This does not include damages, which will be determined later," an airport official said.

Dawn strikes kill dozens
The airport attack followed dawn air strikes on Hezbollah targets in Beirut's southern suburbs and across southern Lebanon, which killed 34 civilians, including eight young children, and wounded 52 people, security sources said.

Ten members of one family were killed in Dweir village and seven family members died in Baflay.

With Lebanon's sea and air links cut, Hezbollah retaliated against Israeli "massacres" by firing 60 Katyusha rockets at Nahariya in northern Israel.
One civilian was killed and at least 21 were wounded.

"In response to the massacres of civilians in the south and assaults on [Lebanese] infrastructure, the Islamic resistance bombarded ... the settlement of Nahariya in northern occupied Palestine with 60 rockets," said a statement by Hezbollah.

Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service said a 40-year-old woman was killed when a rocket hit her house.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the two soldiers had been seized to force Israel to release Arab prisoners.

Israel insisted it would discuss no such swap and instead launched its military offensive.

In Canberra, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the Australian embassy in Beirut had been closed because of the worsening security situation.

In Jerusalem, Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz said Hezbollah would not be permitted to return to its previous positions along the Israeli border.

Israel has long demanded the Lebanese Government disarm Hezbollah, which is an avowed enemy of the Jewish state.

The violence was the worst between Israel and Lebanon since 1996 when Israeli troops still occupied part of the south.

It coincided with an major Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip to retrieve a captured soldier and halt Palestinian rocket fire.

Despite the flare-up in Lebanon, Israel signalled no let-up in its Gaza assault, mounting an air strike that destroyed the office of Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar.

The Israeli shekel lost as much as 2 per cent against the dollar in early trade. Pressure on the Lebanese pound increased.

Attack on Hezbollah TV station
Two hours after the airport raid, an Israeli helicopter fired a missile at the headquarters of Hezbollah's al-Manar TV in the Beirut suburb of Haret Hreik, wounding six people.

Israeli aircraft later attacked an al-Manar transmission tower south of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon, witnesses said.

Israel had promised a "very painful" response to Hezbollah's action of seizing two soldiers and killing eight.

The Israeli assault will increase domestic pressure on Hezbollah, which has refused to disarm in line with a 2004 UN resolution, and add to international calls on the Lebanese Government, led by an anti-Syrian coalition, to act.

"Either Hezbollah are stupid, or they don't care," said Michael Karam, editor of a Lebanese business magazine. "Now we've got no airport, so no tourism and no prosperity."

Hezbollah's cross-border attack yesterday, for which Israel holds the Beirut Government responsible, tore up tacit understandings that had limited border violence for six years since Israeli troops withdrew from south Lebanon.

"The Lebanese Government has now become a buffer squeezed between Israel and Hezbollah," said Amal Saad Ghorayeb, a Lebanese academic and author of a book on Hezbollah.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has said his Government did not endorse the Hezbollah attack.

Apart from the Israeli attack on the Foreign Ministry building in Gaza, a separate air strike near Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip killed an Islamic Jihad militant and wounded another gunman.

The White House condemned the Hezbollah attack and blamed Syria and Iran. Syria said Israeli actions were to blame for guerilla attacks.

Russia and France condemn strikes
France and Russia today condemned Israeli army strikes on Lebanon as "disproportionate".

"We obviously condemn this disproportionate act of war which also has two consequences," French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said on Europe 1 radio.

"The first is to force anyone wanting to now enter Lebanon to go either by sea or by Syria," he said.

"The second consequence is to run the risk of plunging Lebanon back into the worst years of war with the departure of Lebanese who will want to flee while they were in the process of rebuilding their country."

In Moscow, Russia also slammed Israel's "disproportionate use of force" against Lebanon and Palestinian territory, saying that civilians were being made to suffer.

"One cannot justify the continued destruction by Israel of the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and in Palestinian territory, involving the disproportionate use of force in which the civilian population suffers," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement that also condemned terrorism.

The ministry described the situation as "extremely worrying" and Israel's bombing of Beirut's international airport as "a dangerous step on the road to military escalation."

"We firmly reaffirm support for Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the statement said.

Moscow also condemned the abduction of Israeli soldiers by Palestinian militants and Hezbollah.

"All forms of terrorism are completely unacceptable," the statement said, calling for the "immediate and unconditional release" of the soldiers.

"All sides involved in the current events should take rapid measures to stop the region sliding into open conflict."

Hezbollah forces Lebanon closer to war


By Megan K. Stack and Rania Abouzeid, Tribune Newspapers: Los Angeles Times; staff writer Megan K. Stack reported from Cairo and special correspondent Rania Abouzeid from Beirut

Published July 13, 2006 BEIRUT -- Hezbollah has long been described as a "state within a state," a Shiite mini-government in Lebanon boasting close ties to Iran and Syria, the country's largest political party and its most potent armed force.

But Wednesday's move across the border to capture two Israeli soldiers went a step further: Hezbollah acted as the state itself, threatening to drag Lebanon into a war.

The country's elected government was still in meetings Wednesday, arguing over what to say in public, when Hezbollah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah stood before television cameras with a threat for the ruling elite.

"Today is a time for solidarity and cooperation, and we can have discussions later. I warn you against committing any error. This is a national responsibility," said the Shiite cleric, looking every inch the head of state.

Any criticism of the capture of the two Israeli soldiers would be tantamount to colluding with Israel, Nasrallah said.

"To the Lebanese people, both officials and non-officials, nobody should behave in a way that encourages the enemy to attack Lebanon, and nobody should say anything that gives cover to attack Lebanon," he said.

Nasrallah framed the raid as a noble strike on behalf of Lebanon and Arab nationalism. Its goal was to free Lebanese and other Arab prisoners held in Israel, he said, by forcing Israel into a prisoner swap.

Crossing the border to capture soldiers was a carefully planned move by Hezbollah, which failed in a similar operation late last year. But the move was also an audacious departure. Since Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah has generally limited its attacks on Israelis to a small patch of land known as Shebaa Farms, which Hezbollah claims as Lebanese territory.

In Lebanon, the action solidifies the group's position as independent of government control at a time when it was under increasing pressure to give up its arms.

In the broader region, the move lends Hezbollah the credibility of taking up the cause against Israel at a time when other Arab leaders are standing silently by.

Despite Nasrallah's call for unity, opinion in Lebanon was quickly divided.

Fireworks, cheers and cries of "God is great!" rang through the streets of the heavily Shiite southern suburbs of Beirut.

But in the polished eateries of Beirut's downtown, newly rebuilt from the ruins of civil war, some diners grumbled.

"What's happening now is dragging Lebanon into the unknown. Nobody has the right to draw Lebanon into such a conflict," former President Amin Gemayel, a right-wing Christian, complained to the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp.

Chicago Tribune

Israel labels Hezbollah operation an 'act of war'

The World Today - Thursday, 13 July , 2006 12:15:00

Reporter: David Hardaker

ELEANOR HALL: The ABC's Middle East Correspondent, David Hardaker, is in Jerusalem, and I spoke to him about the latest developments a short time ago.

So, David, just what do we know about the capture of these Israeli soldiers in the north? Is it clear they're even alive?

DAVID HARDAKER: Eleanor, they were captured in what's regarded as disputed territory. It's called the Shebaa Farms district, a district which was seized by Israel from Syria in 1967, so going back 40 years. But that area is now claimed by Lebanon, and indeed with Syrian backing.

So are they alive? The abductors say they are. However, there was an instance in 2000, where three Israeli soldiers were abducted. Four years later, they were traded for some 100 Arab prisoners, and it turned out that indeed those three soldiers had been killed almost immediately after they were taken.

ELEANOR HALL: Now, Israel has called this Hezbollah operation an act of war by Lebanon. What's the significance of this terminology?

DAVID HARDAKER: Prime Minister Olmert is wanting to make the Lebanese Government absolutely responsible, whatever has happened inside its territory. And an act of war places the Israeli response on a different footing to it being an act of terrorism. In other words, Israel now regards itself as at war with Lebanon, rather than involved in a fight with Hezbollah.

What's interesting about this is that United States has been careful indeed to call this a terrorist act, rather than an act of war committed by a state. So Israel and the United States are actually differing on this key issue, and I think that that is going to provide a pointer to how this issue is played out, because it would appear at first blush that the United States is not backing Israel's elevation of this dispute to a war.

ELEANOR HALL: Lebanon's Prime Minister has of course denied all knowledge of the Hezbollah operation and says any Israeli incursion will be met by force. I mean, how far could this escalate?

DAVID HARDAKER: He has denied all knowledge, and indeed has accused Israel of threatening the entire Lebanese population for something that they're not responsible for.

What I think we're going to see from now is as a result of the Israeli, special Israeli Cabinet meeting, they made very little comment except to say that they will do whatever they need to do.

The sources close to the Government are saying that Israel is not keen to get bogged down in south Lebanon, as it did when it occupied it for some 20 years, and therefore it will adopt a strategy of air strikes, hitting key Hezbollah targets, and for that matter not only in Lebanon but also in Syria.

ELEANOR HALL: Is Syria likely to respond to this? I mean, Syria's of course withdrawn from Lebanon, but are these Israeli attacks likely to inflame Syria?

DAVID HARDAKER: This is really the key question. Already they have one front of war as such with Gaza in its south. Now there's a war front to the north with Lebanon. If it were to provoke Syria into an attack, that would mean war now on three fronts, which would be severely pushing the Israeli Defence Force's capacity, and they indeed called up 6,000 reservists.

To provoke Syria into an attack, there would be some dialogue between Israel and the United States on that, because that is then spreading this conflict, which stemmed from the kidnap of one soldier to, indeed, a regional conflict.

ELEANOR HALL: Well, at the same time as we've got this action in the north, Israel has been intensifying its operation in Gaza. What's the latest there?

DAVID HARDAKER: Well today, really while the world's attention has been on its battle with Hezbollah, in Gaza Israeli forces have killed 23 more people, including a strike on one house, which is alleged to be owned by a key Hamas figure, where the man was killed but so was his wife and seven children. So there have continued to be a large loss of life in the Palestinian Territories.

ELEANOR HALL: How has the Hamas Government responded to the Hezbollah kidnapping?

DAVID HARDAKER: Well, the Hamas Government issued a statement of congratulations, as did other fellow travellers in the region. Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood also issued their congratulations. And a large number of Hezbollah followers in the southern suburbs of Beirut, who were firing guns and passing out sweets to motorists in the street. So, by and large, it's been seen as a moment of triumph for Hezbollah.

ELEANOR HALL: Is it clear that this Hezbollah kidnapping is linked to the Israeli operation in Gaza in response to the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier there?

DAVID HARDAKER: The genesis of this operation, according to the head of Hezbollah - that's Hassan Nasrallah - actually started five months ago. Now, he has said today that they conceived of a plan five months ago to free one key Hezbollah prisoner who's held in an Israeli jail.

It seems that in the last few days the two actions in a sense have come together, that what is happening in Gaza has been picked up by the Hezbollah leadership in Beirut. And indeed today the leader of Hezbollah said that the entire action was designed as an act of support and solidarity with the Palestinian people, and he said that the two captured soldiers would be put in the same category, if you like, as the other captured soldier Gilad Shalit.

So I think that it appears that the two operations may have started separately, but they certainly have come together and they certainly have the same aim, which is the release of prisoners held in Israeli jails.

ELEANOR HALL: Now, you say that Israel has responded to similar situations in the past by negotiating on the release of prisoners. Is it possible that negotiation for prisoner release could happen still in these circumstances?

DAVID HARDAKER: Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, is publicly maintaining today, as he has all along, that he will not negotiate with terrorists.

It has, though, become evident that there have been some backchannel negotiations going on, particularly through the Egyptians. And Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek said today that he was very ... had been very, very close to concluding a deal which did involve the release of prisoners, only to see it scuttled at the eleventh hour.

So there are, there's definitely a public statement, which is coming from the top of the Israeli Government, which may be different to what's in fact happening below the surface.

ELEANOR HALL: And that's the ABC's Middle East Correspondent, David Hardaker, in Jerusalem.



HEZBOLLAH Hezbollah, or Party of God, is an informal umbrella group of Shiite Muslim ... HEZBOLLAH is an Islamic struggle movement. Its emergence is based on an ...
www.greatdreams.com/hezbollah.htm - 106k - Cached - Similar pages

HAMAS But neither Hezbollah [sic] nor Hamas were targeting Americans, he writes. ... Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Israel, the Osama bin Laden ...
www.greatdreams.com/hamas_database.htm - 21k - Cached - Similar pages

IRAN This religious and ideological tie between Hezbollah and Iran following the ... NEW YORK Israel said Sunday that Iran had supplied Hezbollah militants in . ...
www.greatdreams.com/iran_database.htm - 135k - Cached - Similar pages

TERRORISM The CSIS stated that it believed Hezbollah was prepared to order al-Husseini to commit an act of terrorism or violence in Canada or some other place. ... ...
www.greatdreams.com/terrorism_database.htm - 146k - Cached - Similar pages

THE LADY IN GREY - DEATH IN THE OFFICE!!!! President George W.
Bush, has included the Hezbollah as a terrorist group which he wants destroyed. ... http://www.greatdreams.com/hezbollah.htm ...
www.greatdreams.com/political/lady-grey.htm -

IRAN PROPHECY
Israel's animosity toward Iran stems not only from the Iranian leadership's anti-Israel statements, but also its support of armed groups like Hezbollah and ...
www.greatdreams.com/iran.htm

TULGHUR, IRAN - ANOTHER WAR? The Hezbollah are stationed in Lebanon, Syria and Iran Will the MidEast War ... ... Hezbollah's more than 5000 members, subsidized and trained by Iran, ...
www.greatdreams.com/war/tulghur-iran.htm

THE FRENCH CONNECTION ... off contracts with rogue nations like Iran, which funds the terror groups Hezbollah and Hamas and is suspected of giving sanctuary to Al Qaeda leaders." ...
www.greatdreams.com/political/french-connection.htm

AMERICAN PORTS A group called Saudi Hezbollah claims responsibility. Eventually, the Clinton administration drops the investigation because it does not want to upset ...
www.greatdreams.com/political/american_ports.htm

RULE 2002 Just this past week Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah exhorted his ... He cited the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah, which battled Israeli troops ...
www.greatdreams.com/war/rule_2002.htm

GEORGE W BUSH It was Tehran that had funded and directed Hezbollah since its inception. ... President George W. Bush, has included the Hezbollah as a terrorist group ...
www.greatdreams.com/political/bush-not-done.htm

Homeland Security ???? You Are a Suspect You Are a Suspect 11/14 ... Hezbollah Proud to Be on Terror List. NewsMax.com Wires Sunday, November 4, 2001 ... It was the deadliest Mideast terror attack in five years. ... ...
www.greatdreams.com/homeland-security.htm

THE DEATH OF ESTHER Israel said that the missiles might end up in the hands of Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas Hezbollah, which is close to Syria , fought an 18-year guerrilla ...
www.greatdreams.com/sacred/death_of_esther.htm

WAR WITH IRAN HEZBOLLAH This religious and ideological tie between Hezbollah and Iran ... NEW YORK Israel said Sunday that Iran had supplied Hezbollah militants in ... ...
www.greatdreams.com/political/stalemate.htm



NEWS OF HEZBOLLAH - CURRENT
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The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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War in Lebanon: Israeli Interrogation of Hezbollah Terrorist



Hezbollywood - CNN admits staging of photos by Hezbollah


Hezbollah: Coming Soon To Your Hometown


Photo Fraud in Lebanon


Green Helmet acting as movie director in qana


Fox News airs video of Qana dead children as props in Lebanon


Fake War Scenes


Rocket Ride (Hezbollywood Remix)


War in Lebanon: Hezbollah Attacks From Qana; Human Shields










Lebanon : Myths and Facts

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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Exclamation


Strong criticism was heard in Lebanon following the celebrations marking the return of Hezbollah’s prisoners, notably Samir Kuntar.


Hezbollah was accused of seeking to establish a radical Islamic country of “resistance” (terrorism) in Lebanon, ruled by Iran and exposed to harsh retaliatory measures from Israel.


View complete article in PDF Format by Clicking HERE> http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/mal...ollah_e003.pdf or HTML Format> http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/mal...ollah_e003.htm
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Exclamation Media Lies and Hezbollah's Human Shields

Media Lies and Hezbollah's Human Shields


Those seeking evidence of the far-Left’s “see-no-evil” approach to the war on Islamic terrorism generally and Israel’s war against the genocide-minded Hezbollah in particular need only consider the case of Salon.com. Last week, the magazine published a dispatch ostensibly debunking the “myth” that Hezbollah hides among civilians, thereby incurring Israeli fire and endangering Lebanese civilians. This claim, according to author Mitch Prothero, “is almost always false.”

What is immediately striking about the report is not merely that it is untrue, but that from the onset it gives the lie to its own thesis. Setting the scene, Prothero writes:
The locals knew that the 10-story apartment building had been the office, and possibly the residence, of Sheik Tawouk, the Hezbollah commander for the south, so they had moved their families out at the start of the war. The landlord had refused to rent to Hezbollah when they requested the top floors of the building. No matter, the locals said, the Hezb guys just moved in anyway in the name of the “resistance.” Everyone knew that the building would be hit eventually.
From the evidence that a top Hezbollah fighter had chosen a civilian residence for his base of operations, over the persistent objection of his fellow tenants, Prothero concludes…the exact opposite: “Although Israel targets apartments and offices because they are considered ‘Hezbollah’ installations, the group has a clear policy of keeping its fighters away from civilians as much as possible,” he writes. In yet another spasm of cognitive dissonance, Prothero records a visit to a Lebanese village where he finds that a “handful of people in the town include some from Hezbollah's political wing.” Improbably, this detail only fortifies Prothero’s conviction that Hezbollah takes pains to “avoid civilians.” Further on Prothero assures the reader that Hezbollah would never mix with noncombatants because its leadership recognizes “that letting their fighters near outsiders of any kind -- journalists or Lebanese, even Hezbollah supporters -- is stupid.” At the same time, Prothero admits that Lebanese with “the look of Hezbollah always found me.” Stupidity does not begin to cover it.
Lest one doubt his expurgated account of the terrorists’ tactics, Prothero states that “[e]very other journalist I know who has covered Hezbollah has had the same experience.” If so, he might consider broadening his professional horizons. While Prothero was busily suppressing evidence of the Islamists in his midst, a number of news reports confirmed what longtime observers of Hezbollah already knew: The Shiite terrorist faction intentionally positions itself amid civilians. It does so, moreover, in the knowledge that converting civilian areas into makeshift battle stations, complete with rocket emplacements and command centers, is a sure-fire way of prompting Israeli counterattacks and the inevitable civilian deaths that serve as the group’s most effective weapon in its propaganda war against the Jewish state. Consider the following list of news items:
  • Throughout the current fighting, Hezbollah has prevented civilians from leaving their villages prior to Israeli military strikes.
  • Hezbollah has used mosques as weapons depots, using them to stockpile weapons and ammunition and to launch ambushes on IDF forces. Senior IDF officials have further revealed that Hezbollah, acting on the conviction that Israel would not attack Lebanese residential areas, has taken to concealing long-range rockets in specially-designed rooms built in houses in southern Lebanese villages.
  • Hezbollah has repeatedly fired rockets from civilian population centers. Aerial footage collected by the IDF unmistakably shows Hezbollah rockets being fired from civilian areas near Qana, the site of the July 30 air strike that was widely condemned as an unprovoked attack on civilians by Israel.
  • A New York Times story on Christians fleeing Lebanon quoted a young Christian man, Fayad Hanna Amar, from the village of Ain Eben, deploring Hezbollah’s tactics. “Hezbollah came to Ain Ebel to shoot its rockets,” Amar told the Times. "They are shooting from between our houses." Amar said that Hezbollah fighters had poured into his village in groups of two and three in order to launch rockets, forcing the Israeli army to return fire.
  • A July 28 press release [pdf] by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) noted that “Hezbollah fired from the vicinity of five UN positions” in southern Lebanon and explained that a “number of troops in some Ghanaian battalion positions is somewhat reduced because of the increased safety risk for the troops due to frequent incidents of Hezbollah firing from the vicinity of the positions” and Israeli retaliation.
  • Mere days before he was killed in an Israeli strike on a UN post in Lebanon, an unarmed Canadian United Nations observer had written privately that Hezbollah was using the post to fire rockets into Israel. Of Israeli bombings, Maj. Paeta Hess-von Kruedner wrote that “[t]his has not been deliberate targeting, but rather due to tactical necessity.” As a former UN commander told the Ottawa Citizen, “What that means is, in plain English, 'We've got Hezbollah fighters running around in our positions, taking our positions here and then using us for shields and then engaging the (Israeli Defence Forces).”
  • After touring south Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland demanded that “Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending...among women and children.” Added Egeland: “I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men.”
  • Israeli troops freshly returned from battling Hezbollah fighters in the village of Taibeh this weekend gave the following reason for the terrorists’ tenacity: “We can never beat them completely because we have to obey certain rules. They operate from within civilian populations, and can do whatever they like.”
  • One need not rely on news reports alone. The most powerful proof that Hezbollah wages war amid civilians comes in the form of photographs smuggled out of Lebanon and published by Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper, and which show armed Hezbollah fighters deployed in the center of a residential district.
The above list is by no means exhaustive. What’s more, Hezbollah’s disregard for civilian life antedates the current conflict--a fact corroborated by some of Israel’s harshest critics. In her largely sympathetic 1997 portrait of the terror group, Hezbollah, Arab journalist Hala Jaber extensively detailed that Hezbollah not only does not shun civilians, as its apologists allege, but it is very much dependent on their support. “The continued presence of civilians in the area [southern Lebanon] is vital for the movement and protection of Hezbollah fighters: the success of the Islamic Resistance depends upon the cooperation and hospitality of the villagers for their support,” Jaber wrote. “Hezbollah therefore demands that civilians remain in their homes and villages in the face of Israeli threats and reprisals. In return, it guarantees them assistance and ensures that they are provided with all the requirements necessary for their-day-to-day survival.” [1] (It goes nearly without saying that those who now denounce Israel for imposing “collective punishment” on the Lebanese people cannot be troubled to address this inconvenient history.)

No less a critic of Israel than the journalist Robert Fisk pointed out in his 2001 book, Pity the Nation, that Lebanese on more than one occasion accused Israeli forces of targeting civilian areas when in fact they were striking back at Hezbollah. Fisk recounted that in the aftermath of the 1996 Israeli strike on a UN compound near the Lebanese village of Qana, in which over 100 civilians were killed, the “Lebanese would drift from the truth -- claiming that there was no Hezbollah men firing from the village,” and that the Israelis had deliberately targeted civilians. The facts told a different tale: Hezbollah guerillas had purposely fired Katyusha rockets in the vicinity of the base. “It was not the first time the guerillas had fired their missiles at the Israelis from near a U.N. position,” Fisk observed. [2]

But facts did not survive the bombing. Although Hezbollah had instigated the attack by firing missiles, Israel alone reaped the world’s opprobrium. In his book Faith At War, Wall Street Journal reporter Yaroslav Trofimov, who covered Israel’s fitful fight against Hezbollah in the 90s, noted that international outcry at the 1996 attack forced Israel to halt its offensive, granting Hezbollah a diplomatic reprieve, and, not least, furnishing grist for Osama bin Laden’s murderous sermonizing: “Qana took pride of place in Bin Laden’s speeches justifying jihad against crusaders and Jews.” [3]

There can be little doubt that Israel’s failure to defeat Hezbollah would have the same effect on the jihadists and their sponsors throughout the Middle East. And yet, by attributing the blame for civilian deaths solely to Israel, that is precisely the end that many on the Left, echoed by European plenipotentiaries and Arab potentates, have in mind.

In their efforts is a profound irony. Whereas Israel makes every effort to avoid civilians, Hezbollah not only does not have a similar policy but actually regards attacks on civilians as a legitimate strategy--even when those civilians are Muslims. As Hala Jaber has noted, “Religious scholars have, according to Hezbollah, deduced that if the enemy uses Muslims as human shields, then Muslim fighters can kill them in their quest to eliminate the enemy.” Hezbollah has justified its own use of human shields on similarly utilitarian grounds, reasoning, in Jaber’s summary, that “any action which constrains the enemy and foils their schemes is permissible under Islam.” This of course is a direct violation of Geneva Convention, which states in Article 51: “The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the subject of attack.”

Not that critics are eager to publicize the fact. Listening to some of the detractors of Israel’s military campaign against Hezbollah, one might think that Israel alone has violated international law. Certainly that has been the emphasis of groups like Human Rights Watch, which has issued a 50-page report tendentiously titled “Fatal Strikes: Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon,” charging the Israeli military with a “disturbing disregard for the lives of Lebanese civilians.” Not to be outdone, Amnesty International has claimed that Israeli bombs “fall indiscriminately on women, children, ambulances, rescue workers and other innocent victims of this escalating conflict. These deliberate attacks violate international humanitarian law and constitute war crimes.” Parallel with their denunciations of Israel, these groups continue to downplay the fact that Hezbollah has turned civilian areas in southern Lebanon and south Beirut into a private war zone, while equating Israel’s accidental attacks on civilians with the deliberate campaign of slaughter waged by Hezbollah.

As in the past, the undisguised intent of this critical barrage is to bring international pressure to bear on Israel and force a premature end to Israeli military operations. Instead of capitulating to these demands, Israel will be far better served by heeding the counsel of Hezbollah’s 1985 manifesto, which features a section headed “The Necessity for the Destruction of Israel.” “Our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated,” the manifesto states. “We recognize no treaty with it, no cease-fire, no peace agreements.” Only by adopting the same logic and disregarding the attacks of those who hope, yet again, to rescue Hezbollah from a war of its own making, can Israel prevail.

ENDNOTES:

[1] Hala Jaber, Hezbollah: Born with a Vengeance. (Columbia University Press, 1997.) p. 156.
[2] Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War. (Oxford University Press, 2001.) pp. 670-673.
[3] Yaroslav Trofimov, Faith At War: A Journey on the Frontlines of Islam, from Baghdad to Timbuktu. (Henry Holt and Company, 2005.) p. 231.
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Exclamation Who is killing Lebanese civilians?

Who is killing Lebanese civilians? (Part1)

Historical and Investigative Research - 26 July 2006
by Francisco Gil-White
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hezbollah6.htm


In the next piece under this heading I examine the question of Hezbollah tactics, which are the same as those used by Iranian-backed movements elsewhere. In this piece the title question should be interpreted as addressing the issue of moral responsibility, not material authorship, and so I will not be submitting evidence. My purpose here is to examine the logical and moral implications of taking one position versus another when assigning blame for the deaths of Lebanese civilians in the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict.

Let us begin with three things that we can stipulate as true.

1) It is true that some Lebanese civilians are dying as a result of Israeli firepower.

2) It is true that Hezbollah is an antisemitic terrorist army of extermination (for the demonstration of this point, see here).[1]

3) It is true that Hezbollah attacked first, and that it directed its attacks against Israeli civilians.

Now the question: Who is to blame for the deaths of Lebanese civilians?
A common strategy of argument that I have seen in the media and on the internet is as follows: by point 1, if the immediate material cause of the deaths of some Lebanese civilians is Israeli firepower, then Israel is guilty.
And since Israel is guilty, goes the corollary, the Israeli response is ‘too harsh.’

I will argue, however, on the basis of point 2 and point 3 that such arguments are morally insupportable.

My argument
_____________
Hezbollah is an army created in Lebanon for the purpose of killing every last living Jew.[1] What does this mean?

Perhaps it helps if we produce the same structure for non-Jews. So let us imagine that Canada allowed within its borders and even sponsored the flourishing of a large terrorist army dedicated to the extermination of all US citizens. I think a crushing majority of US citizens would agree that this amounted to a declaration of war, providing ample reason to attack Canada before this terrorist army under the protection of the Canadian state became strong enough to exterminate the US population. In fact, many US citizens would probably agree that the US government, under such circumstances, has an obligation to attack Canada. But if this terrorist army should attack innocent US citizens first, then all debate would end: the US government must defend its citizens. Why? Because to disagree that the US has a right to defend itself from a large terrorist army that wishes to exterminate the US citizenry, and which has attacked, amounts to calling for the extermination of US citizens.
If you now perform the same thought experiment from your own perspective, using your own country and a neighboring one, you are almost certain to agree.

The structure is the same with Jews, though a culture of antisemitism prods us to resist the obvious: Whoever takes the position that the Jews do not have a right to defend themselves from genocidal enemies who have already attacked is, naturally, calling for the extermination of the Jewish people.

Now, the claim that Israel’s response has been ‘too harsh’ -- which is everywhere -- is difficult to distinguish from the claim that Israel does not have a right to defend itself from its genocidal enemies. I suppose it is possible to react too harshly against an enemy that is seeking the total extinction of your people, but you can see how this is nevertheless an awkward argument to defend. Unless of course everybody is an antisemite, in which case everybody agrees without examining the merits of the argument, and then one does not even have to defend it.
But let’s examine the merits. The argument that the Israeli response is ‘too harsh’ says that some Lebanese civilians are dying as a result of Israeli firepower, and this means that Israel is guilty for their deaths and hence ‘too harsh’ in its response.

To see whether this is a valid argument, let us conduct another thought experiment.

Suppose that a criminal is shooting at you and your family. You shoot back in self-defense, to protect your spouse and children -- your life. Accidentally, you shoot dead a bystander. Question: Who is morally responsible for the death of the bystander? Morally responsible. You were not aiming for the bystander, and you would not have used your gun if this criminal had not been shooting at your family in the first place. And you do have an obligation to defend your family; you cannot simply turn your family over to anybody who is prepared to use violence. Therefore, the moral responsibility for the death of that bystander belongs to the man who decided to shoot at your family and in so doing forced you to perform your moral duty and defend it. If the bullet that killed the bystander came out of the barrel of your gun, that does not absolve the man who attacked your family, and neither does it convict you.

Now, consider the situation of Israel.

Hezbollah is growing fast inside the Lebanese state across the border. It means to kill all the Jews. It attacked. Thus, when the Israeli government retaliated against Hezbollah, this was its moral obligation. No such army can be allowed to exist, and recruit, and arm itself to the teeth, because if we tolerate such armies, we tolerate genocide. And if this army has already attacked, there is simply nothing to debate. Hezbollah must be destroyed. This is the morally correct thing to do.

In the effort to reduce Hezbollah, the Israeli government has not been able to keep casualties of Lebanese civilians to zero, this is true. It is a terrible thing when anybody dies, but we are not discussing whether this is good or bad -- we agree that the deaths of civilians are a terrible thing, and the same goes for the deaths of soldiers. What we are trying to do is decide whose fault this is.

Hezbollah’s core doctrine is to seek the total destruction of the civilian Jewish population, and it deliberately targets Jewish civilians. The Israeli government, by contrast, is not trying to kill Lebanese civilians: it is dropping leaflets to warn civilians before it strikes a place. And the Israeli government would not be shooting at all if Hezbollah had not attacked Israeli civilians in the first place. Since the Israeli government, in attacking Hezbollah, is discharging its moral obligation to Israeli citizens, precisely in the manner that you protected your family in the above thought experiment, the Israeli government cannot be guilty for the deaths of the bystanders when it is obviously trying to limit civilian casualties. It is to Hezbollah that you should account these deaths, because Hezbollah forced the Israeli government to retaliate against Hezbollah, and the Hezbollah ‘soldiers,’ like the cowards they are, hide among Lebanese civilians, thus endangering them.

[1] "What is Hezbollah? Is this a 'militia' or a terrorist army of extermination?"; Historical and Investigative Research; 22 July 2006; by Francisco Gil-White.
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hezbollah2.htm

[2] "THE MODERN 'PROTOCOLS OF ZION': How the mass media now promotes the same lies that caused the death of more than 5 million Jews in WWII"; Historical and Investigative Research; 25 August 2005; by Francisco Gil-White
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/mprot1.htmUnderstanding the US position (Part 2)

Why does the US propose a United Nations intervention?


Three days ago, 29 July, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the US reaction to the Israel-Lebanon war that bears a close analysis. It opens with the following lines:

“After more than two weeks of fierce fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbollah guerrillas, leaders from the Middle East to Washington and the United Nations signaled a sense of urgency Friday to end the conflict.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice returns to the region today for the second round of diplomacy in a week. In the hours before her arrival, Hezbollah political leaders here reversed course and agreed to join a Lebanese government proposal aimed at stopping the fighting in the country's south.”[1] [my emphasis]

It is hard to imagine better coordination between the US Secretary of State and the Hezbollah leadership.

“Israel dismissed Hezbollah’s offer as disingenuous and said it was an indication of the guerrillas’ weakness on the battlefield. But the Shiite Muslim militia’s willingness to participate in the initiative shows a flexibility to negotiate not previously evident as the fighting raged in southern Lebanon.”

Israel says the Hezbollah offer is disingenuous, but according to the LA Times, this is evidence that Hezbollah “shows a flexibility to negotiate.” Whose interpretation makes more sense: Israel’s or the LA Times’? I think Israel’s interpretation is the sensible one.

Contrary to what the Los Angeles Times says, Hezbollah is not a “militia,” it is a terrorist army created to destroy Israel by the Iranians, who say in public that they would like to exterminate the Jewish people (see here).[2] This may be difficult for a lot of people to notice because the mainstream media often tells a completely different story, claiming that the Lebanese Hezbollah is supposedly fighting for a minuscule piece of land called Shebaa Farms. For example, in the article we are considering, the Los Angeles Times states that “Lebanon…has always insisted that a disputed area known as Shebaa Farms, at the border of Israel, Syria and Lebanon, be turned over to its control.” This, however, is simply false. Lebanon first claimed the Shebaa Farms (which is in the formerly Syrian Golan Heights) in 2000, because this is the year that Israel completely withdrew from Lebanon, so in order to continue killing innocent Jews across the border, Hezbollah needed a new excuse, as HIR has shown.[3] I have not been able to find a Lebanese claim to the Shebaa Farms before this date in any newspaper or wire.

What does this mean? In my view, given that Hezbollah’s political goal is to kill as many Jews as possible, it means that if Hezbollah were not worried about its long-term position, it would simply go on happily killing Jews rather than sue for a ceasefire with its protectors in the ‘international community.’

Other evidence is consistent with this view. The LA Times reports that,
“[UN Secretary General Kofi] Annan and the U.N. humanitarian chief, Jan Egeland, expressed impatience over the international community's inability to agree more quickly on a strategy to stop the fighting.”

Kofi Annan is a co-architect of the destruction of Yugoslavia and the total implosion of Kosovo.[7] That was done with the help of Norwegian diplomats in their forward deployment as NATO front men posing as neutral peacekeepers, a strategy born in the mind of Jan Egeland himself, and which also produced the disastrous Oslo process which has almost completed the destruction of Israel.[8] It is in no small measure thanks to Jan Egeland that Gaza and the West Bank have become terrorist proto-states dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish people. As pointed out in the previous HIR piece on the US position, Norwegians have also been deployed in southern Lebanon to protect the antisemitic terrorists of Hezbollah.[6] In this context, and in the absence of a comparably urgent response by Annan and Egeland to much greater civilian catastrophes elsewhere in the world (e.g. Sudan), the anxiety and impatience of these two men to deploy a UN force in southern Lebanon is consistent with the view that their true concern is protecting Hezbollah.

Again consistent with this general picture, as argued by HIR, is the US and Arab initial responses, which strongly suggest that Hezbollah was not supposed to attack just now, and has generated problems for itself and for its masters.[4] If “four major Muslim countries joined Iran’s call for a cease-fire,”[5] instead of joining the attack on Israel, this suggests that they were not ready to attack and are worried about the damage now being sustained by Hezbollah.

But one does not get this impression from reading the LA Times,because this newspaper says that,

“As diplomacy appeared to gain pace Friday, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, meeting at the White House, announced that they would push for a United Nations resolution next week to send an international force to southern Lebanon. But both leaders again refused to press for a cease-fire until Hezbollah was disarmed.”[9]

Since no further analysis of this diplomacy is offered, the refusal by US and British officials to demand a cease-fire will look to many people as support for Israel, but it is important to remember that ruling elites need to keep certain appearances that will not offend their citizens, and there is still much support for Israel among ordinary US citizens, despite the barrage of anti-Israeli propaganda in the Western media. Thus, in order to figure out whether the US and Britain are trying to help Israel (which would contradict the entire history of US and British policy toward Israel), we must ask: Will this “international force” that the US and Britain are proposing in fact achieve the result of keeping the peace? Or will it allow Syria and Iran to reconstruct the Hezbollah in order to resume the charge to destroy Israel?

The best way to address this question is to ask what the current multinational force in Lebanon, which has been there for a while, has done. This force is called UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), and its purpose is supposedly to “restore the international peace and security, and help the Lebanese Government restore its effective authority in the area.”[10] This appears identical to what the proposed multinational force would supposedly be sent to do.
TIME magazine states that,

“So far UNIFIL, which has been in Lebanon since 1978, when Israel launched its first major incursion into Lebanon, and today numbers around 2,000 peacekeepers, has found itself almost powerless to intercede.”[11]

The translation of this is that UNIFIL has not “restore[d]...international peace and security” (because Hezbollah has continued attacking Israel all the time that UNIFIL has been there), and that neither has UNIFIL “help[ed] the Lebanese Government restore its effective authority in the area” (because what has happened is that Hezbollah has taken over the Lebanese government, as opposed to a Hezbollah-free Lebanese government reasserting its control over southern Lebanon).

Since the LA Times says that the just-proposed US-British plan “recommends beefing up the existing but largely ineffective 2,000-member U.N. force [UNIFIL] already in place in the south,” what we have is perfect consistency:

1) In 1978, Israel invaded southern Lebanon in order to end PLO terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. The US forced the Israelis to withdraw, and then UNIFIL was plunked in southern Lebanon.[12] The terrorist attacks continued and even increased.

2) In 1982, the Israelis again invaded southern Lebanon to halt the terrorist attacks. The US again intervened to protect the terrorists, prevented Israel from destroying the PLO, and provided the PLO with a US military escort to its new home in Tunis.[13]

3) In 1996, when Hezbollah -- the terrorist force created to replace the PLO in southern Lebanon -- forced the Israelis to counterattack, the US moved with blinding speed to produce an Orwellian ‘ceasefire’ that prevented Israel from crossing to destroy Hezbollah, and which allowed Hezbollah to keep firing at the Israelis.[14]

4) And now, in 2006, the ‘solution’ to the latest escalation of Hezbollah violence against Israeli civilians, which forced even Ehud Olmert’s government to retaliate, is more of the same: more UNIFIL, the force that has allowed Iran and Syria’s Hezbollah to grow and take over Lebanon, while firing at Israeli civilians the
whole time.

Will it happen once again? Yes, unless the Israeli citizens actively demand that their government protect their lives. Israel National News reported on Sunday that,

“Following an almost two-hour meeting in his Jerusalem residence with US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice on Saturday night, the [Israeli] prime minister [Ehud Olmert] agreed to the US plan, calling for the deployment of a multinational force between Israel and Lebanon and Syria. It was announced that France and Lebanon would take part in the force, but other details have yet to be decided upon.”[15]

So, France, the country that rushed with the US to protect the PLO terrorists in southern Lebanon from the Israelis in 1982-83,[16] and Lebanon, which is already owned by Hezbollah, which is to say by Syria and Iran,[17] “would take part in the force.” They would? Why not drop the charade, then, and add the Syrians and Iranians to the 'peacekeeping' force?

Footnotes & Further Reading

[1] WARFARE IN THE MIDDLE EAST; Israel Rejects Peace Offer; Hezbollah signs on to Lebanon's proposal for a cease-fire and prisoner swap, but disarmament is not included. The pace of diplomacy quickens., Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2006 Saturday, Home Edition, MAIN NEWS; Foreign Desk; Part A; Pg. 1, 1604 words, Rone Tempest and Laura King, Times Staff Writers, BEIRUT

[2] “WHAT IS HEZBOLLAH? Is this a 'militia' or a terrorist army of extermination?”; Historical and Investigative Research; 22 July 2006; by Francisco Gil-White.
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hezbollah2.htm

[3] “WHO ATTACKED ISRAEL?: Hezbollah has a master”; Historical and Investigative Research ; 21 July 2006; by Francisco Gil-White.
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hezbollah.htm

[4] “UNDERSTANDING THE US POSITION: Why does the US propose a NATO intervention?”; Historical and Investigative Research; 24 July 2006; by Francisco Gil-White
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hezbollah4.htm
“THE ARAB REACTION, AND WHAT IT MEANS: Get ready for the rebirth of the PLO”; Historical and Investigative Research; 25 July 2006; by Francisco Gil-White
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hezbollah5.htm

[5] In Mideast tumult, Iran's clout rises, Christian Science Monitor, July 31, 2006, Monday, USA; Pg. 1, 1071 words, Howard LaFranchiStaff writer of The Christian Science Monitor, WASHINGTON

[6] “UNDERSTANDING THE US POSITION: Why does the US propose a NATO intervention?”; Historical and Investigative Research; 24 July 2006; by Francisco Gil-White
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hezbollah4.htm

[7] TO SEE WHERE ISRAEL IS HEADED, VISIT KOSOVO; Historical and Investigative Research; 8 July 2006; by Francisco Gil-White.
http://www.hirhome.com/yugo/kosovo_junger.htm

[8] NORWEGIAN INTERNATIONAL "MEDIATION": HOW DOES IT WORK?; from “The Oslo War Process”; Historical and Investigative Research; 29 October 2005; by Francisco Gil-White
http://www.hirhome.com/yugo/oslo1.htm

[9] WARFARE IN THE MIDDLE EAST; Israel Rejects Peace Offer; Hezbollah signs on to Lebanon's proposal for a cease-fire and prisoner swap, but disarmament is not included. The pace of diplomacy quickens., Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2006 Saturday, Home Edition, MAIN NEWS; Foreign Desk; Part A; Pg. 1, 1604 words, Rone Tempest and Laura King, Times Staff Writers, BEIRUT

[10] United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon | From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNIFIL

[11] “CAN THE PEACEKEEPERS HELP?: Despite calls for an international force in South Lebanon, the 2,000 U.N. peacekeepers already there seem largely powerless”; TIME; 19 July 2006; By NICHOLAS BLANFORD TYRE, SOUTH LEBANON.
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1216739,00.html



[12] “The United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon, or UNIFIL, was created by the United Nations, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 on 19 March 1978, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.”
SOURCE: United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon | From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNIFIL

“In June 1978, Prime Minister [Menachem] Begin, under intense American pressure, withdrew Israel's Litani River Operation forces from southern Lebanon… The withdrawal of Israeli troops without having removed the PLO from its bases in southern Lebanon became a major embarrassment to the Begin government…”
SOURCE: “Israel 1967-1991; Lebanon 1982”; Palestine Facts.

http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1967to1991_lebanon_198x_backgd.php
[13] 1982-1983 -- The US rushed to protect the PLO in southern Lebanon from the Israelis; from “IS THE US AN ALLY OF ISRAEL? A Chronological look at the evidence”; Historical and Investigative Research; by Francisco Gil-White.
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hirally2.htm#1982



[14] “For 10 days, Warren Christopher, then the secretary of state, bounced between Damascus, Beirut and Jerusalem until he finally was able to get the 1996 cease-fire arrangement that restricted Israel and Hezbollah to fighting each other without terrorizing civilian populations.”
SOURCE: U.S., Needing Options, Finds Its Hands Tied, The New York Times, July 15, 2006 Saturday, Late Edition - Final, Section A; Column 3; Foreign Desk; TURMOIL IN THE MIDEAST: NEWS ANALYSIS; Pg. 1, 936 words, By HELENE COOPER; Mark Mazzetti contributed reporting from Washington for this article, and Jim Rutenberg from St. Petersburg, Russia., WASHINGTON, July 14

In other words, a decade ago, the United States went out of its way 1) to restrain Israel from crossing over and destroying Hezbollah; and 2) to guarantee Hezbollah’s ability to attack Israel, even though Hezbollah’s ideology, as HIR has shown, is simply to destroy the Jewish state through genocide!

[15] “PM Olmert Agrees to a Multinational Force Along Northern Border”; Israel National News; 09:30 Jul 30, '06 / 5 Av 5766; by Yechiel Spira.
http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=108659

[16] 1982-1983 -- The US rushed to protect the PLO in southern Lebanon from the Israelis; from “IS THE US AN ALLY OF ISRAEL? A Chronological look at the evidence”; Historical and Investigative Research; by Francisco Gil-White.
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hirally2.htm#1982



[17] On the Syrian control of Hezbollah, see:
“WHO ATTACKED ISRAEL?: Hezbollah has a master”; Historical and Investigative Research ; 21 July 2006; by Francisco Gil-White.
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hezbollah.htm


On the Iranian control of Hezbollah, see:
“WHAT IS HEZBOLLAH? Is this a 'militia' or a terrorist army of extermination?”; Historical and Investigative Research; 22 July 2006; by Francisco Gil-White.
http://www.hirhome.com/israel/hezbollah2.htm
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The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


Last edited by Paparock; 08-10-2008 at 03:57 AM..
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Exclamation Israel Kills Civilians In Air Raid, Did Hezbollah Target The Attack? Jul 30 2006

Israel Kills Civilians In Air Raid, Did Hezbollah Target The Attack?
Jul 30 2006



Update:Now there are questions as to when the building collapsed (H/T to readers and other sites like Hot Air). Did Hezbollah do more than entice an Isreali attack? Did they stage the attack including the demolition and killing? Which news agencies were first on the scene to cover this eleborate event?

Update: Israel will be releasing more video (no links for any video yet) of rocket launchers being driven into civilian areas of Qana during the last 20 days where 150 rockets were launched from the area during that time

Update: UPI is inaccurately reporting that the building next to the launchers seen in the Fox video was ‘the wrong target’. Actually, if those launchers were in the parking lot of the building (which is probably where they were to ensure a proper surface for targetting) then the building was in the ‘kill zone’ of the bombs. The bombs only need to be off target a few meters to hit a key foundation point of a building and bring it down. But it was Hezbollah who placed their launchers at the site knowing full well that the Israelis retrace launches to their launchers. Hezbollah targetted the Lebanese who died by enticing an Israeli defensive response against their offensive rocket attacks. No rocket attacke no Israeli response and no dead Lebanese.

Addendum: What Hezbollah has done by placing their weapons nearby known civilian centers and enticing a defensive attack from Israel is a war crime and against the Geneva Conventions. The UN, EU and liberal hand-wringers better start pointing to the true criminal acts here. If Israel simply traced rockets back to their launchers and bombed these launchers that is a DEFENSIVE military response to an attack. That makes the culprit Hezbollah. Is the UN goinbg to look the fools agains? We shall see.

Update: I just saw the first images released by the IDF of the rocket launches from qana. They are infrared iimages showing multiple launches from a building in the area. I counted 6-7 8 launches from what appears to be two launchers positioned in front of a building.

The IDF is double checking that the launches came from the exact building they ended up targetting. But even if it the building is within the ‘neighborhood’ that would make the Israeli action warranted. The IDF warned the people to leave days ago. I would guess Hezbollah would not be below forcing civilians to stay in the area. It is clear Israel has exposed a lot of their capabilities in publicizing these images. The perspective of the images shows these images were made by Special Forces monitoring activities from inside Southern Lebanon. So Israel is paying a price to show the world the war crimes of Hezbollah in hiding within civilian areas but obviously enticing Israel defensive attacks on these areas.



Update: Here are more details on the evidence that Israel will produce that Hezbollah was not only hiding among civilians, but probably were deliberately enticing Israeli bombs.
IAF Brigadier Yohanan Locker: ‘Hezballah Guerillas Launched Rockets At Israel And Then Ran For Cover Inside Building That Was Bombed’
‘Air Force Has Airial Photos Documenting Hezballah’s Use OF Lebanese Civilians As Human Shields’
The IDF has been consistent in their response to rocket launchers. So This is not an accident, this is a deliberate effort to create a PR campaign by Hezbollah killing Lebanese.

Update: The news about the IDF video showing Hezbollah inviting attack by launching rockets from a location nearby or on top of where civilians were huddled in the basement of the destroyed building is now hitting Meet The Press. This news must get out ASAP so the anger in Lebanon and in the Arab street is retargetted at Hezbollah where it belongs

Breaking Update: Fox News is reporting that the Israeli IDF is reporting that they have video proof that Hezbollah did in fact in place artillery and rocket luanchers in the area and therefore did entice Israel to attack the area. More on this when the details come out. Addendum: The Israelis respond by tracking a rocket immediately back to its launcher so that Hezbollah cannot move the equipment out of the way of Israeli bombs or artillery. This is math. There is no way to understand what is in the area of the launchers in this type of age old defensive act.

There is no way to ignore the two bits of news we have seen this weekend in deciding how to go forward in dealing with the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. First came pictures and first hand accounts of Hezbollah moving artillery and rocket launchers INTO civilian populations and attracting the wrath of Israel which uses the trajectory of the rockets and shells to pinpoint the source of an attack. This is DEFENSE 101 in military tacticts. Even if there was not a large scale attack ongoing, any missile launch by Hezbollah would receive the same defensive attack (note the artillery or missiles must be launched first in order to target the source).



Now we see the results of such tactics as Israel accidentally kills a lot of civilians, including chilfren, as they track attacks by Hezbollah and respond as predicted.
Olmert said that the area was a focal point for the firing of Katyusha rockets on Kiryat Shmona and Afula. He said that from the outset of the conflict, “hundreds of rockets have been fired from the Qana area.”
Defense Minister Amir Peretz was also profoundly repentant for the fatal strike, saying, “this is a tragic incident that is a result of war. Hizbullah operates in the heart of populated centers with the full knowledge of endangering the lives of innocent civilians.”
So it is clear who targetted Israeli jets and their bombs: it was Hezbollah. We have the proof from the Australian reporting one day prior. As I said when posting the pictures of Hezbollah locating their weapons in civilian areas, this clear war crime has to be exposed. Because Hezbollah finally got what they wanted. They aimed Israeli bombs at their own people.
__________________
O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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