09-21-2004, 12:22 PM #1
Hezbollah: "A-Team Of Terrorists"
CBS) This is what deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage had in mind a few months ago when he pinned this label on Hezbollah.
"Hezbollah may be the 'A-Team of Terrorists' and maybe al-Qaeda is actually the 'B' team. And they're on the list and their time will come,” says Armitage. “There is no question about it - it's all in good time. And we're going to go after these problems just like a high school wrestler goes after a match. We're going to take them down one at a time."
What he's talking about started about two decades ago as a ragtag militia group fighting the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. But there's no longer anything ragtag about Hezbollah now, Correspondent Ed Bradley reports.
The Islamic government of Iran reportedly subsidizes Hezbollah to the tune of $100 million a year, providing its several thousand well-trained fighters with sophisticated weapons systems. Iran also sends advisors, and according to U.S. intelligence, issues its marching orders.
Sen. Bob Graham, the Florida democrat who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee in the last Congress, and is now running for president, says the Bush Administration should be more concerned with Hezbollah than they are with Saddam Hussein.
“Does Saddam Hussein or Hezbollah represent the greater threat to the United States,” asks Graham. “In my opinion, there's no question that Hezbollah is that greater threat, and yes, we should go after it first and go after it before we go to war with Iraq.”
Graham says Hezbollah has a global network of radical Islamic supporters, with enough operatives in the U.S. to pose a terrorist threat here.
“It has a significant presence of its trained operatives inside the United States waiting for the call to action,” says Graham.
But if we were to know that classified information, would we be more concerned? Would we be more afraid of Hezbollah than we are today?
“Well, I'm more concerned and more afraid than if I did not know what the scale of their presence was in the United States,” says Graham, without any hesitation.
“They are a violent terrorist group. And they have demonstrated throughout their now 25-year history a hatred of the United States and a willingness to kill our people.”
Senator Graham is referring to the 1983 truck bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon, which resulted in the death of 241 U.S. Marines. Hezbollah's supporters say that attack was a response to shelling by U.S. warships of Islamic factions in the Lebanese civil war. The U.S. called it terrorism.
But Hezbollah's leader, Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, who we met in Beirut, insists that his group no longer poses a threat to the U.S. Unlike the leadership of al-Qaeda, he isn't hiding from anyone. You may never have heard of Nasrallah before, but he is a hugely popular figure, not just in the region but also among Arabs living in the West
“ I believe the Americans are just saying what the Israelis want them to say. I consider this to be an Israeli accusation coming out of an American mouth and nothing more,” says Nasrallah.
When he became its leader ten years ago, Nasrallah turned Hezbollah into a formidable fighting force. Few people know more about him than journalist Nick Blanford, who has covered Lebanon for eight years and is now writing a book about Hezbollah and Sheikh Nasrallah.
“People adore him. I mean, I talked to some Hezbollah fighters that speak of him almost as they would a wife or a mother,” says Blanford. “They think of him before they go to sleep at night, that he's always in their thoughts, so he has this tremendous power over the rank and file.”
The militant Islamic group has enough power and trained skilled commandos who are specialized in attacking Israeli forces that have occupied southern Lebanon for 22 years. Their most effective weapon: remote-controlled roadside bombs that were detonated when Israeli patrols passed by -- as in the 1983 attack in southern Lebanon.
All told, Israel lost more than 900 soldiers in Lebanon. In May 2000, the Israeli Army withdrew.
What did Israel's withdrawal do for Hezbollah in the eyes of the Arab world?
“Well, there's enormous boost for Hezbollah,” says Blanford. “I mean, this was a small Arab organization that had defeated the mightiest military force the Middle East has ever seen.”
With the Israelis out of Lebanon, Nasrallah encouraged, and assisted, the Palestinian uprising against Israel. He has acknowledged sending secret agents carrying weapons to the West Bank, where he is considered a hero. Some kids in the Gaza Strip even dress like him, down to the beard and the glasses. At one event, a boy playing Nasrallah was flanked by one child who played a security guard, and another child dressed as a suicide bomber.
In Lebanon, where Hezbollah runs a network of schools and hospitals and participates in local elections, Nasrallah, a Muslim, is a hero even to the country's Christian President, Emile Lahoud.
“For us Lebanese, and I can tell you a majority of Lebanese, Hezbollah is a national resistance movement,” says Lahoud. “If it wasn't for them, we couldn't have liberated our land. And because of that, we have big esteem for the Hezbollah movement.”
President Lahoud has such high esteem for Hezbollah, he's ceded control of the border with Israel to them -- a border where Hezbollah and Israeli soldiers now confront each other just a few yards apart.
This side is controlled by Hezbollah. The other side is controlled by Israel. Hezbollah has already fired rockets across the border, and U.S. officials believe that in the past two years they've been stockpiling rockets in this area hidden in caves and underground bunkers -- higher quality Iranian rockets that could reach Haifa about fifty miles away.
Openly calling for terrorism against Israel, Nasrallah is also urging on suicide operations.
"In Palestine, these operations are the only way to root out the Zionists," says Nasrallah during a speech.
That's the kind of material Hezbollah broadcasts daily on its own television station, Al Manar, which reaches a worldwide audience by satellite. Because of Washington's support for Israel, Hezbollah is conducting a ferocious propaganda offensive against the United States.
This propaganda message broadcast on Al Manar portrays U.S. foreign policy as Satanic and shows an image of the Statue of Liberty, a skull for her face, wearing a gown dripping with the blood of other nations.
But even though he's one of the most powerful anti-American voices in the Middle East, Nasrallah says he has no use for Saddam Hussein. In fact, he blames the U.S. for Saddam's rise.
“The U.S. provided political and military support to the Iraqi regime for decades. They created this mess. I don't believe Saddam alone should be held accountable. We should also go after those who supported him -- like the American government.”
Nasrallah has described the war on Saddam as a Satanic American-Zionist plan to dominate the Arab world. But what is Satanic about removing Saddam from power?
“The United States isn't seeking democracy in Iraq. It's after the oil in Iraq,” says Nasrallah. “And that isn't exactly a humanitarian pursuit. The U.S. wants to impose its political will on Iraq and wants to impose Israel's domination in the region. Certainly these objectives are not moral objectives in my opinion. In fact, we say they are satanic objectives.”
And yet, Nasrallah has spoken out against terrorist attacks on the U.S., including the 9/11attack.
“We reject those methods, and believe they contradict Islam and the teachings of the Quran, which do not permit this barbarity,” says Nasrallah.
But Senator Graham doesn't buy it.
“There are a number of lessons we should learn from Sept. 11th. One of those lessons is that these terrorist groups tend to do what they say they're going to do,” says Graham. “If they define the United States as being Satanic - and that therefore they want to kill us - they will find ways to carry out that objective.”
Is he convinced that they possess weapons of mass destruction?
“I'm not certain whether they possess them,” adds Graham. “But I am confident that they could possess them through their close affiliation with Iran, which has a larger warehouse of chemical and biological weapons, and is closer to gaining nuclear weapons capability than Iraq.”
So if Iran wants them to have weapons of mass destruction, will they have it? Graham believes they will, and in large quantities, too.
Iran isn't the only country that supports Hezbollah. Syria allows Hezbollah to train fighters in remote camps in Syria and territory under its control in Lebanon.
“In recent years they have been infiltrating into this core in the United States people who have gone through their training camps and have the skills of terrorist activity,” says Graham.
According to the FBI, Hezbollah has never conducted a terrorist attack in the United States. The FBI says that its members here are raising money for activities overseas and nothing more than that.
But there has to be a first for every organization. The first for al-Qaeda was Sept.11, 2001. When will the first attack against an American in America by Hezbollah take place?
We asked Lebanon's President Lahoud, a political ally of Hezbollah, if Americans have anything to fear from them.
“Americans? For sure not,” says Lahoud.
The United States is the strongest backer of Israel. But it's the same kind of thing you see with al-Qaeda, attacking the United States to get at Israel.
“Well, believe me, they don't have anything to attack the U.S. or any U.S. citizen for sure,” assures Nasrallah. “But Israel is our enemy. That's something else. It has nothing else to do with the U.S.”
But that's not what he said last month just days before the war began.
"We are confident," says Nasrallah. "The Iraqi people cannot accept the humiliation of a U.S. occupation government," which he added, "would be a Zionist occupation government." Then he warned the Americans they'd be met with rifles, blood and suicide operations.
“American policies in the region encourage this kind of retaliation, whether we agree with it or not. I am expressing the reality,” says Nasrallah.
“I believe the continuation of American policy will make enemies of all Arabs and Muslims - meaning hundreds of millions of Arabs and one billion four hundred million Muslims around the world. Lots of groups will surface, not necessarily al-Qaeda, and they'll be impossible to bring to justice.”
09-21-2004, 12:23 PM #2
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 realiability of his informationhas 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.
09-21-2004, 12:24 PM #3
Hezbollah 'popular' in Australia: expert Australian (June 9, 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 .
THE UN operates by consensus, a major counterterrorism handicap given that several of its members are proactive state sponsors of terrorism.
Hezbollah poses a threat to Australia and threatens others with support of members in Australia. The Australian initiative to ban Hezbollah, despite the group's absence from the UN Security Council's terrorism list, is therefore critically important.
As was the case when Canada banned Hezbollah last December, some oppose the Australian measure, arguing that Hezbollah is not a terrorist group but a social and political organisation engaged in armed struggle against Israel. Yet evidence of Hezbollah's international activity as a terrorist group of global reach is overwhelming.
While Hezbollah may be more likely to use Australia as a base for logistical support operations than a target, Hezbollah's threat to target Australians over the country's role in the liberation of Iraq is not the only reason the group should be banned. Terrorism experts concur that Hezbollah is one of the most active international terrorist groups
Indeed, Australia is one of only seven counties where a Hezbollah video game glorifying terrorism was successfully marketed. According to the game's designers, it is intended to instil Hezbollah "values" by giving supporters a virtual opportunity to participate in the attacks they fund and laud from abroad.
Hezbollah poses an international threat, but does the presence of Hezbollah sympathisers and logistical and financial supporters pose a direct threat to Australians themselves? Absolutely.
Terrorism scholar Rohan Gunaratna notes Hezbollah operatives have attempted to recruit Malaysians and Indonesians to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel and Australia. Moreover, Hezbollah has a long track record of plotting terrorist attacks in southeast Asia.
On March 17, 1994, Hezbollah terrorists attempted to bomb the Israeli embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. The attack failed because the terrorists got in a car accident and fled the scene. Authorities later discovered C4 explosives in the car.
In 1995, Hezbollah operatives began surveilling Singapore's coastline.
Two years later authorities thwarted the group's plans to blow up US Navy ships passing through the Singapore Straits or berthed in the city-state's harbour. The cell included Hezbollah operatives who infiltrated the region with visa-waivers and married local women.
Hezbollah operatives have been arrested in Thailand, Singapore, and The Philippines. The group has also been active in Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Korea, and has infiltrated Islamic charitable societies throughout the region.
The conviction of two Hezbollah operatives in the US Federal Court last year highlighted the links between these types of support networks and senior Hezbollah military leaders, as well as radical Iranian elements.
In June 2002, brothers Mohamad and Chawki Hammoud were convicted of providing material support to a terrorist group. Their Charlotte, North Carolina-based cell was part of a network responsible for raising funds and procuring dual-use technologies for Hezbollah terrorist operations.
Mohammed Hassan Dbouk and his brother-in-law, Ali Adham Amhaz, ran the Canadian portion of this network under the command of Haj Hasan Hilu Laqis (Hezbollah's chief military procurement officer). Their activities were funded in part with money that Laqis sent from Lebanon, in addition to their own criminal activities in Canada (eg, credit card and banking scams).
Among the items that they purchased in Canada and the US and smuggled into Lebanon were night-vision goggles, global positioning systems, stun guns, naval equipment, nitrogen cutters and laser range finders. The Canadian Hezbollah network also sought to take out life insurance policies for Hezbollah operatives committing acts of terrorism in the Middle East.
Hezbollah's international activities are all the more dangerous in light of the group's ties to al-Qa'ida. In June 2002, US and European intelligence officials described Hezbollah as "increasingly teaming up with al-Qa'ida on logistics and training for terrorist operations". This ********, described as "ad hoc", "tactical", and "informal", was said to involve mid and low-level operatives. US and European intelligence
officials reiterated this concern in September 2002, noting that "the most worrisome" of al-Qa'ida's new "tactical, ad-hoc ********s" is with Hezbollah.
Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qa'ida members co-operate in the lawless tri-border area in South America, where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina meet; similar co-operation has been noted in Asia, as in the cases of Abdul Nasser Nooh (who facilitated both al-Qa'ida and Hezbollah operations) and Muhammad Amed al-Khalifa (a Hezbollah member linked to a shipment of explosives sent by a company tied to al-Qa'ida and
confiscated by Philippine police).
To be sure, Hezbollah is a terrorist group of global reach, with an international logistical and financial support network stretching to Australia and beyond. Hezbollah runs operational and logistical support cells in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America and the Middle East. Canberra must protect Australians against the kinds of attacks Hezbollah operatives successfully executed in Argentina and
attempted in Singapore and Thailand; it must also do everything in its power to prevent Hezbollah supporters in Australia from funding and facilitating the group's attacks targeting others.
09-21-2004, 12:25 PM #4
Syria Again Embraces Hezbollah Terrorists, Defying
Bush's Plea To Damascus To Stop Supporting Them
NEW YORK - Syria has again declared its support for the Hezbollah
terrorist group, in defiance of President Bush's recent public appeal to
Syria to stop supporting terrorist groups.
In his Mideast policy speech on June 24, 2002, President Bush said:
"Syria must choose the right side in the war on terror by closing terrorist
camps and expelling terrorist organizations."
According to the State Department's May 2002 report, Patterns of
Global Terrorism, numerous groups that are on the official U.S. list of
terrorist organizations have facilities in Syria and Syrian-occupied
Lebanon, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the PFLP-General Command, the Abu Musa
group, and Hezbollah. Syria "continues to provide safe haven and
logistics support" to these groups, the report stated.
Hezbollah has been responsible for numerous attacks on Israelis and
Americans, including the car-bomb massacre of 241 U.S. Marines in Beirut in
1983. In addition, Bush administration officials recently revealed that
"Hezbollah increasingly teaming up with [Osama Bin Laden's] Al Qaeda on
logistics and training for terrorist operations...including coordination on
explosives and tactics training, money laundering, weapons smuggling and
acquiring forged documents...[this] will enable a hobbled Al Qaeda network
to increase its ability to launch attacks against American targets."
(Washington Post, June 30, 2002) There have also been media reports that
Al Qaeda terrorists fleeing Afghanistan have been given sanctuary in
Hezbollah camps in Lebanon.
Nevertheless, Syria has again declared its support for Hezbollah. The
Jewish Telegraphic Agency (July 2, 2002) reports that in defiance of President
Bush's plea, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad "rejected U.S. calls to stop
supporting Hezbollah gunmen in Lebanon. 'Syria supports the Lebanese
national resistance, including Hezbollah,' Assad said in an interview
Monday. He also rejected U.S. pressure to expel Palestinian terrorist
groups based in Damascus..."
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of
America (ZOA), said: "President Bush's appropriate appeal to Syria must be
followed up with action; when it comes to terrorist regimes such as Syria,
words are not enough. The administration should respond to Syria's embrace
of Hezbollah by declaring its support for the Syria Accountability Act,
which would impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on Syria until it
stops supporting terrorists and ends its illegal occupation of Lebanon."
09-21-2004, 12:30 PM #5
Middle East Terror Groups Find Sanctuary, Revenue in South America
Tri-Border Area Hotbed for Crime-Terror Nexus, Hezbollah Firmly Established
In the frontier town of Ciudad del Este, in February 2003, Paraguayan state security officials raided a store owned by Ali Khalil Mehri, a 32-year old businessman of Lebanese descent. They recovered Hezbollah propaganda and documentation of money transfers to Canada, Chile, the U.S. and Lebanon totaling more than $700,000. Also found were fundraising forms for an organization in the Middle East called Al-Shahid, which is dedicated to the "protection of families of martyrs and prisoners." After a thorough investigation, Paraguayan prosecutors charged Mehri with selling millions of dollars of pirated software and channeling the proceeds to the Hezbollah terrorist group. Mehri, released on bail after his arrest, crossed into Brazil and then flew from Sao Paulo to Paris. Authorities now believed he is in Syria.
Mehri's arrest was the first major breakthrough in the investigation of illicit Hezbollah activities in the Tri-Border Area, an almost lawless area shared by the cities of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; Foz do Iguacu, Brazil and Puerto Iguacu, Argentina. The area is known for money laundering, extortion, forgery, prostitution and illegal gambling. It has long been a resting place for drug traffickers and South American terrorist organizations such as the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), but in the past decade or so it has emerged as a hotbed of Islamist terrorism as well.
As of 2002, approximately 630,000 people live in the Tri-Border Area, more than 25,000 are Arabs or of Arab descent. The Brazilian and Paraguayan cities, which are only separated by the short Puente de la Amistad ("Friendship Bridge"), are areas where the first settlements of immigrants from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and the Palestinian territories emerged about 50 years ago. There is a high level of Islamist political activity in the Tri-Border Area and members of international terrorist organizations, it has been reported, including Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), al-Fatah, and al-Qaeda have been sighted there.
Regional officials and in several U.S. agencies have also investigated connections between Islamist terrorists and drug trafficking. On May 10, 2003, police in Paraguay arrested Hassan Abdallah Dayoub as he was preparing to ship an electric piano stuffed with more than five pounds of cocaine into Syria. Dayoub is a relative of Assad Ahmad Barakat, the chief Hezbollah operative in South America. He has thus far refused to answer investigators' questions about the identity of those with whom he did business.
Due to a crackdown on terrorist funding worldwide and growing international pressure on state sponsors of terrorism, terrorist groups have been turning more and more to drug trafficking to raise funds for their activities. The Taliban earned an estimated $40-50 million per year from taxes related to opium production in Afghanistan. According to the website TerrorismAnswers.org, produced by the Council on Foreign Relations, Hezbollah smuggles cocaine from South America to Europe and the Middle East and has smuggled opiates out of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
In addition to operating in the Middle East and South America, Islamist terrorists have also been arrested in the U.S. for drug smuggling. In January 2002, the Drug Enforcement Administration apprehended 136 people in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Fresno and Carlsbad, California in a massive operation that resulted in the seizure of 179 pounds of methamphetamine, 36 tons of the over-the-counter cold medicine ingredient pseudoephedrine (which is often used to make the illegal drug methamphetamine), $4.5 million in cash, eight pieces of property and 160 automobiles. The raid prompted an investigation that yielded the first evidence of a direct flow of money from drugs in the U.S. to Islamist terrorism in the Middle East. In addition, federal agents announced in early 2002 that they have exposed an effort involving legal immigrants and visitors to use credit card thefts, cigarette sales, charitable funds and cash smuggled in airline luggage to supply funds to anti-American and anti-Israeli terrorist groups operating in the Middle East.
Islamist terrorists operating in the South American drug trade is not a new topic on Capitol Hill. In a May 2003, Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) brought up Dayoub's arrest in Paraguay, saying that it demonstrates "the narco-terrorist financing operations needed to support Barakat and Hezbollah." Hatch elaborated that the Tri-Border Area "has long been characterized as a regional hub for radical Islamic groups, which engage in arms and drug trafficking, contraband smuggling, money laundering and movement of pirated goods."
In an October 2002 interview on the National Public Radio show On Point, Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, emphasized his belief that the war against Saddam Hussein's regime should be followed up with a strike on Syrian training camps and the Iranians who finance Hezbollah. He said the three reasons he sees Hezbollah and its supporters as a greater immediate threat than Iraq are:
Hezbollah's enthusiasm to kill Americans (previous to September 11, 2001, more Americans had died at the hands of Hezbollah terrorists than any other group);
The group's access to funds and resources, and;
Their presence in the U.S.
In September 2002, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage declared that Hezbollah would eventually become a U.S. target, to which Hezbollah's spokesman, Hassan Ezzeddin, replied "The American administration will be held accountable for any offensive against Lebanon, and we emphasize that we are in full readiness to confront any eventuality and defend our people."
Jeffrey Goldberg, author of "In the Party of God", which appeared in The New Yorker in October 2002, was also a guest on the radio show. Goldberg spent over a month in the Middle East and three weeks in the Tri-Border Area researching Hezbollah and their international funding and activities. He recounted crossing the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay with extreme ease, and being offered an AK-47 rifle for $375. The price even included a hotel delivery. When he asked about acquiring explosives, he was told that was also possible.
"In the Party of God" details how terrorist organizations make money from even legitimate businesses in the area. The Islamic fundamentalists extort business owners and force them to make a monthly "donation" - one that will save their shop and family from "possible harm." Investigators in South America believe that over the past few years, Islamist terrorists have raised tens of millions of dollars - one Paraguayan official even told Goldberg that in one year Hezbollah raised $12 million in the Tri-Border Area alone. In addition, Paraguay has no anti-terror law, which in many countries allows for the seizure of terrorist funds and bans donations to terrorist organizations. The lack of such a law makes donating money to a terrorist organization in the Tri-Border Area as easy as donating to the Red Cross is in the U.S.
The absence of anti-terror laws makes it almost impossible for U.S. and regional authorities to arrest suspects. Because the organization and channeling of money is similar to the way organized crime operated in the 1930s in the U.S., the only charge officials can try to arrest the terrorists on is tax evasion. In addition, many officials believe that Paraguay in particular is extremely hesitant to prosecute or conduct investigations into Middle Eastern terrorists because the Tri-Border Area is the largest center of commerce in the country and the Arab community there is often described as the "pillar" of economic activity. If the Arab community abandons the region en masse, Paraguay's already unstable economy would further deteriorate.
Paraguay is the one country of the three that has done the least to curb Islamist terrorists in the area because of the massive corruption at even the highest levels of the government. In the article "Paraguay's Ciudad del Este and the New Centers of Gravity" by Colonel William W. Mendel, U.S. Army (ret.), published in the March-April 2002 issue of Military Review, the journal of the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College, Paraguayan police estimate that about 70 percent of the 600,000 cars in Paraguay were purchased on the black market, with at least a portion of the profits likely going to terrorist groups.
Corruption runs to the topmost ranks of government in Paraguay. Court officials and police say that even the President's BMW and his wife's Mercedes were purchased on the black market and were probably stolen. Both cars claimed the same title document, which was issued for a Toyota. And, in September 2001, the Paraguayan consul in Miami was arrested for selling over 300 passports and visas since 1999.
Many believe the U.S. has not done enough in the Tri-Border Area to halt the terrorism. According to Jonathan Goldberg (no relation to Jeffrey Goldberg), in his December, 2002 article "Blind Eye" in The American Prospect, the U.S. agenda for the region puts fiscal crises, trade negotiations, and local terrorist groups such as the FARC above Islamist terrorism. And although the DEA and State Department have representatives investigating drug-related activity in the Tri-Border Area and throughout Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, little attention is paid to the corruption within the highest ranks of the governments. Meanwhile, according to Juan Belikow, a professor at Argentina's School of National Defense, Islamist terrorists and their supporters in South America are branching out into other regions such as Panama's Colon Free Trade Zone, Iquique, Chile; Maicao, Colombia; and Chui, Brazil.
09-21-2004, 12:31 PM #6
ISLAMIC TERRORIST GROUPS OPERATING
IN THE UNITED STATES
By Steve Macko, ERRI Risk Analyst
Very few people realize it, but at this very moment, militant Islamic groups that have been officially described as international terrorist organizations -- such as Hezbollah, HAMAS, Palestine Islamic Jihad and others -- are operating very quietly within the borders of the United States, from New York City to San Diego. What these terrorist groups do is acquire money in the U.S. to send back to their parent organizations overseas. They also use their U.S. addresses in order to purchase U.S. equipment, use U.S. internet sites to communicate and U.S. universities to meet and plan.
John O'Neill, the man who formally headed the FBI's counterterrorism unit until 1996 and who now heads those efforts in New York City, said, "Almost every one of these groups has a presence in the United States today. A lot of these groups now have the capability and the support infrastructure in the United States to attack us here if they choose to do so."
By many Islamic militants, the United States is seen as the "Great Satan." And the U.S. has now become a key part of their terrorist network. In the Middle East, you have some bitter rivalries such as Sunni vs. Shi'ite. Or Iranians vs. Arabs. These type of individuals have now eased into America's famed "melting pot."
This issue is a difficult one for law enforcement. Almost all of the estimated 6 million Muslims in the United States are law-abiding citizens. But how do you use some investigative tactics without infringing upon the rights of innocent people?
Here is a nightmare scenario that keeps some risk analysts awake at night:
A Hezbollah terrorist attaches a lightbulb to the rail track of a New York City subway. Within minutes, a train passes and smashes the light- bulb. The deadly toxin anthrax is then released into the subway system carried away by ventilation fans and causes the death of 100,000 people or more.
Peter Probst, a analyst at the Pentagon, said, "The death toll would be horrific. You could cripple the country." Probst wrote a similar scenario in his classified report entitled: "Terror 2000." He added about the anthrax scenario, "And you can't bury the victims. You have to burn them. There would be funeral pyres throughout the city."
A 1996 U.S. Senate report said that a terrorist attack with anthrax or sarin gas or a World Trade Center-type bomb that was "dirtied" with nuclear material is almost inevitable. Most experts say that sooner or later, it's going to happen.
U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen said about the same thing at a terrorism conference in April. He said: "This scenario of a nuclear, biological or chemical weapon in the hands of a terrorist cell or rogue nation is not only plausible, it's really quite real."
The U.S. has already seen such efforts toward these kinds of terrorist attacks. The group of men involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people and injured more than 1,000 included militants from Palestine, Sudan, Egypt and even U.S. citizens converted to the radical Islamic fundamentalism craziness.
That same group convicted of the World Trade Center bombing also planned to bomb other New York City landmarks. The mysterious Ramzi Yousef who is currently on trial for his part in the World Trade Center case, has already been convicted of conspiring to bomb a dozen U.S. airliners in a single day.
U.S. authorities worry about what are called "sleeper cells" of terrorists who await orders from the crazy mullahs in Iran or zealots who have been influenced by jailed Egyptian "cleric" Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman. Who was given a life sentence for his part in the World Trade Center bombing. Rahman still has his followers even though he is behind bars in a federal prison.
It is known that U.S.-based HAMAS militants have been involved in surveillance operations against prominent Jewish people in the Chicago area. What could their intentions only be?
Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet says that such terrorists "are expanding their networks, improving their skills and sophistication and working to stage more spectacular attacks."
Currently, the U.S. Customs Service is said to be investigating a network of U.S.-based Islamic foundations who may be funding Middle East terrorists. One of the foundations under investigation is in Florida. The Customs Service is reportedly searching for evidence in stacks of Arabic documents, encrypted computer files and bank records that have been seized. The foundation is believed to using the cover of a Mideast think tank that was, at one time, affiliated with the University of South Florida.
Counterterrorism analysts say that what is different about Islamic extremists is the radical crazies who consider the United States to be the "Great Satan." An enemy to Islam that must be punished. And they are quite fanatical about it.
World renown terrorism expert Brian Jenkins of Kroll Associates said, "The fact they are using the United States as a launching pad, a depot and a bank is not new. What is different is the fact it is done so with an open hostility toward the U.S. government and U.S. society."
Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood in Los Vegas ???
By Paul Copher, ERRI Counterterrorism Analyst-At-Large
While presenting a CT/AT training course to some state investigators here in the SW, I stopped in Las Vegas with a few former military agents that I worked with in the Middle East. A taxi driver picked us up and we noticed his Middle Eastern name. At first he was very closed mouth about such questions as the spread of Islam in Nevada but after hearing that we were familiar with the various conflicts of the region and Islam he began to open up. By the end of the ride we had made plans to meet the local Imam. The mosque was situated in a housing project and bore no outside indications of its usage.
Upon entering we were politely searched for weapons or recording devices then led into a front room. The first thing that I noted was a map of Nellis AFB with certain areas marked such as the motor pool, gas/fuel storage, and weapons/ammo dump. A large photo of Sheik Rahman was displayed as was the Ayatollah Khomeni's poster size likeness. After a few minutes of over hearing Arabic remarks in the next room, our best Arabic speaker/agent called out we were not "on the job" and were not being properly treated as "guests".
Tea was brought out and a young Shiia stereotype (several days beard, sweater under a sport coat in summer, buttoned up collar with no tie) sat down. As we ate goat cheese and pita bread with olives and cucumbers, the man produced a gold leaf bound copy of the Koran and asked what we wanted. We said that all of us were formerly in the ME and two of our group had extensive duty in Egypt,Iran, and Lebanon. A few more men joined this odd scene with more food and a bottle of wine. The wine trick was familiar to us and we all turned our glasses upside down refusing the wine in this alleged semi mosque or Koranic school. In fact, our Egyptian born ex USAF Capt criticized the men for offering us an alcoholic drink in such surroundings. Apparently we passed the test by accepting only tea and snacks (with the correct hand).
The individuals said that all were Egyptians with a few Palestinian born members thrown in and were in this country seeking political asylum, although none had met with a INS board and were employed as limo and taxi drivers. While being polite, the men still believed us to be "secret police" for some US agency. The far interior of the room was divided by a nice tribal rug. Behind this was a small area for prayers and many martyr photos of suicide bombers and Egyptian/Lebanese clerics. I noted HAMAS and HEZBULLAH logos on the photos. This was verified by the self appointed religious leader/teacher that the others called Imam and another much older man called Sidi Massoud-probably an older family member or the real group leader. This man was called phonetically, by the group, "Zabagna" which was translated to mean a watchman or guard. It was he who called us by a very quaint, out of use, Ottoman Turkish term of "noble foreigners".
The men, now numbering 7 (the seating was set up for a norm of 14 for prayers) began asking us if we had any new news from Rahman and what we currently knew of the purges of pro-Islamic military members in the various ME nations. I commented on the Turkish purge which seemed to satisfy them that we were students of ME politics. Our opinions were of interest to them as if they were taking a poll. I was asked about the medallion I wore (and take on every airplane trip) which was an inscribed gift from the PFLP-GC after my unit had tried to stop the Lebanese militia forces from entering the PLO refugee camps in Beirut. On these trips I also carry a Koran just in case even though I am in the US. Although the Moslem Brotherhood is not too friendly with the PLO itself, they did seem to accept the more rejectionist PFLP-GC as some remote relation to them.
The group said that they were studying the American way of life and found it repulsive in Las Vegas due to the life style. They also commented on the remarks about Moslems that their fares made when working their taxi jobs. I said many Americans think all Moslems are hostile but there are good and bad in both countries. I also said that US students should study geography and other cultures more than they currently do. The Imam replied that this was true of the Middle Eastern students as well.
As I became familiar with the photos and posters I noted a heavy cardboard stock poster of the design of an RPG 7 and AK 47. A map of Las Vegas was also marked just like the map of Nellis AFB. One man saw me looking and told me that they were studying the lay out of the city and areas for their taxi/limo jobs. Numerous photos of the men and their families (?) were displayed showing that a few were in camo uniforms carrying weapons. I pointed out a Rumanian AKM with its distinctive fore grip in one photo and this seemed to impress the group. Another photo was of a group of men at the Lake Powell region of Northern AZ with the large dam behind them. I was told that this reminded them of Lake Nasser and they take tours of the site often on their free days.
After about 1 1/2 hour we all got up, retrieved our shoes, and said goodbye-May Peace and Blessings be upon you. We received the correct blessing on leaving the home. The next day we met with a Vegas police officer and asked about the Moslem presence in the town. He replied that the only "Mohamadins" (a term I had not heard in years and only by tourists in the ME) were in Vegas to "drink, gamble, meet women and live it up".
Although this incident shows that at least one group/cell/association is in Las Vegas, the intelligence of its existance is not being circulated to the law enforcement community. In a place that contains high level "Great Satan" targets with little security (not to inconvenience the guests) plus military facilities that grant access to these individuals when driving taxis, I would hope that the rest of the town and military police would have knowledge of the potential threat. The fellow briefers and I had done facility vulnerability surveys in Iran, Lebanon, and Turkey. Our thoughts on securing a hotel/casino would conflict with the whole areas life style. A bio/chem weapon in a casino would inflict severe damage. An explosive of a great size could cause a massive lateral detonation far exceeding the damage at the World Trade Center.
09-21-2004, 12:32 PM #7
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.
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. 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.
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 f*****eaching 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.
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.
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." 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. 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.
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. 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."
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. 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. 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. 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."
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. 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.
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.
09-21-2004, 12:40 PM #8
I have read all the articles. I see the fact that Hizbollah killed 241 marines. I see that they killed 900 Israeli soldiers.
I dont consider attacks on soldiers terrorism at all, especially if the soldiers are in foriegn lands.
Show me instances of Hizbollah killing civilians please.
09-21-2004, 12:47 PM #9Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
Caus, i really wasnt posting these articles for that. I was merely showing that Hizbollah is a known terrorist group around the world whether u want to admit it or not. To Americans and to others they are. Just because u dont consider them a terrorist group doesnt mean other people/nations dont. U may call them "freedom fighters" while we call them "terrorists". Just read the quotes from Sen. Bob Graham.
09-21-2004, 12:53 PM #10Originally Posted by OGPackin
The only countries that call Hizbollah a terrorist organization is - Israel, U.S, U.K, Australia, and Canada.
Once Israel says something, the US naturally follows. And once the U.S says something the rest of Anglo-Saxon countries follow - Australia, U.K, and Canada.
09-21-2004, 12:56 PM #11
“ I believe the Americans are just saying what the Israelis want them to say. I consider this to be an Israeli accusation coming out of an American mouth and nothing more,” says Nasrallah.
I am not even a Shia, and disagree with many of the things they do. Hizbollah is a Shia group.
I look at it objectively. They dont target civilians, so they arent a terrorist group.
To me a terrorist group is a group that targets and kills and injures civilians.
09-21-2004, 01:01 PM #12Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
hahaha...RE-READ what i said Caus...Pathetic
Well, isnt the US, Israel, Canada, UK and Australia around the world....?? Last time i checked they were!
09-21-2004, 01:11 PM #13Originally Posted by OGPackin
Dont play symatics games here. That is just childish.
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