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Weapons, drugs, and global terror: Hezbollah as an international threat

For an organization established in 1985, Hezbollah has had quite the storied history. In their three decades, they’ve not only undermined the government and military of their native Lebanon, they’ve destabilized the entire Middle East – and that’s not all. With the help of their patron, Iran, and their ally, Syria, it has amassed an arsenal larger than that of most nation-states. Hezbollah has gained footholds all over the world. This Shiite militia from Southern Lebanon has grown into a sizable international threat.

Destabilizing the Middle East

As Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah trains, funds, and fights alongside armies and militias that promote Iran’s interests and ideologies. This means exacerbating conflicts throughout the Middle East and exporting chaos far beyond their borders. Alongside Iran’s Quds Force, Hezbollah has been gaining experience and weapons in Syria’s ongoing, bloody civil war.

Kata’ib Hezbollah, or “Hezbollah Brigades,” is Hezbollah’s Iraq-based counterpart. With funding, weapons, and training from Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds Force, they began fighting for Iranian interests in Iraq in 2003. They rose to prominence – or infamy – in 2007, with attacks on American forces, and are designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the US. Like Hezbollah proper, they’re also fighting alongside the regime in Syria.

In conjunction with the Quds Force, they’ve also been training and arming the Houthi rebels in Yemen, drawing out the country’s proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Houthis, whose motto is “God Is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse upon the Jews, victory to Islam,” are Zaydi Islamist insurgents bent on unseating Yemen’s government.

Hezbollah and Iran also provide training and support to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Islamist terror group. Palestinian Islamic Jihad have regularly fired rockets at Israeli civilians and encouraged large-scale terror attacks. Iran knows that wherever they need their violent ideology upheld, Hezbollah will offer knowledge, training, and tactics to enforce it.

Growing their web of terror

Even before Hezbollah officially announced its establishment, the group was already waging campaigns of terror aimed at the West. In 1983, they took aim at American targets, killing 241 American servicemen in a suicide bombing of their barracks in Beirut. They didn’t stop there.

Over the years, Hezbollah has built a worldwide terror network. This has allowed them to carry out bloody attacks against civilians in locations as far flung as Argentina, Egypt, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Cells have been uncovered in Cyprus, Nigeria, Thailand, Azerbaijan, and elsewhere. These cells were all in advanced stages of planning for attacks targeting Israelis.

The aftermath of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1994. The Hezbollah attack killed 85 people.
The aftermath of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1994. The Hezbollah attack killed 85 people.

But it’s never just been Israelis. Despite their ideological fixation on Israelis and Jews, Hezbollah has cells in over 40 countries. With their extensive international connections, they’ve taken aim at Sunni Muslims, a former prime minister, political opponents, humanitarian workers, and anyone opposed to Iran’s radical ideology.

UN Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War 10 years ago, demanded that Hezbollah disarm. Despite this clear demand from the international community, Hezbollah has only expanded its arsenal. It has 45,000-50,000 operatives who have stockpiled over 100,000 rockets. For a non-state actor, they’ve amassed more weapons than any NATO country but the United States of America.

Participation in the international drug trade

These weapons and terror campaigns aren’t cheap. How does one Lebanese militia get the funds to support violent upheaval the world over? Besides for their Iranian patronage, they’ve found another source lucrative enough: The international drug trade.

Hezbollah has been implicated in drug trafficking and money laundering around the world. German police have caught Lebanese nationals transferring millions of euros to Hezbollah families in Lebanon, made through the European cocaine trade. And this isn’t the only transcontinental network Hezbollah is running.

Through “Project Cassandra,” which follows the terrorist group around the globe, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency has shown the reach of Hezbollah’s narcoterrorism. Hezbollah keeps extensive ties with cartels throughout Latin America, who help them supply illegal drugs to the United States and Europe. They may also be involved in drug trafficking throughout the African continent, according to the US State Department. The proceeds – to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars – are laundered and sent to Lebanon through informal channels. From there, it becomes the funding and weapons that allow Hezbollah to continue exporting their terror.

Designation as a global terror group

Hezbollah operates globally, and the world has taken notice. The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and the European Union classify its military wings as terrorist organizations. The United States, the Netherlands, France, Canada, Bahrain, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Arab League have joined Israel in classifying all of Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.

As Hezbollah continues torturing, starving, besieging, and murdering civilians throughout the Middle East, countries and groups that have once turned a blind eye to Hezbollah’s crimes are starting to see them as the international threat that they are. Even so, Hezbollah continues stockpiling weapons and stashing them among Southern Lebanon’s civilian population.

Most recently, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Security Council said: “The attack on 4 January proved Hezbollah’s military capability and its readiness and willingness to use such capability in violation of resolution 1701 (2006). The maintenance of arms by Hezbollah and other groups outside the control of the Lebanese State… continues to restrict the State’s ability to exercise full sovereignty and authority over its territory.” He continues, “I am deeply concerned at the readiness and willingness of Hezbollah to use its capabilities in violation of resolution 1701 (2006)…. Should Hezbollah’s possession of arms or attempts to procure sophisticated weapons provoke conflict, the consequences are potentially very grave for Lebanon and for the region.”

The IDF has always taken the threat of Hezbollah seriously. They sit on our northern border, and their massive missile arsenal is pointed at us. But Hezbollah has proven time and time again that they have their sights set on the whole map. When they’re planning across continents and seas, they’re not our threat alone.
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Terror at Israel’s Borders: The Threat of Hezbollah

One of the most active and dangerous terror organizations in the world, Hezbollah maintains a vast network stretching across the globe. With financial and logistical help from Iran and Syria, Hezbollah has transformed over time into a military-like organization in Lebanon. Since the end of Israel’s most recent conflict with Hezbollah in 2006, this terror organization has focused on developing its technological capabilities, and it is now more powerful than many armies in the world.

When the terror organization Hezbollah was first established in the early 80s, it began to use new guerilla tactics that had never been employed before, specifically suicide bombings.This tactic showed its devastating and lethal effect when two suicide bombers destroyed the multinational force headquarters and the United States Marines’ barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 299 people, including 58 french paratroopers and 240 U.S marines.

Hezbollah has developed significantly since those days, and with the financial help of Iran and Syria’s logistical complicity, this terror organization has developed into a well-equipped and well-trained paramilitary force that is widely considered to be more powerful than the Lebanese Army.

By changing its mode of operation, Hezbollah has focused on developing itself into a capable military force with a high level of discipline, weapons and infrastructure. Since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the terrorist organization has heavily emphasized the acquisition of sophisticated armaments.

Without a doubt, as a modern paramilitary force, Hezbollah has developed technological capabilities that make it a threat to Israel’s civilian population, and to the stability of the Middle East. Due to help from the Iranian regime, Hezbollah now posses more than 100,000 rockets of Syrian and Iranian origin, with a payload ranging from 60 kg to almost 1 ton of explosives.These rockets can reach any point on the map of Israel.

With the ongoing civil war in neighboring Syria, Lebanon’s border with Syria has allowed weapons to circulate almost freely between the two countries. Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, recently claimed “Israel can’t even imagine the size of our arms stockpile.”

Additional technology that Hezbollah has developed since the end of the Second Lebanon War is UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicle. Hezbollah is now in possession of numerous drones provided by Iran. These UAVs, built by the Iranian manufacturing company Ghods Industry, can carry out both reconnaissance missions and ground attacks. Hezbollah has actively used this technology on the Syrian battlefield in its fight to support Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Since its creation, Hezbollah has used all possible means to develop its offensive capabilities. From a small-scale terrorist group, to the Middle East’s most powerful paramilitary organization, Hezbollah is not only a regional threat, but a global one. It is backed by Iran and and Syria, who spare no effort in transferring missiles and rockets to their ally, Hezbollah. The terror organization is now in possession of very sophisticated weaponry which is aimed directly at Israeli civilians.
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Rockets fired from Lebanon at Israel

Rockets were fired from Lebanon at Israel. PM Netanyahu: "We hold the Lebanese government responsible for this development. We also know that Iran is behind this arming by Hezbollah."

Residents of Israel’s north woke to rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel. The rockets landed west of Kiryat Shmona, an Israeli city near the Lebanese border. IDF forces responded with artillery fire toward the source of the launch.

At least five rockets were fired from Lebanon, with one confirmed explosion in Israel. The IDF is currently searching for evidence of others.

In response to the attack, an official complaint was filed to UNIFIL, the United Nations force charged with maintaining security in Southern Lebanon and preventing hostilities against Israel. Launching rockets from Lebanon into Israel jeapordizes thousands of civilian lives in the north. While no injuries were reported, the attack constitutes an unacceptable and blatant breach of Israel’s sovereignty.


PM Netanyahu said at the Cabinet meeting: "Today, the IDF responded quickly and forcefully to the rocket fire from Lebanon. This is our policy regarding Lebanon just as it is with the Gaza Strip. We will not allow a drizzle and we will respond strongly, and if need be, will carry out preventive action. We hold the Lebanese government responsible for firing that is carried out from within its territory. What is happening in Lebanon is that Hezbollah is stationing thousands of missiles and rockets in apartments, in the heart of the civilian population, and is thus perpetrating two war crimes simultaneously. It is organizing the firing at civilians, just as it did today, and it is hiding behind civilians as human shields.

This is a double war crime that that is being perpetrated under the aegis of the Lebanese government and army, which are not lifting a finger to prevent this arming and these crimes. We hold the Lebanese government responsible for this development. We also know that Iran, of course, is behind this arming by Hezbollah. It is the same Iran which is continuing to assist the Syrian government in slaughtering civilians and which is continuing to arm terrorist organizations that are perpetrating acts of terrorism in many countries. It is also the same Iran that is currently developing centrifuges that are capable of enriching uranium six times faster than its regular centrifuges."

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Hezbollah Enlists Women as Terrorists

As Hezbollah expands its terrorism across the globe, women are rising through its ranks to advance the organization’s mission of terror. Female Hezbollah leader: “The list of women willing to commit suicide attacks in Hezbollah is as long as the men’s.”
Hezbollah’s leaders have boasted in recent years about the growing involvement of women in the terrorist organization’s network. Just last month, chief Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah spoke before a group of women to recognize the role of female leaders in advancing Hezbollah’s terrorist activities. Nasrallah’s address emphasized his firm belief, as stated years earlier, that women must “be integrated in the Hezbollah’s agenda in every matter.”
Involving women in terrorism
Although Hezbollah denies women any direct role in combat, the organization perceives women as key contributors to its mission of terror. In a 2010 interview with Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai, Rima Fahri – a woman who has risen through the ranks of Hezbollah’s leadership – stated that “all the women in Southern Lebanon are considered fighters in the ranks of the resistance.” Fahri added that women are by no means “disconnected from Hezbollah’s military struggle,” and that they in fact “take part in it in one way or another.”
During the interview, Fahri emphasized Hezbollah’s belief in obligating women to take part in terrorism – and even to commit suicide attacks. “The woman, like the man, is charged with a holy war against the enemy,” Fahri said. “The list of women willing to commit suicide attacks in Hezbollah is as long as the men’s. If there will be a need for the party’s women to start jihad activities then there’s no obstacle to it, ideologically or organizationally.”
Women play a variety of roles in support of Hezbollah terrorism. They collect important monetary donations, which the organization combines with illicit drug sales and support from Iran and Syria to sustain its worldwide terror operations. Many women provide direct support to Hezbollah terrorists, preparing militants for war or treating their injuries during battle. A small number of women have taken a more direct role in fighting, gathering intelligence and tracking the movements of the enemy.
In 2009, Hezbollah’s leaders emphasized the need to bring women into the ranks of the terror organization. As a result, women are allowed – and in many cases encouraged – to run in Lebanon’s municipal elections as Hezbollah representatives.
In recent years, Hezbollah has established divisions of female leadership throughout the organization. The divisions, called “women’s directorates,” allow women to make decisions on a range of matters, including culture, education, and media in an effort to more effectively enlist women for its terrorist mission.
Influential but not equal
Despite the rising role of women, Hezbollah continues to emphasize the subordinate status of its female members. By and large, women are denied opportunities reserved for men. For example, while Hezbollah’s women may represent the terrorist organization in municipal elections, they are not permitted to run for positions in Lebanon’s parliament.
In 2010, Hezbollah launched a broad campaign to persuade Lebanese women to wear the Hijab – the traditional head scarf for Muslim women. An advertisement of the campaign proclaimed that the Hijab “protects the position of women,” while another described the veil as the “fortress of chastity.” Hezbollah’s campaign was part of a broader propaganda effort to enshrine extremist Islamic values and maintain the inferior status of women.
Not surprisingly, there are no women at the forefront of the organization’s leadership. It seems that while Hezbollah will indiscriminately exploit the Lebanese population – women and men alike – oppressive values remain at the core of the group’s ideology.

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Spotlight on Iran - Support for Syria comes to Facebook :supporters of Iran’s military involvement in Syria increase their social network presence

ITIC, In the past several months, elements affiliated with the Iranian regime have considerably stepped up their Facebook activity in a public relations move to spread a message of support for the Iranian military involvement in Syria.
The activity is gathering momentum as more and more reports are being released by Iranian media on the broad support of the Qods Force-led Revolutionary Guards for the Syrian regime and on Revolutionary Guards fighters killed in battles with the rebel forces in Syria. Those fighters are usually referred to as “defenders of Zainab’s Mosque”, referring to a mosque situated in a southern suburb of Damascus which in Shi’ite tradition is the final resting place of Imam Ali’s daughter.
As of this writing, there are approximately ten active Facebook pages dedicated to the fighting in Syria from the perspective of the Iranian fighters taking part in it. The content posted on the social network includes:


1. Reports on the fighting between the Syrian regime and its allies from Iran and Arab countries on one hand and the rebels on the other, with an emphasis on the achievements made by the regime and its supporters.
2. Anti-rebel PR content focusing on the rebels’ involvement in terrorist activities against civilians.
3. PR content that includes press reports and cartoons against countries allegedly supporting the rebels, mainly the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel.
4. Details on commanders fighting for the rebel army.
5. Reports (mostly photographs) on fighters from Iran, Hezbollah, and Arab countries involved in the fighting against the rebels.
6. Extensive reports on losses incurred by fighters from Iran, Hezbollah, and Arab countries fighting alongside the Syrian regime in combat with the rebels. The reports include information on the fighters’ death circumstances, eulogies, and details on their funeral ceremonies.
7. Religious Islamic content accompanied by photographs of Zainab’s Mosque in Damascus and Shi’ite-oriented encouragement for the fighters.
In addition to the activity of the supporters of the Iranian involvement in Syria, its critics, too, maintain a presence on the social network, albeit on a smaller scale. The focus of their activity is a Facebook page titled “Solidarity with the Syrian people: Iranians support the Syrian popular revolution” (www.facebook.com/Iran.Syria), which contains reports on the Syrian regime’s activity against the rebels that emphasize its use of chemical weapons and the casualties sustained by innocent civilians, as well as reports on the achievements made by the rebels in their fight against the regime.
The dissemination of content dedicated to the fighting in Syria by Iranian elements fits into the growing cyberspace presence of regime supporters. In recent years, activists of the Revolutionary Guards’ Basij force known as “soft war soldiers” have created hundreds of websites, blogs, and Facebook pages with the objective of spreading online content that reflects the views of the regime.
The extensive public relations activity on the social network in support of the Iranian military involvement in Syria may be indicative of a deliberate policy pursued by the Iranian regime and the Revolutionary Guards to get Iranian public opinion support for the ongoing fighting in Syria and curb any possible criticism that might be provoked by the increasing reports on the losses suffered by the Iranian forces sent to fight alongside the Syrian regime. It is not inconceivable that the increased scope of the PR effort on the military involvement in Syria since July 2013 also reflects concerns harbored by the Revolutionary Guards over a possible change in the policy of the new Rowhani-led administration with regard to such involvement.

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Ambassador Ron Prosor to UNSC on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

Bashar al-Assad’s murderous campaign against the Syrian people have been made possible by the backing Assad receives from Hezbollah. And for those who thought that Rouhani’s election would be the dawn of a new Iran – take note. After taking office, the new president wasted no time expressing his support for Assad. 



Madame President,

Let me begin by congratulating you and the delegation of Argentina for your leadership of the Security Council this month.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of the UN Assistant Mission in Iraq that claimed the lives of 22 people including Sergio Vieira de Mello, the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Instead of defending victims of armed conflict, humanitarian personnel are themselves becoming the victims. In light of the recent attacks on UN personnel in Darfur, the DRC, and South Sudan, we must show zero tolerance to those who deliberately target UN and humanitarian workers.

Madame President,

Civilians continue to make up the vast majority of casualties in armed conflict. Human suffering anywhere should be the concern of men and women everywhere, but the responsibility rests with the international community.

Nobel laureate and humanitarian activist, Elie Wiesel said (and I quote), “Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.”

Today, men and women are being persecuted in every corner of the world. The risk of mass killing has risen sharply in Libya and Mali and the threat to civilians remains critical in the Central African Republic, Somalia and the DRC.

But nowhere is the situation bleaker than in the Middle East - where nations gained their independence long ago, but many people did not.

After years of stifling repression and brutal oppression, the people of the Middle East said enough is enough. Millions have poured into the streets from Benghazi to Beirut and from Tehran to Tunis. They have raised their voices for liberty, for democracy, and for opportunity.

Madame President,

By far, the worst instance has been Bashar al-Assad’s murderous campaign against the Syrian people. Day after day there are reports of detentions and disappearances; of soldiers ordered to fire on civilians; and of people being kidnapped, beaten and tortured. From Hama to Houla and from Deraa to Damascus, innocent people are being slaughtered.

In its June report, the UN’s commission of inquiry investigating the hostilities in Syria said (and I quote), “Crimes that shock the conscience have become a daily reality. Humanity has been the casualty of this war.”

The atrocities in Syria have been made possible by the backing Assad receives from Hezbollah. For months, Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah denied Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian conflict. Today, the whole world knows that his guerillas are openly battling their fellow Arab Muslims in Syria and threatening to tip the fragile sectarian balance.

Nasrallah has repeatedly vowed to keep the murderous Assad regime in power. This past Friday he personally committed himself to fighting in Syria if necessary, saying (and I quote), “If the battle requires me to go ... I will go.” Nasrallah has proven that he has no regard for the lives that have been lost, for the people who have been forced to flee, or for the untold suffering of the Syrian people.

This same disregard for human life is clear in Lebanon where Hezbollah’s arsenal has become larger than that of many NATO countries. And Hezbollah sees fit to store these weapons in homes, schools, and hospitals. It would seem that the people of Lebanon are more valuable to Hezbollah as human shields than as human beings. Hezbollah is a ruthless terrorist group committing double war crimes by operating within civilian populations, directing attacks against civilian populations.

Madame President,

Before proclaiming his support for the Assad regime, Nasrallah travelled to Iran to secure financial and military backing from Ayatollah Khamenei. We must not forget that the first nonviolent protests were in the streets of Tehran – and the Iranian government’s response was to torture, detain and even kill peaceful protesters. These Iranian protestors were human rights activists, former government officials, clerics, students, professors, journalists, and bloggers.

For those who thought that Rouhani’s election would be the dawn of a new Iran – take note. After taking office, the new president wasted no time expressing his support for Assad.

Madame President,

Jewish tradition implores us to raise our eyes to see the needs of all humanity. As one of Judaism’s greatest contemporary scholars and teachers, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, wrote, “We have always considered ourselves an inseparable part of humanity…ever ready to accept…the responsibility implicit in human existence.”

As a family of nations, our responsibility to one another stems from our common humanity. Our moral imperatives supersede whatever politics, religion or geography may divide us. From the deserts of Africa to the jungles of South America, we must stand together to ensure people everywhere have freedom, opportunity and dignity.

Thank you, Madame President.

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7 Years Later, Hezbollah Persists in Brazen Violations of UN Res. 1701

Israel News, It has been seven years since the passing of UN Resolution 1701, which called for Hezbollah’s disarmament and evacuation of Southern Lebanon after the Second Lebanon War. Yet today Hezbollah is armed to the hilt and more entrenched than ever.



On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah launched an unprovoked attack on Israel, killing eight Israeli soldiers and kidnapping two. Hezbollah’s attack sparked the Second Lebanon War, a month-long conflict in which Hezbollah – a Lebanon-based terrorist organization – fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli civilians.

The war ended with UN Security Council Resolution 1701. Both Lebanon, including Hezbollah’s members in the Lebanese parliament, as well as Israel, unanimously agreed to accept the UN resolution. Seven years later, Hezbollah has continuously violated the resolution, the basis of the ceasefire.

Hezbollah entrenches itself

Article 8 of UN Resolution 1701 calls for “[...] the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon.”

Instead of leaving Southern Lebanon ,as Article 8 demands, Hezbollah has increased their presence.

In 2009, an IDF intelligence report revealed that Hezbollah had built close to 1,000 military facilities throughout Southern Lebanon. The installations included more than 550 weapons bunkers and 300 underground facilities. Since the report’s release, Hezbollah has continued to build facilities in the region, enhancing its ability to strike at nearby Israeli towns and cities.

Hezbollah arms instead of disarms

The most important factor of Resolution 1701 – mentioned numerous times in the text – is the complete disarmament of all non-governmental armies in Lebanon.

Rather than disarming, Hezbollah has more than tripled its arsenal since the resolution’s passing. Over 60,000 Hezbollah rockets and missiles now threaten Israel’s civilians.

Article 8 further calls for: “full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of Resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of 27 July 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State.”

By increasing their weapons stockpile, Hezbollah is simultaneously violating three UN resolutions – 1701, 1559, which called on all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias to disband, 1680, which again called for Lebanese sovereignty, as well the Taif Accord — the agreement which brought the Lebanese Civil War.

Hezbollah, rather than keeping a low profile, proudly admits to their severe violations. Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, stated on Al-Manar TV in November 2012: “If Israel was shocked by the number of Fajr-5 rockets which hit Tel Aviv, how will it be able to bear the thousands of rockets which will rain on Tel Aviv and other places if it invades Lebanon?

Why does Hezbollah continue to increase its weapons stockpile?

The weapons trail

Not only is Hezbollah guilty of violating Resolution 1701, but so are Iran and Syria. Article 15 stipulates:

“…all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft:

(a) The sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories”

In the years following the Second Lebanon War, Syria and Iran have transferred large stockpiles of weapons to Hezbollah. In Hezbollah’s arsenal one may find: Iranian-manufactured Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets with a range of between 43 and 75 kilometers, Iranian-manufactured Fatah 110 rockets with a range of 250 kilometers and Syrian-manufactured 302mm rockets with a range of between 110 and 115 kilometers. In 2010, Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates commented that Hezbollah “has more missiles than most governments in the world.”
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Israel welcomes EU decision on Hezbollah as terrorist organization

 

"Hezbollah is the terrorist arm of the Iranian regime and perpetrates attacks around the world. For years, the organization has carried out attacks against innocent civilians across the globe."

 


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes the European Union decision to include Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations:
"I welcome the fact that the EU has also declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization and I thank the leaders of its member states.
In recent years, the State of Israel has invested great effort in explaining to all EU member states that Hezbollah is the terrorist arm of the Iranian regime and perpetrates attacks around the world. For years, the organization has carried out attacks against innocent civilians across the globe. Recently, it has sought to perpetrate dozens of attacks, some of which were actually carried out, in Asia, Africa, America and Europe, including the reprehensible murder in Bulgaria and an attack that was foiled in Cyprus.
At the same time, thousands of this terrorist organization's operatives are daily perpetrating war crimes in Syria and participating in the slaughter being carried out there, alongside Assad's forces; they have murdered approximately 100,000 innocent civilians so far.
As far as the State of Israel is concerned, Hezbollah is one organization, the arms of which are indistinguishable. It has imposed terrorist rule on wide sections of Lebanon, has converted them into an Iranian protectorate and is stockpiling tens of thousands of rockets there. These have been placed in the heart of civilian populations and are designed to be fired at population centers in Israel.
I hope that the implementation of the decision will lead to tangible steps against the organization."

Following the decision by the European Union to include Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations President Peres sent special letters to the leaders of the European Union.
President Shimon Peres sent special letters to the leaders of the European Union, following their unanimous decision to include the military wing of Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations.
In the letters President Peres wrote, "I welcome the European Union's decision regarding Hezbollah, a significant and necessary step towards putting an end to the spread of terror across the globe. The devastating effects of terror are not restricted to the Middle East. As we witnessed in the horrific attack in Bulgaria, Hezbollah strikes all over the world, including within Europe, indiscriminately targeting innocent civilians. Your decision sends a clear message to terror organizations and the countries which harbor them that their murderous actions will not be tolerated."

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Hezbollah Involvement in Syria Sparks Concern

 

Hezbollah has had a major impact on the Syrian civil war since the end of May when Nasrallah declared the movement would redouble its support of Assad

Jamie Dettmer


BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON — Lebanon's Shia Muslim movement Hezbollah is known for its discipline, but the decision to fight in the Syrian civil war has prompted doubts among some supporters.

Enter any Shi'ite town in the Beka'a Valley or in southern Lebanon and you know instantly you're in Hezbollah territory. Hezbollah's yellow flag with the green logo of the Shia party flutters from lampposts and minarets. Photographs of the movement's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, are liberally displayed.

So too are an increasing number of photographs of recent Hezbollah "martyrs" - Shi'ite militiamen who have fallen in Syria battling rebels while fighting to save the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

These deaths are prompting some rare behind-the-scenes questioning by Hezbollah families of the wisdom of fighting fellow Muslims, even if they are mainly Sunnis. For them the real enemy is Israel, the foe the movement was founded for in 1982 to confront.

"I have heard many people say, if our son was killed defending south Lebanon against Israeli attack, any attack, we must be very proud but our son was killed in Syria, why?" said retired Lebanese army general Hisham Jaber, a Shi'ite from south Lebanon who has attended funerals of Hezbollah's dead.

Hezbollah has had a major impact on the Syrian civil war since the end of May when Nasrallah declared the movement would redouble its support of Assad.

Nasrallah argued that an end to the Assad regime would serve American and Israeli interests. Shortly after, Hezbollah helped Assad to a major victory by joining the assault on the strategic border town of Qusair, retaking it from Syrian rebels who had held it for more than a year.

One Shi'ite sheikh who declined to be identified said some Hezbollah militiamen sought his counsel on whether they should heed Nasrallah's call to arms.

Among their worries was that by fighting in Syria, Hezbollah would ignite a sectarian civil war in Lebanon. It's a worry shared by many in Lebanon.

"The vast majority of Sunnis in Lebanon don't want to get caught up in a Sunni-Shia civil war and I think the same holds for Hezbollah," said author and commentator Michael Young. "Such a war would be terrible. It would be extremely bloody for, I think, very little advantage for either side."

The Beka'a Valley borders Syria and many families here are related to Syrian Shia Muslims, but Shi'ites in southern Lebanon still harbor reservations about the decision to fight in Syria.

"The family relationship between El Bekka and Syria is different than south Lebanon," said Jaber, the retired general. "People of south Lebanon have nothing to do in Syria."

Many Shi'ite intellectuals are quietly critical. The Shi'ite managing editor of a life-style magazine says she used to respect Hezbollah but now fears its intervention will exacerbate Lebanese divisions and bring the Syrian war to Lebanon.

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Hezbollah: Portrait of a Terrorist Organization

 

In recent years Hezbollah has been involved in terrorist (an occasionally guerilla) activities in different arenas using various methods against its targets

 

ITIC, Hezbollah has a 30-year history of terrorist activity in Lebanon, the Middle East and around the globe, directed against Israel, the Jewish people, the United States and the West, pro-Western Arab states and Hezbollah's enemies in Lebanon.
Overview
1. Since its establishment in Lebanon 30 years ago, Hezbollah has, without interruption, carried out or planned a variety of terrorist attacks around the globe, using different methods. Those terrorist attacks are part of Iranian policy, which uses Hezbollah as its main proxy through the Islamic Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force and other governmental institutions. The targets and emphases change from time to time according to Iranian and Hezbollah considerations and interests. The targets include Israel and the Jewish people, the United States and other Western countries, Hezbollah and Syria's opponents in Lebanon, and Arab regimes hostile to Iran and the "resistance camp" it leads.
2. In recent years Hezbollah has been involved in terrorist (an occasionally guerilla) activities in different arenas using various methods against its targets. At the same time, with Iranian and Syrian support, it has been upgrading its military-terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon, which far surpasses those of other terrorist organizations in the Middle East and beyond.
3. A short summary of Hezbollah's terrorist and guerilla activity and its military buildup follows.
1) In Lebanon Iran and Syria have enlarged and upgraded Hezbollah's military-terrorist infrastructure since the Second Lebanon War. Its main military asset is an arsenal of an estimated 60,000 rockets and missileswhich threaten Israel's civilians. Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, boasted that he had precise rockets and a bank of targets, and could turn the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians into a living hell. Hezbollah also carries out personal terrorismagainst its opponents in Lebanon, mainly senior figures. The objective is to scare and deter Hezbollah's opponents, mainly after the erosion of its status following its support for the Syrian regime.
2) In the international arena, Hezbollah participates in the global terrorist campaign carried out by the Iranian Quds Force, whose main targets are Israeli diplomats and tourists. Hezbollah's most recent attack was on an Israeli tourist bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, considered successful (by Iran and Hezbollah), after a series of failed attacks abroad in previous years.
3) In the Palestinian arena, Hezbollah helped Iran upgrade the military-terrorist infrastructure of the terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip after Operation Cast Lead, mainly Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. On the eve of Operation Pillar of Defense the terrorist organizations had many thousands of rockets, among them long-range Fajr-5 rockets manufactured in Iran (eight of which hit or were intercepted in the greater Tel Aviv area). In addition, Hezbollah encourages terrorist attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. During the Palestinian terrorist campaign known as the second intifada, Iran and Hezbollah provided the Palestinian terrorist organizations with financial and military support and handled terrorist squads in the Palestinian territories.
4) InsideIsrael Hezbollah carries out intelligence and subversive activities. Hezbollah, with Iranian aid, recently sent an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to collect intelligence and to send Israel a deterrent message (UAVs could also be used for offensive purposes). Hezbollah also attempts to smuggle IEDs and weapons into for terrorist attacks (exploiting its ties to criminal networks) and to use Israeli Arabs for intelligence missions supporting its terrorist activities.
5) InSyria Hezbollah is part of the Iranian effort (led by the Quds Force) to prevent the topple of the Syrian regime, the central member of the so-called "resistance camp." Hezbollah provides the Assad regime with guidance, military training, intelligence and weapons, and hundreds of its operatives are present in Syria. In recent months several Hezbollah operatives died in the battles and others were taken prisoner by the rebels. However, Hezbollah does not admit to its military involvement in Syria and claimed that its operatives died while "fulfilling their commitment to jihad."
6) In the Arab states Iran uses Hezbollah for subversion, terrorism and guerilla activities: in Iraq Hezbollah operatives trained and handled the Shi'ite militias operated by the Quds Force against the United States and its allies (until America withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2011). In Yemen Hezbollah helped train the Iranian-supported Houthi rebels; and in Bahrain Hezbollah was recently publicly accused by Bahraini authorities of involvement in a series of explosions in the capital city of Manama. Its objective was to destabilize the Bahraini regime, against which Iran is waging a years-long campaign of terrorism and subversion. Hezbollah does not admit to involvement in terrorism and subversion in Arab countries.
The Structure of This Study
4. This study is the second part of comprehensive research into the terrorist and subversive activities Iran carries out around the globe directly, and though its main proxy, Hezbollah. The first part, which can be accessed on the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center website,[1] deals with the Quds Force as spearheading Iran's global terrorism and subversion campaign during the last decade. Two additional parts, which will be issued in the future, will deal with the distribution (according to continent and country) of Iran's global terrorist activity and an analysis of the methods used by Iranian and terrorism and subversion.
5. The three appendices of this study providea chronological analysis of Hezbollah's most glaring terrorist activities in the 30 years since its founding, integral to Iran's overall policies.[2] In addition to terrorist attacks on civilians, Hezbollah has engaged in guerilla warfare in Lebanon and Iraq, against the IDF and against the United States and other Western armies. The targets have changed from time to time depending on Iranian policy, the constraints Hezbollah has had to deal with in Lebanon and the changing regional and international strategic circumstances during Hezbollah's 30 years of terrorist activity.
6. This study includes the following sections:
1) Hezbollah's place in the current global terrorist campaign against Israel.
2) Hezbollah's support for the Assad regime in Syria – update.
3) Summary of Hezbollah's record as a terrorist organization during the 30 years of its existence (1982-2012).
4) The issue of Hezbollah as a designated terrorist organization.
5)Three appendices dealing with the chronological distribution of Hezbollah's terrorist activities:
1) Appendix I: Hezbollah's terrorist activity, 2000-2012
A. Overview
B. The Lebanese arena
i) Building Hezbollah's rocket arsenal after the IDF left south Lebanon (2000-2006).
ii) Using the rocket arsenal to attack civilian targets in Israel during the Second Lebanon War.
iii) Updating the rocket arsenal after the Second Lebanon War (2006-2012)
iv) Employing terrorism and violence against Hezbollah's political opposition in Lebanon.
C. The Israeli arena
i) Overview.
ii) Sending a UAV into Israeli airspace.
iii) Using Israeli Arabs to collect intelligence.
iv) Using drug dealers to smuggle explosive devices into Israel territory.
D. The Palestinian arena
i) Iranian and Hezbollah (as a subcontractor) support for the Palestinian terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip (2006-2012).
ii) Iranian and Hezbollah encouragement for Palestinian terrorism during the second intifada (2000-2005).
iii) Hezbollah's involvement in smuggling weapons from Iran for the Palestinian terrorist organizations during the second intifada.
E. The global arena
i) Hezbollah participation in the global wave of anti-Israel terrorism (2008-2012).
ii) Exposure of a Hezbollah network in Egypt which planned to carry out terrorist attacks (2008)
F. The Iraqi arena
i) The Quds Force's use of Hezbollah to support the Shi'ite militias against the United States and its allies (2006-2011)
ii) The affair of Ali Musa Daqduq
2) Appendix II: Hezbollah's terrorist activities during the 1990s
A. Overview
B. The global arena
i) Hezbollah's terrorist attacks in Argentina (1992, 1994).
ii) The failure of the attempted bombing of the Israeli embassy in Thailand (1994)
C. The Israeli arena
i) Terrorist attacks in Israel as well as in Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria carried out through Europe.
ii) Terrorism and drugs: the abduction of Elhahan Tannenbaum (2000)
3) Appendix III: Hezbollah's terrorist activities during the 1980s
A. Overview
B. The Lebanese arena
i) Bombing the American embassy and American and French military barracks in Beirut(1983).
ii) Severe blow to the Lebanese branch of the CIA.
iii) Abduction of Western nationals.
iv) Assassination of Western and Jewish figures.
v) Epilogue
C. The international arena
i) Attacks on the American and French diplomatic missions in Kuwait (1983).
ii) Attempted assassination of the Kuwaiti emir (1985)
iii) Hijacking planes
a) TWA (1985)
b) Kuwaiti airplanes (1984, 1988)
c) Air France (1987)
d) Air Afrique (1987)
iv) Iranian and Hezbollah involvement in the wave of killings in Paris (1986-1987)
v) Prevention of terrorist activity in Germany (1987, 1989)
vi) Hezbollah network exposed in Spain (1989)
Hezbollah's Role in the Current Global Terrorist Campaign against Israel
7. For the past four years Hezbollah has participated actively in Iran's global terrorist campaign against Israel. The recent attack on an Israeli tourist bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, which killed five Israeli tourists and their local bus driver, was the first "successful" attack in the current terrorist campaign, after a series of attempted attacks were foiled. In the terrorist campaign conducted abroad, Hezbollah serves as an Iranian proxy handled by the Qods Force, an elite unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRG), which spearheads Iran's foreign terrorism.[3] Even before the founding of the Qods Force, in the summer of 1982 the IRG established Hezbollah in Lebanon, and has provided it with massive military and financial support in the 30 years since.
8. Hezbollah's current targets for terrorist attacks are primarily Israeli diplomatic missions abroad and groups of Israelis on vacation throughout the Mediterranean basin and other tourist destinations. Some of the attacks and attempted attacks were carried out by Hezbollah, directed and supported by the Qods Force (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Azerbaijan and Turkey) and some were carried out by the Qods Force without Hezbollah involvement (Azerbaijan, India, Georgia, Thailand and Kenya).
9. The terrorist campaign, from the Iranian perspective, is a Iranian response to the "soft war"[4] being waged against Iran and the "resistance camp," and is also intended to strengthen Iran's strategic bargaining capabilitiesand show the United States, the West and Israel that it can harm their interests around the globe. As far as Iran and Hezbollah are concerned, the terrorist campaign is also a way of getting revenge for the death of senior Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh and the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists (for both of which Iran and Hezbollah blame Israel), thusdeterring Israel from taking other actions, especially in its war against terrorism and the Iranian nuclear program.[5]
10. During the past four years (2008-2012) Hezbollah attempted to carry out six terrorist attacks, some of them in Mediterranean countries popular with Israeli tourists. One proceeded according to Hezbollah's plans and the others were either prevented or failed. In our assessment, they were carried out by Hezbollah's foreign operations unit (See below). The attacks were the following:
1) Blowing up an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria (July 18, 2012): An IED weighing about 3 kilos, or about 6.6 lbs, blew up the back of a tourist bus about to take Israeli tourists from the airport to their hotel in the Black Sea resort of Burgas. According to the Bulgarian minister of the interior, the IED had been assembled in Bulgaria. The terrorist attack was carried out by a Hezbollah operativewho, according to information from the Bulgarian authorities, had a local supporter who has not yet been detained. The terrorist was killed by a technical fault which caused the IED to explode prematurely. The blast killed five Israeli tourists, the Bulgarian bus driver and the terrorist. In addition, 36 Israeli civilians were wounded, three of them seriously.
2) Attack targeting Israeli tourists in Cyprus, prevented (July 7, 2012): The local authorities in Limassol detained a 24-year old Lebanese Hezbollah operative who was collecting information about Israeli tourists arriving on the island by air; he was carrying a Swedish passport (the Hezbollah terrorist operative involved in the attack in Thailand also carried a Swedish passport; see below). In our assessment, he was collecting information in preparation for an attack on Israeli tourists visiting the island, possibly the same sort of attack carried out in Bulgaria.
3) A terrorist attack on Israelis at a tourist center in Bangkok, Thailand (middle of January, 2012): Hezbollah, instructed by the Qods Force, attempted to attack sites visited by Israelis using IEDs. A Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist operative named Hussein Atris, carrying a Swedish and Lebanese passports, was detained at the Bangkok airport.[6] Another Hezbollah operative, also carrying a Swedish passport, managed to escape. Hussein Atris' interrogation led the police to a commercial building in Bangkok where they found a large quantity of chemicals used in the manufacture of explosives (about 4,400 kilograms, or 4.85 tons, of nitrogen and about 40 liters, or 10.5 gallons, of ammonium nitrate). In our assessment, the presence of such a large stock of potentially dangerous chemicals indicates the existence of a long-standing, well-established Hezbollah network in Thailand. A month later, on February 14, 2012, the Qods Force attempted another attack in Bangkok, this time using a magnet to attach an IED to the car of an Israeli diplomat. The attempt, like the Qods Force attacks in India and Georgia in the former Soviet Union, was prevented by the local authorities.
4) On January 5, 2012, the Israeli media reported that Hezbollah was planning to carry out terrorist attacks on Israeli tourists in Europe, especially Bulgaria. The Bulgarian news agencies also reported concerns about attacks on Israeli and/or Jewish targets in Bulgaria or Greece. On January 8 the Israeli media reported that a suspicious object had been found on a bus that entered Bulgaria from Turkey and was going to be used to transport Israeli tourists.
5) An unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the Israeli consul in Istanbul using an IED (May 26, 2011): The blast injured eight Turkish citizens. In July 2011 the Italian Corriere della Sera reported that three Hezbollah operatives from Beirut had often followed the Israeli consul from his home to the consulate. According to Sky News (April 2012), the Qods Force's Unit 400, responsible for attacks beyond the borders of Iran, was behind the attack. The attack was preceded, in 2009, by a joint Iran-Hezbollah attack on an Israeli target, and in 2010 by an Iranian attempt to attack an Israeli target, indicating Turkey as a favored location for Iran and Hezbollah's terrorist campaign.
6) An attempted attack on the Israeli embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan (May 2008): The attack was carried out by Hezbollah, in our assessment with support from the Qods Force. The terrorist cell was composed of two Hezbollah operatives, Ali Karaki, from Hezbollah's foreign operations unit, and Ali Najem al-Din, an explosives expert. The two underwent training in Iran before they were sent to Baku. They carried Iranian passports, and the Iranians also furnished them with a translator. Preparations for the attack, which had almost reached the final stage, were exposed when the Azeri security forces stopped a car carrying the two Hezbollah operatives. In the car they found guns with silencers, explosives, cameras, binoculars and pictures of the Israeli embassy. The two Hezbollah operatives were tried, found guilty, and sentenced to 15 years in prison (October 2009). During the first half of 2012 an attempted Qods Force assassination of two prominent Jewish figures in Baku was prevented. The attack was planned to be carried out during the Eurovision, without Hezbollah participation.
11. It is therefore evident that in recent years Hezbollah has been a close partner in Iran's global terrorist campaign, accelerating since May 2011. The campaign directly threatens all tourism, but its main targets are groups of Israeli tourists and Israel's diplomatic representatives around the globe. In our assessment, it reflects Iran and Hezbollah's readiness to expose themselves to risks, even at the price of a possible escalation with Israel.

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