Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Does Hezbollah have the ability to strike the US?

According to a Reuters report dated July 18th, Iran's Hezbollah party which claims links to Hezbollah in Lebanon said that it stood ready to attack Israeli and U.S. interests worldwide. Reuters Link

In the meantime, the FBI is trying to ferret out possible Hezbollah agents in the United States amid concerns that rising U.S.-Iranian tensions could trigger attacks on American soil.
American law enforcement officials are concerned the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, which has so far focused on fund-raising and other support activities inside the United States, could turn to violence in solidarity with Iran. Link to Reuters
A name recently resurfaced in our news media but did not get much attention: Imad Fayez Mugniyah (one of the leaders of Hezbollah security organization). Mugniyah has been active on the terrorism circuit for the past 20 years. According to Laura Mansfield's Notebook, America's Truth Forum, there appears to be striking similarities between Mugniyah's brand of terrorism for the past 20 years and the practices of the present-day terrorists in Iraq.

Mugniyah allegedly has been tied to kidnappings and bombings throughout the world over the past two decades, including the following:
▪ April 18, 1983 bombing of the United States embassy in Beirut, which killed 63 people including 17 Americans

▪ October 23, 1983 simultaneous truck bombings against the French paratroopers and US Marine killing 58 French soldiers and 241 Marines.

▪ September 20, 1984, he attacked the US embassy annex building.

▪ Linked to the numerous kidnappings of Westerners in Beirut through the 1980s – some were killed, some by beheading, and a few were eventually released

▪ March 17, 1992 bombings of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires Argentina, which killed 29

▪ July 1994 bombing of the AMIA cultural building in in Buenos Aires Argentina, killing 86 people

▪ Orchestrated the 2000 abductions of three Israeli soldiers in the southern part of Lebanon

▪ Abduction of Israeli Colonel Elchanan Tenenbaum. Source: Laura Mansfield
As was seen in Hezbollah's South American operations in 1992 and 1994, Hezbollah appears to have been busy in our Western Hemisphere.

In 2002 Jeffrey Goldberg, reporter-at-large for The New Yorker magazine, did an interesting 2-part article, "IN THE PARTY OF GOD" that included Hezbollah operations in South America and the United States:Here is an excerpt from Part 2 of Goldberg's article:
"Roughly two hundred thousand people live in the Ciudad del Este region, including a substantial minority of Arab Muslims; in the Triple Frontier zone, there may be as many as thirty thousand. According to intelligence officials in the region and in Washington, this Muslim community has in its midst a hard core of terrorists, many of them associated with Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group backed by the Iranian government; some with Hamas, the Palestinian fundamentalist group; and some with Al Qaeda. It is, over all, a community under the influence of extreme Islamic beliefs; intelligence officials told me that some of the Triple Frontier Arabs held celebrations on September 11th of last year and also on the anniversary this year. These officials said that Hezbollah runs weekend training camps on farms cut out of the rain forest of the Triple Frontier. In at least one of these camps, in the remote jungle terrain near Foz do Iguaçu, young adults get weapons training and children are indoctrinated in Hezbollah ideology—a mixture of anti-American and anti-Jewish views inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini.

In the Triple Frontier, Hezbollah raises money from legitimate businesses but, more frequently, from illicit activities, ranging from drug smuggling to the pirating of compact disks. Unlike the other radical Islamic groups in the Triple Frontier, Hezbollah, it is said, has the capability to commit acts of terror."
Part 2 of the series takes place in South America, not, the Middle East. It seems to me that the Atlantic Ocean offers little protection from the spread of terrorism as we witnessed in New York City on September 11, 2001.

We have been very lucky for the past five years. However, the powder keg of Lebanon may have broader ramifications. Does Hezbollah have the ability to strike here?

Be ever vigilant.

Update: Doug Farah, author of Blood from Stones, has also written an article about Imad Mugniya. In this article, Douglas tries to explain how these people think and work. He also demands that we use our minds. We must get rid of those old stereotypes that say, 'Sunnis won't work with Shi'ites,' etc.

They are also in Southern Columbia. You remember FARC? You look for drugs or diamonds or any commodity which does not go into a bank, you will find they have a hand in it. They do get around, so Bos'un is absolutely correct. Stay vigilent.

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