Hezbollah plots in Europe over the past year exposed a return to violent operations being conducted by the Iranian-supported Lebanese Shiite group. Plots in Bulgaria and Cyprus led to a rigorous debate among European Union member states over whether or not to ban the organization’s military wing. But this only marks Hezbollah’s return to violent operations in Europe. Hezbollah has long used Europe as a staging ground for operations to be carried out elsewhere, as a logistical hub, and as a place where the group and its supporters could raise funds through a variety of criminal enterprises. The focus of this article is the wide variety of criminal activities Hezbollah engages in, revealing a global network that conducts extensive criminal operations throughout Europe.
Hezbollah’s Organized Criminal Enterprises in Europe – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy – August 2013.
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Thirty years ago last month, Hezbollah blew up the barracks of the U.S Marines and French paratroopers stationed at the Beirut airport, killing 241 U.S. servicemen and 58 Frenchmen. It wasn’t Hezbollah’s first terrorist operation, but this attack, the most memorable in Lebanon’s vicious and chaotic 15-year-long civil war, marked the Party of God’s entry onto the world stage.
The Secret History of Hezbollah | The Weekly Standard – 11/21/2013
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Europe Has a Serious Hezbollah Problem – The Tower – The Tower – May 2013
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Iran, Hezbollah mine Latin America for revenue, recruits, analysts say – CNN.com – 6/4/2013.
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Hezbollah leader makes rare public appearance – 11/13/2013.
Sometimes, as in Panama, there are only intimations or incomplete reports. One sources suggests everybody knows Hezbollah has been laundering money through banks in Panama City — and there the piece stops.
Back up to the bombing of a Panamanian airliner in the 1990s and that too concludes shrouded in mystery.
On the more logical positive side, arms caches and interrupted shipments tell stories too, although, as with the findings of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, not much happens beyond some validation of knowing what was once merely suspected — or knowing with a higher level of probability.
In the wild, however contemptible and heinous the crime, whatever its depth in inhumanity, nothing need happen to perpetrator who may be remote, who may disappear, who may enjoy social sanctuary among good friends, or the sanctuary of altered identities and reduced public appearances, or who may sufficiently corrupt or threaten officials and others — whatever works — and get away with operations shuttered by arrests or surreptitious and ongoing.
As most, possibly all, unfunded mini-projects around here, the following affords but a glance at what the web has on Hezbollah in relation to whatever country comes to mind.
Bulgaria says clear signs Hezbollah behind Burgas bombing | Reuters – 7/18/2013.
Why French Military Refused to Put Hezbollah on EU Terrorism List? – 6/22/2013.
France agrees to list Hezbollah as terrorist group – Washington Times 3/29/2013.
Report: German Gov’t Report Finds Local Mosques Raised Money for Hezbollah | TheBlaze.com – 6/24/2013.
German report: Berlin a hub of Hezbollah activity | JPost | Israel News – 6/9/2013.
German Government Favors Putting Hezbollah on EU Terrorist List – SPIEGEL ONLINE – 3/29/2013.
Lebanon blasts expose Iran and Qaeda face-off over Syria – FRANCE 24 – 11/20/2013.
Nigeria and West African Region
Court reserves judgment in Hezbollah, Thisday bomber’s trials — The Punch – Nigeria’s Most Widely Read Newspaper – 10/22/2013.
Lebanese Men Accused of ‘Terrorism’ in Nigeria Trial Concludes – 10/21/2013.
Nowhere is the new reality of the West African organized crime-terrorism nexus more evident than in what recently transpired in a Nigerian courtroom. There, three Lebanese men, Mustapha Fawaz, Abdallah Thahini, and Talal Ahmad Roda sat uncomfortably in the dock as masked members of the Department of State Services, the country’s primary domestic intelligence service, testified against them. The three were accused of plotting terrorist attacks against American and Israeli targets in the northern city of Kano, as well as lesser charges of money laundering and illegal importation of goods. Nigerian police found a significant cache of weapons stashed at one of the accused men’s businesses in the capital Abuja and another cache at a private home in Kano. Although the men, all of whom have long standing commercial interests in Nigeria, pleaded innocent to the charges, they confessed to their affiliation with Hezbollah.
How Hezbollah is Winning in West Africa | World Policy Institute – 9/30/2013.
Insight: U.S. and allies target Hezbollah financing, ties in Africa | Reuters – 9/20/2013.
Nigeria widens charges against Lebanese ‘Hezbollah agents’ | GlobalPost – 7/29/2013.
Treasury designates Hezbollah operatives in West Africa – The Long War Journal – 6/11/2013.
BBC News – Nigeria: Hezbollah armoury discovered in Kano city – 5/30/2013.
Meanwhile, reports in 2009 and 2010 from French, Japanese, South Korean, and Israeli sources described North Korean programs to provide arms and training to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, two groups on the U.S. list of international terrorist organizations. Large quantities of North Korean arms bound for Iran, intercepted in 2009, contained weapons that Iran supplies heavily to Hezbollah and Hamas. Moreover, a large body of reports describe a long-standing, collaborative relationship between North Korea and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL30613.pdf – 6/29/2010.
Panama – Intimations Only
Kenneth Rijock’s Financial Crime Blog: PANAMA IGNORES TERRORIST FINANCING OPERATIONS ON ITS SOIL – 8/30/2013.
Marking The Anniversary Of Hezbollah’s Bombing In Panama » ADL Blogs – 7/19/2013; 47 Killed in Crash of Panama Airliner – Los Angeles Times – 6/8/1992; Alas Chiricanas Flight 901 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; Few Clues, No Certainty 10 Years After Panama Airline Bombing Killed 12 Jews | Jewish Telegraphic Agency – 7/13/2004;
Russian defense minister says Hezbollah uses ‘terrorist methods’ Israel News | Haaretz – 7/13/2013.
Prosecutors said Bouterse agreed to accept a multimillion-dollar payoff in exchange for allowing large numbers of Hezbollah fighters to use Suriname as a base for attacking American targets.
The indictment describes a sophisticated international sting in which Bouterse was recorded meeting in Greece and Panama with people posing as Hezbollah agents and Mexican drug traffickers. In reality, they were actually confidential sources and undercover agents with the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the indictment said.
Suriname leader’s son ‘cuts a deal’ with Hezbollah – Israel News, Ynetnews – 11/9/2013: ”
Hezbollah investing millions in terror basis in Suriname | Ya Libnan | World News Live from Lebanon – 11/9/2013.
Hezbollah’s Swedish Roots | World Affairs Journal – 7/24/2012.
Swedish-Lebanese man accused of Hezbollah ties jailed by Thai court for bomb materials | JPost | Israel News – 9/18/2013.
Syria Crisis: Hezbollah Wiretaps Reveal Assad Ordered Sarin Attacks after ‘Losing his Nerve’ [VIDEO] – IBTimes UK
Hezbollah’s other wing must be clipped | The Australian – 8/22/2013
Canada pushed EU to add Hezbollah to list of banned terrorist organizations, official says | National Post – 7/24/2013.
EU putting Hezbollah military wing on terror list – CNN.com – 7/22/2013.
Iran laundering billions through Venezuela | Washington Free Beacon – 3/22/2013
Beyond the rhetoric lies a strategic alliance that has seen Caracas, along with Damascus and Havana, vote against United Nations sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, and increasing Iranian investment in the Venezuelan economy, now worth more than $5 billion.
Is Venezuela harboring Hezbollah? – Salon.com – 1/8/2013.
▶ Nasrallah: Israel ‘Pushing for War’ – YouTube – Posted 11/14/2013.
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Posted four-and-one-half years ago:
▶ Iran tightens media shroud – YouTube – Posted June 24, 2009.
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