hezbollah » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘hezbollah’
July 19, 2013 0

Marking The Anniversary Of Hezbollah’s Bombing In Panama

Today marks the 19th anniver­sary of the deadly ter­ror­ist bomb­ing of a com­muter air­liner fly­ing from Colón to Panama City, which killed all 21 peo­ple onboard, includ­ing 12 Jews.alas-chiricanas-iran-hezbollah-panama

The anniver­sary comes one day after the more well-known ter­ror­ist attack on the AMIA-DAIA build­ing in Buenos Aires, Argen­tine, in which 85 peo­ple were kill and hun­dreds more wounded.

Over the years, both attacks have been tied to the gov­ern­ment of Iran and Hezbol­lah oper­a­tives. The bomb­ing of Alas Chir­i­canas Flight 00901 over Panama is believed by both Pana­man­ian and Amer­i­can author­i­ties to have been car­ried out by a Hezbol­lah sui­cide bomber.

A May 2013 report by Argen­tine Gen­eral Pros­e­cu­tor Alberto Nis­man accused the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment of mas­ter­mind­ing and spon­sor­ing both the AMIA and Alas Chir­i­canas bomb­ings, and the Lebanon-based Shi­ite ter­ror group Hezbol­lah of car­ry­ing out the attacks.

Iran­ian offi­cials who have been red-listed by Inter­pol for their sus­pected involve­ment in the AMIA case have avoided arrest. In May 2013, ADL reported on two can­di­dates run­ning in Iran’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Mohsen Rezai and Ali Akbar Velay­ati, who have links to the AMIA attack.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

June 20, 2013 0

Syrian Front Attracts American And Foreign Fighters

eric-harroun-jabhat-al-nusrah-syria

Eric Har­roun

Update — Octo­ber 15: Arrest of Orange County man and fate of Pitts­burgh man drawn to Syr­ian front under­scores emerg­ing trend.

Increas­ing num­bers of for­eign fight­ers, includ­ing Amer­i­cans, have been attracted to the con­flict in Syria and are attempt­ing to join the rebels fight­ing against the Assad regime.

Accord­ing to some observers, there are some­where between 5,000 and 6,000 for­eign fight­ers already in Syria, com­pris­ing about 10% of the rebel forces. Esti­mates of fight­ers arriv­ing from Europe vary widely, from fewer than 200 to over 600. Var­i­ous rebel groups have claimed “mar­tyrs” from Britain, Den­mark, France and Ireland.

To date, there have been three pub­licly dis­closed cases of Amer­i­cans involved in fight­ing with rebels. Each has been linked to Jab­hat al-Nusrah (JN), a State Department-designated alias for Al Qaeda in Iraq (it is unknown how many Amer­i­cans have entered the con­flict on the side of rebel fac­tions unaf­fil­i­ated with Al Qaeda).

  • Eric Har­roun, a for­mer Amer­i­can sol­dier, was arrested in March 2013 for allegedly con­spir­ing to use a weapon of mass destruc­tion while fight­ing with Jab­hat Al-Nusrah in Syria. While Har­roun was not nec­es­sar­ily recruited, after arriv­ing in Syria he appeared in a pro­pa­ganda video put out by Jab­hat Al-Nusrah. On June 20, Har­roun was indicted on charges of con­spir­acy to pro­vide mate­r­ial sup­port to a for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion and con­spir­acy to use a destruc­tive device over­seas. Eric Har­roun pleaded guilty to non-terror-related charges in Sep­tem­ber, 2013, and was sen­tenced to time served. That Har­roun fought in Syria is uncon­tested; how­ever, reports dif­fer as to whether he fought with Jab­hat al Nusra.
  • Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, who was arrested in Chicago in April 2013, allegedly researched ways to join Jab­hat al-Nusrah on the inter­net. He allegedly found a web­site adver­tis­ing itself as pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion to those inter­ested in join­ing “your lion broth­ers of Jab­hat Al-Nusrah who are fight­ing under the true ban­ner of Islam.” The web­site, how­ever, was cre­ated by the FBI to attract poten­tial extremists.
  • Nicole Mans­field, a con­vert to Islam from Michi­gan, was killed in Syria in May 2013. Accord­ing to Syr­ian state-controlled media, she was killed in a car along with two oth­ers, includ­ing a Briton, while fight­ing with the rebels. Syr­ian media claimed that JN’s flag was found in the car.  It should be noted that the Syr­ian regime con­sid­ers all rebel fight­ers and their allies to be ter­ror­ists. Mansfield’s fam­ily did not know she was in Syria, but say that she had been inter­ested in the Arab Spring.

Syr­ian rebel groups, includ­ing JN, have cre­ated social media space and var­i­ous pro­pa­ganda to raise aware­ness, sup­port and poten­tial recruits for their cause in the English-speaking world. These include the exploita­tion of Face­book, blogs, Twit­ter and other platforms.

In the past, Amer­i­cans have proven will­ing to join mil­i­tant groups abroad. For exam­ple, since 2007, at least 52 Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents have been arrested or charged in con­nec­tion with mak­ing trips abroad in attempts to reach ter­ror­ist groups, receive train­ing, or to par­tic­i­pate in ter­ror­ist attacks. Many of these indi­vid­u­als joined Al Shabaab, but other indi­vid­u­als trav­eled abroad to receive train­ing in Pak­istan or to join Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula.

The con­flict in Syria has attracted for­eign sup­port not just for the rebel cause, but for the Assad regime as well. Iran’s Islamic Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards Corps is report­edly assist­ing the regime, and Hezbol­lah fight­ers have joined with the Syr­ian army in com­bat­ing the rebels.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 31, 2013 0

New Government Documents Detail Decades Of Global Terrorist Activities By Iran And Hezbollah

In recent days, reports issued by gov­ern­ment bod­ies in Argentina and the United States detail the inten­sive and far-reaching ter­ror­ist activ­ity by Iran and its Lebanese-based ter­ror­ist proxy, Hezbol­lahiran-hezbollah-global-terrorism

On May 29, Alberto Nis­man, the Gen­eral Pros­e­cu­tor of the case involv­ing the 1994 bomb­ing of the AMIA Jew­ish cen­ter in Argentina, issued a lengthy indict­ment accus­ing the Iran­ian regime of infil­trat­ing sev­eral South Amer­i­can coun­tries through build­ing local intel­li­gence gath­er­ing facil­i­ties tasked with fos­ter­ing and exe­cut­ing ter­ror­ist attacks. The report claims that the plan­ning for these attacks is car­ried out either directly by the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment or its proxy, Hezbollah.

The Nis­man report comes a few months after Argentina and Iran agreed to estab­lish a joint “truth com­mis­sion” to inves­ti­gate the AMIA attack. In his report, Nis­man argues that the AMIA bomb­ings, which he had pre­vi­ously accused senior Iran­ian offi­cials  of plan­ning and financ­ing (and for which there is an Inter­pol red alert war­rant, includ­ing for two who are can­di­dates in the upcom­ing Iran­ian pres­i­dent elec­tion), were not iso­lated inci­dents, and should be exam­ined “as a seg­ment in a larger sequence.” He high­lights par­al­lels between the AMIA bomb­ing and other Iranian-backed ter­ror­ist plots, includ­ing the case of two Guyanese men with ties to the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment con­victed in 2010 of con­spir­ing to bomb JFK Air­port. Nis­man argues that Iran could be oper­at­ing ter­ror­ist cells in other South Amer­i­can coun­tries, includ­ing Brazil, Chile, Colum­bia, Guyana, Paraguay, Suri­name, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay. 

In its annual ter­ror­ism report issued on May 30th, the State Depart­ment states that Iran­ian and Hezbol­lah ter­ror­ist oper­a­tions have “reached a tempo unseen since the 1990s, with attacks plot­ted in South­east Asia, Europe, and Africa,” high­lighted by the sus­pected Iran­ian and Hezbol­lah involve­ment in recent attacks and plots in Bul­garia, Cyprus, Thai­land, Geor­gia, Kenya and India.   In addi­tion to Iran’s global ter­ror activ­i­ties, the report also notes Iran’s regional involve­ment in train­ing, fund­ing and pro­vid­ing weapons to the Assad regime, Hamas and other Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist groups, Hezbollah’s oper­a­tions in Lebanon and Shia mil­i­tant groups in Iraq.  

There is also grow­ing evi­dence that Iran and Hezbol­lah are oper­at­ing ter­ror­ist cells in other regions of the world.  On May 30, the Niger­ian mil­i­tary announced the arrest of three admit­ted Hezbol­lah oper­a­tives, all Lebanese nation­als, who were in pos­ses­sion of exten­sive weaponry, includ­ing land­mines, anti-tank weapons, dyna­mite, grenades and machines guns. The mil­i­tary spokesman stated that the oper­a­tives were plan­ning on attack­ing Israeli and West­ern targets.

Mean­while, reports indi­cate that the Euro­pean Union is mov­ing closer to des­ig­nat­ing Hezbol­lah as a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion.  ADL has urged the EU to avoid label­ing only Hezbollah’s “mil­i­tary wing” as ter­ror­ist, argu­ing that a par­tial des­ig­na­tion is unlikely to have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on Hezbollah’s fundrais­ing activ­i­ties in Europe, and will cre­ate addi­tional chal­lenges for law enforce­ment efforts against ter­ror­ist financing.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,