Magazine article Insight on the News

Hezbollah Emerging as the Terrorist A-Team

Magazine article Insight on the News

Hezbollah Emerging as the Terrorist A-Team

Article excerpt

Byline: Ralph de Toledano, INSIGHT

To read the public prints or the blasts that come from the Defense Department the leaders of international Islamic terrorism are al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden. But is this factually correct, or have we been gulled by astute propaganda? True, the disaster at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and other depredations were the work of al-Qaeda. But why has Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage stated that Hezbollah, not al-Qaeda, "may well be the A-team of international terrorism"?

The evidence is incontrovertible that this is an understatement. Rachel Ehrenfeld's Funding Evil: How Terrorism Is Financed And How to Stop It brings together chapter and verse from the public record to make an overwhelming case. What is significant is that this record has been so signally ignored. Consider that in March 2003 Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah could threaten: "When the Marines were in Beirut, we screamed, 'Death to America!' Today, when the region is being filled with hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, 'Death to America!' is still, and will always be, our slogan."

Yet the Arabist wing of the State Department insists that Hezbollah's target is only Israel and that its threat to America is "insignificant." Intelligence assessments, firsthand reportage and think-tank studies are all at hand. Hezbollah operates worldwide, with an annual budget estimated at $500 million. The intifida, launched in collaboration with Yasser Arafat, and its terrorist attacks on Israel from Lebanon, are but one of Hezbollah's activities.

Founded in 1982, Hezbollah pulled together smaller terrorist groups and operates under a variety of names. Its program calls for the destruction of the United States, Israel and any government standing in its way; worldwide resumption of the Holocaust; and the liberation of "occupied Arab lands" such as Jordan and Morocco. Its camps in Lebanon's Bek a valley have trained al-Qaeda terrorists, Chechen rebels, the Medellin drug cartel, Hamas, the Japanese Red Army, Muslim "insurgents" in the Balkans, and the Irish Republican Army. It has organized "cultural" and "religious" groups worldwide actually for recruitment and fund raising in the United States.

Hezbollah has more than 5,000 trained terrorists in Lebanon and Syria alone, armed with some 10,000 missiles, tanks and antiaircraft artillery, according to European Union intelligence sources. In addition, Hezbollah has another 15,000 to 20,000 members in the United States, Latin America, Europe and East Asia. …

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