Magazine article Insight on the News

Hezbollah: 'Party of God' Wages War with 'Great Satan.' (Umbrella Group for Radical Shi'ite Muslim Terrorist Groups)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Hezbollah: 'Party of God' Wages War with 'Great Satan.' (Umbrella Group for Radical Shi'ite Muslim Terrorist Groups)

Article excerpt

The "HizbAllah" (literally "the Party of God") is an umbrella organization for a plethora of radical Shi'ite Muslim terrorist groups sharing common Khomeinist ideology. Objectives include:

* Liberating Lebanon as a revolutionary Shi'ite Islamic state modeled after Iran;

* Israel's removal from Lebanon as a prelude to Israel's obliteration;

* Escalated fighting against the imperialist "Great Satan" (the United States), focusing on Israel as a U.S. surrogate;

* Establishing Islamic rule over Jerusalem.

Created in 1982 by Iranian military intelligence, Hezbollah's original power base was assured by the presence of the Teheran-dispatched Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps in the Lebanese town of Baalbek in the north of the Bekaa Valley. Hezbollah is part of the overall strategy of the late Ayatollah Khomeini and his successor, Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani, to export the Islamic Shi'ite Revolution. The relatively large number of Lebanese Shi'ites, coupled with the free-for-all atmosphere of war-torn Lebanon, provided Teheran with an ideal opportunity that has been fully exploited.

Hezbollah is a loose confederation of a dozen or so semi-independent subgroups. On the local level, these are headed by functional and regional commanders responsible to the Central Committee, a 17-man consultive Supreme Shura (Islamic council), which decides on administrative, legislative, executive, judicial, political and military matters and reports directly to Iran. It has four regional headquarters: Baalbek (training); Beirut (operational planning and administrative); Nabatiyah (southern regional); and Teheran (international headquarters).

Owing to the loose nature of the organization, Hezbollah does not have a single identifiable political leader such as the Amal militia's Nabih Beri. However, because of its fundamentalist & Islamic outlook, it has a spiritual leader," Sheikh Muhammed Hassin Fadallah, the "mujahid" (chief judge of Islamic law for Lebanon's fundamentalist Shi'ite community). His first central-committee secretary was Sheikh Abbas Musawi, who was killed in a 1992 Israel air raid. Musawi's successor is Sheikh Hassan Nassrallah, who is Hezbollah's commander.

The idea promoted by Iran in the Western media that Hezbollah is an independent group receiving support from Iran because of shared theological beliefs is nonsense, say U.S. intelligence sources. Following his appointment as Hezbollah's secretary, Nassrallah immediately reported in Teheran to assure the Rafsanjani regime that he would coordinate his activities with the Islamic Republic of Iran. …

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