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Intel - Terrorism
Groups - Hezbollah

"In God we trust.
All others we monitor."

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According to Robert Baer, . “Mugniyah is probably the most intelligent, most capable operative we’ve ever run across, including the KGB or anybody else. He enters by one door, exits by another, changes his cars daily, never makes appointments on a telephone, never is predictable. He only uses people that are related to him that he can trust. He doesn’t just recruit people. He is the master terrorist, the grail that we have been after since 1983." (Wright, Robin, Sacred Rage, Simon & Schuster, 2001, p. 270)

 

Base of Operations

  • Lebanon's Bekaa Valley
  • Take South America’s infamous “Triple Frontier” between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. According to a Brazilian that has frequented the area and now resides in Australia, ‘you think you are in the Middle East when you set foot in Ciudad del Este,’ the Paraguayan city along that border.

Beliefs

  • Hezbollah, literally "party of God", is a Shi'a Islamic political and paramilitary organization based in Lebanon. It follows an Islamist Shi'a ideology developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
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Cells

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Communications

  • Hezbollah operates a satellite television station, Al-Manar TV ("the Lighthouse"). Al-Manar broadcasts from Beirut, Lebanon. The station was launched by Hezbollah in 1991 with the help of Iranian funds.
  • A radio station al-Nour ("the Light"), and a monthly magazine Kabdat Alla ("The Fist of God").
  • Hezbollah maintains a satellite TV network, Al-Manar (“The Lighthouse”) which broadcasts dramas, comedies, features, talk shows, their version of the news, and MTV-style anti-Israeli and anti-American propaganda. It is a testament to careful planning that the station was off the air for less than 10 minutes after the Israeli Air Force destroyed the broadcast center in 2006.

Financing

  • By 1983, Iran had funneled approximately US$150 million to this group that eventually evolved in what today is known as Hezbollah -the Party of God. 2 By 2006, Iran had funneled “an estimated $1.2 billion to Hezbollah.”
  • The free-trade zone city of Maicao, Colombia is another stronghold of Hezbollah. Hezbollah controls 70% of the local commerce where business owners contribute between 10 to 30 percent of their profits to Hezbollah operations. The money is sent to Lebanon using Venezuelan and Panamanian banks. [CA]
  • Hezbollah engages in narcotrafficking, arms sales, money laundering, fund raising, cigarette smuggling, credit card fraud and mortgage fraud...

Goals

  • On February 16, 1985, Sheik Ibrahim al-Amin issued Hezbollah's manifesto. According to this manifesto (titled "An Open Letter: The Hizballah Program"), the three objectives of the organization are:
  • To eradicate Western colonialism in Lebanon
  • To bring to justice those who committed atrocities during the war (specifically the Phalangists)
  • To establish an Islamic government in Lebanon. Hezbollah has realized that the goal of transforming Lebanon into an Islamic state is not practical at this time and has temporarily abandoned it.
  • Hezbollah wishes for the destruction of Israel, which they see as being an unlawful "entity", and not a real nation.

Leadership

  • Hassan Nassrallah
  • Hussein Khalil
  • Imad Fayez Mugniyah
  • Wafiq Safa
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Locations

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia
  • Britain
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • USA

Membership

  • Each recruit is paid about $335 per month and is expected to report for combat missions when called upon.

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Methods

  • Hijacking
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Suicide Bombing
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Operations

  • 1983 Bombing of US Embassy in Beirut
  • 1983 Bombing of Marine Barracks in Beirut
  • 1983 Bombing of French Forces in Beirut
  • 1984 Bombing of US Embassy Annex in Beirut
  • 1985 Hijacking of TWA Flight 847
  • 1980s Kidnapping of Terry Anderson
  • 1980s Kidnapping and Murder of William F. Buckley
  • 1992 suicide bombings in Argentina
  • 1994 suicide bombings in Argentina
  • 2002 Karine A weapons shipment

Past Targets

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Safe Houses

  • Hezbollah also has been buying up Beirut apartments left and right in order to secure its supply lines in the southern suburbs, in the event of a showdown between its members and rival Lebanese factions.
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Sub-Groups

  • Hezbollah also organizes extensive social development programs, running hospitals, news services, and educational facilities. Social services have a central role in the party's programs. Most experts believe that Hezbollah's social and health programs are worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
  • Some of its established institutions are: Emdad committee for Islamic Charity, Hezbollah Central Press Office, Al Jarha Association, and Jihad Al Binaa Developmental Association.
  •  Jihad Al Binna's Reconstruction Campaign is responsible for numerous economic and infrastructure development projects in Lebanon. Hezbollah has set up a Martyr's Institute (Al-Shahid Social Association), which guarantees to provide living and education expenses for the families of fighters who die in battle.
  • In March 2006, an IRIN news report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs noted: "Hezbollah not only has armed and political wings - it also boasts an extensive social development program. Hezbollah currently operates at least four hospitals, twelve clinics, twelve schools and two agricultural centres that provide farmers with technical assistance and training.
  • It also has an environmental department and an extensive social assistance program. Medical care is also cheaper than in most of the country's private hospitals and free for Hezbollah members".

 

Weapons and Supplies
  • Iranian 747s routinely unload Chinese-made weapons in Syrian airports, where they are loaded onto trucks headed to the Bekaa Valley.
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Shah Toppled, Mecca Siege, Soviets Invade Afghan 1979
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Israel Air Strikes Begin
June 4-5, 1982
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Two Young Sheikhs, Fadlallah and Nabih Berri Were Meeting with Khomeini During Start of Israeli Bombing Campaign
June 1982
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Lebanon and Iran Celebrate Expulsion of PLO from Lebanese Soil
June 1982
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Khomeini Orders Approx 1000 Iranian Revolutionary Guard to Bekaa Valley
1982 or 1983?
  • [Khomeini] ordered the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG) to settle camp in the town of Baalbek, in the Bekaa Valley, Southern Lebanon with 1,000 guards.
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Ideology of Suicide Bomber Developed
1982-1983
  • Although Martyrdom, defined as “the standing on one’s feet against superior forces,” is an engrained concept in the Shiite culture, Hezbollah’s earlier leaders transformed that concept into the making of the suicide bomber - the person who strapped himself or herself with explosives and blows up in a crowded area filled with innocent bystanders. Hezbollah calls the person who accepts this mission a “Martyr,” and the family of the Martyr is lavishly compensated with monetary rewards for the rest of their lives. (CA)
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American University in Beirut President David S. Dodge Kidnapped
July 19, 1982
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US Embassy Bombed in Beirut
April 18, 1983
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Beirut Barracks Bombing Hits US Marines
October 23, 1983
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US State Department Declares Hezbollah a Terrorist Organization
1983
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Hezbollah Begins Ransacking Lebanese Bars
February 1984
  •  My first glimpse of Beirut's real bottom came at the Commodore Hotel bar on February 7, 1984 - the day after the Druse and Shiite Amal militias had seized control of West Beirut from the Lebanese army. Groups of Shiite militiamen belonging to the radical new pro-Iranian organization, Hizbullah, "Party of God, " had gone through a rampage that morning, ransacking heathen bars and whorehouses just off West Beirut's Hamra Street. Some they set ablaze, others they smashed apart with crowbars. I was enjoying a "quiet" lunch in the Commodore restaurant that day when I heard a ruckus coming from the lobby. I turned around and saw a tall, heavyset Shiite militiaman with a black beard, a wild look in his eyes, and an M-16 in his hands, heading for the bar. It was clear he wasn't going for a drink. [source: From Beirut to Jerusalem, p. 225]
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William F. Buckley Kidnapped
March 16, 1984

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Restaurant in Spain, Near US Base Bombed
18 Killed, 83 Wounded
April 12, 1984

  • Hezbollah attacks a restaurant near the U.S. Air Force Base in Torrejon, Spain.
  • The bombing kills eighteen U.S. servicemen and injures 83 people.
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US Embassy in Beirut Bombed
September 20, 1984

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Kuwait Airlines Plane Hijacked
4 Killed
December 4, 1984

  • Hezbollah terrorists hijack a Kuwait Airlines plane. Four passengers are murdered, including two Americans.
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Hezbollah Publishes Its Manifesto
February 16, 1985

  • Hezbollah publicizes its manifesto.
  • It notes that the group's struggle will continue until Israel is destroyed and rejects any cease-fire or peace treaty with Israel.
  • The document also attacks the U.S. and France.
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TWA Flight 847 Athens to Lebanon Hijacking
1 Killed
June 14, 1985

  • Hezbollah terrorists hijack TWA flight 847.
  • The hijackers severely beat Passenger Robert Stethem, a U.S. Navy diver, before killing him and dumping his body onto the tarmac at the Beirut airport.
  • Other passengers are held as hostages before being released on June 30.
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Hezbollah Announces It Has Kidnapped and Murdered Three Lebanese Jews
December 31, 1986

  • Under the alias Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, Hezbollah announces it had kidnapped and murdered three Lebanese Jews.
  • The organization previously had taken responsibility for killing four other Jews since 1984.
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Colonel William Higgins Kidnapped in Lebanon, Later Murdered
February 17, 1988

  • The group kidnaps Col. William Higgins, a U.S. Marine serving with a United Nations truce monitoring group in Lebanon, and later murders him.
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Dissolved Lebanese Parliament Approves Taif Agreement, Disbanding All Militias in Lebanon
October 22, 1989

  • Members of the dissolved Lebanese parliament ratify the Taif Agreement. Although the agreement calls for the "disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias," Hezbollah remains active.

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Hezbollah Begins Branching into Latin America
Late 1980s

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Hezbollah Begins Schools, Hospitals. and Providing Quasi-Government Services to Poor in Tri-Border Regions
Late 1980s to Early 1990s

  • Thus, with the guidance and assistance of the cultural attaches of the Iranian embassies in Latin America, Hezbollah in Latin America has taken the poor and disenfranchised masses, such as the Guarani Indians in Paraguay and Northern Argentina, and the Guajira Indians in Venezuela, under their care by building schools and hospitals and providing other needs that the governments of those countries are unwilling to do. [CA]
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Mohsen Rabbani, Cultural Attache for Iranian Embassy in Argentina, Called for Destruction of Israel
1991

  • In 1991, Rabbani shouted to an audience of Argentinean right wing radicals (neo-Nazis) and Shiite Muslims “Israel debe desaparecer de la faz de la tierra (Israel must disappear from the face of the Earth).”
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Hezbollah Head Abbas Musawi Assassinated by Israel
February 16, 1992

  • Sayyad Hassan Nasrallah takes over Hezbollah after Israel kills the group’s leader, Abbas Musawi.
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Nasrallah Takes Over Leadership of Hezbollah
February 16, 1992

  • Sayyad Hassan Nasrallah takes over Hezbollah after Israel kills the group’s leader, Abbas Musawi.
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TriBorder Terrorism Directed by Mohsen Rabbani, Cultural Attache for Iranian Embassy in Argentina
1992 - 1994

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Israeli Embassy Bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina
29 Killed, Over 200 Wounded
March 17, 1992

  • With the help of Iranian intelligence, Hezbollah bombs the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring over 200.
  • The mastermind behind these two attacks was the late Hajj Mughniyeh.
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Hezbollah Cigarette Fundraising Cell Leader in North Carolina Enters US via Venezuela
1992

  • In fact, Mohammed Hammoud, the leader of the Charlotte, North Carolina Hezbollah cell (disrupted by FBI in 2002), entered the United States through Isla Margarita, Venezuela, in 1992.
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Jewish Cultural Center Bombed in Buenos Aires, Argentina
86 Killed, Over 200 Injured
July 18, 1994

  • Hezbollah bombs the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires–again with Iranian help–killing 86 and injuring over 200.
  • The mastermind behind these two attacks was the late Hajj Mughniyeh.
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Israeli Embassy in London Bombed, 20 Injured
July 26, 1994

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Hezbollah Fires Katyusha Rockets Into Israel
November 28, 1995

  • Hezbollah bombards towns in northern Israel with volleys of Katyusha rockets in one of the group's numerous attacks on Israeli civilians.
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28 Rocket Attacks into Israel
March 30, 1996

  • Hezbollah fires 28 Katyusha rockets into northern Israeli towns.
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16 Rocket Attacks into Israel
36 Wounded
Early April, 1996

  • Hezbollah fires 28 Katyusha rockets into northern Israeli towns.
  • A week later, the group fires 16 rockets, injuring 36 Israelis.
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Israel Launches Operation Grapes of Wrath Against Hezbollah
Early April, 1996

  • Israel responds with a major offensive, known as the "Grapes of Wrath" operation, to stop Hezbollah rocket fire.
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Khobar Towers Bombing
June 25, 1996

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Hezbollah Fires Dozens of Rockets into Israel
August 19, 1997

  • Hezbollah opens fire on northern Israel with dozens of rockets in one of the group's numerous attacks on Israeli civilians.
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US Names Hezbollah as a Terrorist Organization
October 1997

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Hezbollah Fires Dozens of Missiles into Israel
December 28, 1998

  • Hezbollah opens fire on northern Israel with dozens of rockets in one of the group's numerous attacks on Israeli civilians.
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Official at Mexican Embassy in Lebanon Starts Helping Hezbollah Get Travel Papers to Mexico
1999

  • Since 1999, embassy staffer Imelda Ortiz Abdala, from the Mexican Embassy in Lebanon, issued stolen passports and travel visas to Hezbollah members for travel to Mexico.
  • Once there, Hezbollah members would link up with Salim Mucharrafille to arrange for illegal entry into the US.
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Hezbollah Launches Another Rocket Attack on Israel
May 17, 1999

  • Hezbollah opens fire on northern Israel with dozens of rockets in one of the group's numerous attacks on Israeli civilians.
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Hezbollah Opens Fire on Israel
2 Killed
June 24, 1999

  • Hezbollah opens fire on northern Israel, killing 2.
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Israel Pulls Out of Southern Lebanon
Massive Victory for Hezbollah
May 23, 2000

  • Israel withdraws all troops from Lebanon after 18 years patrolling the "security zone," a strip of land in the south of the country.
  • The security zone was set up to prevent attacks on northern Israel.
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UN Certifies Israel's Departure from Lebanon
August 2000

  • United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan certifies Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon. Shortly thereafter, the U.N. Security Council endorses Annan’s report.
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Hezbollah Insists Israel Still Occupies Lebanon, in Sheba Farms, Land Israel has Occupied Since 1967 War, from Syria
August 2000

  • Hezbollah nonetheless alleges Israel occupies Lebanon, claiming the small Sheba Farms area Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 war as Lebanese territory.
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Hezbollah Kidnaps Three Israeli Soldiers
October 7, 2000

  • Hezbollah attacks an Israel military post and raids Israel, kidnapping three Israeli soldiers.
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Retired Colonel Elchanan Tannenbaum

Hezbollah Kidnaps Retired Israeli Colonel Tannenbaum
Mid-October 2000

  • In mid-October, Hezbollah leader Nasrallah announces the group has also kidnapped an Israeli civilian, former Colonel, Elchanan Tannenbaum.
  • Tannenbaum, a former IDF officer, had been kidnapped while attempting to cement a drug deal. Israel wanted him back in order to ascertain whether or not he had given his captors any military secrets.
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Britain Names Hezbollah a Terrorist Organization
March 1, 2001

  • The British government adds Hezbollah’s "military wing" to its list of outlawed terrorist organizations.
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Hezbollah Fires Rockets into Northern Israel
April 9, 2002

  • Hezbollah launches Katyusha rockets into northern Israeli town.
  • This assault comes amidst almost daily Hezbollah attacks against Israeli troops in Sheba farms.
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Hezbollah Fires Rockets into Northern Israel
May 21, 2001

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Hezbollah's North Carolina Cigarette Fund Raising Cell Disrupted
2002

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Canada Names Hezbollah a Terrorist Organization
December 11, 2002

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Hezbollah Member in Mexico Pleads Guilty to Aiding 300 to Enter USA
March 18, 2003

  • On March 18 2003, Salim Moughader Mucharrafille, the owner of Café La Libanesa, in Tijuana, Mexico, pled guilty to charges of assisting more than 300 Hezbollah members gain entry into the USA.
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Australia Names Hezbollah a Terrorist Organization
June 5, 2003

  • Australia lists Hezbollah’s "military wing" as a terrorist organization.
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Hezbollah Shells Kill Child, Wound Others
August 10, 2003

  • Hezbollah shells kills 16-year-old Israeli boy, wound others.
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Prisoner Exchange with Israeli and Hezbollah, But Hezbollah Returns Dead Israeli Soldiers
January 2004

  • In January 2004, Israel frees over 400 Arab prisoners in exchange for Tannenbaum and the soldiers.
  • The soldiers were dead, a fact not made known to Israel until the exchange took place.
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UN Security Council Votes for Lebanese Militias to Disband and Disarm
September 2, 2004

  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 calls for "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias," a reference to Hezbollah.
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Hezbollah's Al Manar Satellite TV Banned in US and France
December 2004

  • Both the United States and France ban Hezbollah’s satellite television network, Al Manar.
  • A U.S. State Department spokesman notes the channel "preaches violence and hatred."
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EU Denounces Hezbollah Attacks, But Refuses To List Them as a Terrorist Organization
March 10, 2005

  • The European Parliament overwhelmingly passes a resolution stating: "Parliament considers that clear evidence exists of terrorist activities by Hezbollah.
  • The (EU) Council should take all necessary steps to curtail them."
  • The European Union nonetheless refrains from placing the group on its list of terror organizations.
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Hezbollah rockets land in residential area of Israel

Kidnapping of Three Israeli Soldiers, Sparking Month-Long Israel-Hezbollah War
Summer 2006

  • Hezbollah attacks Israel with Katyushas, crosses the border and kidnaps two Israeli soldiers.
  • Three Israeli soldiers are killed in the initial attack.
  • Five more soldiers are killed as Israel launches operation to rescue the soldiers and push Hezbollah from its border. Hezbollah launches rockets into towns across northern Israel.
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Intimidation Campaign Against Jewish Population in Caracas, Venezuela
2006

  • Synagogues were painted with graffiti
  • Chavez’s verbal attacks against Israel were an invitation to terrorist attacks by Hezbollah.
  • The Simon Wiesenthal Center discovered a Hezbollah Venezuela’s website inciting “Jihad in Latin America,” and contacted the Venezuelan authorities who, unfortunately, did not express any interest to challenge Hezbollah. [CA]
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Hezbollah Complies with UN Resolution 1701, for End to Fighting with Israel
2006

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Two Bombs Near US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela Discovered
October 23, 2006

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Hezbollah Terror Mastermind Mugniyeh Killed by Car Bomb
February 2008

  • Mughniyeh was killed in a car bomb in Damascus, Syria, in February 2008.
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Hezbollah Took Over West Beirut by Force
May 2008

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US Treasury Dept Accused Venezuela of Harboring Some Top Hezbollah Operatives
June 18, 2008

  • US Department of Treasury accused Venezuela of harboring Hezbollah's Ghazi Nasr al Din and Fawzi Kan'an, “along with two travel agencies in Caracas owned by Kan'an as supporters of Hezbollah.
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Nasrallah Vows Revenge for Death of Hezbollah Terror Mastermind Mugniyeh
October 8, 2008

  • Nasrallah, Hezbollah Secretary General, said that “no backing of from the decision to avenge the assassination of Hajj Mugniyeh.”
    Du, David, Hezbollah Chief Vows Mugniyeh’s Retaliation is Coming, Xinhua News Agency, 10 October 2008
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Hezbollah Cocaine Ring Disrupted in Bogota, Colombia
October 2008

  • In October 2008, “U.S. and Colombian investigators have dismantled an international cocaine smuggling and money laundering ring that allegedly used part of its profits to finance Hezbollah, […] Lebanese kingpin in Bogota, Colombia, Chekry Harb, who used the alias "Taliban," acted as the hub of an unusual and alarming alliance between South American cocaine traffickers and Middle Eastern militants,. […] The profits from the sales of drugs went to finance Hezbollah," said Gladys Sanchez, lead investigator for the special prosecutor's office in Bogota, in an interview.”
  • Kraul, Chris and Rotella, Sebastian, Colombian Cocaine Ring Linked to Hezbollah, Los Angeles Times, 22 October 2008
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Hezbollah Starts Diplomatic Relations with Britain
2009

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Hezbollah Barely Lost Gaining Majority Representation in Lebanese Government
June 2009

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