Category Archive 'Hezbollah'
05 Aug 2020
Rumor has it that the Israelis blew up a Hezbollah rocket cache, unaware that next door was stored a massive amount of Ammonium Nitrate. Whoops!
05 Nov 2015
ISIS taking credit for downing that Russian airliner in the Sinai caused John Hinderaker to recall the same events from the 1980s, back when Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists were kidnapping Western diplomats in Beirut. They took the American CIA station chief, William Francis Buckley, then turned him over to the Iranians who tortured him for fifteen months until he died in captivity. Then they kidnapped some Russian diplomats…
I dimly remembered a news story from several decades ago that also involved Arab terrorism, and found it via Google. Here it is, from 1986:
The KGB has adopted novel, brutal and apparently effective methods of dealing with terrorists who attack Soviet interests in the Middle East, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday.
The Jerusalem Post said the Soviet secret police last year secured the release of three kidnaped Soviet diplomats in Beirut by castrating a relative of a radical Lebanese Shia Muslim leader, sending him the severed organs and then shooting the relative in the head.
The incident began when four Soviet diplomats were kidnaped last September by Muslim extremists who demanded that Moscow pressure the Syrian government to stop pro-Syrian militiamen from shelling rival Muslim positions in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.
The militiamen, the Jerusalem paper said, did not cease their attacks, and the body of one of the Soviet diplomats, Arkady Katkov, was found a few days later in a field in Beirut.
The KGB then apparently kidnaped and killed a relative of an unnamed leader of the Shiasâ€™ Hezbollah (Party of God) group, a radical, pro-Iranian group that has been suspected of various terrorist activities against Western targets in Lebanon.
Parts of the manâ€™s body, the paper said, were then sent to the Hezbollah leader with a warning that he would lose other relatives in a similar fashion if the three remaining Soviet diplomats were not immediately released. They were quickly freed.
The newspaper quoted â€œobservers in Jerusalemâ€ as saying: â€œThis is the way the Soviets operate. They do thingsâ€“they donâ€™t talk. And this is the language Hezbollah understands.â€
Arab terrorists never again, to my knowledge, tried to kill or kidnap Russians in the Middle East.
09 Apr 2011
Pallets of mustard gas shells similar to those sold by Libyan rebels to Hamas and Hezbollah
Mossad leak source DEBKAfile reports on what our freedom-loving friends, the Libyan rebels, have been up to.
Senior Libyan rebel â€œofficersâ€ sold Hizballah and Hamas thousands of chemical shells from the stocks of mustard and nerve gas that fell into rebel hands when they overran Muammar Qaddafiâ€™s military facilities in and around Benghazi, debkafileâ€™s exclusive military and intelligence sources report.
Word of the capture touched off a scramble in Tehran and among the terrorist groups it sponsors to get hold of their first unconventional weapons.
According to our sources, the rebels offloaded at least 2,000 artillery shells carrying mustard gas and 1,200 nerve gas shells for cash payment amounting to several million dollars.
US and Israeli intelligence agencies have tracked the WMD consignments from eastern Libya as far as Sudan in convoys secured by Iranian agents and Hizballah and Hamas guards. …
[S]ome of the poison gas may be intended not only for artillery use but also for drones which Hizballah recently acquired from Iran.
Tehran threw its support behind the anti-Qaddafi rebels because of this unique opportunity to get hold of the Libyan rulerâ€™s stock of poison gas after it fell into opposition hands and arm Hizballah and Hamas with unconventional weapons without Iran being implicated in the transaction.
Shortly after the uprising began in the third week of February, a secret Iranian delegation arrived in Benghazi. Its members met rebel chiefs, some of them deserters from the Libyan army, and clinched the deal for purchasing the entire stock of poison gas stock and the price.
The rebels threw in a quantity of various types of anti-air missiles.
DEBKAfile subsequently boasts of unnamed parties taking out a couple of senior people in charge of the weapons transfer.
[A]ccusing Israel of killing the two passengers of a Hyundai Sinai near Port Sudan Tuesday, April 5, the Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti alleged a missile was fired from an aerial drone or a vessel on the Red Sea. debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources reveal that a special operations unit landed by sea and used a surface missile to hit the car and kill two top handlers of the Iranian-Hamas arms smuggling network in Sudan. The assailants waylaid the vehicle as it drove through the Kalaneeb region on the only blacktop road running through the Sudanese desert between Khartoum and Port Sudan.
05 Aug 2009
Debkafile posts a major intelligence leak.
Russia’s Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) (Russian: Ð¤Ð¡Ð‘, Ð¤ÐµÐ´ÐµÑ€Ð°Ð»ÑŒÐ½Ð°Ñ ÑÐ»ÑƒÐ¶Ð±Ð° Ð±ÐµÐ·Ð¾Ð¿Ð°ÑÐ½Ð¾ÑÑ‚Ð¸ Ð Ð¾ÑÑÐ¸Ð¹ÑÐºÐ¾Ð¹ Ð¤ÐµÐ´ÐµÑ€Ð°Ñ†Ð¸Ð¸; Federalnaya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federaciyi), successor to the NKVD and KGB, has been working with Hezbollah to expose and close down Israeli intelligence operations in Lebanon.
As Debka notes, this development marks a new level of intimacy between Russia’s state security service and the Iran-backed terrorist organization.
Western intelligence sources in the Middle East have disclosed to DEBKAfile that a special unit of the Russian Federal Security Service – FSB, commissioned by Hizballah’s special security apparatus earlier this year, was responsible for the massive discovery of alleged Israel spy rings in Lebanon in recent months with the help of super-efficient detection systems.
Those sources report that the FSB and Hizballah have amassed quantities of undisclosed data on Israel’s clandestine operations in Lebanon and are holding it in reserve in order to leak spectaculars discoveries as and when it suits their purpose.
This disclosure, if borne out, would indicate that the Russian agency, which specializes in counterespionage, is engaged for the first time in anti-Israel activity in the service of an Arab terrorist organization. An Israeli security sources describes this turn of events extremely grave. It also cast an ominous slant on Moscow’s deepening strategic involvement in Syria.
It was generally assumed until now that new electronic devices supplied by France to the Lebanese army were instrumental in uncovering the suspected Israeli spy rings. It now transpires that the Lebanese army was not directly involved; it only detained the suspects handed over by the Shiite Hizballah.
Those same sources disclosed that FSB agents, by blanketing every corner of Lebanon with their sophisticated surveillance systems, were able to detect the spy rings one by one and additionally hack into Israeli intelligence data bases.
15 Aug 2008
A certain news agency has received a deliberate leak from a US military intelligence official, apparently intended to deter Iran from pursuing its nefarious plans by making a public announcement that the US knows all about them and is prepared to counter them.
The report states that Iran’s elite Quds Force, with the help of Hezbollah, has been training Iraqi Shiite assassination teams in four locations. Their targets are to be “specific Iraqi officials as well as U.S. and Iraqi troops.”
25 Jul 2008
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have launched an urgent inquiry after a mysterious explosion wrecked a military convoy in Tehran, killing at least fifteen people and injuring scores more
The explosion took place in the Tehran suburb of Khavarshahar as the military convoy left a munitions’ warehouse controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. According to reports received by Western officials, the convoy was taking a consignment of military equipment to Hizbollah, the Shia Muslim militia Iran supports in southern Lebanon, when the explosion occurred.
Senior Revolutionary Guard commanders immediately imposed a news black-out following the explosion, even though it could be heard throughout the capital Tehran, and no details of the incident have so far appeared in the Iranian media.
But Western officials yesterday said they had received reports that the explosion took place in Tehran on July 19, and that the Revolutionary Guards had launched an investigation into the causes of the blast.
“This was a massive explosion that was heard throughout Tehran,” one official told the Daily Telegraph. “Even though lots of people were killed the Revolutionary Guards are trying to conceal what really happened.”
Iran is believed to have recently stepped up arms shipments to Hizbollah in preparation for any future armed confrontation with the West over its controversial nuclear enrichment programme.
Kudos to the foreign intelligence service, Israeli or American, responsible.
14 Nov 2007
Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball report in Newsweek:
A former FBI agent who pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship and then improperly accessing sensitive computer information about Hizbollah was working until about a year ago as a CIA spy assigned to Middle East operations, Newsweek has learned.
The stunning case of Nada Nadim Prouty, a 37-year-old Lebanese native who is related to a suspected Hizbollah money launderer, appears to raise a nightmarish question for U.S. intelligence agencies: Could one of the world’s most notorious terrorist groups have infiltrated the U.S. government?
“I’m beginning to think it’s possible that Hizbollah put a mole in our government,” said Richard Clarke, the former White House counter-terrorism chief under Presidents Clinton and, until 2002, Bush. “It’s mind-blowing.”
A U.S. official familiar with the case said Tuesday that the government’s investigation has uncovered no evidence so far that Prouty, who was employed by the CIA until last week, had compromised any undercover operations or passed along sensitive intelligence information to Hizbollah operatives. After joining the CIA in June 2003, Prouty was an undercover officer for the agency’s National Clandestine Service, the espionage division, working on Middle East-related cases. She was reassigned to a less sensitive position about a year ago, after she first came under suspicion, officials said.
Read the whole thing. It does not sound good at all.
30 Mar 2007
World Net Daily quotes a London Arab newspaper’s discussion of Iran’s well-funded, and long-in-the-preparation plans for a wave of retaliation against a Western strike on its nuclear weapons development program.
Tehran has recruited and funded eight Islamic fundamentalist organizations to undertake retaliatory strikes against U.S. and British military and economic interests across the Middle East â€“ and perhaps in the U.S. and Europe â€“ in the event Iran’s nuclear facilities are attacked, reports a London Arab daily, Asharq Al-Awsat.
The plan, which has been heavily funded and was created by a number of experts in guerilla warfare and terrorist operations, includes suicide attacks against U.S. and British targets in the region as well as their allies. According to information gleaned from a senior source in the Iranian armed forces’ joint chief of staff, logistical support for the groups that would participate in the plan comes from Brigadier General Qassim Suleimani of the of the Revolutionary Guards’ al Quds Brigades. …
The leader of one of the Iraq groups that is part of the “Judgment Day” plan told the Iranians his men would turn Iraq into hell for Americans in the event of an attack on Iran. The Revolutionary Guards’ military training camps have been made available to Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army. Al Sadr has received more than $20 million from the Iranians.
Street-fighting training has been given in Isfahan, Iran, to members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as large sums of money and large quantities of arms.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has recruited Imad Mugniyah, the Lebanese commander of Hezbollah’s overseas operations, to oversee retaliation against Western targets following any U.S. strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Officers sent to southern Lebanon last month are in command of more than 10 thousand rockets aimed at Israel’s cities. It is believed they’ve been given control of Hezbollah’s missiles to attack Israel if Iran’s nuclear sites are hit. U.S. officials and Israel intelligence sources believe Mugniyah is in charge of these operations.
“When and if the Iranians decide to hit the West in its soft belly, Imad will be the one to act,” a Western intelligence source said.
Approximately 80 members of Hezbollah received training last year in ultralight aircraft and undersea operations in order to carry out suicide attacks.
Implementation of the plan is set to begin immediately following a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and would progress in six stages:
U.S. bases in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region to be struck by Iranian missiles.
Suicide attacks in a number of Muslim countries against U.S. embassies, military bases, economic and oil-related facilities tied to U.S. and British firms, and targets in countries allied with the U.S.
Attacks by Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi insurgents loyal to Iran against U.S. and British forces in Iraq.
Hundreds of rockets launched by Hezbollah against pre-selected targets in Israel.
If U.S. military attacks continue, more than 50 Shehab-3 missiles will be launched against Israel and 50 terrorist cells in the U.S., Canada and Europe will be given approval to launch attacks against civil and industrial targets in those countries.
As the crisis produced by the Iranian fanatics draws nearer to open conflict, the increasingly hysterical bleatings of this classical example of chattering class coward provide the near perfect note of ironic humor.
It is essential now for both sides to back down. No solution is possible if either side continues to insist that the other is completely in the wrong and they are completely in the right. And the first step towards finding a peaceful way out, is to acknowledge the self-evident truth that maritime boundaries are disputed and problematic in this area.
Both sides can therefore accept that the other acted in good faith with regard to their view of where the boundary was. They can also accept that boats move about and all the coordinates given by either party were also in good faith. The captives should be immediately released and, to international acclamation, Iran and Iraq, which now are good neighbours, should appoint a joint panel of judges to arbitrate a maritime boundary and settle this boundary dispute.
That is the way out. For the British to insist on their little red border line, or the Iranians on their GPS coordinates, plainly indicates a greater desire to score propaganda points in the run up to a war in which a lot of people will die, than to resolve the dispute and free the captives. The international community needs to put heavy pressure on both Britain and Iran to stop this mad confrontation.
Who knows? Perhaps Mr. Murray may yet have the personal opportunity one of these days to offer some suicidal Islamic terrorist one of those face-saving compromise proposals he’s so fond of during his last pathetic moments of earthly existence.
29 Mar 2007
Richard Miniter warns that Iran have a network of sleeper cells inside the United States that could strike us if we bomb their nuclear facilities.
The consensus view among intelligence analysts, in and out of government, is Hezbollah maintains an extensive network inside the U.S. and Western Europe.
The sleepers in the U.S. may number as many as 800.
This has been the consensus view for some time. There are â€œhundredsâ€ of Hezbollah members here, a U.S. official told USA Today on May 13, 2003. A senior FBI official told the paper that some 20 potential Hezbollah cells are being investigated.
Senator Bob Graham reiterated to the Miami Herald on Nov. 13, 2002: â€œrecent warnings that Hezbollah, backed by Iran and Syria, had a more established presence in the United States than al Qaeda, and was just as dangerous.â€ …
Sen. Graham told the Miami Herald that Hezbollah has substantially greater numbers in the United States than al Qaeda.
Hezbollah has killed more Americans since 1982 than any other terrorist group, except al Qaeda.
Most of those are not â€œoperational terrorists,â€ one American intelligence official cautioned Pajamas Media.
Many are here for illicit fundraising. Some channel donations from mosques or peddle videos and books. Others run criminal enterprises for the terror group, everything from car-theft rings to high-end cons.
One cell was involved in cigarette smuggling, capturing the difference between the wholesale price and the high-tax price paid by consumers. Cigarette taxes range from $1 to $3 per pack. The North Carolina cigarette operation was apprehended by the FBI and prosecuted by the Justice department.
Three Yemeni-born men in Rochester, New York were charged with funneling some $15 million to Hezbollah between 2002 and 2004, according to a filing at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on Feb. 27, 2007. They were caught thanks to a sting operation by the FBI, conspiring to send $200,000 to Hezbollah. The three owned or operated delis, mini-marts and restaurants, from which they allegedly sold fake green cards and engaged in credit card fraud.
Other Hezbollah operatives are here to gather information on potential targets, searching for weak points in schools, malls and office towers.
Still others are foot soldiers who are loaned out Mexican drug cartels, where they serve as bodyguards and enforcers. The Mexicans call them â€œTurcos.â€
Read the whole thing.
11 Feb 2007
Six US helicopters have been shot down in Iraq during the last three weeks causing some of us to wonder what is producing this recent string of successes for our adversaries.
The not-necessarily-reliable Mossad-mouthpiece Depkafile claims to know the answer.
DEBKAfile’s sources in Tehran and Kurdistan disclose that, last month, two Iranian QW-1 and SA-7 missile consignments reached Iraqi insurgents allied with al Qaeda and one, radical Shiite Moqtada Sadr’s Shiite militia, the Mehdi Army. Israeli sources report the same anti-air weapons were delivered at about the same time to Hizballah units in Lebanon including the south.
Our military sources add that Iran’s arms industry has succeeded in replicating a quality version of the Chinese QW-1 and improved its electronics. It is 1.447meters long and packs 16.5 kilos of explosives. The IDF estimates that the first of these missiles used experimentally by Hizballah caused an Israeli helicopter to explode during take-off near the Litani River in the Lebanon War last summer.
Iranian markings have been erased from the equipment going into Iraq and Lebanon to suggest they were bought on the black market. Dated Soviet-era models of the SA-7 were indeed bought by Iran on Far East black markets and supplied to Iraqi insurgents and also pro-Tehran governors in western Afghanistan. Iran is preparing the ground for a Shiite insurgency against NATO forces there.
According to our sources, all three consignments to Iraq went through the North Iraqi Kurdistani town of Suleimaniya not far from the Iranian border. An Iranian clandestine center operates there like “the liaison center” the Americans raided in another Kurdish town, Irbil, last month. The Suleimaniya center operates with permission from Iraqi’s Kurdish president Jalal Talabani.
They weapons were smuggled in concealed compartments of trucks transporting building materials and iron from Iran for a Kurdish building company. After unloading their legitimate freight, the trucks drove on south up to the regional border where Iraqi insurgents off-loaded the missiles to their vehicles and distributed them to their networks in Baqouba, Ramadi and Tikrit — north of Baghdad and Hilla to the south.
In January, two-man teams of Iraqi insurgents and Hizballah operatives were trained in the use of the new weapons against American and Israeli helicopters as instructors for missile crews in Iraq and Lebanon. One crewman was taught to locate the target and help the second to aim. The training facilities were set up in Kermanshah and Qasr-e Shirin close to the Iraqi border.
Tehran is stepping up its provocations in reprisal for the US president George W. Bush’s directive to US forces to capture or kill Iranian agents, America’s refusal to release the Revolutionary Guards officers captured in Irbil and finally by the seizure last week of an Iranian diplomat in Baghdad.
Depkafile could be tellling the truth.
03 Dec 2006
TCS Daily reports:
In a forthcoming study for the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, senior researcher Ely Karmon raises the alarming prospect of Hezbollah affiliated groups bringing the Lebanese terrorists’ brand of violence to the Americas. While acknowledging that it is too soon to draw clear conclusions about the nature and objectives of these Hezbollah “franchisees,” Karmon nonetheless notes that “successful campaigns of proselytism in the heart of poor indigene Indian tribes and populations by both Shi’a and Sunni preachers and activists” have contributed to the growing attraction of Islamist terrorist groups in Latin America. Karmon also observes that “there is a growing trend of solidarity between leftist, Marxist, anti-global and even rightist elements with the Islamists,” citing inter alia the September 2004 “strategy conference” of anti-globalization groups hosted by Hezbollah in Beirut.
Evidence of this was already available in the Washington Post’s front page coverage of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s September 22 mass rally, which mentioned that among those in attendance was a Lebanese expatriate who had flown in from Venezuela for the event and that “[a]t the mention of Venezuelan President Hugo ChÃƒÂ¡vez, a critic of America, cheers went up.”
As it happens, one month after the demonstration in Beirut, on October 23, Venezuelan police discovered two explosive devices near the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. According to a statement in El Universal from the acting police commissioner of the Baruta district, law enforcement officials arrested a man carrying a “backpack containing one hundred black powder bases, pliers, adhesive tape, glue, and electric conductors” who “admitted that the explosives had been set to detonate within fifteen minutes.” The man arrested was José Miguel Rojas Espinoza, a 26-year-old student at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, a ChÃƒÂ¡vez-founded institution whose website proclaims that it offers a free “practical and on the ground education” contributing to “a more just, united, and sustainable society, world peace, and a new progressive and pluralist civilization.”
Two days after the failed bombing, a web posting by a group calling itself Venezuelan Hezbollah claimed — “in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” — responsibility for the attack. The bombing was meant to publicize Venezuelan Hezbollah’s existence and its mission to “build an Islamic nation in Venezuela and all the countries of America,” under the guidance of “the ideology of the revolutionary Islam of the Imam Khomeini.”
25 Aug 2006
DEBKAfile reports that American experts are currently in Israel looking at the Israeli EW experience during the fighting with Hezbollah.
The American EW experts are interested in four areas. 1. The Israeli EW systems’ failure to block Hizballah’s command and communications and the links between the Lebanese command and the Syria-based Iranian headquarters. 2. How Iranian technicians helped Hizballah eavesdrop on Israel’s communications networks and mobile telephones, including Israeli soldiers’ conversations from inside Lebanon. 3. How Iranian EW installed in Lebanese army coastal radar stations blocked the Barak anti-missile missiles aboard Israeli warships, allowing Hizballah to hit the Israeli corvette Hanith. 4. Why Israeli EW was unable to jam the military systems at the Iranian embassy in Beirut, which hosted the underground war room out of which Hassan Nasrallah and his top commanders, including Imad Mughniyeh, functioned.
Until the watershed date of July 12, 2006, when the Hizballah triggered the Lebanon War, Israel was accounted an important world power in the development of electronic warfare systems — so much so that a symbiotic relationship evolved for the research and development of many US and Israeli electronic warfare systems, in which a mix of complementary American and Israeli devices and methods were invested.
In combat against Hizballah, both were not only found wanting, but had been actively neutralized, so that none performed the functions for which they were designed. This poses both the US and Israel with a serious problem in a further round of the Lebanon war and any military clash with Iran.
DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Both intelligence services underestimated the tremendous effort Iran invested in state of the art electronic warfare gadgetry designed to disable American military operations in Iraq and IDF functions in Israel and Lebanon. Israel’s electronic warfare units were taken by surprise by the sophisticated protective mechanisms attached to Hizballah’s communications networks, which were discovered to be connected by optical fibers which are not susceptible to electronic jamming.
American and Israeli experts realize now that they overlooked the key feature of the naval exercise Iran staged in the Persian Gulf last April: Iran’s leap ahead in electronic warfare. They dismissed most the weapons systems as old-fashioned. But among them were the C-802 cruise missile and several electronic warfare systems, both of which turned up in the Lebanon war with deadly effect.