ATbar Hizballah - A Transnational Terrorist Organization

Hizballah - A Transnational Terrorist Organization

01/09/2002 | by Schweitzer, Yoram  


President Bush’s declaration of a war on international terrorism and the inclusion of the Lebanon-based Hizballah in the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations has caused Hizballah to launch a vigorous propaganda campaign aimed at clearing its name. Hizballah’s main claim is that they are not a terrorist organization but a “national liberation movement,” whose activities are solely limited to liberating Lebanon from the Israeli occupation.

Hizballah’s campaign to win the title of “National Liberation Movement,” thereby gaining a measure of legitimacy is a stratagem of self-preservation. It is aimed at protecting the organization and its assets from the expected conflict between the international coalition and those identified with global terrorism, such as Hizballah and Hizballah’s patron, Iran.

The crusade to gain favor in the world’s opinion is not less important to Hizballah than operational successes; thus, the organization invests heavily in the media and psychological warfare. From the very start, Hizballah showed remarkable capabilities in these fields, capabilities that only improved with time. The organization’s ability to make use of their its terrorist activities in psychological warfare had been demonstrated previously when several of its members hijacked a TWA airliner to Beirut (June 85). The event unfolded in front of the cameras of major world networks from start to finish, seventeen (!) days later. Likewise, the long drawn-out and well-publicized negotiations to release Western hostages kidnapped by Hizballah in Lebanon in 1985-1991 aroused enormous interest of the world media. Hizballah used this fact to disseminate its messages and build up an image of a liberation organization representing the “oppressed on Earth”, forced against its will to commit terrorist acts. Since then, the organization has perfected these abilities and demonstrated its propaganda skills during the years of fighting against Israel in South Lebanon and in terrorist incidents elsewhere in the world.

Hizballah leaders take care to project the organization’s image as a moderate and responsible political body that avoids terrorism and limits its military activities to liberation of Lebanon only. However, the IDF’s full withdrawal from Lebanon did not have the slightest effect on its modus operandi, nor on their arguments in favor of terrorist attacks, which it carries out outside the Lebanese borders.

What are Nasrallah’s arguments?

The precise distinction between “terrorist” and “freedom fighter” or between “terrorist organization” and “national liberation organization” is not clearly perceived by many people in the world. People are tempted to believe in the classic cliche that “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” This alleged vagueness is the result of an attempt to define terrorism in terms of the motives and intentions of its perpetrators, rather than focusing on the methods they employ to achieve these goals. Hizballah and many other terrorist organizations proffer elaborate arguments for the legitimacy of the murder of civilians in the name of some sublime ideal. These arguments are based on the absence of a universally accepted unequivocal definition of what constitutes a terrorist act. The lack of such a definition is not so much a matter of ideological differences about the nature of terrorism than about protecting the particular interests of the affected nations. For the sake of political expediency, many governments simply skirt the issue, refusing to call a spade a spade.

Nevertheless, despite the absence of an accepted formal definition, most of the world’s nations do cooperate in their effort to fight against terrorism. This cooperation is possible because most nations, including those who persist in publicly debating the nature of terrorism, are perfectly well aware of what constitutes a terrorist act and, consequently can agree not only on who the terrorists are, but on the clear need to prevent them from acting.

The proposed definition of a terrorist act is “a violent politically-motivated activity that is non-selective with respect to its victims, and which deliberately and maliciously injures noncombatant individuals going about their daily routines in obviously civilian surroundings”. A continuous sequence of such acts would constitute a significant element in defining their perpetrators as a terrorist organization.

According to the above definition, and even by the limited definition of a terrorist act as deliberate injury of civilians as its basic criterion, Hizballah’s activities over the years, mostly aimed at injuring civilians, undoubtedly reveal it to be a terrorist organization. This organization, like many others, has also perpetrated attacks that could be defined as military or guerrilla operations.

Nasrallah’s progress on the international terrorism track


Hizballah was formed in 1982 in Lebanon under the sponsorship of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, who arrived in Lebanon as vanguard of Khomeini’s Islamic revolution. Iran primed Hizballah to disseminate the ideas of Islamic revolution in Lebanon with the ultimate aim of establishing a fundamentalist Islamic regime in that country.[1]

Hizballah’s influence in Lebanon was strengthened through massive ongoing Iranian support of their activities. Thus, despite being basically a religious and social movement with political aspirations in Lebanon—as implied by the sayings of Nasrallah—most of Hizballah’s strength is founded on its military mechanism and the terrorist acts they have perpetrated over the years. In fact, these terrorist and militant bodies have created the powerful image of Hizballah in public opinion both in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world. Hizballah’s terrorist-military might is the result of investing over the years in its ideological and institutional framework as well massive assistance to the logistic, operational and financial side its activities.

Because of its close ties with Iran, its acquired terrorist capabilities and close cooperation with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Intelligence Ministry, Hizballah was chosen as the central player in the Iranian policy of terror.[2]

Although the Hizballah was initially almost completely dependent on Iranian support, the organization has more recently become largely independent, due to a process of institutionalization and structural change, especially in terms of organization, training and procurement. Organization members train in guerilla warfare, intelligence and terror as well as full military training in Iran. The acquisition of knowledge and practical skills with the support of Iran has transformed the Hizballah into a quasi-Iranian brigade in Lebanese dress. The organization’s high military-terrorist capabilities and its ties with Iran explain its significant influence on Lebanon’s relationships with many countries worldwide since the 1980’s. The Hizballah has largely dictated the nature of the Lebanon-Israel relationship and undermines any potential to for an end to the bilateral conflict through diplomatic negotiations in the future.

Hizballah involvement in international terrorism

The Hizballah’s initial involvement in international terror is also closely related to Iran. In 1983, the Hizballah instigated a series of attacks on foreign targets in Lebanon (“’domestic’ international terror”). The Lebanese Hizballah functioned as the avantguard, combining the repertoire of international terror with suicide bombings employing explosives-carrying platforms (individuals, vehicles or animals)[3].

It was no long before Hizballah extended its reach, kidnapping dozens of Western hostages from various countries for political and economic gain. Among the countries affected were France, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, the U.S. and South Korea. Citizens of Arab countries were not immune, as hostages were also taken from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others. The organization also hijacked aircraft belonging to foreign airlines, including Air France, TWA and the Kuwait national a. Thlong line of acts of terror committed by the Hizballah prominently included bombings in France, Cyprus and other countries.

The Hizballah also established the logistic infrastructure for its operations in locations all over the world by smuggling weapons and explosives. Some of these were discovered in France, Spain and Cyprus[4] and we might assume that additional sites have remained undiscovered, awaiting activation in the future, contingent upon decisions by the organization and its patron.

In the 1980s, the organization’s direct involvement in terror attacks abroad diminished significantly, especially with regard to its operations on the European continent. This can be attributed to instructions from Iran, which took steps to cultivate a pragmatic image in the eyes of the West after Homeini’s death and the end of the Iran-Iraq War. To this end, Iran required that the Hizballah avoid blatant acts of terror, especially in Europe. At the same time, the Hizballah did not entirely abandon its terrorist activities abroad. Operations were still carried out with the knowledge of and coordination with Iran, in the service of whom these operations were sometimes conducted.

Thus, in September 1992, Lebanese members of the Hizballah killed four senior opposition members of the Kurdish KDP party in the Mikonos restaurant in Berlin. The Hizballah members involved were subsequently captured and sentenced to extended terms in prison for their role in the attack. They revealed that they had been recruited in Germany and had reported to a senior Iranian intelligence official.

Hizballah members committed two suicide bombings of a particularly bloody nature in Buenos Aires. In the first, an attack on the Israeli Embassy building, 29 were killed and dozens were injured (March 1992). In the second, the bombing of the “Amia” Jewish community building, 86 were killed and dozens injured. Most of the casualties were Argentine nationals. Hizballah tried to carry out another suicide attack in Bangkok on March 1994, which failed due to a car accident involving the truck full of explosives on its way to the target. Iran, with the Hizballah acting as sub-contractor, was also suspected of involvement in the attack on the American military base at Daharan, where 19 American soldiers were killed in June 1996.

Another no less significant element in the Hizballah’s involvement in international terror, which is largely unknown to the public at large, is the assistance provided by Iran and the Hizballah to numerous other terrorist organizations. Beneficiaries of this assistance represent a broad range of ideologies, sometimes even opposing the fundamentalist Shi’ite worldview. The Hizballah has trained activists from the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Gama’a Islamiya, the Algerian GIA, the Syrian Hizballah. Members of fundamentalist Palestinian terrorist organizations have also received aide from Hizballah, including the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad of Palestine, as well as secular Marxist organizations such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (George Habash’s group) and the Popular Front-General Command (Ahmad Jibril’s group). These activities are currently conducted with the aim of enhancing the performance of these organizations and to ensure maximum fatalities and damage to their common adversaries.

Hizballah Operations after Israel’s Withdrawal from Lebanon

Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon, pursuant to Resolution 425 of the UN Security Council of May 2000, created a propaganda problem as well as a genuine challenge for the future of the Hizballah as an independent player in Lebanon. Over the entire course of Hizballah’s struggle with Israel, Israel’s presence in Lebanon constituted the primary justification for the organization’s military operations and helped to establish its legitimacy as a “national liberation movement”. With the support of this image, the organization continued its terrorist activities using international air routes for the infiltration of terrorists into Israel’s territory. One operation of this kind involved a Lebanese accountant named Hussein Mukdad, who was sent via Switzerland to Israel to execute a terrorist operation in the heart of Jerusalem in April 1996. The murder of many civilians was prevented only due to a “work-related” accident, which occurred when Mukdad mishandled the bomb in the Lawrence Hotel. He was severely injured in the blast. Hizballah also sent a German citizen, Steven Smirek on a mission to Israel via Holland. Smirek was recruited to the organization in Germany and was sent to Israel on a suicide mission. His arrest at Ben Gurion Airport prevented the murder of Israeli citizens in November 1997[5].

Although the launching of katyusha rockets at civilian towns and kibbutz communities in the north of Israel are clear acts of terror, these operations did nothing to mar the organization’s image as a purely military organization. Neither did UN General Director, Kofi Anan’s formal declaration, regarding Israel’s full compliance with UN Resolution 425, bring about the desired change in Hizballah’s pattern of operations. Even after Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, the Hizballah refused to lay down its arms, and instead invented new arguments to justify its military and terrorist operations. Underlying these arguments were two premises: one, the demanded that Israel “liberate” the “Shaba’a Farm” lands, (i.e. Mount Dov), which allegedly belonged to Lebanon and; second, that Israel release Lebanese prisoners held in Israeli jails. The organization believed that both demands provided sufficient justification for its continued operations against northern Israel as well as its support of terrorist activities by the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Palestine.

Certain elements in the Lebanese public, fearing the renewal of an armed conflict with Israel as a mechanism for the solution of the political conflicts between Israel and Lebanon, were critical of Hizballah’s continued militancy. The international community too voiced lukewarm criticism, but refrained from taking practical steps to restrain Hizballah’s actions. The Lebanese government, headed by President Hariri, who criticized Hizballah’s conduct from time to time, took no pragmatic steps to bring the Hizballah into line. In fact, the organization prevented the President from dictating the tone of the relationship between both countries. Hizballah continued to conduct military provocations by firing into Israeli territory. The situation escalated further with Hizballah’s kidnapping and murder of three Israeli soldiers patrolling inside Israeli territory in October 2000. The same month, an Israeli businessman was kidnapped while abroad on a business trip and transferred to Lebanon. At a press conference in Beirut, Nasrallah justified the kidnapping by accusing the Israeli businessman of being an agent of the “Israeli Security Forces”. Nasrallah claimed that the individual entered Lebanon of his own free will, although he declared that the man’s release was contingent upon the release of hundreds of Palestinian detainees held by Israel. Thus, the Hizballah reverted to the pattern of behavior of the 1980s, when it kidnapped hostages in repeated attempts to gain political gains.

The outbreak of the current conflict with the Palestinians, which came to be known as the “El Aksa Intifada”, in September 2000, provided a golden opportunity for the Hizballah to further justify its comprehensive military strategy against Israel. This was reflected in the following actions:

1. Increased training of Palestinian terror organization members, especially members of the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, including the extension of training activities to other “rejectionist” organizations.
2. Activation of senior PA officers, such as Massoud Nasser, a colonel in Fatah’s Force 17 (Arafat’s Presidential Guard), who, together with the Hizballah, established a terror cells which executed terror attacks against Israel.
3. Recruitment and activation of Israeli Arabs in terrorist cells to commit acts of terror against Israel.
4. Continuation of the infiltration activists via Israe’s international borders to commit acts of terror. In January 2001, a Hizballah recruit, Gerard Shuman was caught in Israel after arriving on a flight from London.
5. Smuggling of large quantities of sophisticated weapons, including standard explosives and katyusha rockets to upgrade the strike capability of the terrorist organizations against Israel[6].

Hizballah: a “National Resistance” Group?

Hizballah’s regional aspirations (and Nasrallah’s own personal ambition) extended beyond Lebanese borders and were reflected in the organization’s actions not only in Israel, but in Egypt and Jordan as well. Nasrallah, in typical fashion, assumed the cloak of guardian and protector of the rights of the exploited class. He appealed to the “downtrodden” via religious motifs and stretched the limits of the concept of “national resistance” ad absurdum to include the “liberation” of Lebanese, Iranian and other Islamic nationalities. In one speech, Nasrallah referred to the Hizballah’s interest in supporting the Intifada and noted that he wished we were able to list all the operations Hizballah conducted in support of “Occupied Palestine,’ saying, “the interest is in the level of deeds rather than words.” He went on to say that, “It is in our interest to provide complete financial and diplomatic assistance to the Intifada. The support the Hizballah provides Palestinians is a religious duty.”[7] In this speech, Nasrallah expressed the organization’s absolute commitment to the Palestinian problem and rejected both the justification and the legality of Israel’s claim to existence. “It is devoid of any legal effect and no individual, emir or president is authorized to recognize it or grant it legitimacy.”[8]

The transfer of weapons to the Palestinians is one of Hizballah’s greatest and most important duties, according to Nasrallah. Weapons can be transferred from Jordan, since its borders [with Israel] are extensive. It is Hizballah’s duty to do all that it can to get these weapons into the hands of the Palestinian terrorist groups. [9]

Nasrallah also mentioned the arrest of three Lebanese citizens in Jordan in the summer of 2001. In their possession were two dozen katyusha rockets, which they intended either to fire from Jordan or to smuggle into Israel. After an extended period of silence on the matter, the Hizballah admitted, through its leader, that the Lebanese citizens were members of the organization, and that their intention was to smuggle the rockets into Palestinian hands inside Israel. Nasrallah went even further by sharply criticizing King Abdullah of Jordan for daring to prevent the Hizballah from smuggling weapons to the Palestinians through Jordan.[10]

Lebanese officials condemn Nasrallah’s independent and dangerous policy and his presuming to dictate Lebanese policy. Nasrallah has repeately embarrassed the Lebanese government, which has been forced to admit that its lack of knowledge about the organization’s operations, such as the smuggling attempt in Jordan, was simply due to Hizballah’s failure to provide the information. The editor of the Lebanese daily Al Nahar attacked Nasrallah statements on the issue, saying that the Hizballah leader’s proclamations “undermine the credibility of senior Lebanese officials who denied any connection to the arrests or the weapons.”[11]

Hizballah’s role, together with Iran, in the “Karine A” smuggling incident (January 2002), came to light during the investigation of the ship’s captain, who reported that a senior Hizballah member was involved in loading the weapons onboard. The ship was intended to pass through the Suez Canal and unload the weapons to a second ship, from where they would be delivered to the Palestinian Authority, via the coast of Gaza.

A publication on behalf of a Maronite group called “The Central Bureau for National Coordination,” who oppose both Hizballah’s attempt to coerce Lebanon into a military confrontation with Israel and its intervention in the domestic affairs of the neighboring Arab countries criticized Hizballah’s “foreign involvement.” The publication noted that the Hizballah maintains branches abroad, in contradiction to its leaders’ statements to the contrary. [12]

The Hizballah, in fact, maintains terrorist cells all over the world. This fact was discovered when members of the organization committed acts of terror in states in Africa, Europe, South America and Asia. Hizballah is known to establish bases for its terror activities in communities of Lebanese Shi’ite emigrants all over the world. Some members of these communities engage in fundraising for the organization’s operations in Lebanon. One such individual, Assad Ahmad Barakat, was arrested in Rio de Janeiro on 22 June 2002. He was accused of recruiting new members for the organization from the Arab-Muslim population in the “tri-border region.” Barakat, whose arrest followed a request from the Paraguayan Authorities for his extradition, also engaged in raising funds for Hizballah. [13]

Hizballah has also been working towards expanding its ranks by recruiting local Shi’ite Asians. Thus, five Singaporean citizens were recruited by Hizballah operatives in the mid-1990’s. An official spokesman of the Singaporean Interior Ministry confirmed the arrest of the five earlier this year.[14] The suspects were accused of collecting pre-attack intelligence on the American and Israeli embassies and on ships in Singapore’s harbor. In addition, the detention of Hizballah operatives in 1999 and 2000 in the Philippines and the disruption of Hizballah’s plans to recruit Malaysians and Indonesians to conduct terrorist attacks in Australia and Israel are compelling evidence of a worrying trend.[15]

From time to time, Hizballah identifies candidates for recruitment into the ranks of the organization. Although the direct commission of acts of terror abroad has diminished in recent years, the organization’s operational infrastructure is still active and awaits decisions from headquarters in Lebanon or instructions from Iran to realize its potential and commit acts of terror against its rivals.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut announced that Hizballah’s involvement in smuggling arms into Jordan confirms U.S. claim that the organization uses its foreign branches to activate terror. The Hizballah Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naim Kassem, countered that “it is not true that the operation in Jordan proves that the Hizballah has an external arm, because the operation was an integral part of its support to the resistance against the occupation [of Palestine] and that this is completely different than ‘foreign defense.’”[16] Such a statement is indicative of Hizballah’s characteristic Orwellian double talk, which stretches the limits of the definition of the concept of “national resistance” ad absurdum. The more Hizballah attempts to justify every act as a part of a struggle for “national resistance” the more the organization confirms that its true aspirations extend beyond the borders of the state of Lebanon.

The Hizballah’s Position on the September 11 Attacks on the U.S.

Hizballah’s position with regard to the terror attacks in the United States was cautious, echoing that of its patron state, Iran. However, the organization’s Secretary General expressed a completely different position a short while after the events. Although his statement expressed reservations about the employment of terror, he nonetheless placed the blame for the attacks on the United States. In Nasrallah’s speech in Lebanon, commemorating the Hizballah’s first suicide bomber, he expressed open hostility toward the U.S., expressed sympathy for the motives of the perpetrators of the September 11 attackers and condemned the American response. [17] Nasrallah claimed that the military campaign in Afghanistan is unjustified and unlawful and symbolizes the tyranny and conceit of the U.S., which, he said, aimed to dictate the conduct of the entire world. Nasrallah condemned U.S. involvement in the Middle East, as well as its support for Israel, noting that after September 11, the U.S. was “more hostile to Muslims and Arabs” and therefore “we must continue the path of resistance and the path of the First and Second Intifada.”

Referring to the war against the Taliban and Ben Laden and terror in general, Nasrallah claimed that “this is not just a war against Islam and Moslems, because to say that would be a mistake. This is also a war against Christians, but this description is also incomplete and incorrect.” He sees it as “a war by a tyrannical, despotic and patronizing country against anyone who refuses to surrender [to its will].” He recommended adopting the definition coined by Imam Homeini, who said, “this is a war of the patronizing people of the world against the oppressed people…” adding, “this is a war of all the people on earth who are oppressed, enslaved and tortured”.

Nasrallah believes that the U.S. is exploiting international collaboration for its own interests: “the only power that controls the world, but [does this] from behind the mask of the UN, the Security Council and fictitious collaboration with countries such as France, China and Great Britain…. After the September 11th 2001, the U.S. has granted itself the right to classify the nations of the world as terrorists or supporters of terror or not. It grants only to itself the right to determine the definition and standards of terror.” On the issue of including his organization at the head of the list of international terror organizations, Nasrallah claimed that Americans criticize the position of the Lebanese government because the Hizballah killed innocent individuals. “We, of course, would like to know who are these innocent individuals that we killed in our country,” he says.

Nasrallah called upon the entire world to oppose the aggression against the Afghanistan people and added, “this was and is unacceptable, damned, unlawful, tyrannical, exploitative and fundamentally enslaving.” He was particularly scathing in his critique of Americans and their presidents: “Americans behave ignorantly, conceitedly, stupidly, radically, in a patronizing and tyrannical manner and they do not behave intelligently.” Regarding President Bush, Nasrallah said, “his stupidity, conceit and foolishness will kill him: that is what we are waiting for.”

In his speech, Nasrallah divulges his dreams and aspirations to lead a large following beyond the narrow boundaries of his current organization. “I say that the world will quickly step towards a multi-polar global order…if we reach a multi-polar world, then there will be regional powers [implying that the Hizballah lead by himself will become such as regional power], with broader margins and freedom of actions to achieve the required victory and attain their legitimate rights. We await this future with great hope and optimism.”

Finally, Nasrallah emphasizes the argument which underlies his organization’s claim for international legitimacy, saying, “We distinguish between resistance and terror”[18]. It is difficult to ignore the similarity between the worldview of the Sunni militant bin Laden and that used to justify Nasrallah’s Shi’ite terrorism. At times, even the terminology used is identical; certainly there is similarity in the contents of the arguments supporting acts of terror against innocent civilians. Both movements see the civilian population of their enemies as “legitimate military targets.”

In this speech, Nasrallah summarizes the Hizballah’s future policy and the lines of defense it will use in its anticipated confrontation with the U.S. and the members of the international coalition against terror. This confrontation is foreseen as part of the demand that terror-supporting states such as Iran, Syria and Lebanon restrain the terrorist activities of Hizballah. The demand includes the surrender of members who committed international acts of terror, especially Imad Mughniyah, Hizballah’s Operational Commander and member of the Hizballah’s “Shura” (governing body). Mughniyah was directly involved in the majority of the international terrorist attacks committed by the Hizballah during its history.

The Hizballah and the Anti-Terror Coalition – Challenge and Response

The Hizballah is digging in for the anticipated confrontation with the U.S. and its partners in the international coalition against terror. Beyond, consolidating its political and military defensive capabilities, the organization is engaged in identifying its own points of weakness and strength.

In terms of military and terrorist might, the Hizballah operates on the presumption that its strength and operational capabilities are sufficient to commit painful acts of terror in the event of an attack against the organization’s bases in Lebanon. This assessment is based on the weapons at its disposal, which, due to the ongoing supply received from Iran, and the support of the Syrian government, via Damascus international airport, are formidable. Hizballah’s long-range missiles are seen as the main weapons of deterrence against Israel, in case of an attack by the latter. The organization simultaneously relies on its operational infrastructure, which is dispersed worldwide, to attack coalition targets outside of Lebanon.

On the political level, the Hizballah can count on the strategic alliance it maintains with the Iranian government, as well as its joint interests with the Syrian government, which sees in Hizballah an important element in its conflict with Israel. The Hizballah also relies on its ever-strengthening ties with European states, such as Germany, France and Great Britain. From the organization’s perspective, the policies of these European nations may be at odds with those of the United States, as shown by the EU’s decision not to include the Hizballah in the list of terrorist organizations published after September 11th.

On the other hand, President Bush must design a strategy for a comprehensive war against terror, and show great determination in the struggle against the Hizballah, due to the fact that the organization serves as a symbol and role model for other international terror organizations. This struggle is expected to encounter significant political difficulties, especially due to narrow political and economic interests of members of the current coalition, and certainly on the part of those states which are not members.

The following policy recommendations would greatly enhance the U.S. position with regard to the Hizballah:

1. Vigorous diplomatic action should be undertaken to define the Hizballah as a terrorist organization, based on its actions and operations in the international sphere, rather than based on its motives.
2. Steps should be taken to defuse the Hizballah’s military power as the single armed militia remaining in Lebanon, on the grounds that the reasons for its operation dissipated upon the end of the presence of foreign forces, as declared publicly and formally by the UN.
3. Hizballah should be made subject to the supervision and authority of the government of Lebanon and its operations should be limited to those of other political entities in the country.
4. An effort should be made to oust the Iranian Revolutionary Guards from Lebanon as a part of the general expulsion of foreign forces from Lebanon.
5. Steps should be taken to stop the massive aid provided to the Hizballah by Iran and Syria, thus undermining the Hizballah’s status as a regional military power. It is advised to conduct these actions in the context of the struggle by the international community against states supporting terror.
6. Steps should be taken to reach an agreement with other Arab League members to prevent the Hizballah from undermining their sovereignty and conducting subversive acts on their territory.

The success of the United States in achieving the aims of the war against international terrorist is contingent, inter alia, upon the ability of the international community to neutralize the actions of states supporting terror. The list of terrorism-sponsors in recent years is headed primarily by Iran, which continues to be the most active state in this field. The Hizballah functions as the central contractor of the Iranian terrorist policy. Removing the ultimate casus belli for Hizballah’s actions will have a signifeffect in neutralizing the potency of Iran’s terrorist policy.

Since its establishment more than twenty years ago, the Hizballah has been one of the leading terrorist organizations in the world. Despite this, the organization and its sponsors have suffered no consequences for this terrorist activity. Its commanders, who are among the most wanted terrorists in the world, remain at large and constitute an impediment to the attainment of the aims of the war against terror.

The success of the coalition in clipping the wings of this organization putting a halt to its terrorist activities—including the surrender of these wanted terrorists—is a real test of the coalition’s effectiveness. The success or failure in this will determine to a large extent, the success or failure of the entire campaign against international terrorism.


[1] Shimon Shapira, Hizballah between Iran & Lebanon, United Kibbutz Red Line publisher, p. 125 and Shaul Shai, Terror in the Service of the Imam, 20 years of Shi’ite Terror. The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

[2] Yoram Schweitzer, “Iranian Transitional Terrorism”,, 24 May 2001.

[3] Schweitzer, Y. “Suicide Terrorism: Development and Main Characteristics” in Countering Suicide Terrorism, ICT & ADL, 2002.

[4] Shay, S. Terror in the Service of the Imam – 20 Years of Shi’ite Terrorism. The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. 2001, pp. 65-66.

[5] Danny Stone, TV series “100 Years of Terror” – Chapter 4 – The Hizballah and Acts of International Terror.

[6] Shay, S. & Schweitzer, Y. “Al Aqsa Intifada Strategies of Asymmetric Confrontation”, Faultlines Writings on Conflict Resolution, Volume 8. Bulwork Books and The Institute for Conflict Management, 2001. p. 97.

[7] Al Manar, March 2, 2002 and Al Manar, September 6, 2001.

[8] Ibid, March 2, 2002

[9] Ibid March 2, 2002 and Al Day Elram, March 18, 2002

[10] Al Manar, March 2, 2002.

[11] Al Nahar, Internet March 14, 2002

[12] Al Hiyat, Internet March 13, 2002

[13] AP 23/6/02

[14] Reuters 8/6/02

[15] Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda - Global Network of Terror, p 149.

[16] El Ray El am Kuwait, March 18, 2002

[17] Al Manar, November 11.2002

[18] Ibid.