A Joint Project of Clare Lopez & Brannon Howse
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Together with Clare M. Lopez of Lopez Liberty LLC, I have just recently finished filming an 11-part series on Hizballah, the Lebanese Shi’ite criminal-terror organization. Clare organized the series into a set of Power Point (PPT) slides that address Hizballah’s ideology, relationship with Iran, internal organization, activities across the globe, financing sources, and overall threat to the Western world and especially the United States (U.S.). Over the course of a jam-packed weekend, Clare narrated the PPT for the video series.
I’ll soon begin releasing the individual video segments at www.wvwtv.com and plan to assemble the entire series for a DVD format shortly as well. My hope is that sharing this critical information will help inform all of you about a threat that’s a very real present danger in a time of heightened tensions with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is Hizballah’s state sponsor and the number one state sponsor of terror in the world.
It is truly frightening to realize that, even as Iran and its terror proxy Hizballah ramp up their capabilities – which include Hizballah operational cells all across the Western Hemisphere and right here in the U.S. – the U.S. government at top levels of national security has not yet come to grips fully with this threat. Working level officers of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) long have known full well what they were up against on the front lines of defense of this nation. Unfortunately, though, during the Obama administration, under the influence of the Washington, D.C.-based “Iran Lobby” and in single-minded overdrive to reach a nuclear accord with the Tehran regime, operations to counter Iran’s and Hizballah’s activities in the U.S. were actually shut down.
Added to that deliberate disregard for the Iran-Hizballah threat is an even more insidious trend that is driven by sophisticated information operations waged by the Muslim Brotherhood and the overall Islamic Movement that is both Shi’ite and Sunni. That trend comprises a complex campaign to gain control of the very language we use to describe the forces of jihad coming against us. The power to dictate what may be said in official and, increasingly, popular usage as well, about the enemy himself affords that enemy incredible ability to shape the official U.S. government response in its entirety. We have seen the seemingly inexorable advance of the Muslim Brotherhood, its front groups, and the Iran Lobby to positions of unthinkable access and influence inside our national security circles now for literally decades.
And while that campaign to gain control of the official USG lexicon regarding Islamic terror dates back to at least the 1960s, when the Muslim Brotherhood established the Muslim Students Association (MSA) as its first U.S. front group, with the Iranian revolution of 1979, the forces of Islam closed ranks and began working ever more in tandem.
What many of us call “The Great Purge” began under the George W. Bush presidential administration shortly after the 9/11 attacks, which to this day have not been acknowledged officially as conceived, prepared, and executed by Iran and Hizballah in collaboration with Al-Qa’eda, the Saudis, and the Taliban. Nor have Iran and Hizballah ever been held officially to account for their roles in those attacks. Because of the extent already in 2001 of jihadist penetration of the Bush administration, any such indicators or honest investigation in that direction were shut down – and remain shut down to this day, even under the Trump administration. During the years that followed 9/11, that jihadi penetration (with the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran Lobby in the vanguard) succeeded in imposing an inexorable purge of accurate language about Islam, jihad, shariah and what is written about them in the authoritative Islamic canon. By the time of the Obama administration (2009-2016), jihad forces had gained complete control over what could and could not be said, taught, or written about Islam and jihad inside the USG.
It literally became career-ending to speak truth about Islam within the USG. That is what we call “The Great Purge”. It has not yet even begun to be reversed after more than three years of the Trump administration, mostly because any who understand such issues are themselves purged or barred from access to national security officials.
With this in mind, Clare and I think it of the utmost importance to share with you the facts about Iran’s and Hizballah’s deadly criminal and terror operations and how they are inspired and motivated by Islamic doctrine. Our series does not mince words. We do not use euphemisms, prefixes, suffixes, or adjectives to describe the Islamic roots of those extensive operations that today reach deep inside our homeland. The power of language is ours to wield – not just the enemy’s. We hope that you will read this letter through and then watch our Hizballah video series, not to be terrified, but rather to be better informed so as to engage more knowledgeably as patriotic citizens in public discourse, on social and other media, and ultimately, in the voting booth.
Knowledge is power. Accurate language is power. Let us commit to wielding both in defense of our Republic’s foundational, first things principles so as to preserve our precious liberty for generations to come.
Let’s begin, then, with a summary overview of our new Hizballah video series, in hopes that this will encourage you to view the segments each in turn as they are released and then perhaps to watch for the DVD to be produced and released so that you can watch this information yourselves and then share with others.
Hizballah Overview & Nature of the Threat
As we explain in the first segment of our Hizballah video series, Hizballah is a wholly owned subsidiary arm of the Iranian regime for power projection across the world. It is an Islamic jihadist terror organization, a transnational criminal organization (TCO), and a dominating military, political, and social power within Lebanon itself. Hizballah was named to the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list in 1997. Before 9/11, it had been responsible for more U.S. deaths by terror attack than any other group. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage once called Hizballah “the A-team” and al-Qa’eda the “B team.” Former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff echoed Armitage’s assessment, saying that Hizballah made al-Qa’eda “look like a minor league team.” Their understanding of Hizballah’s lethal terror capabilities was not overstated and remains accurate to this day.
One of the most important insights into how Hizballah operates is captured in a matrix illustration that Clare created to show the multi-faceted nature of Hizballah operations. In the four squares of the matrix are shown the flags of Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia—because each in its way, collaborates and contributes to the overall jihad threat. Iran and Hizballah are in the vanguard of that threat, but Qatar’s financial support and Saudi Arabia’s (at least earlier) ideological leadership have been integral elements, too. Sub-national jihad groups like Hizballah, but also including al-Qa’eda, HAMAS, the Islamic State, and the Muslim Brotherhood, are backed and supported by the jihadist nation states. Across the criminal world, narcotrafficking cartels, black arms dealers, and purveyors of official documents all play a role, too. Hizballah interacts closely with all of these.
From the start here, it is essential to understand that Hizballah was created by the Iranian regime and remains its loyal cat’s paw. Hizballah acts on orders from Tehran. The chain of command goes directly upward from Hizballah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah through the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Qods Force unit to the Supreme Leader of Iran himself: the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. That relationship can be as close as it is because Iran and Hizballah share the same Islamic Shi’ite ideology. Hizballah recognizes and obeys the authority of the Iranian Velayat-e Faqih system. Its world view is the same as Iran’s and its mission is Iran’s mission, all under the Islamic obligation to wage jihad fi sabilallah (in the way of Allah) to conquer the earth and subjugate it all to a universal Islamic State under rule of Islamic Law (shariah).
Hizballah grew out of pre-existing Shi’ite militias in southern Lebanon in the early 1980s. Its objective was both the eventual domination of the Lebanese state and the expansion of the Iranian revolution across the world. Today, Hizballah has a presence in dozens of countries, including a well-established foothold in the Americas.
Shi’ite Eschatology, Velayat-e Faqih
As we began to explain above, the Shi’ite eschatology of the Twelfth Imam guides the beliefs and behavior of both Hizballah and Iran. That Shi’ite eschatology grew out of the early split within the Muslim community after the death of Muhammad, dated to 632 CE. His followers could not agree on who should succeed him, resulting in armed conflict, assassinations, and eventually a sectarian divide between the Sunnis (who chose to select their caliphs from among the overall Muslim community) and the Shi’ites who believe the succession after Muhammad should follow his family blood line.
As a result, historically and to this day, the majority of the world’s Muslims (85% or more) are Sunni and some 12-15% are Shi’ites, with the remainder divided among smaller factions. While belief in all the major tenets of Islam – conquest by jihad, Islamic supremacism, Jew-hatred, “martyrdom”, and the general concepts of the End Times and Day of Judgment – are common to both Shi’ites and Sunnis, the Shi’ites accord far more importance to their clerical hierarchy and of course, believe that Islam’s messianic figure, the Mahdi, is the Twelfth Imam in the line of succession after Muhammad.
Probably as a result of being the perpetual minority sect within Islam, Shi’ites have long placed special importance on the concept of “martyrdom” – or dying in jihad, fighting for Allah. The imprint of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s own personal ideology on both Iran and Hizballah also plays a key role in their beliefs, especially when it comes to the idea peculiar to Twelver Shi’ite eschatology that the 12th Imam (or Mahdi) may be encouraged to expedite his return to earth by the acts of the believers in causing chaos, strife, and warfare on earth...an especially alarming idea among a regime driving for a nuclear weapon.
Hizballah Leadership, Admin, Organization
Over the years since its formation in the early 1980’s, Hizballah has developed a complex, but very hierarchical, leadership structure. At the top is Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, who reports directly to Tehran. Within the organization are functional and geographical divisions with distinct responsibilities for operations within Lebanon and abroad. While many governments, especially in Western Europe, continue to recognize a bifurcated organizational structure within Hizballah and ban the so-called “military wing” while permitting the so-called “political wing” to operate freely on their soil, Hizballah’s own leadership, including its Deputy Naim Qassem, openly and repeatedly assert that there is no such division within the group.
One of the most important units within Hizballah has been called the “Special Apparatus” or sometimes “Unit 910.” This is the division long headed by arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh (until his 2008 assassination in Damascus, Syria). It is the unit responsible for overseas terror operations, like the 1992 and 1994 suicide bomb attacks in Buenos Aires, Argentina and 9/11. The direct chain of command for Unit 910 goes through the IRGC’s Qods Force, until 3 January 2020, headed by MG Qassem Soleimani.
Unit 910 is the Hizballah division responsible for establishing cell networks around the world, including the extensive one operating across Latin America and into the U.S. In the U.S., those cell networks often find cover amidst Lebanese Shi’ite communities in places like Dearborn, MI or in some of the Chicago, IL suburbs. Cell leaders may often be senior, respected members of the local business community with various levels of Hizballah cell membership and more generalized popular support organized around them. The local Shi’ite mosque or Islamic Center and its imam and other clerics likewise may be supportive of the Hizballah/Iran mission. Such interlocking and overlapping support structures that depend on local ethnic and Islamic loyalty can prove difficult for local law enforcement to monitor; all too often, that local law enforcement is itself penetrated and co-opted by the Hizballah networks.
Hizballah Mission & Activities in Lebanon
Iran’s original objective for Hizballah was to gain control within Lebanon, throughout Lebanese society. That goal largely has been achieved, with Hizballah in a dominating position militarily, in politics, and virtually every sector of Lebanese society. Most important today is Hizballah’s virtual control over the Lebanese parliament and Cabinet, where it holds a veto-proof majority. Militarily, too, Hizballah’s forces are far more powerful, better equipped, and better trained than the Lebanese Armed Forces themselves.
Part of the way Hizballah seeks to win the hearts and minds of the Lebanese people, especially among the historically marginalized Shi’ite population, is through a plethora of social services. These include a full range of schools, from pre-school through university level, all geared to operate as conveyor belts for youth eventually to join the ranks of Hizballah itself. There are clinics, orphanages, summer camps, and a whole network of sports clubs at the service especially of poor Hizballah families, but also meant to win the loyalty of the rest of Lebanese society, too. It is important to note here that when European governments permit Hizballah to raise funds within their borders, that money may be advertised as for a clinic or orphanage, but given that money is fungible, such funds in fact amount to that much of the budget that Hizballah may now devote to terror and weapons.
This segment of the video series also devotes a number of slides to various other of Hizballah’s social operations including its massively funded media conglomerate. Online, radio, and TV outlets blanket the Middle East with programming in Arabic, English, and Farsi and include Spanish language programs for the Western Hemisphere.
One last element of Hizballah’s domination within Lebanese society involves the Maronite Catholic Church (which is subordinate to the Vatican in Rome). Maronites are what is left of Lebanon’s ancient Christian population, which took a drubbing in the horrific Lebanese civil war from 1975-1990. As a direct result of that experience, primarily at the hands Sunni Muslim militias, Lebanon’s Maronite Christians turned to Shi’ite Hizballah for protection. That relationship today is closer than ever, with the wartime leader of the Maronite community, Gen. Michel Aoun, now Lebanon’s Hizballah-approved president. The problem is that the Maronite Church has been co-opted by Hizballah. Its Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai, who is also a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, is known among Lebanese as the “Hizballah Patriarch.” With both a Hizballah and Maronite Catholic Church presence throughout the U.S., I think we can see the potential for a troubling influence operation threat here in the homeland.
Hizballah’s Regional Activities
As we’ve noted above, Hizballah is Iran’s premier terror militia for influence and power projection abroad. Its job is to spread the Iranian revolution through jihad (what we would call terrorism). Indeed, the objectives of the Iranian regime are spelled out very clearly in the Iranian constitution as global in nature to establish an Islamic State under rule of shariah. The IRGC has a section all its own, under the heading “An Ideological Army.” There, the Iranian constitution describes the IRGC’s job as not merely defense of the country’s borders but to spread Islam, jihad, and revolution across the world. That paragraph includes a citation from the Qur’an itself, in Surah 8, Verse 60, where it says “Prepare your forces to the utmost of your ability, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy…”
From 1998 until his death in early January 2020, MG Qassem Soleimani led the Qods Force, as the “tip of the spear” for the Tehran regime’s program to establish, arm, fund, and train proxy terror militias around the Middle East region and beyond. Among such militias are HAMAS, Hizballah, the Iraqi Shi’ite militias known as the Hashd-e Shaabi (or Popular Mobilization Units, PMUs), Gaza’s Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Taliban. We’ll notice that these groups include both Sunnis and Shi’ites. At the macro level of “balanced opposition,” Islam divides the world into two parts: the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam), where shariah is enforced, and the Dar al-Harb (House of War), which is the target for Islamic conquest. So, we can see how the Iranian regime could work so readily with Sunni jihad groups, including al-Qa’eda, HAMAS, and the Taliban.
We’ll look at Hizballah’s activities in Latin America in greater detail below, but here suffice to say that the model of operation there is a bit different than across the Middle East. In South America especially, Hizballah has been more involved in criminal activities, including narcotrafficking, than it has with establishment of proxy terror groups.
Hizballah: An Historical Rap Sheet
Next, we take a closer look at the very long “rap sheet” Hizballah has racked up over the decades since its founding in the early 1980s. From the American perspective, those terror attacks began with the suicide bombings against our Embassy and Marine Corps Barracks in Beirut in 1983. As the late, great military commander 4-star Admiral James “Ace” Lyons used to tell us, President Reagan was all ready to strike back at Hizballah’s Beka’a Valley headquarters in just retaliation for those deadly attacks and Ace Lyons had been tapped to organize the strike together with the French, who’d also been hit. But due to the cowardly intervention of then-Secretary of Defense Caspar “Cap” Weinberger, who feared losing Arab support around the Middle East, Reagan was persuaded to call off the U.S. strike. Ace spoke often about his frustration at this decision and the likelihood of an entirely different subsequent trajectory for Iran and Hizballah had he been permitted to carry out that return strike against Hizballah.
I think it can be persuasively argued that had the U.S. understood the ideology and the mentality of the Iranian regime and Hizballah then, in 1983, and struck back at them with devastating force, they would have taken away a very different assessment of the U.S. As it was, then and in so many later attacks by Iran and Hizballah against American citizens, both civilian and military, the Iranian and Hizballah leadership were allowed to develop the perception that the U.S. feared them and would never hit back, no matter what they did to us. This was, in my opinion, one of the worst failings of the U.S. national security establishment, including President Jimmy Carter before and five more U.S. presidents after, in the history of the U.S.-Iran relationship. Arguably, their policies encouraged incessant and increasing aggression by the Iranian regime and its proxies, like Hizballah, up until President Trump finally dispelled that impression of weakness with the targeted assassination of MG Qassem Soleimani on 3 January 2020.
Let’s continue our look at the trail of blood and tears Hizballah has left behind over the years. While senior U.S. national security leadership seemed only to take note of the terror alliance forged among Iran, Hizballah, and al-Qa’eda in Khartoum, Sudan in late 1990 after the 9/11 attacks, that collaboration among Sunni and Shi’ite jihadis set the stage for much that was to come, including to the present day. The 1996 Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia, the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings in Dar Es Salaam and Nairobi, and the 2000 attack against the USS Cole in Yemen were all preludes to the 9/11 attacks themselves. But again, because our top U.S. leadership did not understand the Islamic imperative to jihad or realize what the Khartoum agreement had meant, we were taken by surprise time and again.
We’ve mentioned the 1992 Iran-ordered Hizballah attack against the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the 1994 attack against the Jewish cultural center in that city. There were many others, but the 9/11 attacks were the horrific culmination of decades of refusal by U.S. leaders to understand Islam, jihad, and the dictates of shariah. The Havlish legal case, for which Clare was an Expert Witness, concluded in December 2011 with a ruling from Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York Federal District Court that Iran and Hizballah were co-responsible with al-Qa’eda for the attacks of 9/11. As this ruling came during the Obama administration, which was intent upon reaching an accord with the Iranian regime, its conclusions were suppressed and ignored.
The summary conclusions as well as all the supporting affidavits, one of which was co-authored by Clare and her colleague Dr. Bruce Tefft, may be found online under the “Exhibits” tab at the Havlish case website: www.iran911case.com
Finally, more recently, Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism organization published in January 2020 an excellent report on dozens of prosecutions of Iranian and Hizballah operatives caught and charged with various crimes, including pre-attack casing and surveillance of targets inside the U.S. This report adds an important current dimension to the concerns we should all be feeling about Hizballah operations here in the U.S.
Tolerance for Hizballah in Europe
Looking at Hizballah operations in Europe, we note the continuing reluctance of many Western European governments to ban the entirety of the Hizballah organization as a terrorist operation. And as we noted earlier, the ability of Hizballah operatives to live among Shi’ite Lebanese populations in Europe and to fundraise in mosques there, contributes significantly to Hizballah’s coffers as well as to its ability to organize and execute terror operations in Europe itself.
Some among Western European countries do seem at last to be acknowledging the malign presence and activities of Hizballah on their soil. For example, the Hamburg, Germany intelligence service issued a report in July 2019 about the ties to Hizballah among several dozen mosques and cultural centers across Germany. Even more alarmingly, in June 2019, the British publication, the Telegraph, reported on a Hizballah plot to stockpile tons of explosives materials near London. The only thing was, that plot was uncovered by MI 5 and the Metropolitan Police with assistance from the Israeli Mossad back in 2015. It was held back from disclosure to the public, however, because the U.K., along with the U.S., China, France, and Russia were then finalizing a nuclear deal with Iran that the British did not want to derail.
Earlier plots thwarted in Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany and Italy involved similar stockpiling of explosives, money laundering, and other crimes. The most lethal Hizballah operation on European soil was the suicide bombing of a Bulgarian tour bus carrying Israeli tourists in 2012 in the Black Sea port city of Burgas. Six Israelis, the bus driver, and the bomber were killed, and 32 others injured in that attack.
The Trump administration is working closely with Europol, Interpol, and European governments to counter Hizballah operations in Europe and urging European governments to designate the entirety of Hizballah as a terrorist organization.
Hizballah in Latin America
Hizballah got its first foothold in the Western Hemisphere by riding the vector of Lebanese Shi’ite emigres who were fleeing the civil war that tore Lebanon apart from 1975-1990. It found the ideal spot to establish its presence in the so-called “Tri-Border Area” of South America. This is the place where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay all meet. It’s been a place poorly policed by any of the three countries’ security forces and criminal activity of all kinds flourished there long before Hizballah arrived. But it offered the perfect environment in which Hizballah could blend in and begin to establish its criminal and terror networks. We’ll recall that it was from its Tri-Border Area of operations that Hizballah executed the bombing attacks against the Israeli Embassy and Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires.
From the Tri-Border Area, Hizballah began to expand throughout South America, eventually benefiting additionally from the close working relationship forged between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez when each led his respective country from 2008-2013. Iran used its Venezuelan connections to establish additional diplomatic missions (useful for IRGC, Qods Force, and intelligence cover positions) and to place its operatives in mosques, Islamic Centers, and all kinds of business fronts. Such relationships assisted Iran to evade U.S. and international financial sanctions and with claims to some measure of international legitimacy.
Proximity to the Colombian narcotrafficking business also allowed Hizballah to extend its own Middle East and Afghan drug trafficking operations to the Western Hemisphere. Cocaine, opium, and marijuana are produced in Colombia and then moved eastward through Venezuela and across the Atlantic Ocean to West Africa for ultimate destinations in Europe. Those drugs are also moved northward from Colombia, through Central America, to be picked up by the Mexican drug cartels, which move them into the U.S. and Canada.
Hizballah is involved in all of that, not as competition to the cartels, but rather in collaboration with them. Hizballah, for example, offers explosives and tunneling expertise to the cartels in return for use of their trafficking channels especially into the U.S. and Canada. Overall, Hizballah’s narcotrafficking operations comprise a major part of its overall funding stream.
Hizballah’s Criminal and Terror Threat to the U.S.
Until more recently, the American public really did not have a good view of all this criminal and terror activity by Hizballah. Absent much media coverage and thanks especially to the Obama administration’s reluctance to take any steps that might jeopardize its nuclear talks with the Iranian regime, most of us probably did not realize the extent of either Hizballah’s presence or it malign activities right in our own backyard.
Our brave officers on the front lines of CBP, DEA, and FBI knew, though. And even as they risked their lives daily to defend the American people from this criminality and terror, they were repeatedly frustrated in those efforts because the top levels of the U.S. government did not want any public attention drawn to what Iran and Hizballah were up to. A good example of this was “Operation Cassandra”.
A multi-agency, multi-national operation to counter Hizballah and cartel drug trafficking, money laundering, and other associated crimes in the Western Hemisphere, Cassandra achieved a number of arrests and prosecutions at first. But then its ability to pursue leads and bring them to justice slowly was stifled and finally shut down completely. Only more recently, under the Trump administration and a reinvigorated Department of Justice has Operation Cassandra been revived.
We’ve talked about a long rap sheet of Hizballah criminal operations across the globe, but here let’s add just a few of the most notable cases that have come to public light because of the success of our incredibly brave and professional law enforcement and national security officers. This will give us all an appreciation for the incredible scope of criminality that Hizballah engages in, much of it right here on American soil.
Operation Smokescreen, although dating back to 1998-2002, gives us a good picture of how Hizballah has been able to operate as a Transnational Criminal Operation (TCO) here in the U.S. Centered in Charlotte, NC, Smokescreen was a Hizballah operation to reap profits from the illegal interstate movement and sale of cigarettes to take advantage of differing levels of state taxes. What’s especially illustrative about this operation is the broad range of criminal charges eventually brought against the Hizballah operatives who ran it. Interstate transport of stolen goods, immigration fraud, credit card fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to provide material support/providing material support to a terrorist organization, and RICO/racketeering charges were among those presented in court. As U.S. prosecutors laid out the case, it became clear that Hizballah had manipulated the U.S. system “with ease,” as one of them put it. In other words, Hizballah found the U.S. to be a permissive operating environment.
Operation Titan was a 2008 joint operation involving U.S., Colombian, European, Mexican, Panamanian and other security forces to take down a massive cocaine trafficking and money laundering network centered in Colombia. Both the Colombian FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and Hizballah were involved and making enormous profits from the operation, much of which Hizballah sent back to its Beirut headquarters.
Other ways that Hizballah rakes in millions of dollars in illicit profits include production of counterfeit currency and counterfeit pharmaceutical products, production and peddling of contraband brand name items, forcible extortion and kickbacks from Lebanese businesses, and the collection of zakat (the obligatory tax on Muslims and firms doing Shariah Compliant Financing).
Hizballah Intelligence Operations
The last area that we have focused on in this very comprehensive study of Hizballah may be the most important of all. While we’ve centered our attention on Hizballah’s criminal and terror activities, the expertise that enables and ties together all the rest is its sophisticated intelligence capability. Trained by the Iranians, who themselves were trained directly by the Soviet/Russian KGB, Hizballah operatives undergo extensive courses in Iran. That coursework includes all aspects of classical clandestine intelligence.
The number one priority for Hizballah intelligence operatives is infiltration and influence operations. Top targets include American academics (in Middle East studies programs, for example); local law enforcement; local Arab, Lebanese, and other Muslim communities; media; and national security agencies like the CIA and FBI. In the age of the Internet, Hizballah uses online social media to identify, cultivate, recruit, and even train potential assets.
At a time when U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly have been reported in the open source media to have lost agents and networks targeting Hizballah and Iran, we unfortunately have read of cases like that of Nadia Prouty, who prior to her 2008 discovery, had penetrated both the CIA and the FBI, allegedly using her access to check whether Hizballah friends and relatives were under investigation.
To sum up, then, we need to realize that America is indeed under siege. The Iranian regime and its Hizballah proxies are capable, sophisticated, and intent upon destroying this nation along with all of our freedoms and cherished Judeo-Christian foundational principles. We are most grateful for your engagement, your patriotism, and your commitment to keeping America the land of the free and home of the brave.
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