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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 17, 2003

THE FRANCHISING OF HEZBOLLAH

This article in freemancenter.org notes that America needs to go after Muslim terror groups beyond al-Quida if they want to end terroism.
[...]Western intelligence has now revealed a high level of cooperation between Bin Laden and Imad Muganiyeh, the Hezbullah terrorist who masterminded some of Hezbollah's most spectacular atrocities and kidnappings in Lebanon. Reports have Muganiyeh first meeting with Bin Laden as early as 1995 and those meetings have continued.

More than this, since al-Qaida fled Afghanistan at the end of last year, the Sunday Telegraph reports, between 80 and 100 al- Qaida fighters were provided with false passports by Hezbollah before being relocated to southern Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The same report acknowledges that Hezbollah, working hand in hand with al-Qaida, has set up cells in the Far East including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. It is well known that Hezbollah has operated in Gaza and the West Bank for years, but the recent revelation by the Shin Bet in Israel that al- Qaida has now also joined them there, is chilling evidence of a level of cooperation previously unsuspected.

Such news comes as a dire warning to American, Israeli and Jewish communities throughout the world. A world wide campaign of destruction, linking two of the most fanatical and murderous terrorist operations on earth should be of grave concern to all who understand the war against terrorism as a world war, ablaze with all the lethality of the conflagrations that preceded it. While Iraq certainly presents a menace to world peace, we ignore the growing relationship between al-Qaida and Hezbollah at our peril.

Yet there are signs that some American leaders are starting to get it. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Graham, told CNN in November that the U.S. should launch attacks on Hezballah and Hamas headquarters and training camps. Graham said the U.S. made a major mistake in the 1990s when "al Qaeda was training hundreds, if not thousands of people in the skills of terrorism in those camps in Afghanistan. We had the capability to take those camps out. We chose not to do so." Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby added, "Hezbollah and some others are probably the A team, not the B team or the C team, as far as potential terrorist threats to this country. The U.S. must start planning to take out Hezbollah before they take us out." [more]