Hezbol­lah: The Glob­al Foot­print of Lebanon’s Par­ty of God

  • Review
By – May 13, 2013

They dwell among us. They are all over the word. They want to end West­ern soci­ety and cul­ture as we know it and replace it with a mil­i­tant and mani­a­cal form of Shi’a Islamism. They have killed and maimed hun­dreds, includ­ing U.S. ser­vice­men. They are Hezbol­lah. They believe that it is their reli­gious oblig­a­tion to export the rev­o­lu­tion. This book by Matthew Levitt expos­es the world-wide threat posed by Hezbol­lah by trac­ing the movement’s ori­gins from the 1979 mul­lah-led revolt in Iran to the devel­op­ment of their ter­ror­ist net­works all over the globe. The book fol­lows Hezbollah’s geo­graph­ic and chrono­log­i­cal expan­sion into vio­lence against West­ern inter­ests start­ing in Lebanon and thence to the rest of the world. Europe, the Balka­ns, the Mid­dle East, the Per­sian Gulf, South­east Asia, Africa, South and North Amer­i­ca have all expe­ri­enced Hezbollah’s ter­ror­ist activ­i­ties. Levitt care­ful­ly doc­u­ments Hezbollah’s clan­des­tine shad­ow war as Iran’s proxy.

Hezbol­lah is not just a polit­i­cal par­ty and a social and reli­gious move­ment. It is a well armed and well-financed mili­tia intent on impos­ing rad­i­cal Shi’a ide­ol­o­gy on the West­ern impe­ri­al­ists,” espe­cial­ly those sym­pa­thet­ic to Amer­i­ca and Israel. The U.S. has des­ig­nat­ed them as a ter­ror­ist group. They have suc­cess­ful­ly tar­get­ed and car­ried out bomb­ings, assas­si­na­tions, kid­nap­pings, hijack­ings, and oth­er acts of ter­ror in their glob­al quest for dom­i­na­tion. They receive over $350 mil­lion annu­al­ly from Tehran to sup­port their activ­i­ties. Levitt names names, includ­ing Iran­ian diplo­mats” who have ordered and car­ried out these acts of violence. 

Although there may be many knowl­edge­able ter­ror­ism experts, Levitt is primus inter pares. His cre­den­tials include expe­ri­ence as an FBI coun­tert­er­ror­ism ana­lyst, advi­sor to the State Depart­ment on Mid­dle East region­al secu­ri­ty, oth­er sim­i­lar appoint­ments, as well as teach­ing at West Point on how to com­bat ter­ror­ism. He is cur­rent­ly a senior fel­low at The Wash­ing­ton Insti­tute for Near East Pol­i­cy and advis­es gov­ern­ments and con­sults with the mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence ser­vices of many countries. 

In order for Hezbol­lah to car­ry out their cam­paign against the West, they are engaged in mul­ti­ple areas of ille­gal activ­i­ties to sup­port their net­work of cells, sleep­er agents, train­ing camps, recruit­ment of agents, the pur­chase of explo­sives and weapons, etc. Their crim­i­nal activ­i­ties include blood dia­monds, drug traf­fick­ing, weapons traf­fick­ing, coun­ter­feit­ing of doc­u­ments and cur­ren­cy, coun­ter­feit Via­gra pills, pho­ny food stamps, bank rob­beries, car theft, prod­uct forgery, mon­ey laun­der­ing, cig­a­rette smug­gling, coun­ter­feit cig­a­rette paper, cred­it card and insur­ance fraud, etc. These activ­i­ties are sup­port­ed by net­works of Lebanese expa­tri­ots, air­port employ­ees, import-export busi­ness­es, legit­i­mate busi­ness­es, Iran­ian con­sular offices, and sympathizers.

This is not a work of fic­tion. Levitt painstak­ing­ly doc­u­ments every fact and inci­dent. He has access to many sources and uses them effec­tive­ly. His con­nec­tions to the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ties around the world pro­vide for an inside look into the work­ings of Hezbol­lah. Aside from dis­sect­ing the suc­cess­ful ter­ror­ist events that were actu­al­ly car­ried out, there is a pletho­ra of infor­ma­tion about the many plots that were foiled. The details of all of these events and the coop­er­a­tion and shar­ing of infor­ma­tion between var­i­ous gov­ern­ment agen­cies all over the world is revealed in a very read­able for­mat. If you com­bine the detec­tive work of an N.C.I.S. episode and the excite­ment of a Daniel Sil­va nov­el with the Mis­sion Impos­si­ble theme in the back­ground, you can approx­i­mate the nar­ra­tive pro­vid­ed in this impor­tant book. What is fas­ci­nat­ing is how eas­i­ly the arrest­ed ter­ror­ists give up their han­dlers and co-conspirators.

Vio­lence and extrem­ism, and belief in the valay­at – e‑faqih of the Ima­mate pop­u­lar­ized by Aya­tol­lah Ruhol­lah Khome­i­ni is at the heart of Hezbollah’s phi­los­o­phy. To this end, Iran, through its proxy Hezbol­lah, tar­gets Israeli cit­i­zens and diplo­mats, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, Israel, the U.S., the U.K., and oth­ers who espouse West­ern val­ues and democ­ra­cy. Giv­en that Hezbollah’s inter­na­tion­al cam­paign has brought them unwant­ed atten­tion, it has also pro­vid­ed the world with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to counter their degen­er­ate capa­bil­i­ties. Their his­to­ry of vio­lence and extrem­ism, crim­i­nal activ­i­ties, and inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ism is ful­ly and irrefutably doc­u­ment­ed in this impor­tant book. It is must read­ing for every colum­nist, leg­is­la­tor, and head of state.

Wal­lace Greene, Ph.D., has held sev­er­al uni­ver­si­ty appoint­ments, and cur­rent­ly writes and lec­tures on Jew­ish and his­tor­i­cal subjects.

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