Donate Shop Register Volunteer


Hezbollah Unmasked
Hezbollah Unmasked


Lebanon's Hezbollah supporters march during a ceremony to mark Ashura in Beirut's suburbs, Nov. 25, 2012.
(photo by REUTERS/Khalil Hassan)


By Thomas E. Donilon
New York Times
February 17, 2013


ON FEB. 5, after more than six months of investigations, the Bulgarian government announced that it believed Hezbollah was responsible for the attack last July that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver and injured dozens more in the resort town of Burgas. This report is significant because a European Union member state, Bulgaria, explicitly pointed a finger at Hezbollah and lifted the veil on the group’s continued terrorist activities. Europe can no longer ignore the threat that this group poses to the Continent and to the world.

The attack in Burgas was despicable. The Israeli tourists had just arrived at the city’s airport and were boarding a bus for the Black Sea coast. A young man wearing a disguise tracked the tourists’ movements, placed a bag with an explosive device in the cargo compartment of the bus and then walked away. The device exploded, killing six people, as well as the bomber.

The bomber’s death was probably not part of Hezbollah’s original plan. The group has always tried to employ strict operational security and most likely never intended for its involvement in this attack to be revealed.

But evidence recovered from the bomber’s body included a fake Michigan identification card produced in Lebanon. Elsewhere in Bulgaria, investigators discovered that operatives used two other fake Michigan IDs. These led them to the true names of the bomber’s two accomplices. They traveled to Bulgaria using Australian and Canadian passports and then returned to Lebanon using a circuitous route to hide their trail. After sharing information with Australian and Canadian security officials, Bulgaria’s government stated that it believed both of these operatives were tied to Hezbollah’s military wing.

If not for the accidental death of the bomber, there would very likely still be a debate over who conducted this terrible attack. But the Bulgarian investigation has once again proved to the world what Hezbollah has tried for years to hide: that it remains engaged in international terrorist attacks against civilians.

Hezbollah first gained notoriety in 1983 after bombing the United States Embassy in Beirut — an attack that killed 63 people. Shortly thereafter, Hezbollah bombed the American and French Marine Barracks in Beirut, killing 241 Americans and 58 French service members with one of the largest explosive devices ever detonated during a terrorist attack.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the group conducted kidnappings and airplane hijackings, two bombings in Buenos Aires, several in Paris and an attempted bombing in Bangkok. In 1996 it assisted in the Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 Americans. Thanks to this bloody record, in 1997 Hezbollah was among the first groups added to the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Over the last decade, Hezbollah has worked assiduously to obscure its terrorist pedigree and convince the world that it is interested only in politics, providing social welfare services, and defending Lebanon. But it is an illusion to speak of Hezbollah as a responsible political actor. Hezbollah remains a terrorist organization and a destabilizing force across the Middle East.

Since 2011, the group has murdered civilians in Bulgaria, seen its activities disrupted in Cyprus and Thailand, and worked to plot attacks elsewhere. It is helping to prop up the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria; and it acts as a proxy for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in the region and beyond. In doing so, Hezbollah is putting the well-being of Lebanon and its people at risk.

Now that Bulgarian authorities have exposed Hezbollah’s global terrorist agenda, European governments must respond swiftly. They must disrupt its operational networks, stop flows of financial assistance to the group, crack down on Hezbollah-linked criminal enterprises and condemn the organization’s leaders for their continued pursuit of terrorism.

The United States applauds those countries that have long recognized Hezbollah’s nefarious nature and that have already condemned the group for the attack in Burgas. Europe must now act collectively and respond resolutely to this attack within its borders by adding Hezbollah to the European Union’s terrorist list. That is the next step toward ensuring that Burgas is the last successful Hezbollah operation on European soil.  

Thomas E. Donilon is the national security adviser to President Obama.



Read article here
Other stories
7/2/2015
The United Church of Christ (UCC) this week became the latest mainline Protestant denomina...
7/2/2015
Attendees stand and sing during the Stand with Israel event at the International Christian...
7/1/2015
The United Church of Christ (UCC) on Tuesday passed a resolution that calls for divestment...
7/1/2015
THE IMPRESSIVE residential, commercial and office project adjacent to the Jerusalem YMCA a...
7/1/2015
A study in discrimination, hypocrisy and irrelevance...
7/1/2015
The students participating in the 9th StandWithUs Israel Fellowship are in final preparati...
7/1/2015
Israel advocacy group StandWithUs said today it condemns the General Synod of the United C...
6/30/2015
StandWithUs was proud to join other organizations as a leading partner in the pro-Israel R...
6/30/2015
StandWithUs condemns the General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) for passing r...
6/30/2015
StandWithUs celebrated the Grand Opening of its Israel Education Center at a gala event he...
6/29/2015
In response to an address by anti-IDF group Breaking the Silence speaking on behalf of the...
6/28/2015
Rally To Support Israel In Geneva On June 29...
6/26/2015
Stop Iran Rally...
6/26/2015
After weeks of legislative drama, a trade bill containing provisions opposing the boycott,...
6/25/2015
"I was wounded because I was trained on IDF values to treat every injured person equally, ...
6/25/2015
We must counter the hypocrisy of Breaking the Silence and show that IDF has thousands of s...
6/25/2015
StandWithUs applauds Congress for passing the bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) l...
6/25/2015
During the last four days of June, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ will m...
6/25/2015
It was only due to `lack of interest` that the University of Missouri cancelled a course c...
6/24/2015
While I was speaking to the packed room, a woman I did not know, sitting in the front row,...

 

About Us
Get Involved
Resources
Shop For Israel
Social Media
StandWithUs Websites