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 groupís 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 cityís airport and were boarding a bus for the Black Sea coast. A young man wearing a disguise tracked the touristsí 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 bomberís death was probably not part of Hezbollahís 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 bomberís 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 bomberís 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, Bulgariaís government stated that it believed both of these operatives were tied to Hezbollahís 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 ó 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 Departmentís 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 Iranís 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 Hezbollahís 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 organizationís leaders for their continued pursuit of terrorism.

The United States applauds those countries that have long recognized Hezbollahís 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 Unionís 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
3/30/2015
Indiscriminate attacks by Palestinians on civilians during last summer`s 50-day fight with...
3/28/2015
Since the end of military rule in the 1960s, Israeli Arabs have come to believe that the I...
3/27/2015
When I was in my teens, living in Israel, each Friday, when returning from work, my mother...
3/27/2015
Israel Peace Week this year offered a pro-Israel narrative to counter what zionists allege...
3/27/2015
This past weekend I was privileged to attend and participate in a conference organized by ...
3/27/2015
StandWithUs`s recent three day, trail-blazing conference could change the course of pro-Is...
3/27/2015
Pro-Israel students at Northeastern University and Boston`s Jewish communal leaders expres...
3/26/2015
Here`s a fun fact about anti-Israel activity on college campuses: Of the 18 Israel divestm...
3/25/2015
This is the fifth in a series of stories told by former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reserv...
3/25/2015
With anti-Israel sentiment spreading on college campuses around the world, especially thro...
3/24/2015
The sources of monetary funding for anti-Israel propaganda and movements such as boycott, ...
3/23/2015
Why Iran`s nuclear program must be stopped. Now....
3/23/2015
This is the fourth in a series of stories told by former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reser...
3/19/2015
Last summer our family went to Southern Europe on holiday....
3/19/2015
StandWithUs Statement on March 2015 Israeli Elections...
3/19/2015
Advocates for Israel issued warnings and offered ways to combat anti-Semitism at instituti...
3/19/2015
From neo-Nazi graffiti at Berkeley to the grilling of a Jewish student at UCLA, anti-Semit...
3/17/2015
International study ranks Israeli metropolis immediately after Silicon Valley as top place...
3/17/2015
The McGill University undergraduates` association defeated a motion that urged the univers...

 

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