Hizballah: Iran’s Other Looming Threat to the West

timthumb (2)By Clare Lopez:

Exclusive to Accuracy in Media.

The single most important fact to understand about Hizballah is that its chain of command goes directly to the Iranian Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, by way of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Qods Force. That Iranian connection, as well as Hizballah’s close and long-standing relationship with al-Qa’eda, the global reach of this Shi’ite jihadist group, and above all, its extensive presence and criminal activities in the Western Hemisphere, including inside the United States, all merit a closer look. With U.S. national security directly in Hizballah’s cross-hairs, it’s more important than ever to understand what this group is, who leads it, what has motivated them along a bloody 30-year trail of terrorism, and what damage this group is capable of inflicting on American interests.

For even as Hizballah is an Islamic terror organization, an Iranian proxy for power projection, a Transnational Criminal Organization, and a Lebanese military, political, and social domestic entity, it is above all a direct threat to U.S. national security. After all, and despite a complete media blackout on the topic that prevails to this day, on Iranian orders and working together with al-Qa’eda, Hizballah participated in the worst strike ever against the American homeland: the attacks of 9/11. There is no threshold, ideological or otherwise, that Hizballah has not already crossed or would not cross again, given a direct order from Tehran.

images-1Word out of London in late 2013 is that the U.S. is engaged in secret, indirect negotiations with Hizballah, with British diplomats acting as intermediaries. Those talks followed closely on the U.S. capitulation to Iran over its nuclear weapons program during November 2013 discussions in Geneva and reflect a White House policy of seeking to normalize relations with the regime designated by the Department of State as the number one global state sponsor of terror. Hizballah remains a designated terror organization on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list. And while the story about the U.S.-Hizballah talks in London made the Israeli and U.K. media, not one major U.S. media outlet thought it significant to report that the U.S. administration is reaching out to mend relations with what many describe as the most dangerous Islamic terror organization in the world.

Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage called Hizballah the “A Team” and al-Qa’eda the “B Team.” Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that Hizballah makes “al-Qa’eda look like a minor league team.” And former CIA Director George Tenet testified in 2003 that Hizballah was every bit al-Qa’eda’s “equal, if not a far more capable organization.”

And yet, since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the biggest share of counterterrorism bandwidth among national security agencies and the media alike has been devoted to al-Qa’eda “and its affiliates,” as they’re often called. Current internecine civil war in Syria aside, for many years Hizballah happens to have been one of those affiliates, but many would never know that from either the media coverage or official government attention paid to this Shi’ite jihadist group that works mostly for the Iranian mullahs. So, when it’s discussed at all, as on each year’s remembrance of the October 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, Hizballah continues to be thought of primarily as a Lebanese terror outfit. However, as Tony Badran pointed out in an important historical look back in his November 25, 2013 Weekly Standard essay, “The Secret History of Hezbollah,” a critical Iranian connection has been there from the beginning.

Media coverage of the Syrian civil war that broke out in 2011 often cites Hizballah as somehow mixed up in supporting the Ba’athist regime of Bashar al-Assad against a conglomeration of al-Qa’eda- and Muslim Brotherhood-dominated militias. But what that coverage often ignores is that Hizballah’s contribution of thousands of fighters to the survival of the Assad regime is not necessarily in the best interests (or any interests) of Hizballah’s supposed home team, the Lebanese Shi’ites. The reason Hizballah fights on, even after its Syrian adventures have drawn probable Sunni al-Qa’eda retaliation deep into the very heart of its Beirut stronghold in the Dahiyeh, is because Iran wants it to.

Read more: Family Security Matters 

‘Rushing’ to War with Iran?

AyatollahAliKhamen_2162837b-450x346by :

In November, there was some talk of “a march (or rush) to war” against Iran.

The Obama Administration used this line to dismiss those – including EMET – who dared to disbelieve the sincerity of negotiations regarding the Iranian regime’s program to develop nuclear weapons, and seek to expand U.S. sanctions against that nation so as to keep the pressure on them to prove their sincerity.

The major problem with this charge is that Iran and the U.S. are already at war.  And every few years, Iran or its proxies (most especially Hezbollah) conducts another hostile act, which results in the death or harming of Americans.

Here are just some of the acts of war Iran has conducted against the U.S.

In 1979, Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy, and took 52 (originally 66) of its personnel hostage for 444 days.  Iranian Foreign Minister I. Yazdi, along with other Iranian officials, indicated official Iranian support for the seizure when he said, “The action of the students enjoys the endorsement and support of the government.”  Reza Kahlili describes the seizure in his book A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran:

This was not a rout.  It was not an act of passion.  It seemed too managed for that.  The people who rushed in seemed to know one another and to know what to do.  Military members of the Guards arrived quickly.  I wondered how they heard about the break-in so fast.  Then the Komiteh, the religious police recently given official status by Khomeini, came and promised to keep order.  But the only thing they kept orderly was the takeover itself.  Busloads of people arrived and joined the demonstration, another sign that this gathering was not spontaneous.  Within minutes, the protesters controlled the compound.

For its illegal actions, the Iranian regime was cited by the International Court of Justice and by the U.N. through two U.N. Resolutions for its violation of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 the international treaty that governs diplomatic immunity.

Iran set up, continues to support, and often directs, Hezbollah, a State Department-listed Lebanese terror group that has kidnapped, tortured, harmed, and/or killed Americans.  In 1983, Hezbollah bombed the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut and killed 241 American servicemen who were sent to Lebanon for peacekeeping purposes.  Hezbollah is believed to have kidnapped and tortured to death U.S. Army colonel William Higgins and the CIA Station Chief in Beirut, William Buckley.  It kidnapped around 30 other Westerners between 1982 and 1992.  Imad Mughniyah, a former senior Hezbollah leader, was, prior to 911, “responsible for the deaths of more Americans than any other terrorist.”  He and two other members of Hezbollah, Hasan Izz-al-Din, and Ali Atwa, were on the FBI’s list of 22 Most Wanted Terrorists for the hijacking in 1985 of TWA Flight 847 during which a U.S. Navy diver was murdered.  In 2007, Hezbollah operative Ali Mussa Daqduq allegedly played a significant role in the killings of five U.S. soldiers in Iraq.  In 2011, the U.S. government seized drug profits linked to Ayman Joumaa, a drug trafficker and money launderer, linked to Hezbollah, and in April 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department took action against Hezbollah for working as a drug cartel.

Iran was involved in the 911 terrorist attacks.  A U.S. District Judge “ruled that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case.”  Also, post-911, the Iranian regime protected members of al-Qaeda, including the son of Bin Ladin, even as the latter planned and implemented other bombings that wounded or killed civilians.  Because of these and many other actions, the U.S. State Department describes Iran as the “leading sponsor of anti-U.S. Islamic terrorism.”

This position is neither controversial nor partisan.  Jeffery Goldberg noted in The Atlantic, Iran is “is waging war against the United States of America” in Iraq.  Michael Ledeen writing in The Weekly Standard, reaches the same conclusion saying, “(T)here is abundant evidence for Iranian involvement in Iraq, most including their relentless efforts to kill American soldiers.  The evidence consists of first-hand information, not intelligence reports.  Scores of Iranian intelligence officers have been arrested, and some have confessed.  Documentary evidence of intimate Iranian involvement with Iraqi terrorists has been found all over Iraq, notably in Fallujah and Hilla.”

These facts have been widely reported. During the U.S. occupation of Iraq (from 2003-2011), hundreds of American soldiers were killed or wounded byroadside bombs or other weapons that were constructed, and supplied, by Iran to Iraqi rebels.  The Iranians gave these IEDs to both Shiites and Sunnis alike.

Read more at Front Page

 

Iranian Analyst: Without Deal, Obama to Kiss Khamenei’s Hand to Prevent Israel’s Annihilation (see transcript excerpts here)

 

Hizballah Leader Bashes Saudi Arabia Over Syria

Slaying Hizballah commander ratchets up Saudi covert war on Iran and Lebanese proxy

 

HIzballah's Hajj Hassan Hollo al-Laqqis, slain in Beirut

HIzballah’s Hajj Hassan Hollo al-Laqqis, slain in Beirut

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 4, 2013

The gunning down of Hajj Hassan Hollo al-Laqqis, a high-ranking Hizballah commander and close crony of Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, raised the stakes of the clandestine war running between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two weeks after two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

The Hizballah officer was killed by five shots to the head and throat in the underground parking lot of his home in the Hadath neighborhood southwest of Beirut, when he returned home from work after midnight Tuesday, Dec. 3. The Hizballah statement, which said: “Israel is automatically held responsible for the crime,” described al Laqqis as an elite member of the organization’s military wing who for many years served as its technology and arms chief.

A photo published by the Lebanese state news agency shows a man in his mid-40s in military clothing.

DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources report: It seems obvious that the al-Laqqis hit was timed to take place shortly after the Hizballah leader went on the air for an extraordinarily arrogant television interview, during which he made a point of sneering after every reference to the US, Saudi Arabia or Israel. He also appeared to glorify in the big power status conferred on the Islamic Republic (and himself) by the Obama administration after the signing of the Geneva nuclear accord.

Nasrallah praised that accord as signaling “the end of the US monopoly on power” and preventing war in the region. He said Israel couldn’t bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities without a green light from the US. But, he said, America is tired of war. The Saudi war against Iran, he said, has never stopped. He accused a “Saudi-backed group” of being behind the Iranian embassy bombing in Beirut.

The killing of a high-placed Nasrallah insider was intended to illustrate to Hizballah members and the rest of the region that the Hizballah leader’s outburst of hubris was hollow, that his own innermost command elite is deeply penetrated, and that whoever sent the assassins could at any time sow mayhem within the pro-Iranian organization’s ranks.
It also carried a wider message for Tehran and Gen. al-Soleimani: Your own Hizballah holds wide sway over Lebanon and its capital. If you can’t nonetheless keep the symbols of Iranian power in Lebanon and your proxy’s commanders safe, neither can you guarantee the security of Syrian president Bashar Assad in Damascus.

Accusing Israel of the deed and threatening revenge apparently made more sense to Hizballah that accusing Riyadh, which is out of its reach for punishment. Its leaders were even willing to allow people to deduce that Israeli intelligence had penetrated Hizballah’s top ranks and center of government in Beirut deeply enough to pick off its commanders.

There is little doubt in Tehran or Beirut that Riyadh’s hand was behind the slaying of the Hizballah commander, or that Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies are working hand in hand against Tehran in Iran, Syria and Lebanon.

 

Kerry Sees Common Ground With Tehran’s Barbaric Terror Regime

kerryBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

Secretary of State John “I don’t think we’re stupid” Kerry should think again.

Yesterday, a branch of al Qaeda executed atrocious twin suicide bombings against Iran’s embassy in Beirut, killing at least 23 people, with more than 140 wounded. Those of us who have urged that the United States should stay out of the Syrian civil war have contended that, deprived of our lightning rod effect, America’s mortal enemies on both sides of the conflict would turn on and thus degrade each other. That is precisely what has happened: al Qaeda, the terror network that is aligned with its fellow America-hating Sunni supremacists, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the effort to oust the Assad regime, has now effectively declared war on Assad’s main Shiite backers, Iran – the world’s chief state sponsor of terrorism – and its Lebanese jihadist militia, Hezbollah.

So what is our Secretary of State’s response to this unintended foreign policy coup? (For all policy coups during the Obama administration are unintended.) Kerry actually proclaimed that the attack proves there is common ground between the United States and Iran, with whose jihadist rulers he and President Obama are desperate to make a deal, any deal – as John Bolton explains here, with our Michael Ledeen adding context here. Just like mullahs, Kerry twaddled, “the United States knows too well the cost of terrorism directed at our own diplomats around the world.”

Well, yes, we do. But that’s because, for over 30 years, Iran has aided and abetted terrorists in strikes against American diplomats and other American personnel serving overseas – in addition, perhaps, to attacks on Americans here at home.

As I’ve recounted before, the modern Iranian regime was in fact spawned by Iran’s siege against the U.S. embassy, which began on November 4, 1979. Ultimately, the new jihadist regime held 52 American hostage for well over a year – 444 days, to be exact. Eight U.S. servicemen were also killed during the Carter administration’s botched rescue attempt, undertaken after American diplomats, who sounded very much like John Kerry, were mocked by Ayatollah Ruhollah Kohmeini when they tried to flatter the Iranians and negotiate an end to the crisis.

In early 1982, Iran sponsored the creation of Hezbollah. The dividends were immediate: On April 18, 1983, Hezbollah car-bombed the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people (17 of them Americans). Six months later, on October 23, 1983, it attacked the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon with a truck bomb, killing 241 of our military personnel (218 marines, 20 sailors and three soldiers) – also killing 58 French soldiers in a separate attack the same day.

Less than two months later, on December 12, 1983, the U.S. embassy in Kuwait was bombed, killing six and wounding scores of others. The bombers were tied to al-Dawa, a terror organization backed by Iran that was then leading the Shiite resistance against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime (with which Iran was at war). Incidentally, the leader of Dawa’s “jihad office” in Syria at the time was none other than Nouri al-Maliki — now the prime minister of Iraq (you know, the “democrat” who will not relinquish power, supports Iran and Hezbollah, despises Israel, and is now helping re-plunge his country into civil war). Dawa was closely aligned with Hezbollah – indeed, the Kuwait operation was led by Youssef Badreddin, the cousin and brother-in-law of the late Hezbollah chief, Imad Mugniyah.

Read more at PJ Media

Iran & Syria Accuse Israel in Beirut Suicide Bombings

Lebanon-Bombing-AP-414x350By Joseph Klein:

Two back-to-back suicide bombings on November 19th in the vicinity of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Beirut, Lebanon killed at least 23 people and wounded more than 140. Iranian cultural attaché, Ebrahim Ansari, reportedly died from his wounds. An al-Qaida-linked Sunni group known as the Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. It threatened more attacks unless Iran withdraws its forces from Syria where Iran and its proxy Hezbollah have been providing military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

The Iranian embassy appears to have been the main target of the attacks. One blast occurred near the main entrance of the Iranian embassy. The other went off in front of the Iranian ambassador’s residence.

The United Nations Security Council issued a press statement strongly condemning the terrorist attacks, reaffirming its view “that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.”

Iran and Syria were quick to point the finger at Israel as bearing the primary responsibility for the suicide bombings. They both believe that Israel has taken sides with Sunni Arab states against the Shiites in the proxy war raging in Syria and extending into Lebanon. Iran and Hezbollah are Shiite. Assad’s Alawite sect derives from Shiite Islam. The jihadist rebels, along with their state sponsors Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf nations, are Sunnis.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah previewed the theme of Israeli complicity with the Sunnis against the Shiites last week: “It is regrettable that (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu is the spokesman for some Arab countries. These countries reject any political solution that would stop the bloodbath and destruction in Syria. They also strongly oppose any accord between Iran and the countries of the world,” alluding to Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s strong opposition to a nuclear deal they see as unduly favorable to Iran.

The suicide bombings in the vicinity of the Iranian embassy fit into this same Israeli-Sunni anti-Shiite conspiracy theory. As explained in a November 19, 2013Foreign Policy article, the Syrian government, Iran and Hezbollah all see Israel’s guiding hand “behind the scenes” while the Gulf petrol-funded Sunni terrorists do the dirty work.

Read more at Front Page

 

Lessons Unlearned from Beirut

paper-tigerFrank Gaffney makes a very important point:

Thirty years ago yesterday, an Iranian-engineered suicide bomber destroyed the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241 American servicemen.  Tragically, the United States responded to that act of jihad by retreating, rather than by punishing the perpetrators.  It is no exaggeration to say that the repercussions of that decision haunt us to this day.

Jihadists like Osama bin Laden took away from the experience the conviction that America was unable, or at least unwilling, to fight back against their violence.  Our relegating retribution to the court system was perceived not as admirable restraint.  Rather, it was seen as evidence of weakness – and, worse yet, as submission.  The Koran says the appropriate response is to redouble the effort to make us “feel subdued.”

If President Obama persists in this practice, expect more terrorism, not less.

LYONS: The Iranian origins of treachery

10222013_b3-lyons-ap8201_s640x445By James A. Lyons Jr.

With all the media focus on the recently concluded talks in Geneva with Iran over its nuclear program, it’s easy to overlook the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Marine barracks bombing in Beirut 30 years ago on Oct. 23, 1983.

On that day, 241 of our finest military personnel were killed, with scores more seriously injured. Almost simultaneously, a similar attack was carried out at the French military headquarters, killing 58 French paratroopers. We have positive proof that these attacks were planned and ordered by Iran using their Islamic Amal terrorist proxies — forerunners to Hezbollah — in Lebanon. It is astounding that we had the information to prevent these attacks, and even more astounding is the “reason” for not retaliating.

The National Security Agency issued a highly classified message dated Sept. 27, 1983, which contained the instructions that Iranian Ambassador Ali Akbar Montashemi in Damascus had previously received from Tehran and then gave to Husayn al-Musawi, the leader of the Islamic Amal. Those instructions directed the terrorist group to concentrate its attacks on the Multi-National Force but take a “spectacular” action against the U.S. Marines.

I was deputy chief of naval operations at that time, and I did not receive that message until Oct. 25, two days after the bombing. That same day, I was called out to the CIA’s Langley headquarters because CIA Director William Casey wanted to see me. At the meeting, Casey asked me whether I would develop plans to take out the perpetrators if he discovered who they were and where they were located. I readily agreed.

The terrorist group, Islamic Amal, was located in the Lebanese Army Sheik Abdallah barracks near Baalbek, Lebanon. The organization had taken over the barracks on Sept. 16 with the help of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. I had the strike plans couriered to the 6th Fleet Carrier Strike Force for the commander, Rear Adm. Jerry Tuttle, because I knew then the Soviets were reading our communications.

Everyone had been briefed, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger. According to National Security Adviser Robert McFarland, at the key meeting with President ReaganWeinberger stated that he thought there were Lebanese Army groups in the barracks. This was false.

The president turned to Casey for clarification. Casey, who had just returned from an overseas trip, was not up to speed on such details. The president then said, “Get that sorted out.” As it turned out, there were no Lebanese Army troops in the barracks. But Weinberger threw more dust into the air by stating that we will lose all of our Arab friends if we go ahead with this strike.

Consequently, we never received the execute order, even though the planes were loaded and ready to launch. In the words of the Carrier Strike Force commander, “This was a chip shot.” The failure to retaliate was tragic, and we are still living with that mistake.

Compounding the problem, Reagan approved a combined strike with the French against the same target several days later. This time, the secretary of defense simply ignored the president’s order and would not issue the strike order. Mr. McFarland and Secretary of State George Shultz both told me that they tried to get Weinberger to change his position but failed. The French were furious. They carried out the strike alone, but did no damage, contrary to Reagan’s diary entry that stated the French wiped out the terrorists.

Read more at Washington Times

30TH ANNIVERSARY OF IRANIAN BOMBING OF THE MARINE BARRACKS, BEIRUT, LEBANON

Pamela Geller:

Global jihad: 241 American servicemen (220 Marines, 16 Navy personnel, and 3 Army soldiers), was the deadliest single-day death toll for the Marines since the World War II battle of Iwo Jima and the deadliest for the U.S. military since the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam.

Wounded-marine-from-barracks
Wounded Marine

Today is the 30th anniversary of the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, by Iran. 30 years on, the jihad is raging all over the world, taking down whole countries in the Middle East and Africa. emboldened by the West’s knee-jerk response — avoidance and denial of jihad.

President Obama has laid down before these savages. He rewards them for their brutality and disregard for international law. He sanctions their savagery. He thinks by surrendering that it will save us. But the opposite is true: the US is in for a world of pain.

Iran’s Defense Minister General Hussein Dehghan is connected to the bombing of Marine Barracks in Lebanon. He was appointed by President Rouhani (the nuclear weapons “moderate”).

Dehghan spent many years in Lebanon helping to build the terror group Hezbollah and was later appointed as the IRGC’s top official in that country.

Iran should have been dealt with decades ago — when they first attacked our embassy and took our people hostage. Our inaction signaled weakness, just as Obama’s inaction in Benghazi. The consequences of Obama’s failure in Benghazi.

Iran Threatens the West as Obama Proposes Giving Iran Access to Billions in Long Frozen Assets

The commanding officer of the Marine unit targeted by Hezbollah later wrote:

Unknown to us at the time, the National Security Agency had made a diplomatic communications intercept on 26 September (the same date as the cease-fire ending the September War) in which the Iranian Intelligence Service provided explicit instructions to the Iranian ambassador in Damascus (a known terrorist) to attack the Marines at Beirut International Airport. The suicide attackers struck us 28 days later, with word of the intercept stuck in the intelligence pipeline until days after the attack.

Marine-barracks-bombing

James Phillips of Heritage wrote this here:

 The attack, which killed 241 American servicemen (220 Marines, 16 Navy personnel, and 3 Army soldiers), was the deadliest single-day death toll for the Marines since the World War II battle of Iwo Jima and the deadliest for the U.S. military since the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam. The suicide truck bombing, along with a similar bombing that day that killed 58 French paratroopers, was perpetrated by the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah (“Party of God”), which was created, supported, and directed by Iran.

The bombing led to the February 1984 withdrawal from Lebanon of the Multinational Force (MNF), a peacekeeping contingent composed of American, British, French and Italian troops, that had been deployed to stabilize Lebanon after the September 14, 1982, assassination of Lebanese President-elect Bashir Gemayel by a Lebanese faction aligned with Syria. Although the United States had mounted two previous successful peacekeeping operations in Lebanon in 1958 and earlier in 1982 (to facilitate the evacuation of P.L.O. forces from Beirut that had been defeated by Israel), the ignominious end of the MNF intervention brought disastrous consequences.

The failure of the peacekeeping mission led to renewed fighting between Lebanese factions and the ascendancy of Hezbollah, backed by Iran and Syria. Moreover, the Marine barracks bombing, which was the deadliest terrorist attack against Americans before the 9/11 attacks, later inspired Osama bin Laden, who viewed the United States as a “paper tiger” because of its rapid withdrawal of peacekeeping forces from Lebanon and Somalia after suffering casualties. Al Qaeda members were later dispatched to Hezbollah training camps in Lebanon, according to the 9/11 Commission Report (p. 68). This assistance is believed to have significantly boosted al-Qaeda’s killing power, which dramatically increased by the end of the decade. Al-Qaeda’s 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, and wounded more than 5,000 people in simultaneous operations that used huge truck bombs similar those used in past Hezbollah operations.

Read more at Atlas Shrugs

 

 

Iran threatens brutal attacks on Americans, Obama family if US hits Syria

4014171956b24635994f8dee29bf42cb-e1371760408813By Reza Kahlili:

As Congress debates whether to support President Obama’s call for a limited strike against Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons, Iran is vowing to back Bashar al-Assad’s regime to the hilt and threatening to unleash terrorism should the U.S. strike.

Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Forces, Wednesday told the Assembly of Experts — the body that chooses the supreme leader — that “[w]e will support Syria to the end.”

And in an unprecedented statement, a former Iranian official has warned of mass abductions and brutal killings of American citizens around the world and the rape and killing of one of Obama’s daughters should the United States attack Syria.

Alireza Forghani, the former governor of southern Iran’s Kish Province, threw down the gauntlet last week. Forghani is an analyst and strategy specialist in the supreme leader’s camp and closely aligned with Mehdi Taeb, who heads the regime’s Ammar Strategic Base, a radical think thank, and thus speaks with the blessing of the Islamic regime.

“Hopefully Obama will be pigheaded enough to attack Syria, and then we will see the … loss of U.S. interests [through terrorist attacks],” he threatened. “In just 21 hours [after the attack on Syria], a family member of every U.S. minister [department secretary], U.S. ambassadors, U.S. military commanders around the world will be abducted. And then 18 hours later, videos of their amputation will be spread [around the world].”

similar act was committed in a video of the torture of William Buckley, a CIA station chief who was abducted in Beirut in 1984 and later killed by Hezbollah on Iran’s order. That video was dropped off at the U.S. Embassy in Athens. Former CIA Director William Casey later described what he saw in the video: “They had done more than ruin his body. His eyes made it clear his mind had been played with. It was horrific, medieval and barbarous.”

Read more at Daily Caller

 

Iran Plots Revenge, U.S. Says

download (6)WASHINGTON—The U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria, officials said, amid an expanding array of reprisal threats across the region.

Military officials have been trying to predict the range of possible responses from Syria, Iran and their allies. U.S. officials said they are on alert for Iran’s fleet of small, fast boats in the Persian Gulf, where American warships are positioned.

U.S. officials also fear Hezbollah could attack the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and on Friday the State Department ordered nonessential U.S. diplomats to leave Lebanon because of security concerns.

The department has instructed nonessential staffers to leave Beirut and urged private U.S. citizens to depart Lebanon.

The step had been under consideration since last week when President Barack Obama said he was contemplating military action against the Syrian government for its alleged chemical weapons attack last month.

The U.S.is also pulling diplomats out of Adana, Turkey and is recommending that U.S. citizens “defer nonessential travel” to southeastern Turkey.

While the U.S. has moved military resources in the region for a possible strike, it has other assets in the area that would be ready to respond to any reprisals by Syria, Iran or its allies.

Read more at WSJ

 

 

Lebanese Canadian Bank to Pay $102 Million in Hizballah Laundering Case

money-launderingby Abha Shankar:

 

US Marks 30th Anniversary Of Beirut Embassy Bombing

images (47)WITN: While the nation is mourning what happened in Boston on Monday and the piecing together details of a deadly fire and explosion in Wake, Texas on Wednesday night, many are taking Thursday to also remember a terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut 30 years ago.

On this day in 1983, what has been classified as an act of terrorism killed 52 American diplomats, military personnel, and Lebanese Embassy colleagues. 100 Americans and Lebanese were also wounded in the attack.

At the time, the attack on Embassy Beirut was considered the single largest attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility.

The casualties of the April attack in 1983 were more than quadrupled nearly six months later.

On October 23rd of the same year, Lebanese terrorists drove a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel.

In a statement issued Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry looked back at both bombings from 1983 and to the more recent embassy bombing in Libya.

“The recent loss of State Department colleagues in Zabul, Ankara, and Benghazi remind us of the sacrifices made by our colleagues around the world who work at U.S. diplomatic missions to promote and protect democracy, enhance freedom and justice, and facilitate development,” wrote Sec. Kerry.

A local, public memorial service is set for 10a.m., Saturday, April 20th in Jacksonville in the Lejeune Gardens off Highway 24.

Camp Lejeune will participate in the remembrance service, which will include songs, the laying of wreaths, and reading names of military members lost in the April 18th bombing.

My cousin, Ken Haas, was among those killed in the embassy. You can read about it here.

Book Review: The Company of Shadows

by Steven Emerson:

Reviewed by IPT News
March 1, 2013

Obama CIA nominee hedged on Hezbollah terrorists in 2006: ‘You can’t divide the world into good and evil’

john-brennan-450x300By Charles C. Johnson:

Although the president’s chief counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, led an unsuccessful effort in October to persuade European leaders to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group, the man President Barack Obama has chosen to lead the CIA hasn’t always been convinced the label fits. Brennan argued from 2006 to 2010 for a more permissive view of the Iran-backed Lebanese militants best known in America for bombing a U.S. Marine barracks in 1983.

In an August 2006 C-SPAN interview, Brennan said the second-deadliest terror organization in U.S. history should be understood not as a thoroughly evil force, but as a “complex” organization with a “social and political nature.”

“Americans throughout the country really have to have a better sense of what’s going on in the world,” Brennan said in that interview, ”because world events affect our lives whether we live in Washington, or we live in Indiana, or in California. And unfortunately, sometimes there is an unsophisticated understanding of some of these challenges.” (RELATED: In graduate thesis, John Brennan argued for government censorship: “Too much freedom is possible”)

“For example … it would be nice to be able to put Hezbollah in a category of being totally evil, but Hezbollah as an organization is a very complex one that has terrorist arm to it. It has a social and political nature to it as well.”

“You can’t divide the world into good and evil,” Brennan continued. “There is a lot of good out there that tends to be camouflaged along with the evil. What we need to do as a government and a people is to really have a better appreciation of the needs and the challenges that people throughout the world face.”

Hezbollah, a dominant Shiite group in Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the Oct. 23, 1983 truck bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241 members of a U.S. peacekeeping military force. The attack marked the deadliest single day for the U.S. military since the beginning of the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam.

Earlier that same year, a Hezbollah suicide bomber killed 63 Americans in a blast that leveled portions of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

But Brennan’s remarks on C-SPAN, along with others he has made since then, suggest the Obama administration’s top spy will see America’s Middle Eastern foes in a different light.

“Though Brennan has made relatively few public statements, these should be understood as coming from Obama’s ‘counterterror brain,’” Center for Security Policy Strategic Communications Vice President David Reaboi told The Daily Caller. ”The massive strategic blunders, empowering Islamist groups around the globe, are right in line with Brennan’s worldview and almost certainly emanate from his office.”

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