Dearborn Man Arrested Trying to Join Hizballah Fighters in Syria

From Riyadh to Beirut, fear of Syria blowback

 (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

(AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

AP, By BASSEM MROUE and AYA BATRAWY:

BISARIYEH, Lebanon (AP) — The once-tranquil, religiously mixed village of Bisariyeh is seething: Two of its young men who fought alongside the rebels in Syria recently returned home radicalized and staged suicide bombings in Lebanon.

The phenomenon is being watched anxiously across the Mideast, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where authorities are moving decisively to prevent citizens from going off to fight in Syria.

The developments illustrate how the Syrian war is sending dangerous ripples across a highly combustible region and sparking fears that jihadis will come home with dangerous ideas and turn their weapons against their own countries.

In Lebanon, where longstanding tensions between Sunnis and Shiites have been heightened by the conflict next door, the fear of blowback has very much turned into reality.

The social fabric of towns and villages across the country is being torn by conflicting loyalties and a wave of bombings carried out by Sunni extremists in retaliation for the Iranian-backed Shiite group Hezbollah’s military support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

In the past few months, at least five Sunni men have disappeared from Bisariyeh, an impoverished, predominantly Shiite village in south Lebanon, and are believed to have gone to fight in Syria.

Two of them — Nidal Mughayar and Adan al-Mohammad — returned and blew themselves up outside Iranian targets in Beirut. The blasts, by Mughayar on Feb. 19 and al-Mohammad on Nov. 18, killed scores.

“He was a good man with a good heart, but it seems that people who have no conscience brainwashed him,” Hisham al-Mughayar said of his 20-year-old son.

As news spread in the village that Nidal was one of the bombers, angry Shiite residents marched to his parents’ home and set it on fire along with the family’s grocery and four vehicles.

“He destroyed himself and destroyed us with him,” said the father, as he took an Associated Press reporter on a tour of his torched, two-story house, much of its furniture reduced to ashes.

Concern about such radicalization has sent Mideast governments scrambling into action.

After years of often turning a blind eye to jihadists taking up arms abroad, Saudi Arabia is enacting new laws and backing a campaign to stop its citizens from joining Syria’s civil war. The intention is to send a clear message that those who defy the law are to fight to the death and are not welcome back.

The move, in part, reflects pressure from Saudi ally the U.S., which wants to see the overthrow of Assad but is alarmed by the rising influence of hard-line foreign jihadists — many of them linked to al-Qaida — among the rebels.

Many Saudis have been easy recruitment targets for jihadist organizations. Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi. The oil-rich kingdom was among several nations that backed the anti-communist mujahedeen forces fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and Saudi fighters have traveled to other Muslim hotspots around the world since then.

More recently, at the urging of Saudi preachers and even judges, thousands of fighters from Saudi Arabia — home to a strict, puritanical strain of Sunni Islam — have joined the 3-year-old uprising against Assad, whose government is dominated by members of his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Saudi officials said fewer than 3,000 Saudis are believed to be fighting in Syria, but analysts and other estimates put the figure as high as 15,000.

While Saudi Arabia continues to support opposition groups in Syria with weapons and other aid, King Abdullah issued a decree in the past month: Any citizen who fights abroad faces three to 20 years in prison. And anyone who incites people to join foreign wars can get five to 30 years.

“The Saudis are very much concerned about a repeat of the 2004 jihadist insurgency inside the kingdom, led at the time by Osama Bin Laden,” said analyst Bilal Saab, referring to a wave of militant attacks inside the country.

“It took time and a considerable amount of resources to counter the insurgency then. If it were to happen again in today’s regional environment where radicalization is on the increase, Saudi counterterrorism efforts will face even more formidable challenges,” added Saab, a senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.

History is rife with examples of militants returning home from wars with radical intentions.

Read more 

 

Foes Suspect Hizballah in Beirut Car Bombing

‘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)

 

New Poll of Muslim Countries Finds Large Support for Terrorists

Hamas5BY RYAN MAURO:

A new Pew poll of 11 Muslim countries shows that Islamist terrorist groups still command double-digit support, with Hamas being looked upon favorably by about one-third of respondents. About one-fourth do not have an opinion of the terrorists, leaving them up for grabs in the ideological war.

The poll found that overall Muslim support for acts of violence against civilians in the name of Islam has dropped over the last decade, while concern about Islamic extremism has risen. About 67% are concerned about extremism in their faith and 27% are unconcerned.

The 11 countries surveyed are: Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Senegal, Tunisia and Turkey.

The country with the worst trend is Turkey. It is the only country where support for suicide bombings has increased.

About 13% supported the tactic in 2012 and 16% support it today, but this small increase doesn’t tell the whole story. In 2011, Turkish support for suicide bombing was at 7%. This means that support for suicide bombing more than doubled in the past two years.

Hamas is the most popular of the terrorist groups. Almost one-third (32%) of Muslims surveyed have a positive opinion of it and 45% have an unfavorable view.

The countries most supportive of Hamas are Egypt and the Palestinian Territories (48% support) and Lebanon and Tunisia (46%). The countries most hostile are Turkey (5%), Senegal (11%) and Pakistan (12%).

Hezbollah is the runner-up in terms of popularity. Overall, 26% of the Muslim world supports Hezbollah. About 42% have an unfavorable opinion. This is still an impressing showing because Hezbollah is a Shiite terrorist group. Even though 90% of the Muslim world is Sunni and Hezbollah kills Sunnis, it still has a large pool of support.

The countries most supportive of Hezbollah are Lebanon (46%), the Palestinian Territories (43%) and Malaysia and Tunisia (35%). The countries most hostile to Hezbollah are Turkey (7%), Senegal (10%) and Pakistan (15%).

Read more at Clarion Project

 

US Plays Dangerous Islamist Roulette in Syria

Zahran Alloush, leader of proposed Syrian Islamic Front

Zahran Alloush, leader of proposed Syrian Islamic Front

By Jerry Gordon:

Below the fold in today’s Wall Street Journal (WSJ) was a mind numbing article about the Obama Administration caving in to support an Islamic Front opposition group in another desperate move In the volatile Middle East, “U.S., Allies Reach Out to Syria’s Islamist Rebels”.  The motivation is to unite Saudi and Emirate funding to support a fundamentalist militia, Jaysh al-Islam (Islamic Front)  as a Plan B against the two principal Al Qaeda affiliates, the Al Nusra Front and  the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant  (ISIS).   These Al Qaeda affiliates have effectively vanquished the so-called secular opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the country’s North and East adjoining Iraq. The al Qaeda affiliates have been bolstered by foreign fighters from Iraq, Chechnya in Southern Russia and an increasing number of Jihadis from EU countries.

These seemingly desperate efforts are directed at presenting a unified  opposition Syrian National Council (SNC)at an UN-sponsored round of alleged peace discussions in Geneva in late January 2014. The SNC is backed by the London 11, the nations in a loose coalition opposing the Assad regime. Assad is backed by Iran and its proxy Hezbollah with support from Russia. The  Assad military, supplied by Russian weapons and endless flow of arms from Iran,  has scored some successes despite acknowledging the Chemical Weapons disaster in the Damascus suburbs in August 2013.  The Assad regime has advanced in certain areas, while the Al Qaeda affiliates have taken control of swaths of the embattled country now in its 33 month of civil war with over 120,000 dead. The objective of the al Qaeda Affiliates is to create mini-Caliphates ruled under Sharia. The fundamentalist Islamic Front is headed by Syrian Zahran Alloush, whose resume indicates that there may be little difference between his form of fundamentalism and that of the Al Qaeda affiliates. 

*****

The only ethnic group that has shown pluck and strength in clearing out the Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria has been the Kurds in the country’s Northeast. The Kurds have achieved virtual autonomy in their ancestral homeland, Rojava , abutting both Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan.  The Kurds have control over the commercial breadbasket of Syria and its oil reserves. Not unlike their Kurdish cousins in adjacent Iraq, the Kurds in Syria have discussed the possibility of having oil flow through Turkish pipelines to the Mediterranean.

*****

Tensions have risen dramatically regarding Syria without any substantive resolution of objectives by SNC and  the London 11 including the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates.  The US and Saudi Arabia partnering in establishment of an Islamic Front  composed of fundamentalist fighters adds a degree of risk that the Geneva talks with the Assad Regime may  break down or be cancelled.  That raises the likely prospect that internecine bloodshed will continue in Syria. The US is now caught up in a dangerous form of Islamist roulette by siding with fundamentalist opposition in Syria to fight against al Qaeda Affiliates both groups supporting Sharia.  This could result in the disintegration of Syria into a failed state divided into warring ethno religious enclaves. Thus fueling massive refugee outflows, causing more problems for adjacent countries like Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Israel.

Read more at New English Review

 

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

 

 

Book Review: ‘Hezbollah,’ by Matthew Levitt

Law enforcers in the U.S. Southwest report a rise in gang members with Persian tattoos, including some with Hezbollah imagery

OB-ZE805_bkrvhe_DV_20131007163105By Michael J. Totten:

Until 9/11, no terrorist organization had killed more Americans than Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group: From the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, which killed 241 Marines, to the 1996 detonation of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. airmen, Hezbollah’s anti-American curriculum vitae was long and bloody. Today it remains an efficient global terror operation, having executed bombings on four continents, built a presence on six and even branched out to drug trafficking.

Despite this record, Hezbollah (the “Party of God” in Arabic) is still viewed in some quarters as little more than a parochial Lebanese political party with an armed wing charged solely with resisting an Israeli occupation that ended 13 years ago, on May 25, 2000. It’s this myth that Matthew Levitt explodes in “Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God.” The author, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former FBI counterterrorism analyst, narrates the full history of the organization in absorbing detail with an emphasis on its 30-year history of terrorism. While scholarly in tone and approach, Mr. Levitt’s book delivers suspenseful and even terrifying blow-by-blow accounts of the most infamous of Hezbollah’s attacks. He can’t dramatize all of them, though, because there are too many—far more than most people realize, because until now no one had bothered to document them in one place.

Hezbollah traces its origins to Iran’s 1979 revolution. The mullahs knew that unless they aggressively exported their theocratic ideology after the revolution, Iran risked becoming, in the words of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, just “an ordinary country.” So the regime created Hezbollah as the overseas branch of its own Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—the tip of an Iranian imperial spear.

The group first coalesced in 1982 in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, as a loose confederation of Shia Islamist cells under various names. By the mid-1980s it had become a more formal organization. Lebanon, with its large Shia population, was the perfect place for Tehran to export its revolution, and the early 1980s, in the midst of civil war and Israeli occupation, was the perfect time.

Hezbollah cut its teeth in Beirut, first by destroying the U.S. Embassy in 1983, then by deploying suicide truck bombers simultaneously against American Marines and French soldiers on peacekeeping missions in October of the same year. “The Marine barracks bombing,” Mr. Levitt writes, “was not only the deadliest terrorist attack then to have targeted Americans, it was also the single-largest non-nuclear explosion on earth since World War II.”

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Is Russia Aiding Syria to Hide Its WMD?

wmdBY RYAN MAURO:

Russia’s chemical weapons deal with Syria may not just be a slick move to strengthen Assad. It may be the present-day activation of an old Soviet plan titled “Operation Emergency Exit” designed to cleanse a Third World ally of incriminating material.

Assad has already begun moving his chemical weapons onto Russian ships, according to Kamal al-Labwani, who is a prominent Syrian opposition figure that stands against the Assad dictatorship and the Islamists. The Clarion Project interviewed him in April 2012.

Labwani says that Assad is also hiding chemical weapons in vegetable-filled trucks with the intention of transferring them to parts of Lebanon dominated by Hezbollah. Immediately after the Russian-brokered deal was announced, the Clarion Project was told by an informed source that there was intelligence that Assad was already in the process of sending WMD-related materials to the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon.

The Iraqi government, a supporter of Assad, has denied reports that it is also housing Syrian WMD. General Salim Idris, a rebel military leader, claims that Syrian materials have gone to Iraq, as does an anti-Assad newspaper in Lebanon. The paper says that at least 20 trucks crossed into Iraq without inspection.

As the highest-ranking defector from the East Bloc, Ion Mihai Pacepa, was privy to the deepest secrets of the Soviet Union when he the chief of Romania’s foreign intelligence service. He defected in 1978 and remains in hiding.

In August 2003, he wrote that he had first-hand knowledge of a secret Soviet plan named Operation Sarindar, or in English, “Operation Emergency Exit.” Its objective was to cleanse a Third World ally of chemical weapons in order to prevent the discovery of Russian complicity and to help frame the West as the aggressor.

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

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.

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