Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hezbollah terrorism

  • Hezbollah made its debut in April 1983 by slamming a truck laden with explosives into the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 63, including 19 Americans. After the attack, the embassy was moved to another location, which was also bombed in September 1984.
  • Emboldened by their successful attack on the U.S. Embassy, Hezbollah launched another suicide bombing against the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut on October 23, 1983, causing 241 deaths - at that time the biggest loss for the Marines since Iwo Jima. Simultaneous with the attack on the Marine forces, Hezbollah bombed the barracks of French peacekeepers. An attack on Italian peacekeepers was foiled. Four months after the bombing, President Reagan ordered the withdrawal of American forces from Beirut, with France quickly following suit.
  • Throughout the 1980s, Hezbollah was behind the kidnapping of many Westerners in Lebanon throughout the 1980s, including the capture and brutal murder of CIA Beirut Station Chief, William Buckley. Journalist Terry Anderson was kidnapped and would eventually spend 2,454 days in captivity, along with several officials from the American University of Beirut. In order to secure the release of the hostages, the Reagan administration covertly organized an arms-for-hostages deal with Hezbollah’s primary state-sponsor, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which would only result in the release of three American hostages.
  • In June 1985, Hezbollah terrorists seized TWA Flight 847 en route from Athens to Rome, and diverted the plane to Beirut. When the terrorists demands were not met, a US Navy Seabee diver on board, Robert Dean Stethem, was shot and his body dumped on the airport tarmac. Other American military personnel were savagely beaten. The plane’s passengers and crew were held for 17 days. In the weeks that followed, Israel released a number of Shi’ite prisoners, though U.S. officials deny that there was a covert deal. Only one hijacker was ever captured and held for several years in Germany.
  • In 1990, Hezbollah captured, tortured, and eventually hanged Marine Corps Colonel Richard Higgins, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran who was on duty as an unarmed United Nations peacekeeper in Lebanon. His body was not recovered for another year. The story of Higgins’ life, captivity and murder is memorialized in a book written by his wife, Marine Lt. Col. Robin Higgins, Patriot Dreams: The Murder of Colonel Rich Higgins.
  • A Saudi Hezbollah cell was involved in providing al-Qaeda operatives with explosives training in their June 1996 attack on the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American Air Force servicement with the 4404th Wing and injured more than 500 others. According to then-FBI Director Louis Freeh, in his 2002 Congressional testimony to the Joint Intelligence Committee: “The direct evidence obtained strongly indicated that the 1996 bombing was sanctioned, funded and directed by senior officials of the government of Iran.”

Also, there were two suicide vehicular bombings in Argentina in the 1990s, targeting Argentina's 200,000-strong Jewish community, attacks that have long been suspected of being tied to Hezbollah and the Iranian government:

The 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and the 1994 attack on the AIMA Jewish community center also in Buenos Aires.

The 1992 attack -- A pickup truck, driven by a suicide bomber and loaded with explosives, smashed into the front of the Israeli Embassy located on the corner of Arroyo and Suipacha, and detonated, destroying the embassy, a Catholic church, and a nearby school building. Several Israelis died, but most of the victims were Argentine civilians, many of them children. The blast killed 29 and wounded 242.

The 1994 attack -- a car bomb at the Jewish Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

In 2005, Hezbollah spokesmen denied what the Argentine government claimed, that a key Hezbollah agent was one of the suicide bombers involved.

However, "An Argentine prosecutor said Ibrahim Hussein Berro of Lebanon had been identified in a joint effort by Argentine intelligence and the FBI."

"Prosecutor Alberto Nisman said friends and relatives had identified a photograph of Hussein Berro."

Many people in Argentina accuse the administration of Carlos Menem, Argentinian President 1989-1999, of having obstructed the years-long investigation into the attacks.

Carlos Menem was born into the Syrian Muslim family of Saúl Menem and Mohibe Akil, who had emigrated to Argentina when Syria was still part of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Syrian as well as Lebanese Muslims are mostly Shi'ite -- plus there is the fact that Menem was president of the Syrian-Lebanese Association of La Rioja in Argentina. Although Menem later converted to Catholicism, that doesn't mean his sympathies do not lie with his Islamic roots, as Hugh Fitzgerald has argued cogently in his articulation of the phenomenon of Islamochristians.

Then there is the fact that Menem's Presidential campaign was supported by the French paleo-Nazi Jacques de Mahieu, one of many Nazis who emigrated to Argentina and received covert and even overt support by the Peron regime (1946-1955). Jacques de Mahieu (1915-1990) was a French Collaborationist with the Nazis under the Vichy Regime and former member of the Charlemagne SS Waffen Division. ( )

"There are photos of De Mahieu in 1989 on the Presidential campaign trail for Menem". -- Uki Goñi ( )

The Real Odessa, Uki Goñi’s courageous investigation into the complicated network that delivered Nazi war criminals to Argentina, was the product of six years of research. Goñi, an Argentine journalist, spent this time conducting interviews and ploughing his way through European, American and Argentine archives–where, in one case, he found papers so long ago buried that the stack of folders he needed was home to a litter of kittens born on top of it. In an interview conducted by email, Uki Goñi talks to Granta US Books Editor, Lexy Bloom, about the unexpected consequences of his book; how some people see him as a spokesperson for a cause he didn’t necessarily intend to take up, and how he ties Argentina's complicated past with its present economic crisis.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hezbollah were trained and funded with blood money and weapons by Mossad to fight the British. Then the CIA still funds them.

8:33 AM  

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