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BlackEagle/BlackEagle Logistics & Procurement Branch, Data Support Section
Results of Criminal Organizations Database Search: Hizbullah
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Hizbullah #CR0001132 (Also... Some alternate names are aliases, other are names for specific subgroups or cells). Party of God Islamic Jihad Revolutionary Justice Organization Organization of the Oppressed on Earth Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine Ansarollah Supporters of God Partisans of God Source: EuroTer, CIA, Interpol, MI-6 Type: Political and religious terrorist organization Scope: General acts of popular terrorism and assassination in Lebanon and throughout the world on a frequent basis. Affiliations: Connections exist with the Worldwide Islamic Jihad [#CR0001716], the Palestine Liberation Organization [#CR0000318] and the Islamic Amal [CR0001390]. Many other links are believed, but yet to be proven. [CIA] Personnel: 4000 Operating Since: 1983 Structure: Scattered cells of terrorists organized in a religious hierarchy. Cells number between 10 and twenty operatives each. [MI-6] Leaders: Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah [#LL4379795], assembly leader, Hussein Musawi [#LL4764951]. assembly member. Legitimate Connections: Hizbullah covertly sponsors a number of relief organizations. The funding is funneled into Iran and into their own finances. Hizbullah receives considerable support from the Iranian government. [EuroTer] Resources: Receives substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran. [Interpol] Suspected Criminal Activity: Known or suspected to have been involved in numerous anti-US terrorist attacks, its vehicle-bombings include the following major attacks: on 18 April 1983, the destruction of one wing of the U.S. Embassy in West Beirut, killing 61 persons, including the CIA station chief, and forcing the evacuation of the embassy to Christian-controlled East Beirut; on 23 October 1983, destruction of the U.S. Marine headquarters at Beirut Airport, killing 241 U.S. servicemen, and another attack on the French contingent's headquarters, killing 74 servicemen; on 4 November 1983, an attack on Israeli Defense Forces headquarters in Tyre, killing 30 servicemen; on 9 September 1984, the attempted bombing of the U.S. Embassy annex in East Beirut. Although the bomber was unable to destroy the diplomatic compound, the car bomb nonetheless killed 2 Americans and 21 bystanders; and on 10 March 1985, a car bomb attack on Israeli soldiers near Metulla, killing 12 persons. Group also hijacked TWA 847 in 1985. Elements of the group were responsible for the kidnapping and detention of most, if not all, US and other Western hostages in Lebanon. Islamic Jihad publicly claimed responsibility for the carbombing of Israel's Embassy in Buenos Aires in March 1992. Additional Commentary: Hizballah, or Party of God, is one of the more significant independence movements based in the Middle East. This Lebanese Shiite group was created in 1983 with strong guidance from the Islamic government in Iran. Its goal today, as always, is the creation of an independent, Islamic Lebanon and the ouster of anything related to the "godless West", which is borne out in their virulently anti-U.S. and anti-Israel activities. In light of these facts, it is no surprise that Hizballah has been extremely active in its efforts to disrupt the process. Examples of this are plentiful, but have included mass demonstrations, guerrilla strikes from camps in the Bekaa Valley and the much feared suicide car bombings. Their targets have included Israeli civilians and military personnel, but have increasingly their attention has been turned to the South Lebanon Army. The SLA is allied with the Israelis and is responsible for stopping Hizballah within its area of operation that includes the area between known terrorist bases and Israeli territory. Hizballah has taken significant losses in men and material, but strong backing from Iran has definitely benefited the group, both in terms of training and weaponry. The group's military wing, Islamic Resistance Movement (not to be confused with Hamas [#CR0002211] which also uses the name), has received a steady supply of advanced explosives and detonating devices which has enabled Hizballah to create what has become their trademark: the car bomb. Never was this capability more evident than the infamous 1983 attack on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. In this incident, a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden truck through the inadequate perimeter defenses before setting off his bomb. The resulting explosion collapsed the building, killing hundreds. Katuysha rockets have also been used by this group in retaliatory attacks on Jewish settlements. Hizballah sometimes operates under the name Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, which sometimes causes confusion due to the fact that another group, Palestine Islamic Jihad, operates in the same area and has attacked some of the same type of targets. Hizballah has spawned numerous splinter groups as well. Most notable of these may well be a little-known group "Supporters of God". In March 1992, an immense car bomb destroyed the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. An identical device exploded there on July 18 outside a Jewish community center killing nearly 100 civilians. It wasn't until the 23, 1994 that a credible claim was made as to who carried out the attacks. In a statement out of Lebanon, a group calling itself Ansarollah ("Supporters of God" or "Partisans of God") announced that it was responsible for not only these horrendous acts, but also for the little-known bombing of a Panamanian commuter flight that crashed near Colon on July 19. The Lebanese government provided information that confirmed not only the existence of the group, but additionally linked Supporters of God to Hizballah. As car bombs are a signature weapon of Hizballah, the possibility that the builders of the bombs, if not members of Hizballah, may very well have received their training from the Palestinians. Hizballah's existence has been complicated slightly by the January 24, 1995 Executive Order, signed by President Clinton which prohibits transactions with the group due to their potential for disrupting the Middle East peace process. As mentioned previously, Hizballah obtains the majority of its external support from the Islamic regime in Iran. World pressure has recently been increased against nations sponsoring international terrorism, with significant sanctions being imposed against said sponsors. Nonetheless, Iran has not relented and Hizballah remains one of the most significant terrorist organizations operating today. Following the withdrawal of U.S. and French multinational units from Lebanon, Hizbullah apparently switched to hostage taking as its preferred tactic for ridding Lebanon of western influence. Revelations about the Reagan administration's arms sales to Iran in November 1986 further highlighted Iranian control over Hizbullah and prompted Hizbullah to take Church of England envoy Terry Waite hostage on 20 January 1987 as well. Following the cessation of U.S. arms for hostages deals Tehran found little future utility in continuing to have Hizbullah seize or hold hostages. The holding of the hostages remained the main reason for Iran's diplomatic isolation following the 1988 cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq war. The increase in U.S. influence in the Middle East as a result of Operation Desert Storm and the weakening of the position of Iran's Lebanese proteges in the face of increased Syrian support for Hizbullah's enemies in Lebanon may have forced both Iran and Hizbullah to release the remaining hostages before the end of 1991. Predictions about the demise or eclipse of Hizbullah presuppose that the necessary condition of Iranian state sponsorship had been withdrawn. Following the death of Khomeini, however, the Iranian state had not succeeded in integrating the various clerical factions, some of which have had more influence over Hizbullah than the formal offices of the Iranian state. After the release of western hostages in December 1991, Hizbullah again resumed car bombing attacks with the 17 March 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires for which, once again, Islamic Jihad claimed credit.