U.S. Law Enforcers Note Increase in Prison Tattoos With Hezbollah Imagery
by Joshua Levitt
U.S. law enforcers have noted an increase of tattoos on prison inmates, particularly in the Southwest, with script written in Farsi and with graphics depicting Hezbollah imagery, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a newly published book, “Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Army of God,” by terrorism expert Matthew Levitt.
The WSJ said Hezbollah’s “operatives and sleeper cells are certainly in America. ‘Law enforcement officials across the Southwest,’ Mr. Levitt writes, ‘are reporting a rise in imprisoned gang members with Farsi tattoos,’ including some with Hezbollah imagery. Another official he quotes puts it this way: ‘You could almost pick your city and you would probably have a [Hezbollah] presence.'”
While Hezbollah has yet to mount an attack on U.S. soil, the group’s chief patron, Iran, is not reluctant to do so, the WSJ said. “In 2011, Tehran tried to hire a drug trafficker in Mexico to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in a Washington, D.C., restaurant (the would-be assassin turned out to be a federal agent). And Iranian diplomat Mohsen Rabbani, who masterminded Hezbollah’s attacks in Argentina in the 1990s, assisted a (foiled) plot to bomb JFK Airport in New York City in 2007. Whether Hezbollah would strike the American homeland is an open question. But as Matthew Levitt’s well-researched book makes clear, it isn’t an outlandish one.”
Levitt is a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and is a former FBI counter-terrorism analyst.
Until the 9/11 2001 terror attacks , no terrorist organization had killed more Americans than Hezbollah, the WSJ writes. “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.”