Iranian-Backed Hezbollah and Hamas Bolster Worldwide Terrorist Presence
While the West extends nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Islamic Republic continues to enhance its international terrorism infrastructure through its proxies. Hezbollah has 950 active operatives in Germany, while Hamas maintains 300 operatives, according to a German intelligence report summarized by the Jerusalem Post.
The number of Islamists in Germany rose from 43,190 in 2013 to 43,890 in 2014, the report said.
Radical Islamists are “the greatest danger to Germany…Germany is on the spectrum of goals for Islamic terrorists,” said Hans-Georg Maassen, president of German’s domestic intelligence agency – the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV).
The report’s chapter on “Islamism and Islamic terrorism” reveals that “Hamas was successful” in organizing people beyond its main support base to participate in anti-Israel protests. There were “more Hamas- supporting events than peace demonstrations, and there was clearly public anti-Semitism” during last summer’s war in Gaza.
A reminder about Hezbollah’s reach came this week in a Cyprus criminal court, where an operative was sentenced to six years in jail following a guilty plea to all eight charges levied against him in connection with a plot to attack Israeli and Jewish targets. Authorities seized nine tons of ammonium nitrate from Hussein Bassam Abdallah, a Lebanese-Canadian. Prosecutors revealed that Abdallah was recruited into Hezbollah’s military wing roughly five years ago, and visited Cyprus approximately 10 times since 2012. This incident marks the second time a Cypriot court sentenced a Hezbollah operative to prison for planning attacks against Israeli targets in the last three years.
These developments demonstrate that Iranian backed terrorist organizations continue to bolster their presence internationally and plot attacks throughout the world. Over the last few years, Hezbollah has planned attacks against Israeli and Western targets in Thailand, India, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Nepal, and Nigeria among others. In 2012, the terrorist group was responsible for a deadly suicide bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and the bus driver in Bulgaria.
Hamas, a terrorist group with long-standing Iranian support, is also enhancing its international terrorist infrastructure. For example, recent reports show that Hamas is actively recruiting Palestinians studying in Malaysia, who are then sent to train in Turkey, to conduct terrorist attacks against Israelis upon returning to the West Bank.
Steven Emerson is the Executive Director the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org) where this article first appeared.