Scholar presents global map of Hezbollah terrorist operations


Staff member
Scholar presents global map of Hezbollah terrorist operations
The map “divulges the little-known fact that in 2010, Hezbollah stored ammonium nitrate intended for making explosives in a house purchased by a French Lebanese professor."
AUGUST 8, 2020

A leading expert on the Lebanese terrorist movement Hezbollah’s operations across the globe presented last week the first-ever interactive multimedia tool chronicling the Shi’ite organization’s malign activities across the world. “Hezbollah Is active not only along Blue Line, not only in Syria, but in other military conflicts throughout the region and in terrorist in criminal activity around the world, “ Matthew Levitt, the Hezbollah expert, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday.

"The group goes to great lengths to publicize the over activities it wants people to know about, social welfare activity and political activity for example. But it goes to still greater lengths to hide its covert, illegal activities, from terrorist operations to narcotics trafficking in money laundering,” said Levitt, who serves as the director of the Washington Institute’s Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

“This tool aims to provide a user-friendly, free, open source, location for verified information about Hezbollah’s global activities,” he added. The US, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Arab League, and many Latin American countries have designated Hezbollah a terrorist entity. The European Union has merely classified Hezbollah’s so-called “military wing” a terrorist organization while allowing the Shi’ite group’s political wing to function. France's government has blocked a EU proscription of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity. Levitt said during the webinar presentation of his map that "during and following publication of my 2013 book Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God, I traveled throughout Europe trying to persuade legislators to designate the group as a terrorist organization. These conversations revealed two key gaps in the existing literature: the lack of a go-to repository of Hezbollah-related information, and the dearth of unclassified source material." He continued to say that “although the book addressed both problems to some extent, its deluge of information was neither instantly accessible nor frequently updateable. This conundrum was the catalyst for development of the new interactive project.”

Levitt covered Hezbollah's use of ammonium nitrate over the years prior to Tuesday’s explosion at Beirut Port involving the deadly bomb-making chemical. Hezbollah denies its involvement with the detonation of over 2,500 tons, causing at least 135 deaths and over 5,000 injuries. Levitt said that the map “divulges the little-known fact that in 2010, Hezbollah stored ammonium nitrate intended for making explosives in a house purchased by a French Lebanese professor who is currently under indictment. Indeed, the map’s capabilities provide an easy way of examining the connections between related data, such as the travel patterns of Meliad Farah and other operatives involved in the 2012 Burgas bombing. It also sheds light on plots that did not come to fruition, such as the joint Hezbollah/Palestinian Islamic Jihad plan to target Jewish emigres at a Warsaw synagogue and the Budapest airport in the late 1990s.” Hezbollah operatives blew up an Israeli tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, in 2012, murdering five Israelis and their Muslim Bulgarian bus driver. Over 30 additional Israelis were injured by the bomb.