Newsweek: National Security Officials Worry That If Hizbullah Decides to Strike U.S., They Can Exploit Existing Network; Says Former FBI Chief: 'The Fact Is, They Have the Ability [to Attack] in The United States'
Congressman Ed Royce on Iranian Leadership Instructing Hizbullah: 'It Would
Be Enough ...to Say the Word for Hizbullah to Launch an Attack'
NEW YORK, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A handful of money scams uncovered across the United States in recent years bearing Hizbullah's fingerprints have some experts worried that if orders were given to launch a terror attack against the U.S. the means are in place to do so. The FBI has made Hizbullah a central target of its counterterrorism efforts, setting up a unit dedicated to tracking the group and assigning agents to develop sources in Lebanese and other Middle Eastern communities across the country, report National Security Correspondent Dan Ephron and Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff in the August 14 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, August 7). Security officials worry that if Hizbullah does one day decide to strike, it can exploit an already-existing network in this country. "You often see in these groups that people who deal in finances also have military backgrounds," Chris Hamilton, who was the FBI's unit chief for Palestinian investigations until last year, tells Newsweek. "The fact is, they have the ability [to attack] in the United States." (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060806/NYSU003 ) American screw-tightening on Iran over its nuclear program, might prompt Hizbullah to issue such an order. Iran is Hizbullah's main political and financial backer. "It would be enough for the Iranian leadership to say the word for Hizbullah to launch an attack," Congressman Ed Royce, a Republican from California who chairs the House subcommittee on international terrorism and non-proliferation, tells Newsweek. Support for Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah runs high in Lebanese communities across the country, and it spikes when Israel's war with Hizbullah or with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza heats up. But Arab-American leaders complain law enforcers are too quick to equate the pride some ex- patriots take in Hizbullah's stand against Israel-or even just the sympathy they feel for the Lebanese people-with support for terrorism. "Any time somebody sends money to somebody in Lebanon, the [prosecutors] say it's for Hizbullah," said Maurice Herskovic, who initially represented one of the defendants in a recent case in Detroit. Law enforcers say there's been no sign the fighting between Israel and Hizbullah, with all the Arab anger it stirs against America, will goad the group into action against the U.S. Hizbullah has not targeted Americans since the 1980s, when attacks on a Marine barracks in Lebanon and on the U.S. Embassy there killed more than 300 people. (Read entire story at www.Newsweek.com. Click "Pressroom" for news releases.) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14208386/