'Hezbollah can hit Europe any time, without warning'

US official says Hezbollah, Iran maintaining high terrorist activity as Washington announces sanctions against Lebanon-based group.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 10, 2012 21:35
1 minute read.
Hezbollah supporters in Beirut [file]

Hezbollah supporters in Beirut 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Hezbollah could attack Europe at any time and with little to no warning, US State Department counter-terrorism coordinator Daniel Benjamin said on Friday, according to AFP.

“Our assessment is that Hezbollah and Iran will both continue to maintain a heightened level of terrorist activity and operations in the near future,” Benjamin said in a conference call with reporters. “Hezbollah maintains a presence in Europe and its recent activities demonstrate that it is not constrained by concerns about collateral damage or political fallout that could result from conducting operations there... We assess that Hezbollah could attack in Europe or elsewhere at any time with little or no warning.”

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Benjamin warned that Hezbollah could become increasingly violent as international sanctions threaten Syria and Iran, its patron-states.

“Hezbollah believes there have been sustained Israeli and Western campaigns against the group and its primary backers Iran and Syria over the past several years, and this perception is unlikely to change. Both remain determined to exact revenge against Israel and to respond forcefully to the Western-led pressure against Iran and Syria,” he said.

Though dispelling fears that Hezbollah could be active in the US, Benjamin said the group had “stepped up [its] terrorist campaign around the world.”

“It’s a very ambitious group with global reach,” he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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