Hezbollah poses homeland threat, US intelligence says

The Shi'ite terror organization is poised to hit the US, and the US State Department speaks of increased alertness in the face of threat emanating from Lebanon.

October 11, 2017 01:19
1 minute read.
A Hezbollah fighter stands in front of anti-tank artillery at Juroud Arsal

A Hezbollah fighter stands in front of anti-tank artillery at Juroud Arsal. (photo credit: ALI HASHISHO/REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – Hezbollah is perfecting its ability to strike at the United States from within its borders, a senior US counterintelligence official said on Tuesday.

Hezbollah’s “global attack infrastructure” includes operational cells within the US, National Counterterrorism Center director Nicholas Rasmussen told reporters at the State Department.

“While I’m not here to speak publicly about any specific, credible or imminent threat to the homeland, we in the intelligence community do in fact see continued activity on behalf of Hezbollah here inside the homeland,” Rasmussen said. “It is our assessment that Hezbollah is determined to give itself a potential homeland option as a critical component of its terrorism playbook .

“We are watching very closely for additional signs of that activity,” he added.

Rasmussen announced a multi-million dollar reward for information on two Hezbollah operatives: up to $7 million for information on Talal Hamiyah, and up to $5m. for information on Fu’ad Shukr. Both men are involved in planning attacks outside of Lebanon or against Americans and their allies.

“With all of the focus on ISIS and al-Qaida, I can assure you that those of us who are focused on terrorism for the entire period since 9/11 have never taken our eye off of the Hezbollah threat,” Rasmussen said.

Hezbollah relies on support from Iran for its arms. US President Donald Trump planned to deliver a speech outlining his “comprehensive policy” toward Iran and its proxy organizations later on Friday.

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