We all have those moments, when the reading gets tough, because we decided to take a stab at Umberto Eco’s the Name of the Rose, James SA Corey’s Tiamat’s Wrath or Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, we tend to require some light reading, in this I am no different, although, my choice was ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2019’ the US Department of State to provide to Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act. It is here that I found a few items that made me wonder, I’ll merely look at one of them.
Now, the important part in all this is the fact that we need to consider what constitutes ‘a complete annual report’, I need to set it in that way, for the simple reason that the application of ‘complete’ is not always a given in some settings. This piece of light reading is set to 304 pages, so I will safe you the state of affairs in a few items and focus on an immediate issue that could be seen as a direct danger and not merely to the US.
Hezbollah, is there another one?
The US Department of State names them Hizballah and then gives us “Aka the Party of God; Islamic Jihad; Islamic Jihad Organization; Revolutionary Justice Organization; Organization of the Oppressed on Earth; Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine; Organization of Right Against Wrong; Ansar Allah; Followers of the Prophet Muhammed; Lebanese Hizballah; Lebanese Hezbollah; LH; Foreign Relations Department; FRD; External Security Organization; ESO; Foreign Action Unit; Hizballah ESO: Hizballah International; Special Operations Branch; External Services Organization; External Security Organization of Hizballah”, OK, fair enough, they are known in several ways, so we get the entire list of references and no one will ever object to clarity. Yet then we see “In September 2018, Brazil arrested a Hizballah financier, and in December 2018, tunnels reportedly built by the group were discovered on Israeli territory along the boundary with Lebanon. In September 2019, Hizballah launched attacks directly on the Israeli military, firing anti-tank missiles targeting an army base and vehicles near the border.
Strength: Hizballah has tens of thousands of supporters and members worldwide.
Location/Area of Operation: Lebanon and Syria”
This is all true, yet it is incomplete. The entire setting to Hezbollah in Yemen is overlooked, intentionally or not is not important.
The first source is Reuters (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-group/saudi-led-coalition-says-hezbollah-fighters-killed-in-yemen-battles-idUSKBN1JL0YR). They give us ‘Saudi-led coalition says Hezbollah fighters killed in Yemen battle’ in June 2018 “Forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition have killed eight members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group in Yemen in battles with the Iran-aligned Houthis, the coalition said on Monday. Hezbollah officials could not immediately be reached for comment.” In addition we see ‘Yemen’s Houthi rebels raise nearly $300,000 for Hezbollah’ in 2019 and the entire setting continues until deep into 2020. As I personally see it, the Area of Operation has been proven (via several sources) to include Yemen and that is overlooked. In 2019 there are over half a dozen sources giving us news of Hezbollah in Yemen, I see that as a massive reason for actions and identification, especially as several sources name Hezbollah as the trainer/co-operating partner in the missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.
It gets to be worse if some sources can be trusted (unchecked), When we see ‘Hezbollah Isn’t Just in Beirut. It’s in New York, Too. The trial of a senior operative reveals the extent of the terrorist organization’s reach in the United States and Canada.’ We need to equally question “But last month, the criminal prosecution and conviction in New York of the Hezbollah operative Ali Kourani revealed disturbing new information about the extent of Hezbollah’s operations and activities in the United States and Canada.” The issue is as I see it a lot larger, it is not enough that they are recognised as a terrorist force, yet the lack of mentions of their activities outside of the Middle East in 2019 is a rather large factor, especially if their activities in the US, Canada and Europe were published by media sources. The British newspaper ‘the Telegraph’ (OK, not the greatest reliable source) gives us ‘Europe has not faced up to the threat of Hizbollah’ with the added text “Iran’s primary terrorist proxy group, Lebanese Hizbollah, has been deploying operatives to Europe for many years.” We can add text after text, yet the question in all this becomes, why is the ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2019’ incomplete? As I personally see it, it is an ‘incomplete annual report’, all this whilst this year there are added factors, that give rise to the fact that the Houthi forces as well as Hezbollah has been firing drones and missiles on civil targets in Saudi Arabia making them a much larger threat and optionally the proven threat that Israel has always claimed them to be.
Light reading or not, when the item is set to complete, I say, it is not. I wonder if I am the only one claiming this and the only one claiming that Hezbollah is a much larger problem than the US Congress is being made aware of. I wonder why?