Last week, Hussein Bassam Abdallah pled guilty to involvement in a terrorist plot in Cyprus, where he was hiding 8.2 tons of ammonium nitrate intended for attacking Israeli and Jewish targets on the island and smuggling the remainder to Hizballah operatives throughout Europe. Matthew Levitt cites this as evidence of how little has been accomplished by EU’s July 2013 ban on Hizballah’s military wing but not on the organization in general:
Not only did Hizballah actively maintain an explosives stockpile in Cyprus, the group retained the operatives, infrastructure, and reach to engage in operations across Europe. Over the course of the time Abdallah maintained this explosives stockpile, Hizballah remained active across Europe, from a 2012 bombing thwarted in Greece to the arrest and deportation of a Hizballah operative in Denmark in 2013 who arrived on a commercial ship for purposes still unknown. . . . Germany’s domestic intelligence agency recently reported that Hizballah maintains some 950 active operatives in the country. . . .
When the EU banned Hizballah’s military wing, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius pledged, “There’s no question of accepting terrorist organizations in Europe.” Now, as Europe marked the third anniversary of the July 18 Hizballah bus bombing in Bulgaria, there is abundant evidence that Hizballah is doing just that: engaging in terrorist activities in Europe.
In other words, the EU banned part of Hizballah and warned it to cease activities in Europe, and Hizballah promptly called Brussels’ bluff. Which leaves us with a question for Fabius: will the EU accept a terrorist organization operating in Europe?