While perhaps best known for fighting and surviving two wars with Israel, the Iran-backed terrorist group Hizballah is currently in the headlines because of the devastating blast in Beirut, an at-best-indirect result of its power and influence in Lebanon. But Hizballah is in fact global in reach, fighting wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, laundering money in Hong Kong, Detroit, and Benin, and plotting terrorist attacks everywhere from South America to Germany to Southeast Asia. The extent and complexity of its operations are made clear in an interactive map and timeline composed by Matthew Levitt, in which one can learn—to mention but a few examples—about the failed bombing of a Buddhist Temple in Indonesia in 1985, a plan to attack the Warsaw synagogue in 1992, and a thwarted bombing outside La Paz, Bolivia. Not to mention, of course, the organization’s many successful acts of terror, which have claimed hundreds of lives.
Understanding Hizballah’s Global Empire
Netanyahu Details Hizballah’s War Crimes
At the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, the Israeli prime minister drew attention to Hizballah’s use of human shields, pointing out three locations where the Iran-backed terrorist group has constructed factories for the production of precision-guided missiles: two beneath multistory apartment buildings and one in an urban residential neighborhood in close proximity to gas installations. Such behavior not only exhibits reckless disregard for human life, but also violates international law. It is also a useful tactic, as Orde Kittrie explains: