Terrorist Activity

Hezbollah is responsible for the death of thousands of people worldwide and injuring many more. In 1983 alone, Hezbollah’s two biggest terrorist attacks – the American Embassy Bombing and Beirut Barrack Bombing, both in Beirut – killed 366 people, including American and French servicemen and civilians. The terror group and its members have carried out numerous attacks on Lebanese soil since, including the assassination of the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others in 2005. In 2008, Hezbollah took over parts of Beirut as a result of clashes with the government, killing nearly 100 civilians.

 

In addition to operating domestically, Hezbollah has carried many large attacks across the world. In South America, Hezbollah planned and executed two bombings in Buenos Aires, Argentina – on the Israeli Embassy in 1992 and and the local Jewish cultural center (AMIA) in 1994 - the latter of which remains Argentina’s largest and most deadly terror attack to date. The bombings killed a total of 114 people who were targeted only because of their nationality and religion.

Similarly, in 2013 five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver lost their lives when Hezbollah, targeting Israeli civilians abroad, blew up their bus in Bulgaria. In1996, , a Hezbollah truck bombed exploded next to the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, where American servicemen were stationed, killing 19 and wounding hundreds more.

Car and truck bombings are not the only tool Hezbollah’s terror arsenal, as the group is responsible for the hijackings of several commercial airliners over the past few decades.

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While these are some of Hezbollah’s successful attacks, there are numerous plots that were successfully thwarted by authorities before they could be carried out in countries like Azerbaijan, Egypt, Thailand, Cyprus, and Peru, to name a few. For example, in 2012, Thai police detained Hezbollah operative Hussein Atris on immigration charges as he was attempting to depart Thailand. Atris was convicted of possessing bomb-making materials by a Thai court in September 2013 and sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

In 2017, two men with ties to Hezbollah were arrested in the USA, after having received weapons and bomb-making training in Lebanon, with charges of "pre-operational surveillance" on possible targets for attack in New York as well as Panama. 

 

While Hezbollah’s reach is global, their primary threat is to the civilians of Israel. With close to 150,000 missiles and rockets aimed at them just north of the Israel-Lebanon border, Israeli civilians live in constant fear that one day, these missiles will be fired at them.

Hezbollah’s ground capabilities are also formidable, as years of experience in the Syrian civil war have improved and honed their fighting skills. As a result, Hezbollah has dug terror tunnels underneath the border and carried cross border raids, breaching Israel’s sovereignty, threatening citizens, and even successfully kidnapping and killing soldiers several times.

Hezbollah’s capabilities and sworn determination to destroy Israel, combined with the terror organization’s involvement in the Syrian civil war, promote anarchy and instability in an already-volatile region.