- - - TERRORIST WATCH - - -
Kings and Generals of the Nations
This section covers the formation of the ties between Iran, Hezbollah and Palestine Islamic Jihad.
Kenneth Katzman, the terrorist analyst for the US Congress said, "I think you have an 'atomic bomb' brewing between Osama bin Laden, Hezbollah and the Iranians. If these two huge forces are married, either could set off the spark. Sooner or later you are going to see more from these people."
According to Clark Staten, Executive Director of the Chicago-based Emergency Response and Research Institute (ERRI), "The insurgent objectives and policies of identifiable nation-states such as Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya are being carried out by assembled teams of 'deniable' political and religious fanatics."
In an article written by Steve Macho of the ERRI Risk Assessment Services published on August 29th, 1997 he states: "Militant Islamic groups that have been officially described as international terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad and others are operating very quietly within the borders of the Unites States, from New York City to San Diego."
The following statement was submitted by Mr. Ward Elcock, Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to the Special Committee of the Senate on Security and Intelligence on June 24 of 1998. "The global terrorist threat today compared to ten years ago is more complex, more extreme, more sophisticated, more diffuse and more transnational. If the world is now a global village, the threat exists in every neighborhood."
The following is excerpted from "The Terrorist Connection-Iran, The Islamic Jihad and Hamas," by Elie Rekhess. Dr. Rekhess is a senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern & African Studies at Tel Aviv University. The paper was jointly prepared with Meir Hatina, a PH.D. candidate at Tel Aviv University's School of History.
Following the end of the Iran-Iraq war, Iran no longer restricted itself to the Shi'i domains: instead, it opened itself up to a genuine effort to export its revolution to Sunni-populated areas, such as Sudan, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and the Palestinian area. The change in Iran's external policies coincided with the eruption of the intifada which brought forth the saliency of Islamic militancy in the form not only of the Palestine Islamic Jihad movement but, more forcibly, through Hamas. Following the deportation of the Islamic Jihad leadership to Lebanon in 1988, Iranian involvement with the organization was significantly enhanced.
Politically, the Islamic Jihad's views on the Iran-Iraq war and the peace process were and are a mirror reflection of Iran's views on these issues.
The deportation in 1988 of Fathi Asquaqui (leader of the Islamic Jihad) and others to Lebanon, and the transfer of the Palestine Islamic Jihad headquarters to Syria thereafter marked a turning point in the development of the Iranian-Islamic Jihad relationship. From this point on direct contact was established between the Islamic Jihad activists and their Iranian sponsors through Iranian embassies in Beirut and Damascus, through the (Iranian) Revolutionary Guards stationed in Lebanon, and through Hezbollah.
The State Department's office of counter-terrorism in its report on international terrorism clearly established that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad receives funding from Iran. It is also known that Hezbollah receives funding and arms from Iran on a regular basis. Both of these groups are considered to be 'umbrella' organizations of Iran, in that they act largely under the orders and support of Iran. Arms transported to these groups are primarily funneled through+ and with the cooperation of Syria.
Hezbollah and Palestine Islamic Jihad also have an acknowledged base in an area of South America called the 'tri-border area' where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet. Iranian secret services agents and embassies in these three countries cooperate with these groups in the conduction of terrorist activities in South America, and in providing Iranian agents and other terrorists with false identity papers for travel to and from the US and other countries.
For further information on
this subject refer to the 'The Washington Institute for Near East Policy'
paper 'Iranian Links to International Terrorism by Hillary Maun: at http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/watch/Policywatch1998/296.htm
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