An Iranian-backed terror group claims it will have nearly half-a-million missiles aimed at Israel within the next year amid ongoing efforts by the Islamic Republic to transfer advanced missile technology to regional hotspots such as Lebanon and Syria, which are located on Israel’s borders.
Militants tied to Hezbollah, the Iranian-controlled terror group that operates along Israel’s northern border in Lebanon, claim they have deployed more than 70,000 long-range missiles across Syria and Lebanon in preparation for a strike on Israel. The number of missiles could grow to nearly half-a-million within the next year, according to these militant groups.
Following an encounter between an Iranian drone and Israeli forces that set off speculation of an upcoming confrontation between these two countries, pro-Hezbollah press outlets disclosed that Iran has been moving advanced missiles across the region in order to bolster its terrorist proxies, such as Hezbollah….
Deputy Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri met with Hizballah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah Tuesday in Beirut, according to Hizballah’s Al Manar TV and reported by Ynet News.
The meeting comes after Israel destroyed an offensive tunnel originating in Gaza and stretching into Israeli territory, killing several senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad members. Al-Arouri and Nasrallah discussed “the Zionist aggression against Gaza and its ramifications,” even though the tunnel was constructed to attack and abduct Israelis in a future confrontation.
The tunnel’s construction started after the 2014 war with Hamas ended, according to Israeli military officials speaking to the Jerusalem Post.
Such a high profile meeting signals a major rapprochement between the terrorist organizations, after ties were formally severed in 2011 when the groups took opposite positions in Syria’s civil war.
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Hizballah terrorists are exploiting Germany’s refugee policy and entered the country as part of the recent wave of Middle East migrants, according to the Jerusalem Post’s review of a German intelligence report released this month.
“Since mid-2015 there are increased indications of fighters from Shi’ite militias entering Germany as legal refugees,” the report says, and “roughly 50% [of the fighters] show a direct connection to Hezbollah.”
A growing number of Hizballah operatives are settling in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, the report says. The region hosts the Imam-Mahdi Center – a traditional hub for Hizballah operatives. The report also cites a growing and open Hamas presence in North Rhine-Westphalia, despite Germany’s terrorist designation of the Palestinian organization, where Hamas supporters exploit Germany to “collect funds” and “recruit new members to spread their propaganda.”
There are roughly 950 Hizballah members throughout Germany, according to a 2014 Berlin intelligence report summarized by the Jerusalem Post. Though the number of Hizballah supporters is believed to be far higher in Germany than listed in the report.
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A recent speech by Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah contained unusually aggressive statements, calling for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel, and claiming that a future war would lead to Israel’s “demise.”
Nasrallah said Israeli Jews should “leave and return to the countries from which they came so they are not fuel for any war that the idiotic [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu government takes them to… They will have no secure place in occupied Palestine.”
The speech echoed rhetoric recently espoused by the Iranian regime and its military officials, who said Tel Aviv would be “destroyed” if Israel made “a mistake,” and that Israel would not survive for more than 25 years.
“Israel should remain silent and count down the days to its death, because any minor mistake would lead to its demise as fast as lightning,” said Iranian army commander Maj.-Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi.
These threats contain two messages.
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Iran has drastically increased financial support for its Lebanese-based terrorist proxy Hizballah since the Iran nuclear deal was signed two years ago, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Iran secured $100 billion in frozen assets and sanction relief in January 2016 as a result of the deal with the United States and European countries. Flush with cash, Iran immediately increased its support for terrorist proxies in the region and nefarious activities worldwide. Hizballah was receiving $200 million from Iran. Now, it’s $800 million.
Last month, Hamas terrorist leader Yahya Sinwar admitted that “relations with Iran are excellent and Iran is the largest supporter of the [Hamas military wing] Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades with money and arms.” Iran reportedly provides Hamas with about $60-$70 million.
Both Hizballah and Hamas remain dedicated to Israel’s destruction and continue to invest considerable resources to fight the Jewish state. Iran also spends hundreds of millions of dollars for Shi’ite militias in Syria and Iraq, while increasing support for Houthi militants in Yemen.
Shortly after the July 2015 nuclear deal was signed, Iran expanded its presence in regional conflicts and even increased its own intervention in Syria’s civil war, leading to mounting Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) casualties.
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Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently warned Israel that his Iran-backed terror group could attack targets producing mass Israeli casualties, including a huge ammonia storage tank in Haifa, and a nuclear reactor in Dimona.
Also last month, Tower Magazine reported that, since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Iran provided Hizballah with a vast supply of “game-changing,” state-of-the art weapons, despite Israel’s occasional airstrikes against weapons convoys.
In a future conflict, Hizballah has the capacity to fire 1,500 rockets into Israel each day, overwhelming Israel’s missile defense systems. Should such a scenario materialize, Israel will be forced to respond with unprecedented firepower to defend its own civilians.
Hizballah’s advanced weapons and the systems needed to launch them reportedly are embedded across a staggering 10,000 locations in the heart of more than 200 civilian towns and villages. The Israeli military has openly warned about this Hizballah war crime and the grave threats it poses to both sides, but that alarm generated almost no attention from the global media, the United Nations, or other international institutions.
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A recent report saying that Iran constructed underground missile factories in Lebanon for Hizballah would, if accurate, indicate a disturbing boost in the Shi’ite terror organization’s ability to self-produce weapons.
Already, the Israeli defense establishment sees Hizballah as a powerful and radical army rather than a ‘mere’ terror organization due to its deep and sophisticated weaponry (which surpasses that of most states), and its hierarchical command structure.
An ability to manufacture destructive rockets and missiles would mean that the militant Islamist Lebanese-Shi’ite organization is no longer entirely reliant on arms trafficking from its patron Iran and ally, the Assad regime in Syria.
The report, made available by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), was published in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida. It cites an aide to the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as its source. The IRGC’s Quds Force is an elite unit that runs Iran’s extensive overseas operations to arm, finance, and strengthen Iran’s regional proxies.
According to the Kuwaiti report, the IRGC built the arms-making facilities more than 50 meters underground and fortified them against air strikes before handing control of them over to Hizballah three months ago.
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Most analyses of Hizballah focus on the terrorist group’s intervention in Syria or its threat to Israel. But the Iranian-backed organization maintains a significant presence in and near the United States, threatening national security. Current American proposals to strengthen borders and immigration measures may be limited to address this important, yet poorly understood, threat.
A recent Al-Arabiya article examines Hizballah’s North American threat.
It has the expertise to build advanced tunnels on the southern U.S. border, enabling Hizballah terrorists and Mexican cartel operatives to infiltrate the United States. Relations between Iranian-backed proxies, including Hizballah, and Latin American drug cartels are well established. Mexican gang members learn from Hizballah’s combat experience and use of advanced weaponry. Hizballah, in turn, derives a significant portion of its finances from the drug trade and other illicit activities.
In recent years, security officials in southwestern states noticed a rise in tattoos featuring Hizballah’s insignia among imprisoned drug cartel operatives. This surprising trend indicates a strengthened relationship between the terrorist group and Mexican gang members. In line with its foreign policy, Iranian operatives infiltrating Latin America seek to convert individuals to adopt its extremist Shi’ite ideology. Over the years, pro Iranian websites have proliferated across Latin America, in an attempt to cultivate support for the Islamic Republic.
Powerful Latin American politicians also help Iran and Hizballah penetrate the region and threaten the United States. In February, CNN received a 2013 secret intelligence document from several Latin American countries demonstrating ties between Venezuelan Vice President Tarreck El Aissami and 173 Venezuelan identification cards and passports issued to people from the Middle East, including Hizballah operatives. El Aissami “took charge of issuing, granting visas and nationalizing citizens from different countries, especially Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Iranians, and Iraqis,” the report shows.
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Recent sweeping gains by the pro-Assad alliance in Aleppo signal the rise of an emboldened Iranian-led radical Shi’ite axis. The more this axis gains strength, territory, weapons, and influence, the more likely it is to threaten regional and global security.
Ideologues in Iran have formulated a Shi’ite jihadist vision which holds that the Iranian Islamic revolution must take control of the entire Muslim world. Losing the Assad regime to Sunni rebels, many of them backed by Tehran’s Gulf Arab state archenemies, would have represented a major setback to Iran’s agenda.
This same ideological agenda also calls for the eventual annihilation of Israel, the toppling of Sunni governments, and intimidating the West into complying with Iran’s schemes.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Tehran’s military elites, in the form of the Islamic Republican Guards Corps (IRGC), use the current regional chaos to promote these goals.
In Syria, Iran has mobilized tens of thousands of Shi’ite militia fighters from all over the Middle East, as well as those from Hizballah in Lebanon, and sent them to do battle with Sunni rebel organizations to help save the Assad regime.
As the Shi’ite axis wages a sectarian war against Sunnis moderate groups and jihadists, it mobilizes and arms its proxies, and moves military assets into Syria, gaining a growing influence that can be used for bellicose purposes in the not too distant future.
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