OSINT – Hezbollah

Also Known As: Hizballah; Party of God; Islamic Jihad; Islamic Jihad Organization; Revolutionary Justice Organization; Organization of the Oppressed on Earth; Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine; Organization of Right Against Wrong; Ansar Allah; Followers of the Prophet Muhammed

Description:  The United States designated Hezbollah, a Shia paramilitary group founded in 1982 as a response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, as a FTO on October 8, 1997. The leadership of Hezbollah tends to defer to the notions of the Iranian Ayatollah. Hezbollah also acts as a political force in Lebanon with members of parliament subscribing to the group.

Targets: Key targets of Al-Shabaab include American targets of opportunity, Al-Qaeda cells, and Israeli citizens.

Activities: Hezbollah has executed numerous attacks against its targets, including cross border raids and bombings. Hezbollah’s first major attacks were against the U.S. Marine barracks and U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983. Later in 1985, the group hijacked TWA flight 847, and killed a U.S. Navy diver. Between 1992-1994, Hezbollah bombed several Israeli institutions in Argentina. Five members of Hezbollah – Mustafa Badreddine, Salim Ayyash, Assad Sabra, Hassan Anise, and Hassan Habib Merhi were accused of assassinating Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. In 2012, Hezbollah operatives targeted an Israeli bus in Bulgaria, killing 6 and wounding 32. Hezbollah has also deployed troops in Syria to support the al-Assad regime and to mitigate the influence of the Nusrah Front.

Diplomacy: Syria and Iran are state-sponsors of Hezbollah, and provide the terrorist group with small arms, training, and targets. Hezbollah has also been known to have worked with Palestinian terrorist networks.

Strength:  Estimated to be in the tens of thousands

AO: Lebanon (Bekaa Valley), southern Syria (al-Qusayr)

Funding and External Aid:  Hezbollah is materially supported by Iran and Syria. Hezbollah is also supported from donations from Shia Lebanese around the world. Moreover, the terrorist group is also funded by illegal and legal transactions within Lebanon.

Hizballah's AO, courtesy of the NCTC

Hizballah’s AO, courtesy of the NCTC

Local Media:

The Daily Star. Syrian Crisis.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Fars. Politico-Defense.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Iran Daily. Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

IRNA. Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

ISNA. Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Narharnet. Lebanon.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

National News Agency. Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Press TV. Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Tehran Times. Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Global Media:

Al Jazeera. Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

BBC. Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

CNN. Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Foreign Affairs. “Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Foreign Policy. “Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

The Guardian. “Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

NPR. Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

NYT. “Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Reuters. Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

VICE News. “Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

VOA. Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

WaPo. “Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Think Tanks / Academic:

AEI. “Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Brookings. “Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

CFR. “Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

CRS. “Annual Report on Military Power of Iran.” April 2012. Accessed January 1, 2015.

CRS. “Hezbollah: Background and Issues for Congress.” January 3, 2011. Accessed January 1, 2015.

CSIS. “Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

CTC. “Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

FAS. “Hizballah.” March 18, 2005. Accessed January 1, 2015.

ICG. “Lebanon.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

ICG. “Iran.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

ISW. “Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Jihadology. “Hizballah Cavalcade.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

SITE. “Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Stanford University. “Hezbollah.” Mapping Militant Organizations. November 4, 2014.  Accessed January 1, 2015.

TRAC. “Hezbollah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

Government:

Defense Department. “Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

DIA. “Annual Threat Assessment.” February 11, 2014.

NCTC. “Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

State Department. “Hizballah.” Accessed January 1, 2015.

State Department. “Hizballah.” Chapter 6: Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Country Reports on Terrorism 2013.

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