Hizbullah and the Qods Force in Iran's Shadow War with the West

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Matthew Levitt - More than 20 terror attacks by Hizbullah or Iran's Qods Force were thwarted between May 2011 and July 2012. In July 2012, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) director Matthew Olsen warned that while Iran and Hizbullah had not yet hit targets in the U.S., U.S. officials worry that could soon change. "We're seeing a general uptick in the level of activity around the world....Both Hizbullah and the Qods Force have demonstrated an ability to operate essentially globally." In fact, the Hizbullah-Qods Force threat has sometimes eclipsed that of al-Qaeda. Olsen noted: "There are times when we are briefing the White House [and] at the top of the list are Hizbullah or Iran." Iranian leaders appear committed to a policy of targeting Western interests, not only in places where countermeasures may be comparatively underdeveloped (e.g., Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, India, Georgia, Thailand) but, if opportunities present themselves, even in world capitals like Washington, D.C. The writer is director of The Washington Institute's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

2013-01-31 00:00:00

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