Matthew Levitt Reveals the Organization’s Worldwide Terrorist Activities and Financial Structure
Hezbollah, Lebanon’s “Party of God,” is a multifaceted organization: it is a powerful political party in Lebanon, a Shia Islam religious and social movement, Lebanon’s largest militia, a close ally of Iran, and a terrorist network. Hezbollah and Iran both deny the existence of a Hezbollah terrorist apparatus, but intelligence services worldwide know it well. While some acts of terror, like the kidnappings in Lebanon in the 1980s and the 1992 and 1994 bombings in Buenos Aires, are generally known, Hezbollah’s global presence and terrorist activities go much farther.
Despite the wealth of material published over the past few years on al Qaeda, the war on terrorism, and Iraq, far less has been written about Hezbollah. The few books that have been published focus on the group’s ideology, history, and activities in Lebanon. Matthew Levitt’s Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God breaks new ground with this first thorough examination of this organization’s covert operations beyond Lebanon’s borders. Drawing on extensive field research, including interviews with intelligence and law enforcement officials around the world, newly declassified intelligence material, court documents, and official reports, Levitt traces Hezbollah’s beginnings with its first violent forays in Lebanon. He then investigates its terrorist activities and criminal enterprises abroad in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and finally in North America, concluding with a look at Hezbollah’s position as Iran’s most trusted, professional, and deniable proxy.
Levitt argues convincingly that Hezbollah’s willingness to use violence at home and abroad should be of serious concern. Hezbollah authoritatively documents the history of Hezbollah’s clandestine activities over time and across continents, including the group’s terrorist operations and financial and logistical networks. A topic of tremendous relevance to current events, understanding the threat posed by Hezbollah today could not be more pressing.
Matthew Levitt is a senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. Previously, Dr. Levitt served as the deputy assistant secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the US Department of the Treasury, as an FBI counterterrorism analyst, and as an adviser on counterterrorism to the US State Department. Levitt held fellowships with the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy and the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (Yale University Press, 2006).
PUBLICATION DATE: September 2013, 416 pages
ISBN 978-1-62616-013-2, hardcover $32.95
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