Did Hezbollah Do It?

Matthew Levitt analyzes the recent history of Hezbollah's external operations, which were revived after the Israeli assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, the terror leader who was behind multiple anti-American and anti-Israeli attacks:

Mughniyeh's assassination led to the resurrection of Hezbollah's international operations arm, which Hezbollah leaders actively paired down in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in an effort to keep the group out of the crosshairs of the "global war on terror." The drawdown helps explain why Hezbollah's Islamic Jihad Organization experienced so many failures when it first set out to avenge Mughniyeh's death. Not only was the terrorist mastermind Mughniyeh no longer there to quarterback operations, but the group lacked the resources and capability to carry out a successful operation abroad. In light of the far tighter security environment now in place in the Western world since 9/11,

Hezbollah has also generally shied away from trying to carry out attacks in the West, opting instead to operate in places where security is still relatively lax and where the group has cells and supporters (of its own or belonging to its Iranian patron). Thus, attacks in places like Baku, Bangkok, and now Burgas. In Bulgaria, Hezbollah may have relied on Lebanese drug and other criminal organizations that have long provided funds to the group. A 2008 Bulgarian government commission concluded that profits from drug trafficking through the country supports Hezbollah and other militant groups. This was likely on the agenda when then Mossad chief Meir Dagan paid an official visit to Sofia in 2010 to meet with the Bulgarian Prime Minister.
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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