Commentary Magazine


Topic: Belize

Hezbollah Raises Latin American Profile

Two news stories from recent weeks, if true, should raise a red flag in the United States that Iran is preparing to use Hezbollah to strike at U.S. interests in Latin America, if not in the United States itself.

First, this story from the Lebanese news portal Naharnet and sourced in part to Israeli radio. The Naharnet story was taken down shortly after it appeared:

Hezbollah is using a training base established by Iran in northern Nicaragua near the border with Honduras, the Israeli radio reported on Thursday [September 6]. “The area is cordoned off and there are around 30 members of Hizbullah being trained in the camp,” the radio quoted intelligence sources as saying. According to the report, Tehran is funding and supplying the training base…

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Two news stories from recent weeks, if true, should raise a red flag in the United States that Iran is preparing to use Hezbollah to strike at U.S. interests in Latin America, if not in the United States itself.

First, this story from the Lebanese news portal Naharnet and sourced in part to Israeli radio. The Naharnet story was taken down shortly after it appeared:

Hezbollah is using a training base established by Iran in northern Nicaragua near the border with Honduras, the Israeli radio reported on Thursday [September 6]. “The area is cordoned off and there are around 30 members of Hizbullah being trained in the camp,” the radio quoted intelligence sources as saying. According to the report, Tehran is funding and supplying the training base…

Second, this story from Belize City’s News 5 Online:

Within three days a suspected terrorist with alleged ties to the radical group Hezbollah was able to secure a Belizean identity. Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun arrived in the country on August twenty-ninth and when he left, he had a Belizean birth certificate, a driver’s license and a passport all issued in the name of Wilhelm Dyck, a Belizean Mennonite of Shipyard who was born in February of 1976 and died two months later.

As News 5 points out, Wikileaks also shows a long Hezbollah involvement in Belize.

Against the backdrop of riots across the region, Iranian officials have become even more threatening than usual. Hojjat al-Eslam Kazem Tabatabaei, Zabol Friday prayer leader, for example, called for “a jihad to annihilate the Arrogance [the United States],” while Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamadani warned the United States to “expect harsher reactions.”  It would be a mistake for the Obama administration to dismiss Iranian threats as mere rhetoric, given the elaborate preparations the Iranians and Hezbollah appear to have engaged in, south of our border.

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