Does Hezbollah have cells ready to launch terror-strikes in the U.S. if we attack Iran?

This thread on Obama supporting the Syrian rebels got kinda hijacked – see this post – by a theory that Hezbollah (which supports Assad) has cells in the U.S. poised to strike if we piss them off, or if the U.S. or Israel attacks nuclear facilities in Iran, or if Iran orders it. FinnAgain treats this as an established fact, citing this story from the Jerusalem Post, which cites this report from the House Committee on Homeland Security. See here for committee proceedings and testimony.

Seems kind of authoritative. However: The report seems to shade the difference between Hezbollah “donors” and “operatives” – it even speaks of “fundraising cells,” a phrase I have never encountered before anywhere. That committee is chaired by Rep. Peter T. King, who is, putting it mildly, not a credible figure, especially on this kind of subject. Some of the testimony came from Matt Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which is an AIPAC sock, and AIPAC is definitely not credible on this kind of subject. And when I Google “hezbollah cells in the united states,” the only hits I get seem to come from nonsources like WND and Family Security Matters.

Is there any other verification? More to the point, are there any Hezbollah terror cells?

Did the IRA’s old fund raising cells in Boston and NY and elsewhere ever launch any operations in the US? Seems like “fund raising cells” would be a long way from “operational” cells in terms of the skills required of the people involved.

I would think that Hezbollah would be more worried about “losing Syria” than “discouraging” US support for Free Syria folks by pulling off terrorist ops in the US. If their fund raising cells here are critically important to their operation as an organization, one would think they would not want to draw undue attention.

There are always loners and losers who believe a single attack will turn the U.S. into a nation of cowards. Ain’t gonna happen. If Hezbollah, or any other terrorist group, prepares to attack us inside the U.S., then it should be made very clear to Hezbollah et al that they will be hunted down, captured and imprisoned, or exterminated. Meaningless threats are meaningless. Actual threats should be delt with harshly.

If there were solid evidence of this, wouldn’t it already be dealt with through etiher FBI operations, CIA business in Iran, or both?

Your lack of comprehensiveness on matters that are important, coupled with your focus on King and your desire to slime Levitt with your AIPAC Controls His Statements Conspiracy Theory is, unfortunately, not surprising. What also isn’t surprising is you didn’t actually read the thread or its citations.

Can’t say enough about reading a thread you’re posting in before rushing off to start a new one and ranting about how we can’t trust anybody who’ in a thinktank AIPAC started. Ironically, you somehow missed this post with a sizeable block quote from MSNBC (funny, you could only find WND and such…). Since you evidently didn’t read the thread that spawned this OP, I’ll provide you with that quote yet again, I’ll even underline so you don’t have to read much.

Of course, the same post you didn’t see includes a direct like to Swecker’s testimony about a Hezbollah cell he broke up and Clapper’s findings. on whether or not Iran would authorize strikes within the US.

And, naturally, your attempt to slime Levitt as some sort of Zionist pawn is disgusting but unfortunately not unexpected. This is the man whose reputation you’re trying to assassinate based on nothing more than your CT.

So you didn’t read the thread, didn’t read the cites, started a completely new thread where you’re mostly focusing on attacking the character of people rather than the facts at issue, and included some disgusting nonsense about how we can’t trust a man if his think tank was founded by AIPAC. Par for the course, Glutton.

[shrug] Ask Rep. King, he should know.

Yeah, you should keep focusing on the personality of Peter King.
Obviously that will make the facts go away.

Hey, wanna play Spot the Zionist Patsy? You already went first with Levitt, so it’s my turn. Wolf Blitzer: dude worked for AIPAC and so now we can’t trust anything he reports on, as he’s a member of the Zionist Plot. Okay, your turn, who else should we ignore?

Let’s count BS words used by the “authority” on the subject:

“A common view”,
“many in law enforcement and intelligence assumed”,
“Counterterrorism officials consider”,
“There is general consensus”,
“some officials estimate”.

What is this? CNN’s news report? And we are supposed to drink this up just because it was written (ordered?) by Peter King?

And the best one is at the end:

“Some were quietly convicted of fraud and deported as criminal aliens without their Hezbollah background being publicly disclosed by prosecutors,”

Really? REALLY!?

This is rather pathetic is all I have to say.

Now, onto the subject.

I’m sure US officials do have a plan and monitoring in place even if they are not really sure who the actual operatives are.

I’m just not sure that this would be a good strategy in case of any conflict as just one single case on US soil would be responded 100-fold onto Iran.

On the other hand, to have an operative on US soil with a plan would require a little bit more of organizing power and network that in the current height of monitoring hysteria would be quite a luxury. In other words, this time would be the worst time for it.

That it amplifies drums of war goes without saying, regardless true or false.

Reading threads you post in which don’t even have a dozen posts in them yet: evidently optional.

Looking through the testimony, it seems pretty weak-sauce. They present evidence that Hezbollah does fundraising in North America, and that a couple of the people sent to the US to raise funds were legitimate terrorist operatives. The (explicitly stated) assumption is that fundraising networks can become active terrorist cells (quickly, no less) — but if anything, the fact that these guys were having to work with non-Islamic-terrorism-related organized crime should indicate the opposite. And the nearest thing to a Hezbollah terrorist plot in the US — trying to have a prosecutor murdered — seems to have been an appeal that was never met (in fact, quite the opposite).

IOW, it doesn’t seem like something the average Joe should be scared about.

The appeal was never met because the letter was intercepted. As for how quickly a Hezbollah cell could engage in acts of terrorism? Tell me, about how many hours would it take you to buy, say, a propane cylinder? Does that normally require months of preparation, or merely someone with a few dollars in their pocket and a willingness to walk into a public place while holding a lighter? Do you think, if trained Hezbollah operatives saw fit, they couldn’t create home made explosives with a timer, if no ‘martyrs’ were handy? Do you think that the Beltway Sniper was somehow in possession of special abilities that any schmo with a rifle couldn’t replicate fairly easily?

“Sure there are Hezbollah cells here, but trust us, they probably won’t do anything bad.” is not a stunningly persuasive claim, epecially as we go about removing one of their two allies in the Middle East and admitted to attacking Iran’s nuclear program to boot.

They just may have the power to stick a needle in us and make us say ouch! Maybe?

As a nation, they do not present an existential threat to us. Of course, if you happen to be in a group of people murdered by Hezbollah, whether or not they’ve done existential damage to the republic is, perhaps, not the question your family will be most concerned with.

Meanwhile, we have people advocating that the US intervene in Syria, risking US security in the process. As per standard rules for how the game is played on this message board, we should be accusing them of being Syria Firsters, looking at people with Syrian/Arab ancestry in the government for signs of Dual Loyalty and looking for ties to the Oil Lobby. Yes?

Two things. First, you need trained Hezbollah operatives, and the testimonies, despite being the one side, made it clear that those are pretty darned rare. Second, obviously we want the FBI to keep on top of domestic crazies, but terrible as the Beltway Snipers are, we’re suddenly talking about something on par with (in fact far less than) the regular, non-terrorist violence in the US. If anything, the criminal fundraising schemes are a bigger problem for their own sake than for who’s around here doing them. So no, it’s not something that a regular Joe should be very worried about. Nor should it influence America’s foreign outlook much, beyond that the US would presumably respond to breaches of its sovereignty.

ETA: good catch on the Charlotte attack thing.

The Hezbollah sleeper cells must be hiding in the same place the Al Qaeda sleeper cells have been holed up for over a decade. I assume it’s so secure that even they can’t find it.

Not all that rare, no. And that’s only for exotic bomb making. Hell McVeigh managed to create a fertilizer bomb on the cheap, and it’s highly unlikely that Hezbollah couldn’t give operatives a PDF explaining ‘this is how you build a fertilizer bomb’, or some such. And yes, something like the Beltway Sniper has the potential to sow fear and uncertainty without doing serious damage. Someone like a McVeigh has the ability to take a significant amount of life and do a lot of damage without being an existential threat.

The worry is not that Hezbollah will conquer the United States, but that by publicly taking credit for attacking Iran’s nuclear program with Stuxnet and now publicly taking credit for helping to overthrow Assad, Hezbollah’s second most important ally and munitions pipeline, the US is unnecessarily exposing its citizens to risk. Stuxnet was a brilliant idea. Leaking it was awful. Covertly helping oppose Assad is rather well supported by a calculus of political considerations. Overtly doing the same, less so.

Even on 9/11, Mr. Regular Joe had nothing to fear. Hezbollah has displayed a willingness to hit US military targets and Jewish civilian targets even when not threatened, at all. That we should dismiss the possibility that they could launch retaliatory strikes given our recent twin public admissions is, however, unsupported by precedent and our current state of knowledge. In point of fact, intelligence analysts have long said that an attack on Iran’s nuclear program might very well be all the justification Hezbollah needed. We just publicly declared that we were the ones who attacked Iran’s nuclear program.

Most Jewish Americans label themselves Zionists and have visited Israel at least once so they should not be trusted when discussing Israel.

Obviously exceptions are made for those who explicitly define themselves as non-Zionists, such as Norman Finkelstein.

Ah, well played. Here Glutton and I have been plinking but you got out some ordinance. Good show.

Back on a serious note, I think this bears repeating. This is the man who Glutton tells us we simply cannot trust since he works for a think tank which was founded by AIPAC.

So we have Levitt (Intelligence analyst, adviser, Harvard research fellow, commended FBI/Treasury employee, etc…) vs BrainGlutton (anonymous SDMB poster), and we are to discard Levitt as a source because, Glutton tell us, AIPAC can’t be trusted and as the implication goes, Levitt must be a Zionist patsy since his think tank was founded by AIPAC. Or as Glutton tells it, it’s merely a “sock” for AIPAC.

Who to trust, who to trust?
Hrm… I know how to settle this. Glutton, have you ever lectured on international terrorism on behalf of the Departments of State, Justice, Defense, or Homeland Security? Maybe you’ve served as an intelligence analyst? Surely you’ve been a research fellow at Harvard or taught at somewhere like Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies? Surely your entire attempt to discredit Levitt doesn’t boil down to an accusation that he’s a Zionist pawn and can’t be trusted?

… right?

No, but I don’t think he ranked as much of a terrorist-threat. Serial killers never do; not spectacular enough.

Perfect example of misplaced sarcasm. Thank you.