Hezbollah posing a greater threat to US?
Terrorism expert Matthew Levitt speaks out
- Duration 4:31
- Date Feb 4, 2013
Terrorism expert Matthew Levitt speaks out
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Now some new fears that the turmoil rocking the Middle East will be felt closer.
The the United States if not here Israel launching an air strike reportedly deep into Syria preventing -- shipments.
Seven anti aircraft missiles from reaching one of -- -- enemies Hezbollah one of the most powerful and well armed terrorist groups in the Middle East.
Its biggest sponsor is Iran which has -- to retaliate against Israel and its allies which of course includes us.
As -- as -- Shiite Muslim group based in Lebanon it was founded in 1982.
After the Israeli invasion of -- on.
Hezbollah has close links to Iran and -- and relying on both for support and the US designated -- terrorist group.
In 1997 our next guest says has -- has climbed back up the list of immediate threats.
Facing our country.
Matthew Levitt is director of counterterrorism and intelligence at the -- needs -- you for near east policy he just put out.
Our report on -- so Matt why now why are you concerned about the has to a threat now.
Hezbollah has begun an international terrorist campaign.
In Europe and elsewhere in Asia.
Azerbaijan and that is not just related to its own interest.
Such as those seeking revenge -- -- -- nation and its terrorist leader.
Might move me up back in -- way.
But now this is part of -- shadow war and they receive Hezbollah targeting buses of Israeli tourists.
Successfully in -- Bulgaria last summer.
Just a week earlier in Cyprus.
Those two cases are about to come to a close in Europe Bulgaria's reportedly can issue its report tomorrow the case in Cyprus is gonna conclude the next week or -- And the use going to be under a lot of pressure to do something more about his ball up and were no less concerned about what his -- could do here in our hemisphere.
You know that when we look at him for example even just the last two hours of our show we've talked a lot about different threats facing the country the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Terrorists in hiding in Pakistan North Korea -- now -- we're looking at has black as well where where do you think has -- Six in the list of threats the United States.
-- we got lots of threats and we have to do with them simultaneously but the fact of matter is that whereas has bullies me farther down the list.
In terms of potential issues here at home.
It's now creeping up a little bit -- -- local state federal law enforcement -- until this community increasing concern increasingly concerned about this threat.
And people in the government told me that on some days the number 12 or three thing that's being briefed to senior decision makers.
There's not just al-Qaeda and its associated movements but increasingly Iran and it could sports and -- ball.
Some of the things they've heard from for.
You're -- your contacts Renee probably can share with that's -- you mentioned that.
There's chatter about has black is -- -- region of the country where -- more chatter than others what did the threats look like potentially.
So I understand there's no current threats here in the United States the people know about.
Most of what his -- does -- fundraising at such for a but it does have the capability to do things here in the United States -- the one into.
And ever since -- -- -- plot in which there could force tried to carry on assassination of the Saudi ambassador.
Here in Washington DC.
The US intelligence law enforcement communities have been much much more concerns about what Iran has proxies.
Might do in the event that things get still more complicated.
Between the west especially United States and Israel and Iran over the nuclear.
Program at -- if I could that's why we wanted to talk to -- -- you now because we see this dance again there's unconfirmed reports of what Israel has been doing or not doing.
Inside Syria inside 119.
But this so far this conflict has been very far away.
How do you see it as a trigger potentially for us to become more involved and it.
Falls far away from you -- me here in the United States right now it's not far away from.
Europe it's not far away from Thailand of -- -- by John in fact we see Hezbollah operating all over the world.
And US intelligence officials and law enforcement officials both have been saying for years and continue to say now.
That Hezbollah has capabilities here in the United States and could put those to use if it felt that the US was directly threatening its -- -- centrists.
Where you draw that line is unclear but there's no doubt that Hezbollah feels we are threatening its interest in Syria and Lebanon in the were threatening that interest of Iran in terms of the nuclear program.
And that's the reason for the concern now.
-- one of the reasons why I went to have it on our radar.
And the radar for viewers as well not be great to have you on the program thank you for the time always a pleasure.