Hizballah Feared on Warpath outside Middle East

DEBKAfile Intelligence

July 20, 2004

DEBKAfile’s counter-intelligence sources report:

The Hizballah sniper attack that killed two Israeli soldiers at a Galilee border position Tuesday, July 20, is not believed by Israel’s security leaders to have exhausted the Shiite radicals’ desire to inflict punishment. Israeli tanks and helicopters retaliated by battering four Hizballah positions inside Lebanon, killing one operative. However, still unsettled is the Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s charge that Israel was behind the liquidation Monday of one of their top men, Ghaleb Alawi, who was chief of the organization’s Special Group, outside his Beirut home. The State Department spokesman commented Tuesday night that there is no evidence of Israel’s hand in the murder – “That’s what they always say,” he said.

However, proof or no proof, Israeli counter-terror authorities are certain Hizballah is plotting a large-scale outrage against an Israeli or Jewish target overseas.

Awali was the Palestinian terrorist organizations’ opposite number in Beirut. Known by his nom de guerre of “Hajj,” he was under the orders of the notorious hostage-taker and super terrorist Imad Mughniyeh. His assassins must have penetrated the most secret inner core of this clandestine body to knock off a prime asset like Alawi in the Shiite quarter of Beirut. Hizballah cannot let his loss go unanswered.

This week marked the tenth anniversary of the devastating blast that destroyed the Buenos Aires Jewish Center, killing 86 people and injuring 230. The perpetrators have never been brought to justice. The attack was orchestrated by Mughniyeh in revenge for the death of another senior Hizballah operative, Abbas Mousavi.

Security has therefore been stepped up for Israeli and Jewish institutions worldwide, at holiday resorts and shopping centers frequented by Israelis, on airlines flying to and from Israel and at airports through which large numbers of Israelis pass.