UK’s Hezbollah Revelations Show Iran Appeasement

You really don’t grasp this do you MI5? Your job may be covering up child sex abuse, or organising gang stalking cults… whatever the fuck it is British people do in their spare time… … our job is the survival of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

UK’s Hezbollah Revelations Show Iran Appeasement

by Seth Frantzman
The Jerusalem Post
June 11, 2019

Originally published under the title “UK’s Hezbollah Revelations Part of Worrying Trend of Iran Appeasement.”

In 2015, authorities seized thousands of endothermic ice packs containing 3 metric tons of ammonium nitrate from Hezbollah-linked radicals in London.

The UK’s MI5 and the Metropolitan Police uncovered the foundations of a Hezbollah plot when they raided four sites in London in September 2015, according to a shocking report in The Telegraph.

Although then-Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May were briefed on the raid, it was “kept hidden from the public,” the report says.

This fits a disturbing pattern of attempts by intelligence and law enforcement agencies to track Hezbollah’s global activities, only to have them met with the cold shoulder at political levels. This may be part of a wide-ranging attempt by Western countries to curry favor with Iran’s regime and downplay the depth of Iranian penetration of foreign countries.

Law enforcement agencies tracking Hezbollah networks have been given the cold shoulder by politicians.

In 2008, the US Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating Hezbollah’s drug trade, according to an article in Politico in 2018. Thirty US and foreign security agencies were involved. They mapped a global trade from South America to Africa and the Middle East, which they linked “to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.”

But the investigators began to run into a problem from the highest levels of the Obama administration. The US was seeking to change its relations with Iran and to put forward the Iran nuclear deal. As such, the US felt it needed to be more flexible with Iran’s allies, such as Hezbollah. The Politico report says that John Brennan, former CIA director, even said he believed that Hezbollah should receive “greater assimilation into Lebanon’s political system.”

According to a groundbreaking report last year in Politico, the Obama administration obstructed DEA investigations of Hezbollah for fear they would derail nuclear talks with Iran.

Instead of confronting the massive Hezbollah link to illegal drug trade, the US set upon a different course. While acknowledging that there were parts of Hezbollah that were a “concern,” the US wanted to diminish that influence and “try to build up the more moderate element.”

Similarly, the article on the UK bust notes that while the UK had labeled the “armed wing” of Hezbollah a terrorist organization, it waited until February 2019 to see the whole organization that way. While in the UK the raid on alleged bomb-making material sites was quietly hushed up, and the suspects apparently released, in the US the hunt for the global Hezbollah drug trade was “undermined” by senior officials.

The question about the timing leaves open the question whether the operation was hushed up because of the deal. But had the deal already been done by the time of the raid? Was quiet necessary to preserve the deal and not embarrass the signers? Was the raid put off until after the signing? It is not clear. Or was the stockpiling a result of the deal, with Iran feeling the deal now gave it carte blanche to do whatever it wanted?

Politico notes that in January 2016, Czech officials released a suspected Hezbollah operative in exchange for five Czechs who had been kidnapped. European countries also detained Hezbollah members connected to the drug trade in the same years.

Iran also conducted assassinations of dissidents in Europe between 2015 and 2017, further evidence that it felt that with the deal concluded, it could do as it wanted. The EU finally spoke up about these incidents in January. But there were more plots linking Iran in France, Holland, Germany and Denmark. Holland also recalled an envoy in March.

In addition, there is other evidence about the role the Iran deal had in reducing US pressure on the Assad regime. Added together with the stories about how Iran received a cash payout of $1.8 billion from the deal, some of which was infamously sent on pallets to Iran, and the role that the deal had in exacerbating tensions between Israel and Iran and also between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the deal becomes murkier with each revelation. For instance, what role did the deal have in empowering Assad’s war against the Syrian rebels and fueling the conflict in Yemen with the Iranian-backed Houthis?

The UK revelations are another point of light in an otherwise opaque cloud hanging over the Iran deal.

The revelations in the UK are another point of light in an otherwise opaque cloud that has hung over the Iran deal. Why was so much effort put in by Western powers to do this deal? Given Iran’s track record and its continued behavior in Europe – among Iran and its proxies – why did Western governments think it would be moderated by the deal, when in fact it appears Iran got more brazen after 2015?

In addition, with each story such as the current one in the UK, questions remain about efforts that were put in to keep information from the public, media and even members of parliament in different countries.

Seth Frantzman is The Jerusalem Post’s op-ed editor, a Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a founder of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.

Failed London bomb plot exposes Hezbollah’s criminal activities in Europe

Hezbollah’s reach extends beyond the Middle East, including the United States and the tri-border region of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.
Sunday 16/06/2019

In the crosshairs. Armed police stand next to a suspicious vehicle parked outside New Scotland Yard following an investigation by a bomb disposal unit in London, March 9.(Reuters)

In the crosshairs. Armed police stand next to a suspicious vehicle parked outside New Scotland Yard following an investigation by a bomb disposal unit in London, March 9.(Reuters)

TUNIS – An alleged terror plot said to be linked to the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah was interrupted by British police four years ago, the Telegraph, a British newspaper, reported.

The report claimed that in the fall of 2015, Metropolitan Police raided sites in north-west London, seizing an estimated 3 tonnes of ammonium nitrate frozen in disposable ice packs. A man in his 40s was arrested in connection with the raid, though he was subsequently released. No further information about his identity was made public.

Then British Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May were informed of the discovery but neither the public nor parliament were told. Some speculation that the operation’s proximity to the signing of the Iran nuclear deal may have led to the information blackout.

The Telegraph said the investigation followed information from a foreign country. Israeli newspapers attributed the source of the intelligence to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

Citing information provided to the Telegraph from sources during a months-long investigation, British officials established that the London cache was part of an international plot intended to lay the groundwork for attacks.

That assertion was supported by the arrest in May 2015 of a Lebanese-Canadian man, Hussein Bassam Abdallah, in Cyprus, who was found with 8.2 tonnes of explosives in his home. Abdallah admitted stockpiling the material and his membership of Hezbollah’s military wing.

No information was provided suggesting that the United Kingdom was intended as a target for a Hezbollah attack. Rather, given the early stages of preparation, indications suggested that the alleged plot was in a planning stage.

At the time of the raid, the United Kingdom only recognised the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. The British parliament changed that classification in February 2019 and regards all membership of the group as a criminal offence.

Former British Army officer Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons expert, said, “This is a massive amount of ammonia nitrate and 3 tonnes converted to explosives could flatten several blocks.

“Ammonia nitrate is the key component of the fertiliser bombs we saw a good deal of in Afghanistan and favoured by the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

Despite its deadly potential, ammonium nitrate itself is not explosive. However, it “readily forms explosive mixtures when combined with fuel oil or aluminium powders or other explosives,” de Bretton-Gordon said.

“It is very dangerous and depends how much you have but 3 metric tonnes could produce a massive explosion. This is more (ammonium nitrate) than was used in the Oklahoma bomb of 1995, which killed 168 people.”

Hezbollah’s reach extends beyond the Middle East, including the United States and the tri-border region of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. It has also established a foothold in Venezuela and is said to be close to its embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

“Europe has always been a logistical hub for Hezbollah and a place for money to move and elicit goods in and out, to include seemingly legitimate charitable organisations,” said Fred Burton, chief security officer at risk analysis and intelligence consulting firm Stratfor. “Europe is also a great playground for spies of countless intelligence agencies and a place to meet informants.  Europe is also a location where Hezbollah does have a fair amount of political support.”

Burton said: “In the last decade, we’ve seen Hezbollah linked to other successful and thwarted attacks in Bulgaria, France, Cyprus and Denmark. Therefore, the explosives stash in London doesn’t surprise me.

“Hezbollah also likes having off-the-shelf plans for contingency sake. The explosives in the safe house may have been for future operations in the event of American hostilities with Iran or a spoke for distribution.”

Contacted by the Telegraph, the Iranian Embassy in London said: “Iran has categorically rejected time and again any type of terrorism and extremism, has been victim of terrorism against its innocent people and is in the forefront fighting this inhuman phenomenon. Any attempt to link Iran to terrorism, by claims from unknown sources, is totally rejected.”

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