RealNews

Hezbollah Vows Anew to Target Americans

Hezbollah, a militant Islamic organization backed by Iran and Syria, has issued a new call to arms against Americans in the Middle East, touching off fears of terrorist attacks and debate within the Bush administration over whether to move more aggressively against the group and its key sponsors. The military wing of Hezbollah, long considered by the U.S. to be among the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups, has focused largely on Israel because of its past occupation of Hezbollah’s homeland in Lebanon and other contested territory. But the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has triggered a spate of anti-American rhetoric from the Shiite organization and its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. “The people of the region will receive [America] with rifles, blood, arms, martyrdom and martyrdom operations,” Nasrallah said in a speech delivered a week before the war began. His remarks were broadcast on Al Manar, the group’s Beirut-based satellite television station. “In the past, when the Marines were in Beirut, we screamed, ‘Death to America!’ ” Nasrallah said. “Today, when the region is being filled with hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, ‘Death to America!’ was, is and will stay our slogan.” Hezbollah’s renewed focus on America has sharpened the long-standing debate among U.S. officials over whether the United States can, and should, go after the group. Some believe that a showdown has been overdue since 1983, when the group blew up the U.S. Embassy and a Marine barracks in Beirut. The attacks killed more than 300 people. Full Story

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