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Friday, February 22, 2008

Al-Manar correspondent in Morocco arrested for terror planning

At Contentions, Eric Trager reports that Abdelhafid Sriti, a correspondent in Morocco for Hezbullah's al-Manar satellite television network, was among 32 people arrested and charged with planning terror attacks against domestic targets in Morocco. Here are some of the lessons of Sriti's arrest:

More concretely, however, the apparent involvement of an al-Manar correspondent in a Moroccan terrorist ring should serve as a stark reminder of the international dimension of Hezbollah’s operations. Far from “Lebanonizing”—i.e., increasingly participating in domestic Lebanese politics and thereby moderating, as many “experts” have claimed—Hezbollah has continually developed its relationship with Islamist organizations worldwide for the enhancement of its terrorist capabilities. In this vein, the Moroccan Islamist Badil al-Hadari party has been implicated in planning the attacks, while the Moroccan government has arrested Abdelkader Belliraj—a Moroccan national who lived in Belgium—as the network’s leader. In short, Hezbollah has found good company with militant Islamists well beyond Lebanon’s borders.

Finally, Sriti’s arrest should reinforce the extent to which al-Manar plays a critical role in Hezbollah’s terrorist activities—not only in the satellite transmission of radical Islamist ideology, but in the operational aspects of planning attacks. For this reason, policymakers should closely monitor Morocco’s investigation of Sriti, as this might provide key details regarding al-Manar’s non-media activities.

I would add that al-Manar is not the only 'media organization' whose activities should be watched for involvement in terror. The activities of al-Arabiya's and al-Jazeera's reporters - some of whom were giving out locations of Katyusha strikes in Israel during the Second Lebanon War - also should be watched for the same reason.

Read the whole thing.


At 1:57 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Hezbollah's ideology threatens not only Israel but many Arab countries as well. It wouldn't be surprising if Fayez Imad Mughniyeh had been assassinated by the intelligence service of an Arab state. This is to point out the Iranian revolutionary ideology Hezbollah embodies is not welcome in much of the Arab world - which keep a close watch on home-grown Islamist movements. Like Morocco.


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