Saudi Arabia’s Power Play
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Material support prosecutions comes in many shapes and sizes, but because of their frequency we often fail to notice when their are unusual or novel applications. A case in point (well, two cases in point) arose yesterday, when DOJ's National Security Division announced that the FBI had arrested two men—one in Michigan, the other in New York—who allegedly serve as agents of Hezbollah's foreign-operations arm. One of the men is a naturalized U.S.
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Three weeks into President Donald Trump’s already-chaotic tenure, the secretary general of Hezbollah appeared to be feeling good. “When a fool lives in the White House, this is the start of an opening for the world’s oppressed,” Hassan Nasrallah told his followers in a televised address.
Get terrorism analysts around a bar (always a disturbing scene) and ask them which group is most formidable, and you’re likely to get a surprising answer. It’s not the Islamic State, or even Al Qaeda and its various affiliates. Rather, it’s the Lebanese Hezbollah, often darkly praised as the “A-Team” of terrorist groups, and the regularly trumpeted threat the group poses.
Editor’s Note: This post is adapted from testimony offered before the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.
Editor's Note: This article originally appears on Markaz.
The Saudis have initiated a major campaign to undermine Iran's ally Hezbollah, which they believe is vulnerable today. Riyadh is likely to have considerable but not complete success. It's a characteristically risky strategy.