Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hezbollah Cell in Australia?

Pretty much looks that way as investigators are looking at dozens of possible suspects in Melbourne, most of them of Lebanese descent.

Of course, those under suspicion cast aspersions toward Israel, claiming they're the real terrorists.
DOZENS of young Melbourne men are being investigated by police over suspected ties to the Iranian-backed terrorist network Hezbollah.

Victorian counter-terrorism authorities are analysing video footage and photographs taken at public meetings attended by Australian Muslims in support of the Shia organisation.

The Australian understands some of the images being examined are of men, predominantly in their 20s, waving Hezbollah banners and flags during protests in Melbourne last year against the 34-day war between Israel and Lebanon.

More than 50 men, largely of Lebanese heritage, are being monitored by the police, but none has been arrested or interviewed. It is understood some of the men are related.

Authorities are also believed to be investigating a possible Melbourne-based Hezbollah cell, suspected of propagating political ideologies and raising funds for its leadership in Lebanon.

Hezbollah's military arm, the External Security Organisation, is a proscribed terrorist organisation in Australia.

Sources told The Australian police feared some Hezbollah backers were exploiting a loophole in Australia's terror laws that allows political support for the organisation's political arm.

The Australian revealed in June that Australia's most senior Shia Muslim cleric, Kamal Mousselmani, had openly declared his support for Hezbollah, saying it was a "resistance group", not a terrorist network.

The president of the Supreme Islamic Shia Council of Australia also said the nation's 30,000 Shi'ites were avid supporters of Hezbollah and haters of Israel.

"Shia in Australia consider Israel a terrorist organisation and also view those who support Israel in the same light," he said. "That's what we believe.

"If Australia supports Israel, they are defending terrorism. Because we believe terrorists come from Israel, not from our people, I support Hezbollah."
Meanwhile, this report indicates Hezbollah may have received aid from North Korea (via LGF).
North Korea may have given arms to Lebanon's Hezbollah and Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, according to a report compiled for Congress that could complicate U.S. plans to drop Pyongyang from its terrorism blacklist.

The report obtained on Wednesday by Reuters was written by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), which provides independent analysis to Congress, and cited "reputable sources" as saying Pyongyang had given arms and possibly training to the militant groups, which Washington regards as "terrorist" organizations.

As part of a deal to get Pyongyang to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons, Washington has dangled the possibility of removing North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism if it fully discloses its nuclear programs.
Washington should know by now you can't trust the North Koreans, but it appears they'll never learn.

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