During the past few years, Lebanese Hizb Allah's global operations increased markedly, but until recently its efforts yielded few successes.
In July 2012, however, Hizb Allah operatives bombed a busload of Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, killing five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver. Yet what may prove no less significant than this operational success was another plot foiled in Cyprus just two weeks earlier. The Cyprus plot provided the clearest window yet on the rejuvenation of Hizb Allah's tradecraft and the capabilities of the group's international terrorist wing, the Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO).
This article traces Hizb Allah's recent spike in operational activity since 2008, highlighting the group's efforts to rejuvenate the capabilities of its IJO. The article also provides a detailed case study of Hossam Yaacoub—the convicted Hizb Allah operative now serving time in a Cypriot prison for his role in a plot targeting Israeli tourists—to show how Hizb Allah has resurrected its terrorist capabilities.
Matthew Levitt is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy where he directs the Institute's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He is the author of the forthcoming book Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God (Georgetown University Press, 2013).