Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God is the first thorough examination of Hezbollah's covert activities beyond Lebanon's borders, including its financial and logistical support networks and its criminal and terrorist operations worldwide.
Hezbollah—Lebanon's "Party of God"—is a multifaceted organization: It is a powerful political party in Lebanon, a Shia Islam religious and social movement, Lebanon's largest militia, a close ally of Iran, and a terrorist organization. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including recently declassified government documents, court records, and personal interviews with intelligence and law enforcement officials around the world, Matthew Levitt examines Hezbollah's beginnings, its first violent forays in Lebanon, and then its terrorist activities and criminal enterprises abroad in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and finally in North America. Levitt also describes Hezbollah's unit dedicated to supporting Palestinian militant groups and Hezbollah's involvement in training and supporting insurgents who fought US troops in post-Saddam Iraq. The book concludes with a look at Hezbollah's integral, ongoing role in Iran's shadow war with Israel and the West, including plots targeting civilians around the world.
Levitt shows convincingly that Hezbollah's willingness to use violence at home and abroad, its global reach, and its proxy-patron relationship with the Iranian regime should be of serious concern. Hezbollah is an important book for scholars, policymakers, students, and the general public interested in international security, terrorism, international criminal organizations, and Middle East studies.
Matthew Levitt is a senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. Previously, Levitt served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the US Department of the Treasury, as an FBI counterterrorism analyst, and as an advisor on counterterrorism to the US State Department. Levitt has taught at Johns Hopkins University/SAIS, held fellowships with the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy and the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (Yale University Press, 2006).
"The Lebanese Hezbollah is perhaps the world's most capable group. Terrorism expert Matthew Levitt offers a comprehensive and fascinating assessment of Hezbollah's network outside the Lebanese theater, exposing its operations and fundraising apparatus in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and even the United States."—Daniel Byman, professor, Security Studies Program, Georgetown University
"Dr. Levitt is a recognized authority on Hezbollah and its activities, both in the Levant and globally. His forthcoming book on Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God fills a vital gap in understanding the international dimensions of Hezbollah, its reach, and its capacities for terrorism worldwide."—Charles Allen, Former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Collection, CIA
"Dr. Levitt has laid out a timely and relevant history of Hezbollah, a global terrorist organization often referred to as the 'A Team' of terror. This book comes at the right time as Hezbollah continues its decades-long war against the United States, Israel, and our allies around the globe while it attempts to consolidate political power in Lebanon—on its behalf and for the Iranian regime."—Juan Zarate, former Deputy National Security Advisor for Combatting Terrorism and author of the forthcoming book, Treasury's War
"Richard Armitage, then the Deputy Secretary of State, once described Hezbollah as the 'A Team' of international terror. In his extraordinary new book, Matthew Levitt explains why Hezbollah is seen as such a global threat. Levitt paints a compelling picture of Hezbollah's terror activities not just in the Middle East but throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. While Western intelligence and law enforcement agencies have tracked and disrupted Hezbollah's global activities for years, this highly unsettling story has been largely unknown to wider publics. Thanks to Levitt's meticulous and well-written book, that should no longer be the case."—Amb. Dennis Ross, counselor at The Washington Institute. Most recently, he served in the White House as special assistant to President Obama and senior director for the Central Region at the National Security Council.
"Through Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God, Matt Levitt has made a significant contribution to public understanding of Hezbollah's worldwide operations. He has shone a bright light into some of the darkest corners of the group's activities overseas. What he reveals is a movement that is determined to pursue its objectives—and those of its sponsors—wherever opportunity occurs. He has collected an impressive amount of detail on the way that Hezbollah plans and mounts overseas terrorist attacks and in doing so has produced an important and highly readable work.”—Richard Barrett, former head of MI6/SIS/British Intelligence's Counter Terrorism Department and Coordinator of the United Nations Al-Qaida-Taliban Monitoring Team,
Table of Contents
Introduction: Researching Hezbollah's Clandestine Activities
1. The Party of God is Born
2. Branching Out: Hezbollah Targets Westerners in Lebanon and Beyond
3. Hezbollah's European Debut
4. Bombings in Buenos Aires
5. A Near Miss in Bangkok
6. Beirut to the Blue Ridge—Hezbollah Comes to North America
7. Bombing Khobar Towers
8. Unit 1800—Targeting the Israeli Heartland
9. Finance and Logistics in Africa
10. Unit 3800—Hezbollah in Iraq
11. Party of Fraud—Hezbollah's Criminal Enterprise in America
12. Shadow War
About the Author