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Hezbollah's Organized Criminal Enterprises in Europe

Matthew Levitt

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Perspectives on Terrorism

August 2013

Hezbollah plots in Europe over the past year exposed a return to violent operations being conducted by the Iranian-supported Lebanese Shiite group. Plots in Bulgaria and Cyprus led to a rigorous debate among European Union member states over whether or not to ban the organization’s military wing. But this only marks Hezbollah’s return to violent operations in Europe. Hezbollah has long used Europe as a staging ground for operations to be carried out elsewhere, as a logistical hub, and as a place where the group and its supporters could raise funds through a variety of criminal enterprises. The focus of this article is the wide variety of criminal activities Hezbollah engages in, revealing a global network that conducts extensive criminal operations throughout Europe.

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