Terrorism has a remained a security issue of great concern not only in the United Sates of America but almost in every nation around the globe. Many leaders have given the agenda first priority in their governance to ensure total security at any given moment. Even as the fight against terrorism continues many have concurred that the task is not a one man’s a fair but a collective responsibility in which every person regardless of their age, color, gender and origin among other identity factors is involved. Many people have always wondered if 9/11 Al-Qaeda attack was the end of terrorism and U.S security threat. Although many lessons were learnt from the attack, there are numerous potential security threats due to the existence of many terror groups apart from Al-Qaeda and Al Jihad. These groups have unique techniques, capability, history and motive. As a result, intelligent measures must be employed by the U.S as it leads the war against terrorism and elimination of terror groups and not convectional wisdom.
Hezbollah (Party of God)
Hezbollah is one of the terrorist groups in the world that poses a threat to the United States. The group is an Islamic movement whose history dates back in 1982 when Lebanon was captured by the Israeli military. This seizure resulted into formation of liberation units which targeted the rescue of Lebanon and elimination of Israeli forces that occupied the region. Additionally, the declaration of a group of Lebanese Muslims as the “Party of God” in 1982 during the Lebanon War was a major contributing event towards formation of the group. Hezbollah growth cells drastically multiplied geared by the desire to resist Israeli invasion. The group developed its foundation in Lebanon and has experienced global growth attributed to external support from Syria and Iran. The list of influential personalities who have contributed to the expansion of the group is Imam Khomeini who steered the establishment of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Among many impacts realized after the formation of the group were negative Islamic expressions against the West, the great Satan and arrogance. These ideological thoughts led to the implantation, growth and expansion of the seed of resistance with the group and tightening of the link between Lebanon and Iran for moral and weaponry support in resisting Israeli invasion.
The group has remained dedicated to eliminate Israel and a strong anti-U.S organ. This has led to continued terror threats and propagation and anti-West religion. Its close link with Iran has seen the group carry out attacks without the formal approval of Tehran. Is Hezbollah a threat to the U.S? Like Al-Qaeda, the group has been severally suspected in many terrorist attacks against the U.S including U.S embassy bombing in 1983 and in 1984. Some elements of this terror group were also responsible for the kidnapping of Americans in Lebanon. In 1992, Hezbollah attacked Israel by bombing its Embassy in Argentina. Although Hezbollah is considered to have small numbers of followers, it has united network. Its main operations are based in Southern Beirut and has established multiple cells in numerous places in the world including but not limited to Africa, Europe, South America and North America. The group continues to enjoy financial and diplomatic support from Iran and Syria, a factor which makes it a threat to the U.S as it propagates its motive of eliminating Israel.
Abu Nidal group
The group is widely known for its deadly attack on Palestine and Israel in 1980s. It was named for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader, Abu Nidal who differed with the rest over establishing of diplomatic relations with Israel. Abu Nidal remains on United States’ list of Foreign Terrorist groups although reports indicate that the group is less active especially after the death of its leader, Nidal in 2002 (Abu Nidal Organization). Abu Nidal has always received support from Libya, Iraq and Syria and has recorded several attacks on the West, Israel and other Arab targets. The group is remembered for having organized attacks in almost twenty countries over the years that left almost nine hundred people dead. Despite its recent inactive state, the Abu Nidal Organization has been listed by the U.S State Department as a foreign terror group.
It is worth noting that ANO has vowed to continue with its initial goal of eliminating Israel. It strongly believes that this target can only be achieved through international Arab Revolution. The group therefore opposes Arab-Israel peace negotiations aimed at finding a permanent solution in the region (Abu Nidal Organization). This take has strained their relationship with the United States although it posses less threat compared to Hezbollah. Its expansion world wide has not been quiet effective due to internal structural disorganization and continuous withdrawal of support by countries like Egypt and Libya.
The two groups Hezbollah and ANO have similarities and differences based on their activities. They however have the same goal of eliminating Israel and have distorted relationship with the U.S. Hezbollah is notably more capable of being a threat to the U.S security because of its organization and existing external support especially from Iran, an economically stable and influential nation.
From David Tucker’s article, “Terrorism, Networks, and Strategy: Why the Conventional Wisdom is wrong”, the fight against terrorist groups is far beyond how many people including Americans view it. The author notes that understanding hierarchy and structural organization is not sufficient in dealing with the group. As an organized network, many terrorist groups adapt to the environment in which they intend to operate. This adaptation ensures that the group understands the weaknesses and strengths of a nation in terms of security before launching an attack. Therefore, targeting a single person who heads a terror group is not sufficient to deal with insecurity. He notes that this was among U.S mistakes before 911 attacks. It is of great importance to clearly understand existing strengths and weaknesses of a network plus the operational ground before formulating and implementing elimination tactics. According to David Tucker, a nation can consider reduction of the spread of lethal weapons to minimize illegal access. It is clear that the convectional wisdom used by many nations including the U.S is no longer capable of dealing with terrorism which continues to threaten worldwide peaceful coexistence.