The Italian daily Corriere della Sera is reporting that Hezbollah is setting up a base of operations in Cuba in order to extend its ability to reach Israeli targets in Latin America, ostensibly to avenge the death of terrorist mastermind Imad Mugniyah.
Mugniyah, a Lebanese-born Hezbollah terrorist leader, was killed in February 2008 by a car bomb. Though it has not been proven who was responsible, it has been reported that several Arab states aided the Israeli Mossad in carrying out the killing. Mugniyah was believed to have been involved in planning the 1983 Beirut bombing of the US Marine barracks, as well as two attacks on a Jewish synagogue and a community center in Argentina in 1992 and 1994...
Hezbollah has sought new alliances in Latin America since attention was brought to the terrorist group’s redoubt in the Tri-border area at the intersection of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, as well as numerous reports of training camps in Venezuela.
According to the Tel Aviv daily Yedioth Ahronoth, three members of Hezbollah have already arrived in Cuba to set up the cell, which will allegedly “include 23 operatives, hand-picked by Talal Hamia, a senior member tasked with heading the covert operation.”
The information about the terrorist cell is quite detailed, and includes information that would normally be contained in a high-level intelligence brief. The clandestine terror operation is reportedly called "The Caribbean Case," and is said to operate on a budget of $1.5 million. The report also detailed that the base in Cuba would be used initially for logistics, intelligence collection and document and id forgery, a scenario given more credence since Cuba took over the agencies that issue identification and immigration documents in Venezuela.
It has long been speculated that there was a strong connection between the Castro regime and Hezbollah terrorists...Cuba has been a center of terrorist operations and training since shortly after Fidel Castro usurped the sitting government in 1959. Reuters reported as early as May 30, 1978, that Palestinian terrorists of the PLO had been trained in Cuba, and on September 13, 1978, the Egyptian daily Ahar Sa'ah reported that as many as 500 Palestinians were on their way to Cuba to receive terrorist training.
The Subcommittee on Counterterrorism in the US House of Representatives held hearings in July, entitled “Hezbollah in Latin America - Implications for US Homeland Security,” which detailed the terror group’s ties to left-wing regimes in the region. And the U.S. Military’s Southern Command reported recently on the terror group’s activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island, where Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists are alleged to have held planning meetings, as well as a number of money laundering operations.
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