Whether you spell it Hezbollah, Hizbollah, or Hizbullah, this story spells danger. The Los Angeles Times reports that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez continues to deepen his nations ties with Iran and with its the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah. The Times reports:
"A top expert in the war against terrorism, speaking with the Los Angeles Times, said that agents of Hizbullah and the Revolutionary Guard of Iran have formed a special force designed to kidnap Jewish businessmen in South America and smuggle them to Lebanon. He said that Venezuelan employees of the international airport in Caracas have already been recruited to provide information about Jewish tourists who arrive in the country."
"IranAir flights also feature in recent intelligence gathered by Western anti-terrorism officials. Agents of Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah have allegedly set up a special force to attempt to kidnap Jewish businesspeople in Latin America and spirit them away to Lebanon, according to the Western anti-terrorism official. Iranian and Hezbollah operatives traveling in and out of Venezuela have recruited Venezuelan informants working at the Caracas airport to gather intelligence on Jewish travelers as potential targets for abduction, the Western anti-terrorism official said."
This would not be the first time that Iran and Hezbollah have launched terrorist attacks at Jewish targets in South America. As previously reported on The Hedgehog Blog, Argentina and Interpol have issued arrest warrants for leaders of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard for their role in the July 18, 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center, which took 85 lives and injured 200 more.
The growing influence of a Iran, a foreign power hostile to the United States, in the Western Hemisphere is a challenge to the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine. Who is better able to lead the defense of America against this threat so close to our shores, Barack Obama, or John McCain?