Hezbollah terrorists stick to the same formula

All of the Hezbollah’s targets have met the same criteria in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Thailand, and most recently, Kenya and Cyprus. All of these countries are easy to enter & exit.

By Yoav Limor

Israel’s official spokespeople were unanimous on Thursday: Hezbollah is responsible for the terror attack in Bulgaria. These resolute words were meant not only to pin responsibility on the terror organization, but to try to dissuade it from future attacks.

What led Israel to this conclusion was its accumulated expertise, experience, circumstantial evidence and a smidgen of intelligence. Israel’s conclusion, based on its experience in recent years relentlessly pursuing terrorists on many continents and in many countries, is that the terrorists employed the same methods that they use almost every time. Terrorists have repeatedly sought out easy Israeli targets that will not get them into too much trouble.

All of Hezbollah’s targets in recent months have met these criteria: Georgia, Azerbaijan, Thailand, and most recently, Kenya and Cyprus. All of these countries are relatively easy to enter and exit. All of them contain Israeli targets. All of them are places where the repercussions will be minimal even if the local government is angry.

Hezbollah’s intelligence gathering methods have also been similar. The terrorists send out intelligence operatives who ferret out information about Israeli boats and planes. They find out when tourists are expected to arrive and which buses and hotels they plan to use. They collect all of this information until the day when their operatives receive orders to attack. Interrogations of the terrorists arrested in Cyprus, Kenya and Thailand reveal that their methods were identical to those employed in Burgas: Wait for a flight to arrive from Israel and then strike the tourists when they are least prepared, such as on an airport bus.

The only surprise is that the explosives were not activated by remote control, but rather by a suicide bomber. As of Thursday, Israelis had yet to be convinced that the terrorist was in fact Swedish national Mehdi Mohammad Ghezali, as some have claimed. They are investigating other scenarios. Several Western intelligence agencies are involved in the investigation, fearing that the Bulgarian attack may be the first in a wave of attacks orchestrated by Hezbollah and Iran during this summer’s tourism season, with the 2012 Olympics set to begin soon.

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View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=2274