United States/Israel/Palestine – A US delegation is in Israel exploring the possibility of relocating the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that Palestinian officials have strongly warned against. The delegation is led by Ron DeSantis, a Republican congressman, who is expected to meet Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, during the two-day trip which ends on the 5 Mar 17. "The delegation is in Jerusalem to learn firsthand what it will mean to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," said Ruth Lieberman, a friend of DeSantis and a political adviser in Israel, according to the Jerusalem Post. US President Donald Trump repeatedly promised the move during his election campaign and pledged to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Palestinians criticised such promises as they hope to make East Jerusalem the capital of their future state, and have had the broad support of the international community for that aspiration. Those who have cautioned the US against such a move include Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas and Nabil Shaath, former Palestinian foreign minister. Shaath in Feb 17 said: "Moving the embassy is the same as recognising Jerusalem as Israel's united capital. It's a war crime." The US has two consulate-general buildings in West Jerusalem. One mainly deals with diplomacy with Palestinians, while another building issues visas to people who live in Jerusalem and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. "If the US were to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem it would be effectively recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," said Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from West Jerusalem. "It would also be taking away from the Palestinians the separate recognition that these consulate general offices give them." However, Trump's administration - like those of other US presidents such as Bill Clinton and George Bush who made similar promises - has "been rolling back on the idea[s] despite initial promises made during the campaign", he said. According to some reports in Arab news media, Palestinian officials have been informed that the move is not likely to happen. "This is after advice from Jordan's King Abdullah II, who suggested it would cause violence on the Arab streets," said the al-Jazeera correspondent. Other reports in Israeli news media suggest that David Friedman, the incoming US ambassador to Israel, might work out of an office in West Jerusalem as a compromise, while the embassy building would remain in Tel Aviv. Friedman is known to be a supporter of Israel's illegal Jewish-only settlements.
Hezbollah Analysis (Written by: Tony Duheaume 3 Mar 17) (United States/Iran/Latin America) – When it comes to fighting terrorism, building walls and executing travel bans do nothing to deter hardened terrorists from pursuing their violent agendas, as it matters not what is put in their way, they will find their cannon fodder amongst the vulnerable, dispossessed and downtrodden on the streets of any inner city, including those of the US. The ones who suffer the most from such draconian restrictions of movement, are the hundreds of thousands of innocent migrant Muslims left to suffer in abysmal conditions, after escaping from the terrible surroundings of wars, and end up being stigmatized as a “public enemy”. What should scare the US government more than anything as far as Mexico and its own country is concerned, is the presence of Hezbollah in both areas as they are known to have constructed sophisticated tunnels along its border with the US, like the one that had tunnelled beneath the ground into San Diego, allowing both Hezbollah operatives and the Mexican mafia to cross into US territory unseen, to set up gangs within the US. These tunnels were a replica of the ones their Lebanese cousins had dug in Lebanon, which enabled them to transport rockets and other weapons into the country from Syria during past conflicts with Israel, and also to supply insurgents in Gaza. Also, throughout recent years in the US, there has been an upsurge in apprehended drug dealers, who are adorned with tattoos denoting Hezbollah symbols, showing how the US has become a prime target for the terror group’s drug enterprise, which has been made much easier by the fact that Americans of Lebanese descent are running various drug networks on the US side of the border. It was noted as far back as 2010, by the Tucson Police Department, how the presence of radical groups within the US prison system was on the increase, and how an upsurge of inmates were becoming radicalised during their incarceration, and how many Hezbollah tattoos were being found on incarcerated felons. With these reports flagging up serious concerns amongst the authorities during this period, a plea was put out to all American citizens through the internet, to report any person seen sporting such artwork on their bodies, in an effort to track these hardened terrorists, who are the real threat to US security, and are already on US soil.
Ideological and political sympathy
With Iran having found ideological and political sympathy among various administrations across Latin America, its hatred for the US has turned out to be a great asset in the area, as many of the more radical Latin American leaders share the same line of thought, and with many regimes living for the day that America suffers a series of attacks as bad as 9/11, the recent strengthening of ties with the Iranian leadership, has set them on the road to achieve this. To highlight Iran’s radical plans for the area, one of the regime’s long-standing ambassadors to Mexico, Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri, who was a fanatical supporter of Ruhollah Khomeini’s ideology, and a fervent anti-Semitic, had spent his time in Mexico trawling deprived areas, actively seeking out and converting young Mexicans to embrace his former mentor’s radical form of Shiite Islam, filling their minds with religious fervour, while trying to persuade them to travel to Qom in Iran for religious study. This might have happened in Mexico, but it could quite easily be replicated in the downtown slums of a US inner city, where many youths feel they have no chance of finding work, and feel they are being harassed from pillar to post by a society that has no room for them. But as far as Ghadiri was concerned, one troubling statement made by him during his time in Mexico, was to urge his young recruits to access the servers of US defence installations, in a bid to bring mayhem to the military, and added to this was a statement was his views of wanting to see the annihilation of Israel’s “Zionist” regime, which showed the intentions of the Iranian administration when it came to influencing the politics of Latin America.
For decades, Hezbollah has been well entrenched in Mexico, and US intelligence reports suggest the terror group’s agents have a well-established sleeper cell network within the US itself, and it is believed that the only reason that Hezbollah has not carried out a “spectacular” on US soil comes two-fold:
• The first being that Iran needs to win friends and influence people within Latin America, and Hezbollah needs to fill its coffers with cash made on the misery of the West’s desperate army of drug addicts through its dealings in narcotic, and so it would be counterproductive to have the Americans hunting them down as a result of terror attacks, as this would disrupt their trafficking network, costing them a vast amount of US dollars.
• The second being that of the Iran deal, which the Iranian regime has adhered to insofar as it sees fit, by agreeing to curb certain aspects of its nuclear program, which gives it a chance to build up its armed forces, fuel foreign wars such as those in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and regain its prestige within the international community. So as long as this agreement remains in place, Iran will have billions of dollars pouring into its coffers from cash being returned after being impounded as a result of Western sanctions, imposed through the Iranian regime’s dogged pursuit of nuclear weapons. So with the Iranian Qods (Jerusalem) Force – which is an elite armed division, acting on behalf of its sister organization the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and takes on extra-territorial operations such as covert action in foreign lands on its behalf – known to direct Hezbollah operations, it has kept tight reins on the terror group’s present day terrorist activities. This is just to make certain there will be no serious attacks by its proxy on American soil, which will help to ensure that the Iran deal stays in place, and Iran won’t suffer any further stringent sanctions, or finds itself under military attack from the West. But should this change, with the West showing aggression against Iran, the Tehran regime would put out the word to awaken Hezbollah sleeper cells across the Western world, and terror attacks would begin, including vital targets on US soil.
It has been estimated that more Lebanese live abroad than in Lebanon itself, so with a vast number living in Latin America, as within the US itself, within every émigré community, there are a certain amount of criminal elements to be found, and with the cocaine trade being widespread throughout the Americas, many Lebanese émigrés have become hooked up in the trade, and Hezbollah has found a foothold through these criminal groups, to form ties with various narco terror gangs throughout both continents. It has been known for several years that dealing in drugs with the Mexican mafia is a lucrative source of income as far as Hezbollah is concerned, having come into contact with its leadership through its dealings with guerrilla groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC) for decades. Although entering into peace negotiations with the Colombian government, the FARC is still a designated terrorist group, said to have at one point produced 70 percent of the world’s cocaine, plus having been responsible for 90 percent of the drug on sale within the US. Being more brutal than the Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar’s Medellin drug cartel was in its heyday, the Mexican mafia has operated with virtual impunity on the streets of Mexico, due to the fact that the police have found themselves totally outgunned when caught up in fire-fights with cartel foot soldiers, who dress like paramilitary troopers, and carry an awesome array of military weapons.
As far as the Mexican cartels are concerned, Hezbollah makes the perfect partner for any group that is at odds with its government. Not only is Hezbollah an insurgency group, whose talent in asymmetric and urban warfare is second to none, brought about through rigorous training at Qods Force training camps, it also has a talent in all other forms of insurgency expertise. Its list of techniques includes training snipers for assassinations, teaching the fundamentals of intelligence systems, methods of obtaining secure communications, and much more besides. So with expert bomb-makers within its ranks, with all of the knowledge you could ask for in both the design and the planting of explosive devices, it is no surprise that such techniques in bombings have taken a sudden upsurge on the streets of Mexico since Hezbollah arrived on the scene. But what makes Hezbollah so appealing to narco gangs, is the fact that its insurgency techniques have been well-honed through its wars in Lebanon against the Israeli army, and recently with its backing of Iranian troops in battle zones such as Syria, Iraq and Yemen. So such is their experience on both the battlefield, and through bringing terror to the streets, it makes Hezbollah an essential ally as far as Mexican drug cartels are concerned. So with past Mexican governments not been able to control the situation the cartels have created on the streets, violence escalated rapidly, and with Hezbollah putting gang members through their paces in fully equipped training camps, the whole situation is now way out of hand, and having left the borders of the US at risk should the Iranian regime give the order to attack its foremost enemy, no wall will protect a country from sleeper cells that are already established on its soil.
United States/MS-13 – They are one of the most notorious gangs in America. Founded by immigrants fleeing El Salvador's civil war more than two decades ago, MS-13 has rapidly grown to more than 10,000 members in 46 states. Today it has the dubious honour of becoming the first street gang to be designated as an international criminal group it was reported on the 3 Mar 17. Members are accused of major crimes including murder, kidnapping, prostitution, drug smuggling and human trafficking. This reporting period, 13 Long Island members were indicted for seven counts of murder including the grisly killings of two high school girls who were beaten and hacked to death. Meanwhile in Houston, two other gang members, who had a satanic shrine in their apartment, face charges of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and murdering another. The group's violence — using a machete to hack a victim to death or shooting someone in the head in broad daylight, for instance — surprised authorities and even rival gangs. 'They saw a level of violence that hadn't been seen before,' said Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jason Shatarsky, adding that as the gang has expanded it has also become more sophisticated than many rivals. The gang founders took lessons learned from that brutal conflict to the streets of Los Angeles and built a reputation as one of the most ruthless and sophisticated street gangs, he added. MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha gang, which is allied with several of Mexico's warring drug cartels, has a strong presence in Southern California, Washington and Northern Virginia, all areas with substantial Salvadoran populations. Among the most high-profile killings attributed to MS-13 in Virginia was the 2003 slaying of a pregnant teenager who had become an informant. Brenda Paz, 17, was stabbed to death and her body was left along the banks of the Shenandoah River. One of Trump's priorities is a crackdown on immigrants who are in the country illegally and have committed crimes. He promised as much in his December interview with Time magazine, when he referenced a Newsday story about the killings. 'They come from Central America. They're tougher than any people you've ever met,' he said. 'They're killing and raping. Members, who have tattoos covering the body and face with gang iconography and the M.S. initials, often target recent immigrants to recruit for the gang. They are allegedly involved in human trafficking, child prostitution, drugs and other serious offences. In 2004, the US FBI started the MS-13 National Gang Task Force. The FBI also began teaming with law enforcement in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. In Oct 12, the US Department of the Treasury labelled the group a 'transnational criminal organization.'
United States/Iran – Navy ship in the Strait of Hormuz on the 5 Mar 17 forcing it to change direction, a US official said on the 6 Mar 17. The official said the boats came within 600 yards of the USNS Invincible, a tracking ship, and stopped. The Invincible and three ships from the British Royal Navy accompanying it had to change course. The official said attempts were made to communicate over radio, but there was no response and the interaction was "unsafe and unprofessional." The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps could not immediately be reached for a comment. Similar incidents happen occasionally, but the last serious one was in Jan 17 when a US Navy destroyer fired three warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack vessels near the Strait of Hormuz after they closed in at high speed and disregarded repeated requests to slow down. "Well I don't know how much of a pattern it is, we actually had seen quite an improvement in Iran's behaviour until recently," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters. Davis said that dangerous interactions were a matter of concern because they could lead to a "miscalculation or an accidental provocation."
United States/United Nations/Iran/Syria – The United States supports the UN-led Syria peace talks, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said on the 8 Mar 17 saying Syria could no longer be a “safe haven for terrorists” and that it was important “we get Iran and their proxies out.” Haley spoke to reporters after UN Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura briefed the Security Council behind closed doors on 10 days of talks between the warring parties in Geneva, which ended last week. She did not respond to questions on whether the United States believed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, should step down. All eyes have been on how Washington would approach ending the six-year war in Syria, given pledges by President Donald Trump to build closer ties with Russia, especially in the fight against ISIS. Trump’s Syria policy has been unclear. “The United States absolutely supports Staffan de Mistura and the work that he’s doing, we support the UN process, we support the talks in Geneva, we want to see them continue,” Haley said. “This is very much about a political solution now and that basically means that Syria can no longer be a safe haven for terrorists, we’ve got to make sure we get Iran and their proxies out, we’ve got to make sure that, as we move forward, we’re securing the borders for our allies as well,” she said.
United States/Jordon/Israel/Hamas – The FBI has placed a Jordanian woman who assisted in the 2001 suicide bombing of a Jerusalem restaurant on its "Most Wanted Terrorist" list. The US case against Ahlam Aref Ahmad al-Tamimi was filed under seal in 2013 but announced publicly by the justice department on the 14 Mar 17. The charge against al-Tamimi stems from an August 9, 2001, bombing at a Sbarro pizzeria that, in addition to killing 15 people, also injured some 120 others. Two of those killed were US nationals. After her capture, Tamimi, now in her mid-30s, pleaded guilty at trial in Israel and was sentenced in 2003 to 16 life prison terms. The criminal complaint unsealed on the 14 Mar 17 charged al-Tamimi, who worked as a journalist at a television station in the occupied West Bank, with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction outside the US against US nationals. Federal prosecutors accuse her of having agreed in the summer of 2001 to carry out attacks on behalf of the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement and having travelled with the restaurant bomber to Jerusalem. Prosecutors say that she instructed the bomber to detonate the explosive device, which was hidden in a guitar, in the area. Al-Tamimi was freed from prison in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas. She was returned to Jordan, and though the justice department says it is working to bring her into custody, Jordanian courts have said their constitution does not allow for the extradition of Jordanian nationals. "This is the first time the US government has attempted to achieve the extradition and prosecute someone involved in a Palestinian attack against the Israeli occupation," Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi, reporting from Washington, DC, said. "There have been civil wrongful death suits filed by relatives of Americans killed but this is the first time the government is taking such action." Mary McCord, the acting head of the justice department's national security division, called al-Tamimi an "unrepentant terrorist". "The charges unsealed today serve as a reminder that when terrorists target Americans anywhere in the world, we will never forget - and we will continue to seek to ensure that they are held accountable," McCord said. Al-Tamimi faces a possible execution or life in prison if she is captured, tried and convicted in the US.
United States/Iran – New video footage appears to lend credibility to President Donald Trump’s claim that the United States’ immigration system is being manipulated by the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the video Hassan Abbasi, a high-ranking official with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is seen boasting about a “guerrilla movement” of Iranian agents living and working in the United States it was reported on the 8 Mar 17. Abbasi claims there are over two million Iranians in the United States, and over 7,000 PhD holders. He says, in Farsi while speaking at an unknown location, that Iran is leading a clandestine army of potential martyrs within the US. Iran does not need nuclear weapons, he proclaims, because Iran plans to use subversive measures to destabilize the United States from within. “[The US] possesses 6,000 nuclear warheads,” he said, “These 6,000 nuclear warheads are targets of our plans for our guerrilla movement.” “We have identified the United States’ Achilles’ heel,” said Abbasi. “We [know] all their ground, naval, air, technological and other vulnerabilities. We will provide specific addresses and coordinates to global guerrilla armies.” Abbasi goes on to say that only a handful of Saudis carried out the devastating 9/11 terrorist attacks, noting that Iranians are even better organized and more committed to waging war against the West. He also asserts that Iran works with other nations. “It won’t be an Iranian-only guerrilla movement, but from all Islamic countries,” said Abbasi. “You can deport them all, but we are working with Mexicans, and Argentineans too. We will organize anyone who has problems with the United States.” While the footage is undated, the video was uploaded onto YouTube on the 1 Feb 17. Abbasi appears to be speaking in a classroom setting. There are multiple recordings of his comments online that appear from different cameras. Hassan Abbasi is a long-serving member of the Iranian regime. He was a senior advisor to former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and now runs a security policy division of the IRGC. The IRGC’s covert military branch, the Qods Force, is listed as terrorist entity in Canada and is banned under the Canadian criminal code. Abbasi’s alarming remarks and direct threats give credibility to Trump’s hard-line position against admitting visitors from terrorist states, including Iran. And yet, Trump’s critics have repeatedly stated that there is no basis for his claim that the United States is facing a threat from legal visitors or migrants. For years, security experts have warned that the Islamic Republic of Iran uses lax immigration policies to thwart our national security and send terrorists and spies into North America. There is now video evidence of a senior-ranking Iranian official discussing these very plans and operations.