European Union (EU) – During the reporting period the EU has taken the step to label the Hezbollah military wing a terrorist organization. The political party of Hezbollah will remain unaffected. The June 15 361 Security Terrorist and Security Report indicated that the Arab Gulf States had banned Hezbollah, and were treating it as a terrorist organization and had promised sanctions against the group after its military involvement with Syria. It is unsure how the group will be affected by the ruling of the EU as it is thought that they do not have much in the way of assets in EU countries, but it will provide the EU with the ability to prosecute anyone who supports or attempts to raise funds for Hezbollah.
The role of Hezbollah in the July 12 Burgas, Bulgaria attack where 5 Israeli tourists and 1 Bulgarian national were killed, and the conviction of the Hezbollah operator Hossam Taleb Yaacoub in Cyprus, who was arrested on July 7 for recording the details of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, had swayed action to ban the group. This action by both the EU and the Arab Gulf States will cause some problems for Iran, who in the past has used Hezbollah to act as its proxy for carrying out terrorist operations and supporting militant organizations.
Germany – On July 17, police in Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland launched raids on several properties and arrested 6 suspected personnel who were creating a cell modeled on a World War Two Nazi guerrilla resistance movement known as the “Werewolf.” The group was to be set up during the late stages of WWII by SS chief Heinrich Himmler and was intended to attack allied forces that over-ran Germany. The 6 arrested were suspected of having founded a right-wing extremist “Werewolf” command. The group’s aims were to eradicate the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany. The police believe that the group was attempting to obtain weapons and explosives to carry-out terrorist attacks, although no proof of this was found at the time due to an encryption program on their computers.
United Kingdom – On July 18, another explosive device was found after it had been planted near a mosque in the English midland town of Wolverhampton. This is the third such device to be found in recent weeks. Local police arrested and interviewed two Ukrainian students. One was released, and another was charged with terrorist offenses. Pavlo Lapshyn who hails from the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk, was also charged with the murder of an 82-year-old Muslim man. There appears to be no reason why this individual carried out these acts of terrorism. He may have seen an opportunity to use hate as a reason to carry-out his attacks following the murder of Lee Rigby and the upsurge in demonstrations by the EDL.
Paul Ashley is the Senior Counter-Terrorist Analyst