Signs of Hezbollah Going Global

Posted: 2nd April 2012

Warnings of Hezbollah  striking against United States interests have appeared sporadically over the last several years, but recent events around the globe seem to warrant real attention in considering the Iranian-sponsored group’s efforts to hit US and Israeli partners abroad and at home.

Using Recorded Future to look at the last four months related to attacks associated with Hezbollah, we find:

The timeline gives us a quick idea of when reported attacks really bubbled up, but even more interesting is to line up connections to Hezbollah for this initial timeframe compared to those with months prior. First, we’ll view a network of entities (locations, organizations, and people) associated with Hezbollah from December 2011 through March 2012:

We find some of the very much expected locations – Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, – but we also see targets from India to Thailand to Azerbaijan to French interests that were either confirmed or alleged to be targets of Hezbollah attacks that are drawing attention to the group’s expanding scope of influence.

Next, we’ll shift the timeframe to describe connections from June 2011 to November 2011.

The reference to China in the network above comes from a write up by the Heritage Foundation blog the Foundry that suggests China is actually in the same market as Hezbollah for acquiring Club-K cruise missiles. And we’ve reported before on the now well known activity of Hezbollah in Latin America, primarily associations with drug cartels in Mexico.

So, the shift in recent months really does appear notable in the sense that these targets are quite different than previous targets more closely located to the group’s home base in Lebanon. It’s not the first time that connections have appeared in some of the locations, say for Thailand, which back in 2009 picked up weapons in Bangkok being transported to Hezbollah and Hamas from North Korea, but to actually carry out attacks there changes the game.

Keep an eye on where events related to Hezbollah are happening around the globe (view requires a Google Earth plug-in) using Recorded Future and set up an alert to make sure you’re monitoring activity as it happens.