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August 2, 2014 / 6 Av, 5774
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Have We Been Overlooking Southern Lebanon?

The European Union’s unwillingness to place the group on its list of terrorist organizations is also complicating the West’s efforts to deal with the Bulgarian bus bombing and the Syrian conflict

Experts question how effectively European police officials are keeping track of the kind of serious, well-trained operatives capable of staging attacks versus counting up donors to funds for orphans of suicide bombers.

“I don’t believe that they are able to monitor Hezbollah activities because Hezbollah is such a professional player,” said Guido Steinberg, an expert on terrorism with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

“The supporters that march the streets with a Hezbollah flag are not a threat to national security,” Mr. Ritzmann said. “We’re more concerned with small groups — a car dealer, a grocer, or whatever, who operate in a traditional way like a sleeper cell would operate”…

The perception gap across the Atlantic is so great that American officials sound more concerned about the threat posed by Hezbollah to Europe than the Europeans themselves. “We assess that Hezbollah could attack in Europe or elsewhere at any time with little or no warning,” said Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator…

Some experts say that security officials on the Continent are resistant to blacklisting the group because they seem to see a tacit détente, where Hezbollah does not stage attacks and European law enforcement officials do not interfere with its fund-raising and organizational work

“There’s a fear of attracting Hezbollah’s ire and eventually inviting Hezbollah operations in their own countries,” said Bruce Hoffman, a professor of security studies at Georgetown and a terrorism expert. “Why pick up a rock and see what’s under it?” he asked.

Here in Israel, keeping your head in the sand is seen as an unbearably expensive option.

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About the Author: Frimet and Arnold Roth began writing and speaking publicly soon after the murder of their fifteen year-old daughter Malki Z"L in the Jerusalem Sbarro massacre, August 9, 2001 (Chaf Av, 5761). They have both been, and are, frequently interviewed for radio, television and the print media, including CNN, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Al-Jazeera, and others. Their blog This Ongoing War deals with the under-appreciated price of living in a society afflicted by terrorism which, they contend, means the entire world. Frimet is a native of Queens, NY while her husband was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. They brought their family to settle in Jerusalem in 1988. They co-founded the Malki Foundation in 2001 and are deeply involved in its work as volunteers. They can be reached at thisoingoingwar@gmail.com .


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