Materials found by Israel during last month’s war in Lebanon netted the information that Hizbullah leads a youth movement that instructs tens of thousands of children and teenagers in military tactics and indoctrinates them with radical Shia Islam beliefs – including the waging of a final, apocalyptic world battle against “evil.”
“Hizbullah established its Imam Mahdi Scouts to attract Shiite children and adolescents to prepare new generations of youth indoctrinated with radical Shiite Islam, which propounds the idea of the return of the Mahdi as one of Hizbullah’s central principles,” states a report by Israel’s Center for Special Studies, which analyzed the Hizbullah material.
“Hizbullah wants to create a new generation of operatives for its own ranks who will take part in its violent campaign against Israel,” the report states.
Hizbullah’s Mahdi Scouts have about 42,000 Lebanese boys and girls 8-16 years old, organized into 499 groups. The group’s namesake comes from a decedent of Muhammad whom Shia Muslims believe is still alive but cannot be seen until Allah determines it is time to prepare the faithful for Judgment Day. They believe the Mahdi will eventually reveal himself and lead the forces of righteousness against the forces of evil in a final, apocalyptic world battle.
Hizbullah’s Mahdi Scouts reportedly undergo military training at summer camps in Shiite communities in Beirut, the Beqaa Valley and south Lebanon.
An investigative report published in August by the Egyptian daily Ruz al-Yusuf stated the first lesson Hizbullah teaches scouts is the destruction of Israel.
“[This lesson] is always an important part of the curriculum and is always aimed at children and adolescents who are new to the program. [The objective is to train a] high-caliber Islamic generation of children who would be willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of Allah in the campaign against Israel.”
Israeli police this week interrogated members of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s Baath Party living in the Golan Heights regarding information – first reported in this column – that the party is forming its own Hizbullah-like guerrilla organization.
The Baath officials were arrested but were released after several hours of questioning. They claimed they did not know anything about the new organization, police sources said.
The arrests followed an announcement last weekend by Israel Defense Forces chief of intelligence Amos Yadlin that Israel believes Syria is in the initial stages of developing the concept for a copycat Hizbullah group, which he said would launch attacks aimed at pressuring the Jewish state into vacating the Golan Heights.
Last month this column broke the story that Syria is forming what a Baath Party official called the Front for the Liberation of the Golan Heights, a new “resistance” group that models itself after Hizbullah.
One week later, Al-Alam Iranian television featured an interview with a man who identified himself as the leader of the new Front for the Liberation of the Golan Heights. The man, whose features were blocked out, said hi new group consists of “hundreds” of fighters who are currently training for guerilla-like raids against Israeli positions in and near the Golan. He claimed the Front has opened several training camps inside Syria.
The Golan Heights looks down on major Israeli and Syrian population centers. It borders Israel, Syria and Lebanon and is claimed by Damascus. Military officials say returning the Golan Heights to Syria would grant Damascus the ability to mount an effective ground invasion of the Jewish state.
Syria: U.S. Did It
The attack last week against the United States embassy in Damascus was orchestrated by American intelligence to embarrass the Syrian regime and extract political concessions, a Baath Party official claimed.
“We in the government are 100 percent sure America was behind this attack, which is not the same as other attacks by Islamic groups,” said the senior Baath party official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Only the Americans can succeed in carrying out an attack just 200 meters from President Assad’s residence in the most heavily guarded section of Syria,” the official said.
The official claimed the U.S. first directed the attack and then ensured it was foiled to “prove Syria is filled with terrorists and to put us in a weak position.”
The U.S. did not foil the attack, however. Syrian security forces reportedly stopped the assailants after a 30-minute shootout.
Many Syrian experts contend the Damascus regime, which tightly controls security in the country, likely was complicit in the attack.
Terror Cell in Egypt
Egypt is tracking a terror cell inside its country that it says includes Palestinians from the Gaza Strip seeking to carry out a large scale attack in the Sinai desert, Egyptian security officials told WorldNetDaily.
The Egyptian officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there is information that a group of terrorists entered the country last month and is seeking to carry out a series of bombings in the Sinai’s Sharm el-Sheik region. Sharm el-Sheik is a Sinai resort spot popular with Israeli and foreign tourists.
The officials say they believe the terror cell, consisting of 12 to 18 members, includes militants from the Persian Gulf and Sudan and is backed up by Bedouin Egyptians in the Sinai. The cell, the officials say, also contains Palestinian terrorists who entered the Sinai from the neighboring Gaza Strip.
This would not be the first time Gaza-based Palestinians are suspected of plotting terror attacks against Egypt. In May, Egyptian authorities announced that Palestinians based in Gaza helped train and finance the perpetrators of triple bomb blasts a month earlier in the Sinai desert resort town of Dahab. The attacks, which killed 24 civilians, were widely blamed on local cells of Sinai-based Bedouins working for Al-Qaeda.