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Covert Wars: Hezbollah’s Outsmarting of the CIA

It suggests that money allocated for a spy’s productivity is seized by none other than the officers themselves; the mechanism is simple: spies receive cash for their work; the officer requests an agent’s signature on a receipt to confirm he indeed received the money, but with the amount being less than that what was inked on the receipt.

Although the US state department, as expected, denied the Hezbollah accusations,[12] heads must be hanging in shame as a result of the fiasco. Those that were tasked with snooping on the operational mindset of the world’s most feared guerrilla movements have failed, and failed miserably.

But even following the Beirut fiasco, American investigators (no doubt given a heads up by the likes of the CIA) have apparently exposed Hezbollah’s involvement in multi-million dollar laundering schemes.[13] The allegation is that Lebanese financial institutions wired more than $300 million to the US in order to benefit Hezbollah. It includes drug trafficking, second hand car buyers, and even a shipping company.

The rationale behind the lawsuit filed is more than just trying to seek penalties for entities involved in utilizing the proceeds of crime; it’s about exposing Hezbollah’s apparent nefarious methods of funding both its decades-long war against Israel and its continued ability to function as a political force in Lebanon and region at large. If Hezbollah, a devout Muslim organization which prides itself as a strict adherent to Islamic principles, is tagged with narcotics trafficking in addition to other vices, it will certainly deal a huge blow to its otherwise popular standing in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

The never-ending covert war between Hezbollah and the CIA is unlikely to die down any time soon, even as contentious issues from the uprising in Syria and Iran’s ever-increasing power take a dangerous toll.

But for the determined personnel of America’s CIA, the notion that the status-quo in the Middle-East is such that an armed non-state actor can surpass its superior capabilities and render it to being publicly ridiculed, is alarming.

In a world where its enemies are increasing in sophistication and where they see the pursuit of resistance to achieve their aims continuing, it needs to take a long and hard look at its own vulnerabilities and misfortunes, if it wishes to remain the United States premier provider of global intelligence and security for the years to come.

Notes

[1] http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2011/Dec-13/156706-hezbollah-mp-cia-officers-meet-lebanese-agents-in-public.ashx#axzz1gdKnAgcJ

[5] Robert Baer, See no Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA’S War on Terrorism. Published by Arrow, 2002. Pp.97-101.

[6] Richard Zoglin; Jay Peterzell and Bruce Van Voorst. Did a dead man tell no tales? Time Magazine, 10.12.1987.


About the Author

Mohammad I. Aslam
Mohammad I. Aslam is a doctoral candidate in the Political Science at King’s College London and an independent politico-security analyst specializing in all forms of irregular and clandestine warfare. He's also a former editor at the Montréal review Journal. Contact him at miaslam@hushmail.com.