A Lebanese soldier, right,
stands guard near charred cars at the site
of explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday,
Jan. 15, 2008. An explosion targeted a U.S.
Embassy vehicle Tuesday in northern Beirut,
killing four Lebanese and injuring a local
embassy employee just ahead of a farewell
reception for the American ambassador, U.S.
and Lebanese officials said. (AP
"Syria's Jihadists and Hezbollah are two
Mideast Newswire and CRNews, January
In a first report issued by Stratfor on January
15, 2008, the intelligence report wrote:
possibility remains that the attack was the work
of jihadists operating in Lebanon. Many of these
jihadist groups, which steadily are building up
their presence in the country, are handled by
Syrian military intelligence officers who might
have an interest in destabilizing Lebanon and
making life difficult for the U.S.-backed
government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad
Siniora ó who is resisting demands by Syria and
Hezbollah in Lebanonís ongoing political
Mideast Newswire to comment, Professor Walid
Phares, the director of the Future terrorism
Project at the Foundation for the Defense of
Democracies in Washington said: "When we say the
work of Jihadist on the strategic level, it
should mean that the decision is taken by al
Qaeda and its chapters independently from a
Tehran Damascus decision. For it is always
possible, that a decision to carry out attacks
is taken by the "axis" and transferred to the
"hands" of the Jihadists for execution, with or
without their knowledge.
In a second report Startfor added:
discounted the idea that Hezbollah would be
behind the attack if U.S. diplomatic personnel
were indeed the target, as Lebanese officials
have alleged. Hezbollah is heavily focused on
its internal political situation in Lebanon and
is not looking for what would inevitably be a
major confrontation with the United States over
the killing of a U.S. government employee."
commented that "Hezbollah is not uni-dimensional"
It can deal with Israel, the United States, the
Lebanese Government and Arab Governments at the
same time. For behind Hezbollah you have the
powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guards with their
worldwide networks. Besides, the so-called
internal situation in Lebanon is part of the
regional web stretching from Iran. And an attack
against a minor US asset in Lebanon doesn't lead
directly to a major confrontation with the US.
It is a message and a test.
The Statfor report said also that:
"In recent days,
the militant Shiite group also has sent special
forces into Beirut for key operations, which
could include an attack like the most recent
incident. The fighters reportedly are equipped
with state-of-the-art communications gear and
report directly to a security officer codenamed
Abu Jafaar, who maintains his operations in the
Ain al-Abed neighborhood in the southern suburbs."
on this information, Dr Phares said: Isn't
interesting to see how back in the fall of 2007
Western-based media, friendly to hezbollah,
attacked an American journalist reporting from
Beirut, Tom Smith, for daring to mention that
Hezbollah has ever deployed forces in Beirut,
while according to this report, the organization
is sending in -not only regular militiamen, but
special forces. This report, unless proven false
too vindicates Smith, I believe.
Startfor also added that
factions have a working relationship with a
number of Syrian military intelligence officers
operating in Lebanon. Many of these jihadist
groups work with a Syrian security official
brigadier named Ali Mamluk, who collaborates
with Islamist militant sympathizers in the
Syrian cities of Aleppo, Hama, Homs and Deir
al-Zur. Syria is unlikely to run the risk of
ordering attacks against Western targets.
Despite its deep involvement in mafia-style
violence in Lebanon, the Syrian government is
far more cautious in its dealings with the West.
Stratfor has observed how Damascus has been
playing with fire in working with these jihadist
factions, however, and that it was only a matter
of time before Syria began to lose its grip."
"If anything these information underline the
reality that the Syrian regime has its hands in
the Jihadist networks and pushes them into a
clash with the US and moderate Arabs. This is
not playing, this is sponsoring.
report concluded that Shiite militant group
Hezbollah would be unlikely to take the risk of
drawing attention from the United States by
carrying out such an attack. The likely
perpetrators of this bombing are jihadists who
have been funneled into Lebanon in increasing
numbers over the past several months. According
to a source in the Lebanese military, a new
group of al Qaeda-linked militants, numbering
about 15 men, have recently entered Lebanon via
who teaches Jihadist strategies at the National
Defense University said: "What is strange in the
analysis is that it says that Hezbollah is
unlikely to carry an attack against US target,
but Jihadists controlled by Syria are very
likely to do so. But these are two arms from one
Terror body, the Syro-Iranian axis."