Thursday, July 20, 2006

study notes on Hezbollah

Fun facts as I find them:
"Majlis al-Shura" is a term commonly used in Arabic states to describe parliamentary bodies, elected asemblies or similar. Liberal muslims views this as evidence for the existence of an Islamic concept of a democratically-elected state, while hardliners view the Shura's only role as correctly interpreting Islamic rule, with no regard for how they get into that position. The supreme decision-making body of Hezbollah is called the Majlis al-Shura.

Threat analysis of Hezbollah. No idea who wrote this (Intellecom, inc? Never heard of them), but this quote:
"It must be understood that although this organization is closely ideologically and spiritually linked to Iran, it is not a singular political/militaristic body that currently shows total subservience to the latter; but is rather more like a coalition of Lebanese Shi'ite Imams who each have their own political thoughts and views and built their own networks of followers and ties to Iran's political, military and clerical establishment"

seems to concur with what I'm reading elsewhere: Hezbollah has a clear organisational structure, and has strong ties to Iran within that structure, but it is not a monolithic entity.

JESUS! From the earlier PDF:"The decision by Hizbollah's SSA to abduct foreign citizens was usually initiated at the highest level in the main Majlis al-Shura within the Hizbollah through consultation with its senior clergy and two permanent representatives from Iran." Now, it's been Israeli soldiers rather than foreign civilians that have been abducted now, but still...Oh boy, continuing: "In making the abductions authorized by Hizbollah's national SSA, the Operational officers maintained close liaison with offficial representatives from Iran's embassies in Beirut and Damascus as well as with Pasdaran(Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps) officials."

A faction of Hizbollah headed by one Sheikh al-Tufayli was bitterly opposed to Hizbollah taking part in Lebanon's 1992 elections at all. His successor to the position of leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Abbas al-Musawi, led Hizbollah to being more involved in the Lebanese democratic political process. I'll stop simply repeating the PDF file info now.

Ooh, another good find: Inside Hizbollah's decision-making process paints the Israeli kidnappings the way I'm starting to see it: it was authorized at the highest level of Hizbollah, with knowledge and input from Iranian officials. But the highest decision-making body is called the "Shura Karar" according to that article? Contradiction, currently unable to resolve, suspect this is due to insufficient knowledge of post-1994 Hizbollah history. Anyway, I think I'll keep an eye on Counterterrorism blog, see if it lives up to its name.

Enough for now. I want to switch to full information absorption mode for a bit.

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