DEBKAfileSpecial Report July 20, 2012, 1:29 PM (GMT+02:00)
The suicide bombing attack in Bulgaria that left five Israelis dead and more than 30 injured Wednesday, July 18, is seen by Israeli and Western intelligence and counter-terror sources as marking Hizballah’s regression to its old tactics. After a 17-year break in major international attacks, the Lebanese terrorist group is again sending suicide killers to murder Israelis and Jews.
In the 1980s, Hizballah was notorious for its massive bomb attacks against US Marines in Lebanon and the US embassy in Beirut, which left more than 300 dead. In the early 1990s, the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina was blown up killing 29 people, followed by the destruction of the Jewish center in the city leaving 85 people.
It is now evident that the old Hizballah is back and fully equipped with suicide killers standing by for action worldwide at the bases of its far-flung terrorist, espionage, dope-smuggling and money laundry networks.
Western counter-terror experts give Israel’s Mossad, Shin Bet and Military Intelligence a failed mark for missing those preparations and not appreciating the significance of the bungled Iranian-backed Hizballah bomb and assassination plots over the past year or two in India, Turkey, Azerhianjan, Thailand, Georgia, Kenya and Cyprus. They were experienced ought to have realized that Hizballah planners were testing the ground and their own methods and analyzing their performance, before concluding that suicide attacks would get them the optimal results, namely, maximum fatalities.
The experts estimate that it will take Israel’s intelligence and counter-terror agencies time to get organized for catching up with Hizballah’s plots and developing preventive measures. As one said, “It may take weeks or even months before Israel is able to come to grips with the new Hizballah terror deployment. Iran’s external terrorist arms and Hizballah planners will try and take advantage of Israel’s vulnerability in that period for repeated attacks.
In any case, they warn, the Bulgarian bombing was a first shot. Hizballah must be put down firmly by a strong Israeli deterrent. Its terror offensive must be nipped in the bud before it spills over into Israel.
Iran’s al Qods and its Lebanese surrogate have planted a network of sleepers on the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and among certain Arab Israeli communities, who may be called into action at any time.
Israel’s response to the attack in Bulgaria so far has been feeble and hesitant, a frustrated counter-terror official told debkafile. A complaint to the UN Security Council on Thursday, July 19, the day that international body demonstrated its irrelevance for halting the Syrian bloodbath was worse than useless; it was a sign of weakness.
This type of reaction will serve only to encourage Tehran and Hizballah to keep going. Indeed, The Security Council did more harm than good by condemning the bombing attack and the Israeli deaths, without naming the perpetrators. Iran and Hizballah got off scot-free.