ABC News: Hezbollah sleeper cells in Canada activated, seek Jewish targets

No surprise. Nasrallah’s been screaming about revenge on Israel since the day after Hezbollah super-jihadi Imad Mughniyeh was assassinated in February. They’ve hit Jewish targets in the west before too, of course, most famously in 1994 with the bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and earned Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani — the heir apparent to Khamenei as supreme leader of Iran — an arrest warrant from the Argentinian government in 2006.

The U.S. isn’t expected to be on the target list. Supposedly, Iran’s afraid Bush might hit back.

Intelligence officials tell ABC News the group has activated suspected “sleeper cells” in Canada and key operatives have been tracked moving outside the group’s Lebanon base to Canada, Europe and Africa…

Suspected Hezbollah operatives have conducted recent surveillance on the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, Canada and on several synagogues in Toronto, according to the officials.

Latin American is also considered a possible target by officials following Hezbollah’s planning…

Officials say the CIA, the NSA, and British and Canadian intelligence agencies began to pick up a steady stream of information – from electronic intercepts, human sources and surveillance – about a possible Hezbollah attack on Feb. 17, just days after the Beirut funeral of Mugniyah where Hezbollah leaders publicly declared they would seek revenge…

[Former CIA intelligence officer Bob] Baer says his Hezbollah contacts told him an attack against the US was unlikely because Iran and Hezbollah did not want to give the Bush administration an excuse to attack.

Baer writes occasionally for Time and makes no secret of his disdain for the Iraq war so bear that in mind if/when the carping about neocon disinformation begins. (He’s also been known to flirt with Trutherism.) Now, question: Why leak this? According to ABC, there’s evidence of four cells — one is even named — backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, supposedly corroborated by the CIA, NSA, and British and Canadian intel. A Hezbo weapons expert has, allegedly, even been tracked from Lebanon to Toronto. With the publication of this article the jig is up, but it doesn’t sound like a surreptitious leak: ABC cites a “senior counterterrorism official” as a source and three U.S. law enforcement agencies confirm that they’d been briefed on some of the details. Maybe they’re worried that they’ve lost track of the plotters and are putting this out in desperation, to try to spook them into aborting an attack?

And a second question: Why Canada? That’s actually easy to answer — because Hezbollah’s already there and has been there for years, openly raising funds to send back home to Lebanon for, ahem, “social services” until as recently as 2002. It’s a target of opportunity. But do note the aside about Latin America. If they want to attack Jews somewhere without having to worry about government interference, there’s an obvious choice. So obvious, in fact, that I wonder if Chavez could survive given how complicit he’d appear.