Hezbollah Is Here
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Sheeple thought of the day: "Hezbollah is not my problem."

You think Hezbollah is only Israel's headache? Wake up. Iranian Hezbollah's spokesman Mojtaba Bigdeli's threat on Tuesday to dispatch 2,000 operatives "to every corner of the world to jeopardize Israel and America's interests" is more than just idle Islamic heavy breathing.

The Jew-hating terrorists of Hezbollah who call themselves the "party of God" are already here. In America. Plotting attacks. Raising money. Slipping through the cracks.

In May, the New York Post reported on Hezbollah's plans to activate sleeper cells in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Detroit as the nuclear showdown with Iran heats up. One focal point: "the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, where there have already been three episodes in the last four years in which diplomats and security guards have been expelled for casing and photographing New York City subways and other potential targets."[ N.Y. HEZBOLLAH HUNT, May 22, 2006 ] Heightened alert comes in the wake of reports that Iranian crackpot president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Hezbollah leaders in Syria earlier this year.

Four years ago, I reported on how information-sharing walls between federal immigration and law enforcement agencies created a path to citizenship for at least one known Hezbollah member. He walked through our figurative front door. The then-assistant district director for INS investigations in New York City and two FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) officials were placed on administrative leave when the bungle was discovered.

Sources informed me the unidentified Middle Eastern male—now a fellow American—appeared on terrorist watch lists and is a member of the Hezbollah terrorist organization. Despite numerous calls from adjudicators in Newark, N.J., handling the alleged terrorist's naturalization case, the FBI and INS reportedly did not respond to requests to turn over the individual's "alien file." The A-file includes biographical and status information and investigative data. It is unclear why INS and the JTTF did not turn over the file, or why the New York office neglected to order the adjudications branch in Newark to put the naturalization process on hold.

Why did INS adjudicators in Newark proceed without viewing the alleged terrorist's file? Adjudicators to this day remain under intense pressure to meet naturalization "quotas." Job-performance ratings and cash bonuses are based on the number of naturalization approvals processed. It's standard operating procedure.

Hezbollah has also enlisted the aid of gullible American women to ease their way into the country.

Jessica Yolanda Fortune hooked up with Lebanon-born Chawki Youssef Hammoud in 1994. The marriage enabled him to obtain a green card—and the cover to operate a Charlotte, N.C.-based cell that smuggled cigarettes to raise cash for Hezbollah. The terror cell reportedly answered to a senior Hezbollah leadership in Lebanon and was part of a broader North American network responsible for also obtaining dual-use technologies for Hezbollah—including goggles, global positioning systems, stun guns, naval equipment, nitrogen cutters and laser range finders.

Fortune was convicted of marriage fraud in October 2001. Hammoud was convicted of smuggling, credit-card fraud, money laundering and racketeering in June 2002. Fortune's brother-in-law, Mohammed Hammoud, married three different American women. After arriving in the United States on a counterfeit visa, being ordered deported and filing an appeal, he wed Sabina Edwards to gain a green card. INS officials refused to award him legal status after this first marriage was deemed bogus in 1994.

He then married Jessica Wedel in May 1997, and while still wed to her, paid Angela Tsioumas to marry him in Detroit. Tsioumas entered a plea agreement in March 2002 on charges of conspiracy. Her "husband" was convicted on 16 counts that included providing material support to Hezbollah. A total of 25 people connected to the ring were nabbed.

Does the name "Hammoud" sound familiar? Earlier this month, the FBI announced the capture of Assem Hammoud—also a Lebanese-born Muslim like the members of the cigarette-smuggling Hammoud gang. He is suspected of working for al Qaeda on a plot to blow up PATH train tunnels between New Jersey and lower Manhattan with a team of suicide bombers. The 1998 terrorism indictment of Osama bin Laden notes al Qaeda's forged alliances "with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezbollah." Together, they've killed American servicemen and civilians around the world.

Not in your backyard? Think again.

Michelle Malkin [email her] is author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. Click here for Peter Brimelow's review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle Malkin's latest book is "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."


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