Report: Hizbullah Establishes Cuba Base
According to reports, Hizbullah is founding a Cuba-based terror cell to seek vengeance on Israel for the 2008 death of Imad Mughniyah.
Mughniyeh, a senior commander and head of Hizbullah's security section, was killed when a car bomb he was passing in the Kfar Suseh neighborhood in Damascus, Syria detonated. Hizbullah has long alleged Israel was behind the attack and has sworn it would avenge him.
To this end, Hizbullah has reportedly established a center of operations in Cuba, thereby expanding its foothold in the region while hoping to facilitate an attack on an Israeli target in South America, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported.
According to the paper, three HIzbullah members have already arrived in Cuba with the purpose of establishing the terrorist cell. It is to include 23 operatives, hand-picked by Talal Hamia, a senior member tasked with heading the covert operation.
The operation, titled "The Caribbean Case," was reportedly allocated a budget of $1.5 million. The Cuba base is to be initially used for logistics purposes, including intelligence collection, networking and document forgery.
Hizbullah has been active in South America for quite some time, primarily in Paraguay, Brazil and Venezuela.
However, Israel is not the only nation that had reason to target Mugniyeh, who in intelligence circles is known to have been involved in the bombing of the US Marine Corps barracks and Embassy in 1983, dozens of kidnappings and murders of foreigners - as well as the 2001 Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Ares.
Prior to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States, Mugniyeh was considered the terrorist credited with having slain the most Americans (over 350) and topped the FBI Most Wanted Terrorist List with a USD 5 Million bounty.
The FBI maintained Mugniyeh was responsible for "all but eliminating the US military presence in Lebanon."