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Column: Retired ATF Official Warns that Law Enforcement Must Look Forward in the War on Terrorism

James Cavanaugh was an ATF agent and supervisor for 33 years before retiring in 2010.

James Cavanaugh/atf photo

 
By James Cavanaugh
For ticklethewire.com

Law-enforcement, security and intelligence professionals must have a forward-looking approach in the current climate of world events. Now is the time for police and intelligence personnel to think critically about the year ahead. While the threat from a wounded Al Qaeda won’t disappear, the looming threat from a cornered Iran – and it’s terrorist proxies like Hezbollah — may become the more deadly problem.

Here’s why. Western nations have ramped up the sanctions against Iran. Additionally, in the last few years, five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated. The most recent attack with a magnetic bomb was attached by a motorcyclist to the scientist’s vehicle. Just viewing the vehicle destruction on media footage shows the targeted nature of the bomb. It was no terroristic bomb trying to gain mass casualties.

Iran has ramped up its saber rattling and threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz. The Iranian Navy has sent small fast boats to harass U.S. Navy warships in the Persian Gulf. Iran is holding a 27-year-old former United States Marine Corps veteran of Iranian descent and accusing him of being a CIA spy. The New York Times reports Iran is vowing revenge against Israel and the United States over the scientists assassination. And this week, the European Union announced tougher sanctions still.

How this all plays out in the world stage is unclear. Ditto for how it could all play out here at home. But we know Iran’s and Hezbollah’s tentacles have reached our shores. Law enforcement has to be vigilante.

That’s where being proactive and smart counts. We have to look at the history of Iran and its terrorist proxies to try and predict the future. In the past years, Iran has wielded a formidable weapon, the dangerous and deadly proxies’ of Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a fighting force with capabilities above and beyond even Al Qaeda. Hezbollah is supported by a nation-state, trained directly by military personnel, closely allied with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) and the Quds Force, and tempered in war, most recently the 2006 war between Hezbollah in Lebanon against Israel. They are likely heavily operating as thugs in Syria for the Assad government, a close ally of Iran in the most recent months.

Hezbollah is the modern father of suicide bombing. It was responsible for three major terrorist bombings in 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon; The US Embassy, The French Military Barracks and the US Marine Corps Barracks, for a total of 316 deaths. The group was busy in Beirut in 1984 when it set a bomb outside the US Embassy annex that killed 24 people.

In 1985, the group hijacked TWA Flight 847 and killed a US Navy Diver, and later that same year, members captured, tortured and killed the CIA Station Chief in Lebanon. I was serving in The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and recall when we sent a team of ATF bomb investigators to the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1992, to help the Argentine Government investigate and deal with the 29 killed there. Once again Hezbollah and Iran were believed responsible. Hezbollah struck again with the Argentina bombing of a Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 96 people. The group also struck the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996 killing 19 US Military personnel.

Closer to home, in 2002, Sheriff’s Deputies, State Agents and ATF, FBI and federal prosecutors broke up and arrested members of a flourishing Hezbollah cell in North Carolina which was smuggling cigarettes and funneling huge amounts of cash and sophisticated military equipment to Hezbollah.

More recently, in October 2011, the DEA, FBI and federal prosecutors arrested a member of the Quds Force, an arm of the Revolutionary Guard, and an Iranian American for a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States.

The group also plotted to bomb the Israeli embassy in Washington and bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Argentina. Luckily the effort was poorly executed and failed. US Law Enforcement exploited that weakness and broke up the plot. Hezbollah has direct connections to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Quds force. Also, we know from public information how closely they operate with direction from Iran.

The good news is that all of the training and preparation that law-enforcement and intelligence have done to defeat attacks by Al Qaeda are invaluable and directly applicable to the fight even against Hezbollah, Iran and all of its dispatched demons.

Notwithstanding that training, you often don’t see if you are not looking. Law enforcement has to look toward the next threat, not always the last threat, Al Qaeda is constantly looking behind themselves for drones, police can’t be constantly looking behind for Al Qaeda only, the next attack may come from another direction.

In the end, I refer to the United States Coast Guard’s motto, “Semper Paratus”, always ready.

 

 


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Comment from MajWilliamMartin
Time January 25, 2012 at 3:59 am

What a totally biased writing.

It is “Legal to implant Stuxnet Virus’s on computers that control Nuclear Radiation, after all… It’s over there! Also if the Reactor BLEW it would just Kill them “Brown People.”

The US Assassination has been proven to had been a HOAX, Just like how our beloved “Protect and Serve FBI has Handlers that groom boys and bus them to where the FBI is making brownie points and then the Handler GIVES them a Bomb!

It is Legal for the Mossad to act like a fictional Character like 007 and have a free “License to Kill”. Lest we forget about the white Van’s with Explosives and driven by Israeli’s. Oh and the “Dancing Israeli’s that were gigh-5’ing each other as the jet hit the WTC, They said, “We were here to document it, How did they Know? Perhaps the Fox News 4 part series on “Israeli’s Spies in America would answer that too?

In the last few decades, the US and Allies have kill/murdered 12,000,000 Muslims. Mainly on a fake War on the American People… I mean Terror.

Afyer the Seal Tem 6 helicopter was shot down, V.P. Biden said the Taliban are “Not” an enemy of the US, WTF?

The CIA admits “They Fabricated the Al Qaeda”. Loud Mouth Hillary just confirmed that as she spoke about the Afghan’s and Russians. How the US made the Mujahideen/Al Qaeda.

These same Al Qaeda killed Thousands of US Troops in Iraq, Then it was a “Long Long Way to Tripoli” As Obomba supported these same Al Qaeda from Iraq now in Libya then bused to meet up with US Special Forces on Syria’s Border.

Then we have the 100% LIE that Ahmadinejad said he was going to “Wipe Israel from the map.” Why don’t people “Research” this and find the real Quote? Why would Muslim’s destroy the “Dome of the Rock” One of the most Holy of Holy places for them?

Then again the Israeli DON’T belong to the IAEA yet point fingers at Iran when too many people forgot about how the Israeli HID their “NUKES” 6 floors under where the Inspectors were looking, That was back in Kennedy’s day. They have “NOT” been inspected since as They Bomb Saddam, Syria and Iran next? 007 ego’s.

IF, the Taliban are OUR FRIENDS and the CIA & Hillary admit they “Invented the Al Qaeda, Then Why are about 93,000 Troop’s in Afghanistan? GROWING Opium & Heroin for the Afghan’s that is why.

Why no Sanctions on Israel for their Nukes? Oh, They are WHITE, Almost forgot. Have to watch them Brown People that do belong to the IAEA.

I wonder what would happen if Russia and N. Korea and China played WAR GAMES off Our Coast what would happen? In fact, you don’t see any of these coming to a US Port as they don’t bring their Military even near our shores. However the US Military does all that and has secret Op’s going on in Iran and Killing their citizens, That is A-OK too, as the US writes it’s own laws as they go along. Bad enough they will Murder a US Citizen without a Trial, It is interesting as to WHO says WHO is Guilty. As for Obomba, After signing the NDAA he should have turned himself in to the “LAW” for his Support of Terrorist’s. As it was DEMOCRACY that brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt. And it was “Humanitarian Aid” that brought the Al Qaeda/NTC to Power in Libya as NATO (North Atlantic Terrorist Organization) Bombed the Hell out of the GMR Libyan Water Project that “USED” to supply 5.8 Million with Fresh Water. Pipes that were 22′ across were turning the African Dessert into an Oasis. Can’t have that. Need to STARVE them BLACKS too. Can’t have WATER to help with irrigation so that 1000 of kids don’t die a day. I SMELL Henry Kissinger.

In ten years, 4.6 Million Dead in Iraq. That had NOTHING to do with 9/11. The US SOLD their Bio-Weapons to Iraq under 771 Dual Use Permit’s. But Saddam crossed the US when he went to the Euro of off the US Dollar. As Gaddafi did as he had 144 Tons of Gold and was starting to Mint the Dinar which would infest All Africa and again destroy the US Dollar.

American or USreal Imperialism being wrought out against the Nations of the World. As Helicopter murder boys collection Firewood in Afghanistan, the Kill Team Murdering boys for FUN. Then there is THIS!!! obamaslibya(dot)com/child.html These are the Rebel’s the US Supports. As the shove a Metal ROD through the Nuts of a boy and completely through his Body and out his shoulder. This is WHO Obomba Supported. As the Al Qaeda FLAGS floy all over Libya.

Then we have the ATF. What a JOKE. The Banks launder 350 Billion in DRUG MONIES. NO INDICTMENTS. Great Bank WELLS FARGO. The Hundreds Murdered by US GUN’S, As the Arizona Sheriff said, We call “ANYONE” who gives a un to someone that commits Murder an ACCOMPLICE!!!”

I am so sick of the LIES.

Sick of OUR Police State as the FBI and CIA SPY on their OWN Citizens. As Janet Napolitano groups more and more American’s as Domestic Terrorist’s. Yet in nearly ALL Cases the ONES behind the Terror are ALL Saudi Nationals. Do you see the US Attacking the SAUDI’S? NO! Why, Because VASOLINE is a Petroleum Product and OPEC uses it liberally on US.

What a JOKE of an Article.

And you WONDER “WHY” we are Hated? Our Government in effect by their actions have drawn a TARGET on each and every Americans BACK!

Only ONE Congressman see’s this, The OTHERS are too busy with their Homosexual BOYS at their Parties to LOOK UP instead on Down.

This is WHY Ron Paul is Hated. Our Foreign Policy in Iran since 1953 has been a JOKE.

I wonder WHEN they will call it Even for the 3,000 lost on 9/11 and the 7,000 US Troops Dead, 32,322 with massive Head wounds and another 160,000 Disabled. When will avenging the 9/11 Victims be called even as we turn country after country against us. Both Russia and China said THEY WILL Defend IRAN. So what is left, The US and Israel checking the size of Iran’s Penis against theirs now? Who is going to WIN?

Not to mention the 69 Cruise Missiles that dropped from the headlines that were headed to China or S.Korea. But shipped in crates marked “Fireworks” Ya Think! DUH! So much for Quality Control and the US making sure it’s Weapons are shipped by Qualified persons.

One LAST THING, Since the US will NOT NAME WHO our Enemies are.. Then they can’t say PFC Bradley Manning gave AID to our enemies. So all he did do was expose the massive WAR CRIMES from our Country in which these Generals and such should HANG for their Treason against the US Constitution.

Brovo1— OUT!

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