Hezbollah Could Strike in US, Intel Officials Warn

Hezbollah fighters
Hezbollah fighters / Getty Images
January 11, 2024

Lebanese terror group Hezbollah may attack American troops or diplomats abroad or even strike the United States at home, officials told Politico Wednesday.

"Hezbollah could draw on the capability they have … to put people [in] places to do something," one official said, referring to a possible attack on America, according to the outlet. "It is something to be worried about." That official, as well as three other anonymous ones the publication cited, said the Iran-backed group would likely hit American targets abroad first.

The terror group has more capabilities than others in the region, according to the officials, such as a more expansive international network. Many officials in President Joe Biden's administration do not believe that Iran wants a broader war, but they have been working to decrease tensions in the Middle East, according to Politico's report.

Still, recent events have contributed to fears that the conflict between Israel and Hamas could spread into surrounding countries in the Middle East. Along with its campaign in Gaza, the Jewish state has exchanged fire with Hezbollah since Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attacks.

On Tuesday, Hezbollah hit an Israeli base using drones, and the Israel Defense Forces killed three of the terror group's members in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah said recent attacks on the Jewish state are part of a response to its apparent killing of a Hamas deputy leader in Beirut last week.

FBI director Christopher Wray said in early December that the general threat from foreign terrorist organizations has elevated since Oct. 7, telling a Senate panel that he saw "blinking lights everywhere I turn."

Other Iran-backed groups have become more aggressive since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, with Yemen's Houthis attacking vessels in the Red Sea and militants in Iraq and Syria having tried to strike American troops in the countries at least 100 times.

The most recent direct threat Hezbollah posed toward the United States was revealed about seven years ago when the Department of Justice accused two men of working on behalf of the group. Authorities alleged that one had attempted in the early 2010s to locate the American and Israeli embassies in Panama and the other had been attempting to identify military and law enforcement targets in New York City.

In 1983, Hezbollah conducted bombings of the U.S. embassy and Marine barracks in Lebanon during the country's civil war, which saw Israel invade it a year prior.