While Hezbollah appears to view the U.S. primarily as a cash cow to finance its operations elsewhere, “it should not be viewed lightly, as the money raised can be used against the U.S. or assets in future operations,” another counterterrorism official said.
No confirmed attacks in the U.S. have been linked to Hezbollah.
In the video, al-Nafisi emphasized that al Qaeda had chemical laboratories in Afghanistan prior to the U.S. invasion. He described his admiration for Hezbollah and said that al Qaeda continues to have scientists and resources at its disposal.
“The Americans are afraid that the [weapons of mass destruction] might fall into the hands of ‘terrorist’ organizations like al Qaeda and others,” he told followers. “There is good reason for the Americans’ fears. … [Al Qaeda] had laboratories in north Afghanistan. They have scientists, chemists and nuclear physicists. They are nothing like they are portrayed by these mercenary journalists - backward Bedouins living in caves. No, no, by no means. This kind of talk can fool only naive people. People who follow such things know that al Qaeda has laboratories, just like Hezbollah.”
Intelligence officials said the video provides important insights into al Qaeda recruitment methods and views of the West.
In the 10-minute clip, al-Nafisi suggested that al Qaeda might want to make common cause with what he claimed are “300,000” members of white supremacist and other militias in the U.S.
“These militias even think about bombing nuclear plants within the U.S.,” he said. “May God grant them success, even though we are not white, or even close to it, right? They have plans to bomb the nuclear plant at Lake Michigan. This plant is very important. … May God grant success to one of these militia leaders, who is thinking about bombing this plant. I believe that we should devote part of our prayers to him.”
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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