Wednesday 18 March 2009, by Wall Street Journal Europe
Their propaganda notwithstanding, Hamas and, two years ago, Hezbollah suffered devastating military defeats that may diminish their ability to attack Israel with rocket fire. But these Iranian-backed terrorist organizations are deploying another dangerous weapon in their war against Western democracies — terrorist television stations.
Thanks to Arab satellite companies, Hezbollah’s al-Manar and Hamas’s al-Aqsa TV stations can still beam their incitement and hatred into European living rooms, radicalizing Muslim immigrants throughout the Continent. Al-Manar, however, is not a mere propaganda tool. Founded in 1991 by Hezbollah guerillas, it is an operational weapon in the hands of a deadly terrorist organization. Following a 2006 letter to then-President George W. Bush signed by a majority of the U.S. Senate, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Treasury Department designated al-Manar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity. This designation placed, for the first time, a media outlet on the same terrorism list as al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah itself. The designation highlighted the role of al-Manar as more than just a station with objectionable content.
The Hezbollah outlet was actively involved in recruiting and fund raising for Hezbollah, and providing preoperational surveillance for terror attacks. Undersecretary of Treasury Stuart Levey has observed that al-Manar is an «entity maintained by a terrorist group» and is therefore «as culpable as the terrorist group itself.»
The risks of radicalization grow as accessing large Muslim populations becomes ever easier, highlighting the need for united and innovative security efforts that include working to peacefully integrate Muslim populations in Europe and the U.S.
February 18, 2009