'Awakened' Hizbullah can unleash greater terror on America than Al-Qaeda: US expert

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Jerusalem, June 26 (ANI): A top US counter-terrorism official has claimed that Hizbullah is capable of inflicting greater damage on the United States than the Al-Queda, and direct US military operations against Iran or the Hizbullah leadership may trigger exactly that.

"Hizbullah at the strategic level, with its state sponsors, more or less decided not to attack the United States interests directly in the continental United States at all. But our assessment is, if they ever change their minds, they have the capacity to inflict terrible damage on the United States," The Jerusalem Post quoted Deputy Commissioner for Counter terrorism Richard Falkenrath of the New York Police Department, as saying.

"We haven't seen it yet, but I don't like to be in a position where our defense lies in the strategic decision of a terrorist organization," he added.

Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Affairs this week, Falkenrath said he had seen various intelligence assessments on what would cause Hizbullah to change that strategic decision and that "direct US military operations against the Hizbullah leadership are regarded as one," as well as attacks against its state sponsor, Iran.

So long the Hizbullah has remained "dormant," Al-Qaida remained the most serious external terrorist threat to America, Falkenrath said, adding that Obama administration was not sufficiently emphasizing terrorism prevention in their budget priorities.

"We've seen these budgets slowly trickle down. The levels are shrinking; the competition for grant funding is becoming more fierce; and, frankly, the bureaucracy and the bureaucratic process that we have to go through to actually get the monies dispersed and spend them is becoming ever more onerous," he said

Another terrorism expert, Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution's Saban Center, said Hizbullah had so far calculated that it wouldn't be worth the blowback from the United States when its main agenda focuses on Israel.

"From their point of view, the United States is a place you raise money and can use for propaganda," the paper quoted Byman, as saying. (ANI)

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