Sunday Express: Terrorist group Hezbollah is poised to launch bloody reprisals in Britain for any Western attack on Iran, a former intelligence chief has warned. The Sunday Express
By Jason Groves
TERRORIST group Hezbollah is poised to launch bloody reprisals in Britain for any Western attack on Iran, a former intelligence chief has warned.
Richard Kemp, who was senior adviser on terrorism to Tony Blair, said the Iranian-backed group had established sleeper cells in this country to carry out revenge attacks.
He said: Hezbollah cells are operating in this country, in London. The big question is how capable Hezbollah groups are in Europe.
What I can say is that Hezbollah is probably the worlds most effective terrorist organisation, and that includes Al Qaeda.
Hezbollahs record of terrorism in the Middle East stretches back 25 years. Last year its rocket attacks on Israel sparked a full-scale war between Israel and Lebanon, where its political arm holds seats in government.
But the organisation, which is thought to receive funding and weapons from Iran, has now established a network of terror around the world.
Four years ago the CIA warned that Hezbollah had a dozen terrorist cells in the US.
The chances of a Western attack on Iran have increased sharply recently because of fears about Irans nuclear programme.
Mehrdad Konsari, a former Iranian diplomat now exiled in Britain, said the probability of a Western attack on Iran had increased to more than 50 per cent during the last year.
Mr Kemps comments, at a security conference last week, are the first indication that British intelligence believes the group is operating in this country.
Mr Kemp, a former Army colonel who was commander of British forces in Afghanistan in 2003, is a respected figure in the intelligence field. He was a member of the Cabinet Offices Joint Intelligence Committee which advises the Prime Minister on security matters.
Last night he warned that any Western attack on Iran could bring reprisals here, as well as against British interests in the Middle East.
He said bomb attacks were possible but extremists would struggle to get the radioactive material to build a dirty bomb capable of inflicting mass casualties.
Hezbollah was founded in 1982 during the Lebanese civil war. It carried out the 1983 suicide bombing of a US Marine barracks in Beirut which killed 241 servicemen.