Hezbollah is one of the terrorist organisations that I identified in my PhD that likely had a viable strategic subculture. Ioan Pop and Mitchell D. Silber have some new insights in a recent article for Studies in Conflict & Terrorism:
Tensions between the United States and Iran/Hezbollah have been on the rise since 2018 when the U.S. administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal. These tensions spiked in January 2020 when U.S. strikes killed Qassem Soleimani the leader of Iran’s IRGC-Quds Force. Furthermore, there is mounting evidence that in recent years, Iran and Hezbollah have sought to create a sleeper network in the U.S. and Western Europe, which could be activated to launch attacks as part of a retaliatory attack. This paper assesses Iran and Hezbollah pre-operational modus operandi in the West derived from court documents and open source reporting of recent arrest of Hezbollah and Iranian agents in the US and abroad. It sheds lights on the recruitment, training, and placement of these agents and the intricacies of their past operations. While it is impossible to predict when, where or how Iran/Hezbollah might retaliate as retribution for Soleimani’s killing, this article argues that there is growing number of indicators and warning signs for a possible attack in the U.S. or against U.S. interests abroad.