The Iranian proxy terrorist group Hizballah claimed over the weekend that its resistance has put an end to the Israeli threat in Southern Lebanon, but the group is still concerned over U.S. influence in the region.
According to Al Manar TV, an outlet designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2006 as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity, Hizballah Executive Council chief Sayyed Hashem Safieddine declared,
"We have always been highlighting and bringing to attention American influence in Lebanon, and recent talk about American influence in information and security penetration in Lebanon being the greatest threat facing Lebanon after the Zionist security threat, is because we believe that whatever America possesses is definitely and inevitably available to Israel also."
Hizballah's statements came in the midst of setbacks for the organization's public image in the Arab world. In May 2009, an article from Der Spiegel indicated that the group was behind the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. September 2009 marked a significant public relations blow for Hizballah, after a financier closely tied to the group was discovered to be running a massive pyramid scheme. The Salah Ezzedine scandal cost investors, mainly Lebanese and Qatari Shiites, approximately $1.5 billion in losses. Ezzedine was dubbed the "Lebanese Madoff" and his Hizballah ties damaged the organization's image across the Arab world.
Since Al-Manar is the voice of Hizballah for the Arab world, it seeks to maintain an image of strength against the State of Israel as well as the Western world. Funded by the Iranian regime, the station's website frequently features articles emphasizing Israel's weakness in the face of Hizballah's military power.
Given that, it is peculiar that Hizballah admitted to a threat from America's "security penetration" into the country. But in standard Hizballah language, Safieddine dismissed the threat with the proclamation, "[We] will not allow the US to enjoy comfort or ease at the political and security penetration level, but we must demand through all available media and political means possible to understand the nature of this US security penetration."