Two stories this week show Hizballah's global reach as a terrorist organization.
First, Hizballah is recruiting people with Canadian passports "because of its value, because it facilitates travel so easily and so smoothly," Canadian Security Intelligence Service Assistant Director of Intelligence Michael Peirce told a parliament committee Thursday.
The testimony came during a hearing on legislation that would allow Canada to strip people of their Canadian citizenship if they commit acts of war against the country. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wants to broaden that to include treason and terrorism.
A dual citizen of Canada and Lebanon is suspected of organizing a bombing attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last summer, Stewart Bell of Canada's National Post reports. The suspect used his Canadian passport when he went to Bulgaria. A Bulgarian investigation blamed Hizballah.
"If the allegations are true," Kenney said, "these terrorists clearly have no sense of loyalty or commitment to this country. Rather, they are violently committed to extremist ideas, and willing to kill innocent civilians and allies of Canada."
Also Thursday, a criminal court in Cyprus found an acknowledged Hizballah member guilty of five charges relating to his work scouting Israeli tourists.
Hossam Taleb Yaacoub told the court he gathered information on Israeli flights to Cyprus and scouted which hotels attracted Israeli tourists.
Yaacoub's travels were aided by his Swedish passport, the New York Times reported, drawing little attention as he crossed borders within the European Union. Magnus Norell, a witness in the case and a former Swedish Secret Service analyst, called the case "a rare opening, a rare lifting of the veil" on Hizballah operations and on preparing for a terrorist attack.
Those disclosures, in addition to the Bulgaria attack, should be all the argument needed for the EU to follow the United States and Canada and designate Hizballah a terrorist organization, Norell told the Times. "It's long overdue."