|From the TV/C News website|
The report below from Nigeria was posted this past Friday on the TV/C News website.
Nigeria: Lebanese suspects admit links to Hezbollah| TVC NEWS | ABUJA | June 21, 2013 | Four Lebanese nationals standing trial in Nigeria over a recent arms discovery have admitted being members of Hezbollah. They however told a court that it is not a terrorist organization. The men also said the arms cache found in the Northern Nigeria city of Kano were meant for hunting. The suspects were earlier arraigned in relation to the arms cache found in a building in Kano. But when their case came up for hearing, the prosecutor withdrew the charges on the grounds that the court lacked powers to hear terror charges. The counsel to the accused persons agreed and the judge had to strike out the case. But minutes after their freedom, the accused persons were rearrested outside the courtroom by security agents.The admission of the Hezbollah agents fits into a larger story. One of Israel's major terrorism research centers published the following background ["A cache of Hezbollah weapons was recently discovered in Nigeria and a Hezbollah network was exposed"] on June 19, 2013:
The Defense Counsel had said the suspects will enforce their fundamental human rights in court.
The prosecutor told TVC News that the case requires intensive investigation and that the accused persons will soon be arraigned before a higher court.
Hezbollah is a Shi'a Islamic militant group and political party based in Lebanon. It receives financial and political support from Iran and Syria, and its paramilitary wing is regarded as a resistance movement throughout much of the Arab and Muslim worlds. [Hat-tip to Elihu]
On May 28, 2013, after a month-long investigation, the Nigerian security services uncovered a cache of weapons in the city of Kano, in northern Nigeria. It included anti-tank weapons, RPGs and RPG launchers, submachine guns, handguns, and a large quantity of ammunition and explosives... According to the Nigerian security services the weapons belonged to a Hezbollah network that operated in the country, and intended to launch terrorist attacks on Israeli and Western targets... Despite the fact that an estimated 20,000 individuals of Lebanese origin live in Nigeria, this was the first time the Nigerian law enforcement authorities had uncovered direct Hezbollah activities in the country... In February 2013, an Iranian-handled terrorist network was exposed in Nigeria, headed by a Nigerian cleric who had trained in Iran. For that reason Iran may now be keeping a low profile in its subversive and terrorist activity in Nigeria, and may be want to use proxy organizations such as Hezbollah.