DETROIT (WXYZ) — The FBI says Hezbollah and it’s partners are responsible for killing hundreds of U.S. military personnel. It’s a big reason their continued threats are also being taken very seriously by special agents here in metro Detroit. Based in Lebanon, the extremist group has recently sent a clear message to the U.S.
Its leader is pledging more payback for the U.S. carrying out a strike that killed an Iranian general, and the internet now is considered a conduit for extremest rhetoric to be shared.
“They could be radicalized locally or online, which is something we see quite frequently,” says Josh Hauxhurst, assistant special agent in charge with the FBI Detroit field office.
Hauxhurst says no credible threat has been found against our area, however, agents continue to closely monitor social media and other outlets for potential danger.
“People should be paying attention to this stuff," Hauxhurst said. "They should be closely monitoring their surroundings."
EXCLUSIVE: “We’re able to engage communities that might be susceptible to outreach from a foreign terror organization, & tell them exactly what we’re looking for.” @FBIDetroit Asst. Special Agent In Charge on #Hezbollah threats against U.S. @wxyzdetroit #6PM pic.twitter.com/dWhkSAhCGc— Simon Shaykhet WXYZ (@simonshaykhet) January 21, 2020
According to the FBI, anyone looking to carry out an attack could show a sudden change in behavior, or routine. Particularly in the wake of increased tensions between the two countries.
“They could be anyone," Hauxhurst said. "A homegrown violent extremist is someone who is not necessarily in contact with an external source."
Hezbollah has pledged to continue attacks until the U.S. withdraws troops from Iraq and surrounding areas. The FBI says it continues to use the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as well as share information thru community outreach to keep communities safe.
“We’re able to engage communities that might be susceptible to outreach from a foreign terror organization, and tell them exactly what we’re looking for,” Hauxhurst adds.
The FBI believes many Hezbollah supporters are living in the U.S. If you have any information that could be relevant to an investigation, contact the Detroit FBI right away at 313-965-2323.