Uncovering Hezbollah’s Activity in France through Social Media Analysis
This report details how Hezbollah uses France as a safe haven for finance, radicalization, and recruitment processes for terror activity. Hezbollah has established a broad financial management system across the globe to finance its activities. This system extensively involves drug trafficking, money laundering, weapons trade, and other criminal activities. It also includes fundraising through straw associations, mosques, and centers and through active recruitment of individuals within Shi’ite communities around the world, particularly in Europe. This report provides open-source information that can assist authorities in taking action against Hezbollah’s capabilities to conduct illicit transnational activities, usingEurope as a point of transit.
The research presented in this report applied innovative social media intelligence (SOCMINT) tools to locate and track Hezbollah operatives and supporters in Europe, specifically in France—one of the central hubs of the organization in Europe. Through a detailed analysis of selected case studies, the report examines three areas of Hezbollah activity in France: financing terrorism, radicalization, and recruitment. Its objective is to expose the existence of such extremist networks on French soil and the people who run them and, in so doing, to demonstrate the advantages and potential contributions of SOCMINT tools in fighting extremism and terrorism.
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By Daniel Cohen, Daniel Citrinowicz, June 2021, published on Abba Eben Institute