Matthew Levitt, author of Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God will speak at The Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival, in a program partnership with the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
A senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Levitt is considered a leading expert on Hezbollah.
“While the world may be gripped by Obama’s efforts to enforce a ban on chemical weapons in Syria, a book about an organization that not only has recently intervened in Syria in support of the Assad regime, but is also one that both the U.S. government and the European Union consider a global terrorist threat to the world and a menace to Middle Eastern security, could not have been published at a better time,” says Joanne Myers, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs’ program director.
Levitt has written extensively on terrorism, countering violent extremism, illicit finance and sanctions, the Middle East, and Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, with articles appearing in peer-reviewed journals, policy magazines, and numerous national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy. He is also a frequent guest on the national and international media, and the author of several books and monographs.
In Hezbollah, Levitt breaks new ground with his thorough examination of this organization’s covert operations beyond Lebanon’s borders. Drawing on extensive field research, including interviews with intelligence and law enforcement officials around the world, newly declassified intelligence material, court documents, and official reports, Levitt traces Hezbollah’s beginnings with its first violent forays in Lebanon. He then investigates its terrorist activities and criminal enterprises abroad in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and finally in North America, concluding with a look at Hezbollah’s position as Iran’s most trusted, professional, and deniable proxy. A topic of tremendous relevance to current events, understanding the threat posed by Hezbollah today could not be more pressing.
Levitt served the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as founding director of its Terrorism Research Program, established in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Previously, he served as a counterterrorism intelligence analyst at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he provided tactical and strategic analytical support for counterterrorism operations, focusing on fundraising and logistical support networks for Middle Eastern terrorist groups. He has earned numerous awards and commendations for his government service at both the FBI and the Treasury Department.
“Your audience will be mesmerized,” says Myers. “Levitt provides a great background of the ‘knowns’ of the group, and when he delves into the ‘unknowns,’ be prepared to be both shocked and enlightened.”
The event takes place at the Simon Family JCC.
by Leslie Shroyer