Monday, December 06, 2010

Hezbollah operates own fiber optic network

In a spare half hour I've also browsed trough the wikileaks cable collection.

One interesting tidbit I stumbled upon is that Hezbollah, or Hizballah as they are called in the cable, now owns and operates it's own fiber optic network.

An understandable initiative from their part of course, after all SIGINT (signals intelligence) has always been an important tool in the hands of the US and their allies to keep track of their enemies. In fact most of the serious GSM intercept equipment has long been made by Israeli companies.

Having an own fiber optic network gives Hezbollah a secure communications channel. According to the same cable Hezbollah knows this too and has threatened the government of Libanon that they will view this as equal to an Israeli attack:

As a sign of its confidence Hizballah official Safa told Khoury and Rifi that any move against the FiOS system would be taken as &an Israeli attack8 and dealt with accordingly

Apparantly it's quite extensive too:

The current installations, as per the map Hamadeh has given us, shows lines running from Beirut, around both sides of the airport, into the south below the Litani and back up through the Bekaa valley to the far north. It covers the Palestinian camps, and the Hizballah training camps in the Bekaa, and is penetrating deep into the Christian Metn and Ksarwan areas.

An interesting point is made here:

Hamadeh highlights the system as a strategic victory for Iran, since it creates an important Iranian outpost in Lebanon, bypassing Syria. He sees the value for the Iranians as strategic, rather than technical or economic. The value for Hizballah is the final step in creating a nation state. Hizballah now has an army and weapons; a television station; an education system; hospitals; social services; a financial system; and a telecommunications system.

In the latest KLM frequent flyer magazine there was an interesting article on how Lebanon is once again returning to it's "Geneva of the Mediterranean" status it used to have before their civil war started in 1976. Makes you wonder if there's two different countries that just happen to share the same real estate.

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