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Ex-Agent: Hezbollah Ramping Up Border Operations Near San Diego

SAN DIEGO (CBS) — One of the most notorious Islamic terrorist groups in the Middle East is reportedly making a new home just south of the border.

The Shi'a Muslim group Hezbollah is "recognized by many experts as the "A" team of Muslim terrorist organizations," a former U.S. intelligence official told 10News in San Diego.

Hezbollah's 1985 manifesto lists "Israel's final departure from Lebanon as a prelude to its final obliteration" as one of its four main goals, and it has claimed responsibility for attacks against Americans overseas, including the January 15, 2008, bombing of a U.S. Embassy vehicle in Beirut

The terrorist group, whose name in Arabic means "Party of God" derived from Surra 5:56 of the Koran, most recently launched an assault in July 2006 in an attack on Israel with Katyusha rockets and the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.

But recently, operatives with the group have been using the ongoing violence in the local drug trade to blend in with Muslim communities along the Mexico border, according to the unnamed official.

"They have had clandestine training in how to live in foreign hostile territories," the agent said.

Hezbollah is reportedly partnering with local drug organizations for cash and protection in exchange for firearms and explosives training, according to the former official, who cited two safe houses in Tijuana and Durango where operatives were apparently living.

"If they really wanted to start blowing stuff up, they could do it," the agent said.

Click here to see the interview and read the full report.

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