Shiite Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah (“The Party of God”) has registered as an official political party in Peru’s Abancay province, home to the largest Muslim community in the country, reveals an exclusive report by the Peruvian Latina news agency.
Titled, “Hezbollah: has arrived in Peru and announces the registration of its new political party,” the report aired in late June on Latina’s television program Punto Final.
Hezbollah, a terrorist group primarily based in Lebanon, has reportedly gained followers in the mountainous region of Abancay. The Shiite group has long maintained a presence in Latin America as a proxy of Iran.
“Allahu Akbar,” shout the Hezbollah followers featured in the news program.
The phrase, which means “Allah is the greatest,” is “the ubiquitous battle cry of Islamic jihadists as they commit mass murder,” explains Breitbart News.
Followers of the Peruvian Hezbollah branch, which is reportedly lead by Sheikh Ali Abdurrah Man Pohl, are shown holding a picture of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader to which the Shiite terrorist group has sworn loyalty.
Sheikh Pohl speaks Arabic, is a native of Argentina, has lived in Iran, and has been a Muslim for years.
Hezbollah has been linked to bombings against Argentina’s Jewish community, including the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), the deadliest attack in the history of the Western Hemisphere before September 11, 2001.
Asked to comment on the United States, the sheikh responded:
When I talk about the United States, I’m not referring to the people because among the United States population there are very good people.
Rather, I am referring to the government and the authorities — they are corrupt, tyrannical, oppressive, murderous, and racist…
He indicated that Iran hopes to cultivate Islam in Peru.
“Critics link Hezbollah to terrorism, but the United States is the world’s number one terrorist,” added the sheikh.
The “Punto Final” reporter also spoke to Peruvians who have converted to Islam and are now members of Hezbollah.
Their conversion was facilitated by Iranian “cultural centers” that have proliferated across Latin America.
According to the U.S. military, the “cultural centers” were established to promote Shiite Islam and increase Iran’s influence in the region.
Breitbart News found that the centers provided Iran with a means to expand its covert recruitment operations across the western hemisphere.
The “cultural centers” are being operated by Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
It appears that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and IRGC are successfully recruiting Latin Americans.
More than 20 young Peruvians have travelled to Iran, courtesy of one of the Iranian centers.
“Islam is peace,” declared John Aroni, a Peruvian Islam convert and member of Hezbollah. “It is not about violence and terrorism like it is portrayed in the media.”
“When I arrived in Iran, it completely changed my perspective towards Islam. It clarified everything for me. What shocked me the most was their culture. It is much more superior than ours. In Peru, we are experiencing a cultural decadence,” added Auqui Ahmad, also a Peruvian Islam convert and Hezbollah member.
Aroni also expressed admiration for Iran.
Joseph Humire, an expert on the Iranian influence in Latin America, told the Peruvian news outlet, that Hezbollah’s presence in Peru is a testament to Iran’s efforts to infiltrate Peruvian society.
Humire indicated that Iran wants to spread its revolutionary ideology, which he described as being anti-United States, Israel, and capitalism.
The U.S. military has expressed concern about Iran’s long-term presence in Latin America.
Last month, Michael Braun, a former DEA operations chief, told lawmakers that Hezbollah is generating hundreds of millions from a “cocaine money laundering scheme” in Latin America that “provides a never-ending source of funding” for its terrorist operations in Syria and elsewhere.
The Shiite terrorist group is fighting on behalf of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Hezbollah is “the most sophisticated drug trafficking, criminal and terrorist organizations we have ever faced,” declared Braun, adding that the organization has “metastasized into a hydra with international connections that the likes of [the Islamic State] and groups like al-Qaeda could only hope to have.”
A recent U.S. State Department report also found that Venezuela’s “permissive environment” has allowed Hezbollah to thrive in the region. Venezuela’s socialist government often spews anti-American rhetoric.
However, experts believe Shiite Hezbollah is the most prominent Islamic terrorist organization in Latin America.