Naim Qassem

Sheikh Naim Qassem is a Shia Lebanese cleric and politician and second in command of Hezbollah (“Party of God”). He holds the title of deputy secretary-general. World Heritage Encyclopedia, http://community.worldheritage.org/articles/Naim_Qassem#cite_note-wmer5dec-2.

Born Naim Qassem in Kfar fila, in southern Lebanon, Naim Qassem was among the founding members of Hezbollah in 1982. Qassem has served as Hezbollah’s second-in-command since 1992, when the group entered the political realm. He is widely credited with being Hezbollah’s leading media personality. In 2004, he published a history of Hezbollah that included an autobiographical account of his role in the organization. Two years later, it was translated into numerous languages, including English, and was titled “Hezbollah: The Story from Within.” “The Man in Nasrallah's Shadow: A Profile of Sheikh Naim Qasim,” The Jamestown Foundation, Volume: 3 Issue: 33, August 23, 2006, http://www.jamestown.org/programs/tm/single/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=882&no_cache=1#.VPi1juH0eQF.

Qassem is one of the founders of a Lebanese Muslim student union that was established in the 1970s. Qassem joined the Amal movement when it was led by Imam Musa Sadr. Qassem was also the head of the Islamic religious education association from 1974 to 1988. Qassem participated in foundation activities of Hezbollah and was appointed deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah in 1992.

On October 7, 2023, one day after the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, Hamas—with Iranian support—launched a multi-pronged attack on Israel, killing hundreds of Israelis and taking over 200 hostages into Gaza.Josef Federman and Issam Adwan, “Hamas surprise attack out of Gaza stuns Israel and leaves hundreds dead in fighting, retaliation,” Associated Press, October 7, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/israel-palestinians-gaza-hamas-rockets-airstrikes-tel-aviv-11fb98655c256d54ecb5329284fc37d2; “Israeli forces conducting ‘wide-scale strikes’ on Hamas centers in Gaza. Here’s everything you need to know,” CNN, October 9, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/israel-hamas-gaza-attack-10-09-23/h_adebb4147fc4a83751908555ec54b8c0. During the first few days of the war, Hezbollah sent messages to Israel that it was ready to join the conflict if Israel were to launch a ground assault on Gaza.Dion Nissenbaum and Ari Flanzraich, “At Israel-Lebanon Border, Fears Grow of a Second Front,” Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/at-israel-lebanon-border-fears-grow-of-a-second-battlefront-cda25139. Nasrallah praised Hamas for its strike against Israel, calling it a message against normalization with Israel.Rory Jones, “Hezbollah Praises Hamas Attack, Warns Against Normalizing Ties With Israel,” October 7, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/israel-hamas-gaza-rockets-attack-palestinians/card/hezbollah-praises-hamas-attack-warns-against-normalising-ties-with-israel-rbqLpR9QDzCyiUGQw0xl. On October 11, the United states announced it was sending two aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean to provide support and deter foreign intervention against Israel. Specifically, the United States warned Hezbollah against intervening in the war.Vivian Salama, “U.S. Looks at Risks of Deeper Involvement With Israel’s War on Hamas,” Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/u-s-looks-at-risks-of-deeper-involvement-with-israels-war-on-hamas-eaf00b73. On October 13, Qassem proclaimed that Hezbollah had a plan and would carry it out at the appropriate time. According to Qassem, Hezbollah was “fully ready” to join the war, and international warnings would not effect its decision.“Hezbollah says calls for it not to intervene in war ‘will have no effect,’” Reuters, October 13, 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/hezbollah-says-when-time-comes-any-action-we-will-carry-it-out-2023-10-13/.

Also Known As

Extremist entity
Hezbollah
Type(s) of Organization:
Militia, political party, social-service provider, terrorist, transnational, violent
Ideologies and Affiliations:
Iranian-sponsored, Islamist, jihadist, Khomeinist, Shiite
Position(s):
Deputy Secretary-General

Hezbollah is an Iranian-sponsored, internationally sanctioned terrorist group with an anti-Israel and anti-U.S. agenda. Hezbollah is primarily based in Lebanon, but has carried out terrorist and criminal operations around the world.

  • Rhetoric
Return to Full Database

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On February 26, 2015, a Boko Haram suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a market in Biu, Nigeria, killing 19 people and injuring 20 others. A second attempted-suicide bomber was caught and beaten by a crowd before he was able to carry out his attack.

View Archive