Rice 'very concerned' about terrorist alliance
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- National security adviser Condoleezza Rice expressed concern Sunday over a newspaper report indicating that al Qaeda members have allied themselves informally with Hezbollah to target Americans interests.
"We are very concerned, and have been concerned for some time," Rice said on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."
The alliance between the Lebanon-based Hezbollah organization and al Qaeda was reported in Sunday editions of the Washington Post.
"Very often, even though their aims may appear to conflict, at some level they seem to be taking advantage of modern communications, of sources of funding, of training, to present something of a united front toward American interests," she said. "It is deeply concerning."
Citing "knowledgeable sources," the newspaper called the cooperation between the terrorist groups "ad hoc and tactical" and said it involves mid- and low-level operatives involved in "explosives and tactics training, money laundering, weapons smuggling and acquiring forged documents."
Rice said it is critical that the Iranian- and Syrian-backed terrorist group based in Lebanon not be allowed to infiltrate the Middle East. Hezbollah has been designated a terrorist organization by the State Department.
"It is another reason that you need a leadership in the Palestinian territories who is willing to fight not just local terrorism, but the infiltration of an organization like Hezbollah and Iranian influence," Rice said.
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