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US Official Cites Cooperation Between Hezbollah, al-Qaida - 2002-06-30

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice says U.S. intelligence officials are concerned over reports that terrorist groups are cooperating in threats against American interests.

She says such alliances show that terror groups are not independent organizations but informal alliances that cooperate toward common goals.

Ms. Rice says sharing resources allows terror groups to present a united front against American interests. She said the Iranian-backed Hezbollah cannot be allowed to infiltrate into the West Bank and try to thwart efforts to build peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Washington Post on Sunday said the primarily Shiite Muslim Hezbollah and predominantly Sunni Muslim al-Qaida are among those known to be cooperating. Quoting U.S. and European intelligence and counterterror experts, the paper says the groups share training, money laundering, weapons smuggling and acquiring forged documents.

Ms. Rice says since September 11, an effective international effort has developed to deprive al-Qaida and other terror groups of money, leaders, weapons and the opportunity to carry out further attacks.