Exclusive: Inside Hezbollah's fake news training camps sowing instability across the Middle East
The three-storey run-down building on the outskirts of Beirut blended in among the nondescript apartment blocks and businesses lining the busy street. But when Mohammed stepped through the door he was greeted by an opulent interior filled with advanced technology and the blinking lights of specialist computer equipment. The young Iraqi had entered a 10-day fake news training camp run by Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah which would equip him to spread fear and division around the Middle East. It would teach him how to build up networks of false social media profiles that he would later use to spread propaganda and disinformation online, sowing confusion and sometimes death in his home country. His experience is not unique. A Telegraph investigation can today reveal that Hezbollah has trained thousands of Iran-backed social media activists, helping create so-called “electronic armies” across the region.