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Action Targets Hezbollah’s Network Responsible for Fundraising and Recruiting

By Dialogo
June 13, 2013





On June 11, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated four Lebanese
supporters of Hezbollah who are responsible for aiding the organization’s attempts
to extend its influence throughout West Africa. Ali Ibrahim al-Watfa, Abbas Loutfe
Fawaz, Ali Ahmad Chehade, and Hicham Nmer Khanafer, who are responsible for
Hezbollah’s activities in Sierra Leone, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Gambia
respectively, have organized fundraising efforts, recruited members, and in some
cases presented themselves as ambassadors of Hezbollah’s Foreign Relations
Department.







The designations, pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists
and their supporters, further expose the alarming reach of Hezbollah’s activities
and its determination to create a worldwide funding and recruitment network to
support its violence and criminal enterprises around the world.







Even as Hezbollah claims to be a resistance organization, its expansive
global network is sending money and operatives to carry out terrorist attacks around
the world and fighters to the front lines of the Syrian civil war.







“As Hezbollah continues to use its global network of operatives and
supporters to extend its malign influence beyond the borders of Lebanon, we will
continue to use all tools at our disposal to take action to disrupt these efforts,”
said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “These
actions are increasingly important as the funding from Hezbollah’s traditional
patron, Iran, is squeezed by international sanctions.”







In addition to targeting Hezbollah’s terrorist operations, the Treasury
Department has exposed Hezbollah’s links to vast narcotics trafficking and money
laundering operations by both designating the network of narcotics kingpin Ayman
Joumaa as well as employing Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act against Lebanese
exchange houses transferring illicit profits into the international financial
system.







The Treasury has also targeted Hezbollah support networks run by Ali Mohamad
Saleh in South America.







These combined actions have exposed and disrupted Hezbollah’s attempts to
expand its influence beyond the borders of Lebanon. Nonetheless, Hezbollah has shown
that it is determined to adapt and use its international networks to support
terrorist attacks against civilians around the world.







U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with
the designated individuals, and any assets of those designees subject to U.S.
jurisdiction are frozen.














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