Photo Credit: Flickr / upyernoz
Hezbollah Flag

The United States is exerting its own pressure on Lebanon’s Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, with new sanctions targeting businessmen and companies that are financing the terrorist organization.

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Thursday sanctioned Lebanese businessman and Hezbollah financial facilitator Ahmad Jalal Reda Abdallah, five of his associates and eight of his companies in Lebanon and Iraq.

Advertisement



“This action illuminates Hezbollah’s modus operandi of using the cover of seemingly legitimate businesses to generate revenue and leverage commercial investments across a multitude of sectors to secretly fund Hezbollah and its terrorist activities,” the Department said in an announcement.

“It also demonstrates how Hezbollah goes to great lengths to establish companies with opaque ownership structure in order to conceal their involvement in these businesses, and also their involvement in criminal activities such as altering of medication labels for black market pharmaceutical sales,” the announcement said.

“Hezoallah has built a web of businesses to hide its activities and generate funds for its destabilizing activities, all at the expense of accountability and public safety in Lebanon and the region,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.

“The designation of this network demonstrates the U.S. government’s commitment to protect Lebanon’s private sector and financial system from Hezoallah’s abuse by targeting and exposing the group’s financial activities.”

The Department designated Ahmad Jalal Reda Abdallah and his network of associates and companies under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists, leaders, and other officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to acts of terrorism or persons blocked under the order.

The United States designated Hezbollah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) on October 8, 1997, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) on October 31, 2001.

The Department noted that Ahmad Abdallah is a Hezbollah official and “an active member of Hezbollah’s global financial network who has supported Hezbollah for decades, carrying out extensive commercial activities in various countries where the profits are transferred to Hezbollah.

Abdallah coordinates business activities and budgets with sanctioned senior Hezbollah financial facilitators such as Muhammad Qasir and Muhammad Qasim al-Bazzal.

“In addition to the involvement of Muhammad Qasir and Muhammad Qasim al-Bazzal, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officials have helped to facilitate financial transfers for Ahmad Abdallah’s businesses, many of which are located in Iraq and benefit Hezbollah,” the Department said.

Abdallah’s businesses include medical equipment factories, insurance companies, real estate, and construction companies, all of which funnel at least a portion of their profits to the terrorist organization.

In addition to his business ventures where profits were used to benefit Hezoallah, Ahmad Abdallah also brokered meetings with senior businessmen and politicians in Lebanon on Hezbollah’s behalf.

Also designated under the US sanctions were Hussein Kamel Attia, Joseph Ilya Haidamous, Abdallah’s brother Hussein Reda Abdallah, his other brother Ali Reda Abdallah, his son Hussein Ahmad Jalal Abdallah, United General Holding SAL, United General Offshore SAL, United General Services SARL, United General Contracting Company SARL, Al Moukhtar Products Co. SARL (Al Moukhtar), United General Holding (which owns 51 percent of Focus Company SARL), Focus Company SARL, Focus Company SARL, Focus Media Company SAL Offshore, and United International Exhibition Company SARL.

“As a result of today’s action, all property, and interests in property of these individuals and entities named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC,” the Department said.

“Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by US persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. Furthermore, engaging in certain transactions with the individuals and entity designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.

“Certain individuals being designated today are subject to the Hezbollah Financial Sanctions Regulations, which implements the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015, as amended by the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2018,” the Department added.

Advertisement

SHARE
Previous articleRedeem The Land
Next articleIsraeli Health Ministry Warns Doctors ‘Be On Alert for Monkeypox’
Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.