In early September, the U.S. Department of State named as designated global terrorists, four men who pose threats to international stability. These designations means that no U.S. citizen may trade or conduct business of any kind with these men. Also it allows the United States to freeze their assets, lock them out of the global financial network, and prosecute them for terrorist activities.
Samir Kuntar is a Lebanese citizen. In 1979, at the age of 16, Kuntar lead four members of the Palestinian Liberation Front, a U.S. Department of State designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, on a mission to kidnap an Israeli family. The mission failed, and the group took as hostages of opportunity, a young Israeli father and his 4 year old daughter. In the course of committing this crime, the terrorists willfully killed both hostages and two police officers. Two of the terrorists died. Kuntar was wounded, arrested, tried for murder and found guilty.
Kuntar was released from prison in 2008, was welcomed by Hezbollah, a U.S. Department of State-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, and has become one of the group’s most visible and popular spokesmen. With the assistance of Iran and Syria, Kuntar has helped to build up Hezbollah’s terrorist infrastructure in the Golan Heights.
Three active operatives of the Hamas terrorist organization have also been designated global terrorists. Yahya Sinwar and Rawhi Mushtaha are founding members of the forerunner to the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas. Their compatriot, Muhammed Deif, has participated in violent activities against Israeli citizens since the mid-1990s. He was involved in deadly bombings of civilian busses, kidnapped Israeli soldiers, and has planned and ordered numerous suicide bombings which have taken the lives of dozens of civilians.
By naming Samir Kuntar, Yahya Sinwar, Rawhi Mushtaha, and Muhammed Deif as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, the United States is taking a decisive step toward ensuring that they and the terrorist organizations with which they are affiliated, find it ever more difficult to carry out their acts of violence.