Hezbollah seeks to abuse the international financial system by utilizing global networks of financiers and front companies to support its malign activity. To put a stop to this, the United States and Qatar have taken coordinated actions against a major Hezbollah financial network based in the Gulf.
Ali Reda Hassan al-Banai, Ali Reda al-Qassabi Lari, and Abd al-Muayyid al-Banai, have been designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended for their support to Hezbollah. Ali al-Banai and Lari sent tens of millions of dollars to the terrorist organization via financial systems and cash couriers. They both regularly met with Hezbollah officials during their travels to Lebanon and Iran. Ali al-Banai and his brother Abd al-Muayyid held joint accounts in several banks, transferred funds to Hezbollah as recently as late 2020, and maintained ties to senior Hezbollah associates.
Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Nabi Shams, Yahya Muhammad al-Abd-al-Muhsin, Majdi Fa’iz al-Ustadz, and Sulaiman al-Banai have been designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Ali al-Banai.
Additionally, Qatar-based AlDar Properties has been designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Sulaiman al-Banai.
This represents one of the most significant coordinated sanctions actions the United States has taken with a Gulf Cooperation Council partner to date and underscores the extensive cooperation on countering terrorist finances. The United States designated Hezbollah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2001, and the Gulf Cooperation Council designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 2016.
The United States will continue to cooperate with partners, such as the government of Qatar, to protect the United States and international financial systems from terrorist abuse. At the same time, the Government of Bahrain has frozen the bank accounts of one of the designated individuals, Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Nabi Shams, and referred three individuals to their prosecutor’s office.
“There is growing international recognition of Hezbollah’s true nature, with 14 countries in Europe and South and Central America taking significant steps to designate, restrict, or ban Hezbollah in the past several years,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “We urge other governments to follow suit.”