One of the most effective ways to curtail terrorist activity is by cracking down on their financial support networks.
In late September, the United States Departments of the Treasury designated the Lebanese entities Arch Consulting and Meamar Construction for being owned, controlled, or directed by Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist. The Treasury Department also designated Sultan Khalifa As’ad, who is involved with both of these companies, for being an official of Hezbollah. The designations are pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended.
Arch and Meamar are two of several companies controlled by Hezbollah’s Executive Council, of which Sultan Khalifah As’ad is a member. Indeed, from the very beginning, Arch and Meamar have been associated with Hezbollah. Sultan Khalifah As’ad is publicly listed as a founder of Meamar, and a number of individuals included in the company’s registration documents also have public ties to Hezbollah.
Arch Consulting was previously part of the U.S.-designated Jihad al-Bina company, Hezbollah’s main construction company. Today Arch is nominally independent, but it remains an important source of funding for Jihad al-Bina and is registered under the name of a Hezbollah-supported candidate in the 2004 municipal elections.
Outwardly, Arch and Meamar project a privately owned appearance, and Hezbollah exploits this illusion by using these two entities to conceal money transfers to its own accounts, enriching Hezbollah’s coffers, and the bank accounts of corrupt officials.
For example, Hezbollah collaborated with former Lebanese Minister Yusuf Finyanus to ensure that Arch and Meamar won Lebanese government contracts worth millions of dollars, and the companies sent a portion of those funds to Hezbollah’s Executive Council. For these and other activities on behalf of Hezbollah, Yusuf Finyanus was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in early September.
“Through Hezbollah’s exploitation of the Lebanese economy and manipulation of corrupt Lebanese officials, companies associated with the terrorist organization are awarded government contracts,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.
“The United States remains committed to targeting Hezbollah and its supporters as they corruptly abuse Lebanese resources to enrich their leaders while the Lebanese people suffer from inadequate services.”