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U.S. Sanctions Hezbollah Financiers in Lebanon

Fighters from Shiite Hezbollah and Amal movements take aim during clashes in the area of Tayouneh, in the southern suburb of the capital Beirut. (File)

On January 18, the United States imposed sanctions on three Hezbollah-linked financial facilitators and their Lebanon-based travel company.

U.S. Sanctions Hezbollah Financiers in Lebanon
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On January 18, the United States imposed sanctions on three Hezbollah-linked financial facilitators and their Lebanon-based travel company. “We are taking this action in solidarity with the Lebanese people, whose security and sovereignty remains threatened by Hezbollah’s corrupt and destabilizing activities,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a written statement.

The three designated individuals are Adel Diab, Ali Mohamad Daoun, and Jihad Salem Alame; the business they founded is Dar Al Salam for Travel and Tourism. The designations were made under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists, leaders, and officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

On January 21, the United States additionally designated Hezbollah-affiliated financial facilitator Adnan Ayad, as well as members of an international network of facilitators and companies connected to him and to Adel Diab, Ayad’s business partner and fellow Hezbollah financier, under the same authority.

The United States designated Hezbollah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on October 31, 2001. Hezbollah has been responsible for some of the world's most notorious terror attacks, including the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks bombing in Beirut which killed 241 American service members, the 1994 AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires which killed 85 and wounded hundreds, and the assassination of Lebanon’s former prime minister Rafic Hariri in 2005, which also killed 22 others and injured 226.

In a statement on January 18, the U.S. Treasury Department said, “The designations ... demonstrate Treasury’s ongoing efforts to target Hezbollah’s continued attempts to exploit the global financial sector and evade sanctions.”

Once a thriving country, Lebanon is currently in an acute economic crisis, with three quarters of the population living in poverty.

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson wrote, “Hezbollah claims it supports the Lebanese people, but just like other corrupt actors in Lebanon that Treasury has designated, Hezbollah continues to profit from insulated business ventures and backdoor political deals, amassing wealth that the Lebanese people never see.”

Secretary of State Blinken said, “Hezbollah and its associates are more concerned with advancing their own interests and those of their patron Iran, than the best interests of the Lebanese people.”

The United States will continue to take steps to disrupt Hezbollah’s dangerous and destabilizing activity.