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US Slaps Sanctions on 7 in Lebanon, Hizbullah’s Bank

The US Treasury Department has slapped new sanctions on seven Lebanese men with alleged contacts to the Iran-backed Hizbullah movement. The sanctions also extend to Hizbullah’s financial arm, the Al-Qard al-Hassan (AQAH) financial firm, which is alleged to be used by Hizbullah as a cover for funds used for terror activities.

Ibrahim Ali Daher, who serves as the chief of Hizbullah’s Central Finance Unit, which oversees Hizballah’s overall budget and spending including the group’s funding of its terrorist operations and killing of the group’s opponents, is one of the Lebanese men being sanctioned.  The other six individuals designated on Tuesday “used the cover of personal accounts at certain Lebanese banks, including U.S.-designated Jammal Trust Bank (JTB), to evade sanctions targeting AQAH and transfer approximately half a billion U.S. dollars on behalf of AQAH,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

“From the highest levels of Hizbullah’s financial apparatus to working level individuals, Hizbullah continues to abuse the Lebanese financial sector and drain Lebanon’s financial resources at an already dire time,” said Andrea Gacki, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury Department.  “Such actions demonstrate Hizbullah’s disregard for financial stability, transparency, or accountability in Lebanon.”

“The threat that Hizbullah poses to the United States, our allies, and interests in the Middle East and globally, calls for countries around the world to take steps to restrict its activities and disrupt its facilitation networks. We applaud the countries in Europe, and South and Central America that have taken action against Hizbullah in recent years and call on other governments around the world to follow suit,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.