US treasury takes action to disrupt Hezbollah funding channels

HMuhammad Abdallah Al-Amin was designated for his links to Hezbollah funding group Tabaja.

A supporter of Lebanon's Hezbollah gestures as he holds a Hezbollah flag in Marjayoun, Lebanon May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Aziz Taher
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The US treasury designated Muhammad Abdallah Al-Amin as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on Thursday in an effort to cut off funding to Hezbollah.

Al-Amin was sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for “assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of” Hezbollah support group Tabaja.

Not only has Al-Amin been sanctioned,  Six of his companies have also been designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorist companies.

The designation by OFAC prevents US citizens from doing business with Al-Amin and the designated companies, and blocks any asset of his under US jurisdiction.

“Hezbollah is an Iranian-proxy, and this Administration is focused on exposing and disrupting its terrorist funding networks. We are exerting extraordinary pressure on Hezbollah financiers like Tabaja to halt their pernicious activities in Lebanon and beyond,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

“Our action should serve as a warning that we will impose consequences on anyone engaging in business relationships with al-Amin or other Hezbollah support networks. Treasury has taken more actions against Hezbollah this year than ever before, and we are fully committed to shutting down this terrorist network.”

Tabaja, the network referred to by Mr Mandelker, operates in West Africa and Lebanon and was designated as supporting terrorism in 2015 by OFAC. The US government says it has links to Hezbollah officials and "the Islamic Jihad, which is responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing Hezbollah's terrorist attacks worldwide".
The US government says Al-Amin conceals funds for Tabaja, and Tabaja has held a significant amount of funds in al-Amin's name at a Lebanese bank. Acting as a go-between, Al-Amin has assisted Tabaja in circumventing the impact of sanctions.