The United States and Qatar took coordinated action on Wednesday targeting a Hezbollah financial network in the Arabian Peninsula, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.
The Treasury said it designated individuals including Ali Reda Hassan al-Banai, Ali Reda al-Qassabi Lari and Abd al-Muayyid al-Banaiare for having provided financial or material support to Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shi’ite Islamist group that Washington has designated as a foreign terrorist organization.
Qatar had also designated the network, the Treasury said, but it did not detail those actions.
“Hezbollah seeks to abuse the international financial system by developing global networks of financiers to fill its coffers and support its terrorist activity,” said Andrea Gacki, director of the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
“The cross-border nature of this Hezbollah financial network underscores the importance of our continued cooperation with international partners, such as the Government of Qatar, to protect the U.S. and international financial systems from terrorist abuse.”
The individuals include citizens of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as a Palestinian, the department said on its website.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the move was “one of the most significant joint actions” Washington has taken with a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and urged other governments to follow suit in targeting Hezbollah.
Bahrain had also concurrently frozen bank accounts related to the network and referred three individuals to its prosecutor’s office, Blinken said in a statement.
By Doina Chiacu and Simon Lewis, September 29, 2021, Published by REUTERS