Wednesday, July 25, 2007

US clamps down on Hizbullah funding

From Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST, Jul. 24, 2007 ...

The Bush administration took action Tuesday against an Iran-based foundation, including its US branch, for allegedly providing support to Hizbullah...the Martyrs Foundation and Goodwill Charitable Organization of Dearborn, Michigan, which the government identified as a fundraising office for the foundation.

....The government also moved against al-Qard al-Hassan, a Beirut firm that the US government believes was used by Hizbullah "as a cover to manage its financial activity."
Two Lebanese - Qasem Aliq and Ahmad al-Shami - also were covered by Tuesday's order.
The US identified Aliq as a Hizbullah official who was once the director of the Martyrs Foundation's branch in Lebanon. The US says he is currently a director of Jihad al Bina, a Lebanon-based construction company allegely formed and operated by Hizbullah.

....The action means that any bank accounts or other financial assets found in the United States that belong to those identified on Tuesday must be frozen. Americans also are forbidden by doing business with them.

....The department called Goodwill Charitable Organization, or GCO, "a Hizbullah front organization that reports directly to the leadership of the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon. ...[and]... has allegedly provided "financial support to Hizbullah directly and through the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon..." ....The department alleged that the Martyrs Foundation channels financial support from Iran to Hizbullah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or PIJ, as well as other terrorist groups.

The US says that senior foundation officials were directly involved in Hizbullah operations against Israel last summer.