Hezbollah’s “Martyrs Foundation”June 3, 2010
Hezbollah is also funded by affiliates around the world such as the Martyrs Foundation. Matthew Levitt of the The Washington Institute for Near East Policy told Congress in 2007:
The “Martyr’s Organization” (Martyr Foundation, Bonyad-e Shahid), headed by Mohammad Hasan Rahimiyan, admittedly supplies charitable funds for the family of suicide bombers. In 2001, Paraguayan police searched the home of Hezbollah operative Sobhi Mahmoud Fayad in Ciudad Del Este, a town along the Tri-Border area where the borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet. Searching Fayad’s home, police found receipts from the Martyr’s Organization for donations Fayad sent totaling more than $3.5 million dollars. Authories believe Fayad sent over $50 million to Hezbollah since 1995. According to press reports, Iran has traditionally funded Palestinian dissident groups in the Lebanese refugee camps, including al Maqdah, through the Institute of the Palestinian Martyrs. According to German intelligence officials the Martyr Foundation actively raises funds for Hezbollah there.
Soon after that testimony, the Treasury Department designated the group and its prior director, Qasem Aliq, as terrorists:
The Martyrs Foundation is an Iranian parastatal organization that channels financial support from Iran to several terrorist organizations in the Levant, including Hizballah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). To this end, the Martyrs Foundation established branches in Lebanon staffed by leaders and members of these same terrorist groups. Martyrs Foundation branches in Lebanon has also provided financial support to the families of killed or imprisoned Hizballah and PIJ members, including suicide bombers in the Palestinian territories.
Furthermore, Treasury designated a Dearborn, Michigan, charity known as the “Goodwill Charitable Organization” as the U.S. financial branch office of the Martyrs Foundation.
Ahmad al-Shami served as a go-between from the GCO to the Martyrs Foundation office in Lebanon. In a 2007 raid, the FBI removed hundreds of documents in boxes for review. GCO’s assets were frozen.
Predictably, CAIR and ACLU types have condemned the designation and the raid, but of course, they haven’t condemned the murderous Martyrs Foundation.