Posts Tagged ‘Hezbollah’

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Hezbollah fortunes expand in South America

May 24, 2015

Hezbollah’s multimillion dollar business in Latin America isn’t shrinking. According to French intelligence sources who leaked the information to Argentinian media, Hezbollah’s empire makes $60 to $100 million a year. Breitbart covers the coverage (h/t El Grillo):

Report: Hezbollah Rakes in Up to $100 Million Annually from Latin America

A new blockbuster report in Argentine news outlet Infobae claims that Hezbollah generates between $60 to $100 million dollars a year in illegal activities in Latin America, particularly in the Tri-Border area uniting Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. The piece echoes years of reporting warning that the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group has expanded its influence in the region.

Infobae reports that the astronomical sum was revealed to them by “sources within French intelligence,” who calculated this based on the numerous businesses that Hezbollah members are involved in throughout the region, particularly drug and arms trafficking and money laundering. The report describes the Tri-Border region as Hezbollah’s “capital,” from which $10 million annually flow into Lebanon alone. If the capital had a “municipal building,” it would be the Galeria Page mall, which the outlet claims is “under the control of the Shiite militia” and used to launder illicit money through its sales.

In 2006, the United States Department of Treasury identified the Galeria Page’s owner, Muhammad Yusif Abdallah, as “a senior Hizballah leader in the TBA [Tri-Border Area] and an important contributor of funds to Hizballah, notably hosting a fundraiser for the terrorist group in the TBA in 2004.” The same press release described the mall as “serv[ing] as a source of fundraising for Hizballah in the TBA and is locally considered the central headquarters for Hizballah members in the TBA.”

The Infobae report claims this situation has not changed since 2006 but, rather, expanded. “Mosques, Islamic cultural centers, businesses and other organizations without apparent political ties unite hundreds of members, which in many cases are ‘used’ by the terrorist group” to generate funding, Infobae notes.

Infobae concludes by noting that Hezbollah has ties to drug trafficking groups in Mexico and negotiates with the world’s largest non-jihadist terror group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), using their “comparative advantage” to work and profit together…

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Hezbollah expects payday from Iran deal

April 14, 2015

Excerpts follow from an IPT report regarding the effect of a nuclear deal with Iran that would lift sanctions against them.  Iranian catspaw terror groups stand to benefit from the money that will flow their way.  Hat tip to El Grillo:

The framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is set to refill Iran’s coffers and enable the Islamic Republic to invest considerable treasure in its regional network of terrorist and guerilla proxies…

They include the Shi’ite Lebanese organization Hizballah – the most highly armed terrorist entity in the world, active in the Syrian civil war – the Shi’ite Houthi forces currently seizing and destabilizing Yemen, a plethora of militant Shi’ite militias in Iraq, the Islamic Jihad terror group in Gaza and the West Bank, and Hamas, with which Iran has recently mended relations. Iran has begun sending Hamas, which rules over Gaza, tens of millions of dollars for its combat tunnel reconstruction and rocket manufacturing programs. The Iranian investment in Gaza’s Islamist war capabilities will only rise after sanctions are lifted.

Iran will also be able to use the money to boost its partners, who are increasingly reliant on its aid, and which are subject to Iranian directives. Iranian regional partners include the Assad regime in Syria, which has killed enormous numbers of innocent civilians in the country’s civil war, and the Shi’ite Iraqi government, dependent on Iranian support in the war against the Islamic State.

Once international sanctions are lifted, Iran stands to secure over $100 billion in unfrozen funds in foreign exchange assets around the world. Soon afterwards, international companies are expected to rush into Iran to invest, and oil sales will resume, generating huge new revenue sources.

The Islamic Republic will, without question, siphon off a part of that money to its various tentacles abroad, providing them with cash, training, and array of weapons, such as guided rockets and missiles for Hizballah, firearms and projectile capabilities to militias in Iraq and Yemen, and missiles for the Assad regime in Syria…

Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah has acknowledged the impact of lifting the sanctions on Iran, telling a Syrian television channel on Monday that the deal will “strengthen Tehran’s role in the region.”

“Iran will become richer and wealthier and will also become more influential,” Nasrallah told Syria’s Al-Ekhbariya TV. “This will also reinforce the position of its allies.”

“A stronger and wealthier Iran, in the coming phase, will be able to stand by its allies, and especially the Palestinian resistance, more than at any other time in history,” Nasrallah stated…

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Money for terror: recommended news reading

March 26, 2015
  • Hamas was on the verge of bankruptcy until a Swiss offer to cover Hamas’s payroll… more>>
  • Bank compliance officers:  Do you know who your customers are in Latin America?  How about the customers of correspondent banks there?  It could include Hezbollahmore>>
  • The Obama administration appears to have violated long-standing U.S. policy in 2010 by having the CIA contribute $1 million toward a ransom payment to Al Qaeda for the release of a captive… more>>
  • Why effective organized crime groups inevitably seek international business relationships… more>>
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Terror for hire: son of El Presidente busted for aiding Hezbollah

March 23, 2015

The son of Desi Bouterse, Suriname’s former president, has pleaded guilty to offering a base for Hezbollah to operate. Dino Bouterse also admitted that he trafficked drugs. This story brings together a lot of the common themes we see with a Hezbollah in South America: a mix of corruption, drugs, secret terror encampments, and politically connected palm greasers:

From Reuters earlier this month:

Suriname leader’s son gets 16 years U.S. prison for Hezbollah aid

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – The son of Suriname’s president was sentenced on Tuesday to 16-1/4 years in prison, after pleading guilty last August to U.S. charges that he tried to offer a home base to the Lebanese paramilitary group Hezbollah.

Dino Bouterse, 42, who worked in a Suriname counter terrorist unit, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan. Bouterse had also admitted to drug trafficking and firearms charges.

U.S. prosecutors accused Bouterse of inviting people he thought were from Hezbollah to establish a base in his home country, located north of Brazil, in exchange for $2 million that was ultimately not paid.

Bouterse was arrested by Panamanian authorities after a sting in which he allegedly talked about his activities with confidential informants from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Hezbollah has since 1997 been designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization…

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Islamic terror money: recommended reading

March 19, 2015
  • The U.K. has only frozen the bank accounts of 1 percent of British jihadists fighting for ISISmore>>
  • In response to the $655 million judgment against it, the PLO said “We will appeal.” Then the PLO blamed American victims of terrorism for having traveled to the Middle East in the first place… more>>
  • It was excluded from one list of threats to the U.S., but sanctions against Hezbollah remain in effect, 100 percent… more>>
  • International financial watchdog:  ISIS‘s “primary source of income comes from the territory it occupies”… more>>
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Hezbollah financier in Nigeria exposed

March 3, 2015

We’ve known for years that Hezbollah uses supermarkets in West Africa to launder drug money for Hezbollah (such as Tajco Ltd). Amigo Supermarket in Abuja, Nigeria, is just the latest. The U.S. Treasury Department has named 1) Amigo, 2) an amusement park, and 3) a holding company in Nigeria as Hezbollah front companies. Treasury also sanctioned Mustapha Fawaz, age 47, a Lebanese-born Nigerian citizen who co-owns the companies, calling him, “a significant donor to Hizballah” who has “solicited donations in Abuja, Nigeria, and helped arrange the transmission of these funds to Hizballah in Lebanon.”  Treasury’s action freezes any U.S. assets Fawaz may have and prohibits Americans from dealing with Fawaz.

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Dark money news: recommended reading

February 19, 2015
  • Names of three Golden Chain donors to Al Qaeda are said to have shown up on list of Swiss bank account holders… more>>
  • Billions are invested into the financial technologies of tomorrow while pennies are spent on security… more>>
  • Not persuaded that some diplomats launder money? The FBI says a former ambassador from Venezuela raised funds for Hezbollah while in office… more>>
  • Weapons smuggling is the target of recurring U.S. sanctions against small, obscure Iranian companies… more>>
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