US Treasury Targets Hizballah Network in Africa
US Department of the Treasury targeted Kassim Tajideen and Abd Al Menhem Qubaysi, under E. O. 13224, an Executive Order signed by former President G. W. Bush on September 23, 2001, in response to the September 11, 2001 attack on New York City. E.O. 13224 authorizes, in part, the US government to designate and block assets of foriegn individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.
Kassim Tajideen is an important financial contributor to Hizballah who operates a network of businesses in Lebanon and Africa. He has contributed tens of millions of dollars to Hizballah and has sent funds to Hizballah through his brother, a Hizballah commander in Lebanon. In addition, Kassim Tajideen and his brothers run cover companies for Hizballah in Africa. In 2003, Tajideen was arrested in Belgium in connection with fraud, money laundering, and diamond smuggling.
Abd Al Menhem Qubaysi is a Cote d'Ivoire-based Hizballah supporter and is the personal representative of Hizballah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah. Qubaysi communicates with Hizballah leaders and has hosted senior Hizballah officials traveling to Cote d'Ivoire and other parts of Africa to raise money for Hizballah. Qubaysi plays a visible role in Hizballah activities in Cote d'Ivoire, including speaking at Hizballah fundraising events and sponsoring meetings with high-ranking members of the terrorist organization.
Qubaysi also helped establish an official Hizballah foundation in Cote d'Ivoire which has been used to recruit new members for Hizballah's military ranks in Lebanon.
Background on the Lebanon-based terrorist group can be read here.
The Annex to Executive Order 12947 of January 23, 1995 listed Hizballah as a Specially Designated Terrorist (SDT). The Department of State designated Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in 1997. On October 31, 2001, Hizballah was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224.
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