Abu Dhabi: Qatar and the United States have taken coordinated action against a major Hezbollah financial network based in the Gulf, local media reported.
Ali Reda Hassan Al Banai, Ali Reda Al Qassabi Lari, and Abd Al Muayyid Al Banai, were designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hezbollah.
Abd Al Rahman Abd Al Nabi Shams, Yahya Mohammad Al Abd Al Mohsin, Majdi Fa’iz Al Ustadz, and Sulaiman Al Banai were designated as SDGTs, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Ali Al Banai.
Additionally, Qatar-based Al Dar Properties was proscribed for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Sulaiman Al Banai.
Anthony J. Blinken, US Secretary of State said in a statement on Wednesday, “This represents one of the most significant joint actions we have taken with a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partner to date and underscores our extensive bilateral cooperation on countering terrorism finance.”
The United States designated Hezbollah as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in 1997 and as an SDGT in 2001, and the GCC designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation in 2016.
Blinken added, “Hezbollah seeks to abuse the international financial system by utilising global networks of financiers and front companies to support its malign activity. The United States will continue to cooperate with partners, such as the Government of Qatar, to protect the US and international financial systems from terrorist abuse. “
He added concurrent with this action, bank accounts have been frozen and three individuals referred to the prosecutor’s office.
“There is growing international recognition of Hezbollah’s true nature, with 14 countries in Europe and South and Central America taking significant steps to designate, restrict, or ban Hezbollah in the past several years. We urge other governments to follow suit,” Blinken said.