Martyrs Foundation channels financial support to several militant groups, including Hezbollah. Image Credit: AP

WASHINGTON The United States on Wednesday added a host of Lebanese individuals and entities it said were linked to the Martyrs Foundation to its designated “global terrorists” lists.

US officials have previously targeted the Lebanon-based Martyrs Foundation, an organisation the department has said channels financial support to several militant groups, including Hezbollah.

The US Treasury Department said in a statement that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had blacklisted Atlas Holding for being owned or controlled by the Martyrs Foundation, as well as senior Atlas official Qasim Mohammad Ali Bazzi, and 10 Atlas-affiliated companies.

Jawad Nour Al Deen and Shaikh Yousuf Aasi were also designated for being leaders or officials of the Martyrs Foundation, which was designated for supporting terrorism in July 2007. Mirath S.A.L., which is owned or controlled by Jawad Nour Al Deen, was also designated.

As a result, all property of those targeted that fall under US jurisdiction must be blocked and reported to OFAC, whose rules generally bar all US persons from dealing with them.

Further, those blacklisted are subject to secondary sanctions under which OFAC can penalize foreign financial institutions which deal with them.

US also targets Iranian-backed militia active in Iraq

The United States is intensifying pressure on the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia and its leader, the State Department said on Wednesday, citing the group linked to killing of an American contractor in Iraq in December.

“The Kataib Hezbollah group continues to present a threat to U.S. forces in Iraq,” Nathan Sales, the State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator, said at a news briefing. “We’re adding to the pressure that has existed on this group for a decade.”