War on Terrorism

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Treasury Targets Hizballah Network in Africa

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Kassim Tajideen and Abd Al Menhem Qubaysi, two Africa-based supporters of the Hizballah terrorist organization, under E.O. 13224. E.O. 13224 targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism by freezing any assets the designees have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibiting U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with them.

"We will continue to take steps to protect the financial system from the threat posed by Hizballah and those who support it," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey. "Not only is Hizballah itself a terrorist organization with global reach, it also recently acknowledged publicly that it provides support to Hamas."

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 ro! le in Hi zballah 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.

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