The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Jihad al-Bina, a Lebanon-based construction company formed and operated by Hizballah. Jihad al-Bina receives direct funding from Iran, is run by Hizballah members, and is overseen by Hizballah's Shura Council, at the head of which sits Hizballah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah.
"Hizballah operates Jihad al-Bina for its own construction needs as well as to attract popular support through the provision of civilian construction services," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). "We will take action against all facets of this deadly terror group."
Jihad al-Bina has used deceptive means to seek funding for projects from international development organizations. In cases when intended solicitation targets were thought to object to the group's relationship with Hizballah and the Iranian government, the organization employed deceptive practices, applying in the name of proxies not publicly linked to Hizballah. Following the summer 2006 conflict with Israel, Hizballah used Jihad al-Bina to raise funds for the terrorist organization and to bolster the group's standing by providing construction services in Southern Lebanon.
"At the same time that we are targeting Hizballah's construction company, the U.S. Government is also working to ensure that legitimate reconstruction efforts, led by the Lebanese Government, succeed," Levey continued.
In addition to the $230 million in humanitarian reconstruction and security assistance pledged by President Bush in August 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced an additional $770 million in aid to Lebanon at the January 25, 2007 Lebanon Donors' Conference in Paris, France. The aim of this assistance is to help all the Lebanese people rebuild their lives and country, while strengthening Lebanon's sovereign, democratic government and helping to ensure lasting peace.
Today's action prohibits transactions between U.S persons and the designated entities and also freezes any assets those entities may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
AKAs: Jihad al-Binaa'
Construction for the sake of the holy struggle
Struggle for Reconstruction
Jihad Construction Institution
Jihad Construction Foundation
Jihad al Binaa Association
Holy Construction Foundation
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Background on Hizballah
Hizballah is a Lebanon-based terrorist group, which, until September 11, 2001, was responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist organization. Hizballah is closely allied with Iran and often acts at its behest, but it also can and does act independently. Though Hizballah does not share the Syrian regime's secular orientation, the group has been a strong ally in helping Syria advance its political objectives in the region.
Iran and Syria provide significant support to Hizballah, giving money, weapons and training to the terrorist organization. In turn, Hizballah is closely allied with and has an allegiance to these states. Iran is Hizballah's main source of weapons and uses its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps to train Hizballah operatives in Lebanon and Iran. Iran provides hundreds of millions of dollars per year to Hizballah.
The Majlis al-Shura, or Consultative Council, is the group's highest governing body and has been led by Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah since 1992. Hizballah is known or suspected to have been involved in numerous terrorist attacks throughout the world, including the suicide truck bombings of the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut in September 1984. Hizballah also perpetrated the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 en route from Athens to Rome, and has been implicated in the attacks on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992 and a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires in 1994. The U.S. Government has indicted a member of Hizballah for his participation in the June 1996 truck bomb attack of the U.S. Air Force dormitory at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Most recently, in July 2006 Hizballah terrorists kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, triggering a violent conflict that resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties in Lebanon and Israel.
On January 25, 1995, the Annex to the Executive Order 12947 listed Hizballah as a Specially Designated Terrorist (SDT). The Department of State designated Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in 1997. Additionally, on October 31, 2001, Hizballah was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224.
Please visit the following links for more information on the Treasury's efforts to stem the flow of support to Hizballah.
Treasury Targets Hizballah Fundraising Network in the Triple Frontier of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay (December 2006)
Treasury Cuts Iran's Bank Saderat Off From U.S. Financial System (September 2006)
Treasury Designation Targets Hizballah's Bank (September 2006)
Treasury Designates Key Hizballah Fundraising Organization (August 2006)