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 Treasury Designation Targets Hizballah’s Bank


9/7/2006

HP-83

 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated two financial companies and one individual that provide financial support to the Iran-funded Hizballah terrorist network. 

"Bayt al-Mal and the Yousser Company function as Hizballah's unofficial treasury, holding and investing its assets and serving as intermediaries between the terrorist group and mainstream banks," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).  "Institutions considering dealing with these two entities are now on notice as to their true character." 

Bayt al-Mal and Yousser Company for Finance and Investment, and Bayt al-Mal head Husayn al-Shami were named as Specially Designated Global Terrorists pursuant to Executive Order 13224, designed to deter financial and material support to terrorists and their facilitators.

Bayt al-Mal is a Hizballah-controlled organization that performs financial services for the terrorist organization. Bayt al-Mal operates under the direct supervision of Hizballah Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah. As Hizballah's main financial body, Bayt al-Mal serves as a bank, creditor, and investment arm for Hizballah. The central headquarters of Bayt al-Mal was located in Hizballah's stronghold in Beirut's southern suburbs.

Bayt al-Mal utilizes the Yousser Company for Finance and Investment to secure loans and finance business deals for Hizballah companies.

Husayn al-Shami, the head of Bayt al-Mal, is a senior Hizballah leader who has served as a member of Hizballah's Shura Council and as the head of several Hizballah-controlled organizations, including the Islamic Resistance Support Organization.  Shami is also responsible for foreign donations to Hizballah fundraising organizations.

Today's action prohibits transactions between U.S persons and the designated entities and also freezes any assets those entites may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Identifying Information

Bayt al-Mal
AKA:   Bayt al-Mal Lil Muslimeen
Locations:  Harat Hurayk, Beirut, Lebanon
Burj Al-Barajinah, Lebanon
Sidon, Lebanon
Tyre, Lebanon
Al-Nabatiyah, Lebanon
Ba'albak, Lebanon
Hirmil, Lebanon

Yousser Company for Finance and Investment
Location:  Lebanon
 
Husayn al-Shami
Alternate Spellings: Husayn Shaimi
Husayn Shamai
Husayn Shamy
Husayn Al-Shamy
Husayn Ashami
Haj Husayn Al-Shami
DOB:   1948
Alternate DOB: 1954
Alternate DOB: 1960
Location:  Lebanon

Background on Hizballah

Hizballah is a Lebanon-based terrorist group. Until September 11, 2001, Hizballah 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 executed the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 en route from Athens to Rome.  Most recently, in July 2006 Hizballah fighters precipitated a violent conflict that resulted in scores 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.


 

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