Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Iran-based foundation, including its U.S. branch, allegedly providing support to Hezbollah


WASHINGTON (AP) The Bush administration took action Tuesday against an Iran-based foundation, including its U.S. branch, for allegedly providing support to Hezbollah, a terrorist group the United States has blamed for bloodshed in the Middle East.
The Treasury Department's action covers the Martyrs Foundation and Goodwill Charitable Organization of Dearborn, Mich., which the government identified as a fundraising office for the foundation.
"We will not allow organizations that support terrorism to raise money in the United States," said Stuart Levey, the Treasury Department's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
FBI agents removed boxes from the Goodwill Charitable Organization's Dearborn office on Tuesday.Dawn Clenney, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Detroit, said members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force executed a series of search warrants. She said agents removed paper files from the Goodwill Charitable Organization and that no arrests were made.

About a mile away, FBI agents also were seen inside the office of the Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization.
"There is no known threat to U.S. homeland security regarding these" searches, Clenney said.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department also moved against al-Qard al-Hassan, a Beirut firm that the U.S. government believes was used by Hezbollah "as a cover to manage its financial activity."
Two Lebanese people - Qasem Aliq and Ahmad al-Shami - also were covered by Treasury's order.
The U.S. identified Aliq as a Hezbollah official who was once the director of the Martyrs Foundation's branch in Lebanon. The U.S. says he is currently a director of Jihad al Bina, a Lebanon-based construction company allegedly formed and operated by Hezbollah.
Al-Shami had worked for the foundation in Lebanon and has been in "frequent contact" with the Goodwill Charitable Organization, the department said. Goodwill Charitable Organization sent him money to distribute to the Martyrs Foundation, the department said.
The Treasury Department's action means that any bank accounts or other financial assets found in the United States that belong to those identified Tuesday must be frozen. Americans also are prohibited from doing business with them.
There was no current telephone listing for Goodwill Charitable Organization.
The department called Goodwill Charitable Organization, or GCO, "a Hezbollah front organization that reports directly to the leadership of the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon. "Hezbollah recruited GCO leaders and had maintained close contact with GCO representatives in the United States," the department alleged.
Goodwill Charitable Organization has allegedly provided "financial support to Hezbollah directly and through the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon," Treasury stated. "Hezbollah's leaders in Lebanon have instructed Hezbollah members in the United States to send their contributions to GCO and to contact the GCO for the purpose of contributing to the Martyrs Foundation," the department said.
"Since its founding," Treasury said, "GCO has sent a significant amount of money to the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon."
The department alleged that the Martyrs Foundation channels financial support from Iran to Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or PIJ, as well as other terrorist groups.
The U.S. says senior foundation officials were directly involved in Hezbollah operations against Israel last summer.

4 comments:

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Rather astounding that America has decided to defend itself in such a public, judgmental and offensive way. But offensive only to those who would have harm befall our people.

BZ

RoxieAmerica said...

I believe America needs to be ever so watchful. Some governments have turned using terrorist agents as proxy moles into an art.

Frieda said...

FINALLY !

Anonymous said...

Iran should be the best example for free world. If spread of Islam cult is not confronted, the same pain befalls on them. Civilized and free world must support Iranians to become free from this fascist death dogma.