Hezbollah runs a complex network of front companies in Lebanon, the Gulf states
and Europe that trade in counterfeit medicine, Kuwaiti daily Al-Seyassah
reported on Tuesday.
This international business in counterfeit medicine
“facilitates the group’s terrorist operations,” the report stated, and includes
The group exploits the free trade zone in the Gulf and
in Europe to run its business.
Hezbollah also steals drugs from shipments
of drugs donated to African countries, sources quoted by the paper
The Lebanese movement had these criminal actions justified by a
fatwa from the head of its religion committee, Sheikh Muhammad Yazbek, who
allows the sale of illicit drugs to anyone who is not a Shi’ite follower of
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Joel Parker, a PhD candidate at Tel
Aviv University who is closely following developments in Syria and Lebanon, told
The Jerusalem Post that in time, many Lebanese might not take kindly to the
efforts to target Hezbollah assets and allies in the Gulf.
because such attempts cause unintentional collateral damage” by making life
difficult for non-Hezbollah Shi’ites, said Parker. In addition, measures against
Lebanese Shi’ites in the Gulf may also hurt the Lebanese economy, which is
already under strain.
“This may ultimately exacerbate the political
situation in Lebanon, because the leading coalition, which includes both
Hezbollah and other Shia and Christian parties, will have more reasons to
disparage the Gulf-backed Future Movement and its allies in the opposition’s
March 14 coalition,” he said.
“It may also undermine some of the efforts
to help the several hundred thousand Syrian refugees in Lebanon,” said Parker,
adding that their lives depend on basic political cooperation in
Further reflecting the Shi’ite- Sunni tensions in the region,
al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said the Shi’ite Hezbollah’s intervention in
the conflict in Syria was an attempt to promote Iranian hegemony over the
country, according to an audio recording posted on the Internet on
“It has become clear to the Muslim nation that he [Hezbollah
chief Hassan Nasrallah] is but a tool in the Safavid, rejectionist project which
seeks to impose the authority of Shi’ite jurisprudence...
on the nation
of Islam through slaughter, repression, torture and by supporting one of the
most corrupt, tyrannical and criminal regimes,” the al-Qaida leader
And in Nigeria, federal prosecutors expanded the charges on Monday
in an indictment against three Lebanese-Nigerian dual nationals who are alleged
to be Hezbollah members.
The Nigerian authorities accused the trio – and
a fourth suspect who fled – of planning to attack Israeli, US and Western
targets in the most populated country in Africa.
prosecutor’s office added charges of moneylaundering and the importation of
firearms and ammunition.
There are now 16 terrorism- related
The suspected Hezbollah members, Mustapha Fawaz, Abdallah
Thahini and Talal Ahmad Roda, were arrested in May with a massive cache of
weapons. The arsenal included anti-tank weapons, rocket-propelled grenades,
anti-tank/antipersonnel mines, 17 AK-47 assault rifles with more than 11,000
bullets, and dynamite.
The defendants pleaded not guilty. The trial is
being conducted in the capital city of Abuja, where Federal Judge Adeniyi
Adetokunbo Ademola is overseeing the judicial process.
Egede said, “We want to be sure that all elements of every offense disclosed by
the investigation is properly before the court,” AFP reported.
restricted access to the hearing, permitting journalists and a small number of
the defendants’ relatives to be present. The judge granted the prosecution’s
wish to shield the identities of the state’s witnesses for security
During the course of their testimony, security agents from the
Department of State Services, Nigeria’s intelligence agency, covered their faces
The prosecutor submitted $61,170 in illicit cash and weapons
as part of the newly widened indictment. The confiscated funds were found on the
defendant Thanini at Aminu Kano Airport in the northern city of Kano. The
illicit importation of firearms by the defendants covers the period from 1998 to
2008 in Kano.
Reuters contributed to this report.