In the latest fight against the growing phenomena of terror in the Middle East, the United States has designated 7 Hezbollah operatives and financiers across South America and Lebanon as terrorists, the US Department of State announced on September 12.
The US stated that Parties across South America and Lebanon have worked to generate revenue for Hezbollah’s terrorist activities. They also stated that the organizations and individuals were providing cover for Hezbollah’s presence in South America.
Amer Mohamed Akil Rada, a senior Hezbollah operative who was responsible for a 1994 terrorist attack against the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Argentina that killed 85 Jews, was also designated. Rada was designated for his charcoal exports to Lebanon which funded commercial enterprises for Hezbollah.
As part of the actions taken by the US, Rada’s brother also faced designation “ for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, [Hezbollah]” with his drug trafficking and money laundering ring.
Dr. Ariel Gelblung from the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Latin America told the Jerusalem Post that "The Simon Wiesenthal Center is always monitoring this kind of information. All the illegal activities this Hezbollah operatives did from the Triple Frontier [Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil], today is done at full daylight from Venezuela."
"Justice for the victims of the AMIA bombing is one of the issues the Latin American Office of the SWC was created for. We are this year in our 30th Anniversary. 29 of them, side by side with the relatives and friends of the terrorist attack."
Official comments on the designations
The US stated that the actions taken by the department, alongside the Drug Enforcement Administration, “underscores our commitment to pursuing the financiers, supporters, and facilitators who sustain Hizballah’s ability to threaten the security, stability, and prosperity of Lebanon and the global financial system,” the release said.
“Today’s action underscores the US government’s commitment to pursuing Hezballah operatives and financiers no matter their location,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “We will continue to root out those who seek to abuse the US and international financial system to fund and engage in terrorism.”