The State Department warned that Hezbollah, an international terror organization originating in Lebanon and a proxy of Iran, is as dangerous and just as close to countries in the Western Hemisphere as ISIS.
The warning came from Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, who was speaking to delegates from 12 nations attending the Western Hemisphere Counterterrorism Ministerial in Washington, D.C.
As Clarion recently reported, Hezbollah is ramping up south of the U.S., as witnessed by the numerous arrests of the group’s operative in countries ranging from Bolivia to Peru, where large caches of military equipment and explosives belonging to Hezbollah terror cells have been discovered.
Closer to home, here are three developments concerning the encroachment of Hezbollah in the West:
A Lebanese businessman pleaded guilty in a U.S. court last week to helping finance Hezbollah. Kassim Tajideen, 63, was sanctioned by the U.S Treasury Department in 2009 for supporting the terror group. Tajideen made close to $1 billion in illegal transactions since he was put on the Treasury’s list nine years ago.
Hezbollah operatives will seek many ways to enter the U.S. Just this week, the former president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh was prevented from entering the U.S. Although there was no mention in the English press of Jammeh’s connections to Hezbollah, news outlets in Egypt and Saudi Arabia reported these connections based on documentation by the U.S. Treasury Department.
The Treasury Department noted that Jammeh, together with an Hezbollah official named Mohammed Ibrahim Bazi (who is designated as a terrorist by the U.S.), is accused of trafficking Syrian refugee girls to raise funds for Hezbollah. Gambia is known as a country with significant trafficking of women and children for forced labor and sex.
Speaking to the need for a serious vetting process for immigrants from countries where terrorists operate freely (as proposed by President Trump), the following story is just one example of how Hezbollah operatives infiltrate the West:
An Hezbollah supporter (possibly an operative) who was also a fighter for the Assad regime named Fadi Shamoun was able to immigrate Austria five years ago claiming he was a refugee. Recently, he brought his family to Austria to join him. Greeting them at the airport, he unfurled an Hezbollah flag and published a video of it on Facebook.
Shamoun was subsequently arrested and is slated for deportation along with his family on December 26. After appearing in court, Shamoun published a video calling on Hezbollah and its supporters to help him.
Watch the original video: (the flag is unfurled at 3:45 minutes. The first flag flown is that of Syria.)