United States blacklists Hezbollah financier

January 8, 2016  

The United States on Thursday named an alleged financier of the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group to its sanctions blacklist, AFP reported.

The Treasury said Ali Youssef Charara and his Beirut-based telecommunications company Spectrum Investment Group Holding have received millions of dollars from Hezbollah to invest in commercial projects.

The sanctions freeze any assets of Charara and Spectrum under U.S. jurisdiction and forbid Americans from doing business with them.

The United States, which blacklisted Hezbollah as a terrorist group, regularly sanctions members of the group.

Washington has in the past imposed sanctions on the group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah and two other members of the organization, for their alleged role in aiding the Syrian government in its crackdown on opposition forces.

In December, the House of Representatives approved legislation that enhances sanctions against Hezbollah and its supporters. Thursday’s move was the first such move since President Barack Obama signed the new law.

The United States has also taken actions against Hezbollah’s business network, which spans to West Africa, where Charara has interests in the telecommunications sector, the Treasury said.

However, it has also been revealed in the past that the U.S. government was providing indirect aid to Hezbollah in its fight against Sunni rivals including ISIS, as part of a wider strategic shift to cozy up to the terrorist group, which also includes intelligence-sharing.

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