Senate Defunds Hizballah Terrorist Group

Oct 13, 2017

The United States Senate recently passed the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017, which seeks to cut off the flow of resources to the Lebanese-based terrorist organization and its affiliates, and targets foreign governments, individuals and companies that support them.

The new legislation strengthens and expands the scope of economic and financial sanctions by previous legislation imposed on Hizballah, the Shi'a Islamic political party and militant group. This bill is significant in light of Hizballah’s global reach to areas in the Western Hemisphere where it is involved in organized crime such as drug trade, trafficking of exotic animals and black-market sales of precious metals and gems to finance its terror activities and its fighting in support of the Assad regime in Syria.

In addition, the bill requires that Congress receive information on Hizballah’s illicit activities, which legislators could use to better fund the resources necessary to counter the terrorist group. The legislation allows international law enforcement agencies, such as Interpol, to target the terrorist group’s global financing network. An estimated 20 to 30 percent—or between $200 and $300 million per year—of Hizballah’s $1 billion annual budget comes from sources other than the Iranian regime.

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