Thursday, May 28, 2009

Treasury Targets Hizballah Network in Africa

WASHINGTON- The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Kassim Tajideen and Abd Al Menhem Qubaysi, two Africa-based supporters of the Hizballah terrorist organization, under E.O. 13224. E.O. 13224 targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism by freezing any assets the designees have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibiting U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with them.
"We will continue to take steps to protect the financial system from the threat posed by Hizballah and those who support it," said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey. "Not only is Hizballah itself a terrorist organization with global reach, it also recently acknowledged publicly that it provides support to Hamas."
Kassim Tajideen is an important financial contributor to Hizballah who operates a network of businesses in Lebanon and Africa. He has contributed tens of millions of dollars to Hizballah and has sent funds to Hizballah through his brother, a Hizballah commander in Lebanon. In addition, Kassim Tajideen and his brothers run cover companies for Hizballah in Africa. In 2003, Tajideen was arrested in Belgium in connection with fraud, money laundering, and diamond smuggling.
Abd Al Menhem Qubaysi is a Cote d'Ivoire-based Hizballah supporter and is the personal representative of Hizballah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah. Qubaysi communicates with Hizballah leaders and has hosted senior Hizballah officials traveling to Cote d'Ivoire and other parts of Africa to raise money for Hizballah. Qubaysi plays a visible role in Hizballah activities in Cote d'Ivoire, including speaking at Hizballah fundraising events and sponsoring meetings with high-ranking members of the terrorist organization.
Qubaysi also helped establish an official Hizballah foundation in Cote d'Ivoire which has been used to recruit new members for Hizballah's military ranks in Lebanon.
Identifying Information
Kassim Mohammad Tajiddine
Qasim Taji Al-Din
Kasim Taji Al-Din
Kasim Tajmudin
March 21, 1955
Sierra Leone
Passport 1:      
0285669 (Sierra Leone)
Passport 2:      
RL1794375 (Lebanon)
Nationality 1:  
Nationality 2:  

Abd-Al-Munim Al-Qubaysi
Abd Al Menhem Kobeissi
Abd Al Menhem Qubaysi
Abd Al Munhim Kubaysy
Abdul Menhem Kobeissy
Abdul Menhem Kobeissi
Abdel Menhem Kobeissi
DOB 1:                       
January 1, 1964
DOB 2:                       
Beirut, Lebanon
RL1622378 (Lebanon)
Background on Hizballah
Hizballah is a Lebanon-based terrorist group, which, until September 11, 2001, was responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist organization. Hizballah is closely allied with Iran and often acts at its behest, but it also can and does act independently. In addition, the group has been a strong ally in helping Syria advance its political objectives in the region, although Hizballah does not share the Syrian regime's secular orientation.
Iran and Syria provide significant support to Hizballah, giving money, weapons and training to the terrorist organization. In turn, Hizballah is closely allied with and has an allegiance to these states. Iran is Hizballah's main source of weapons and uses its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to train Hizballah operatives in Lebanon and Iran. Iran provides hundreds of millions of dollars per year to Hizballah.
The Majlis al-Shura, or Consultative Council, is the group's highest governing body and has been led by Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah since 1992. Hizballah is known or suspected to have been involved in numerous terrorist attacks throughout the world, including the suicide truck bombings of the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut in September 1984.
Hizballah also perpetrated the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 en route from Athens to Rome, and has been implicated in the attacks on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992 and a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires in 1994. The U.S. Government has indicted members of Hizballah for their participation in the June 1996 truck bomb attack of the U.S. Air Force dormitory at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Most recently, in July 2006, Hizballah terrorists kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, triggering a violent conflict that resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties in Lebanon and Israel.
The Annex to Executive Order 12947 of January 23, 1995 listed Hizballah as a Specially Designated Terrorist (SDT). The Department of State designated Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in 1997. Additionally, on October 31, 2001, Hizballah was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

U.S. Congressional Delegation Visits Lebanon

May 27, 2009 Three members of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress, who serve on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, visited Lebanon today.  The members were:   Gary Ackerman, Chairman of the House Sub-Committee on the Middle East and South Asia, (Democrat – New York), Sheila Jackson-Lee (Democrat – Texas), and Keith Ellison (Democrat – Minnesota).  The members expressed their support for the principles of democracy, sovereignty and democracy in Lebanon. 
Accompanied by Ambassador Michele J. Sison, the representatives met with Prime Minister Fouad Siniora,  and Lebanese Armed Forces Commander General Jean Kahwagi.
The Congressional members reaffirmed the U.S. Government's commitment to Lebanon, its state institutions and its citizens. 

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Saturday, May 23, 2009



Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release                      May 22, 2009


Beirut, Lebanon


THE VICE PRESIDENT: President -- President Sleiman, thank you very much for your gracious welcome. I do bring greetings on behalf of President Obama. As you know from your personal discussions with him, and he's contacted you, that our commitment to your country is real and it's enduring.
But I must (inaudible) be back in Lebanon. I've been here many times since 1973. And you are an ancient land that has, through a very vibrant, very vibrant Lebanese American community, enriched the United States -- not to say the least of which is with George Mitchell, our new envoy to head up the Middle East peace effort.
This is my first visit to Lebanon and to the Middle East as Vice President of the United States. And it is not an accident that the President asked me to come to Lebanon (inaudible) to demonstrate to you, to personally demonstrate to you and the people of Lebanon, our commitment to Lebanon. It is meaningful, it is real, and it is enduring.
We support your sovereignty, Mr. President. We support -- admire your democratic process, and will do all in our power to help you enforce your democratic institutions.
We appreciate the broad support in Lebanon and around the world for you, President Sleiman; for your efforts to produce a -- pursue a national unity dialogue and to revitalize the vision of a peaceful Lebanon, a democracy that obviously cannot be strong without strong institutions.
And therefore the United States remains committed to making sure that Lebanon's institutions are as strong as possible. That's why it's so important that the people of Lebanon participate in your democratic elections in June, Mr. President.
In my own country, our recent election brought millions and millions of new people to the polls -- people who had not voted in the past -- because they believed that their voices would make a difference. And obviously they did make a difference in the outcome of the election.
I hope that we are going to be able to see, and the world will see, a fair, free, and transparent election that will reflect the will of all the people of Lebanon. I do not come here to back any particular party or any particular person. I come to demonstrate a strong United States backing for certain fundamental principles: the principle that the Lebanese people alone, the Lebanese people alone should choose their leaders; a principle that Lebanese sovereignty cannot, will be -- and will not be traded away; a principle that the Lebanese state, accountable to the Lebanese people, is the defender of Lebanese freedom.
To the extent that Lebanon adheres to these principles enshrined in the Security Council resolutions, the United States looks forward to being your strong and enduring partner. The shape and composition of Lebanon's government is for the Lebanese people to decide, to state the obvious -- for no one else to decide but the Lebanese people.
What I do know, as has happened throughout world history, the election of leaders committed to the rule of law and economic reform opens the door to lasting growth and prosperity, as it will here in Lebanon. I know, for the United States at least, we will evaluate the shape of our assistance programs based on the composition of the new government and the policies it advocates. You've made much progress, and I have every confidence, Mr. President, that you will keep moving in the right direction.
I also have every confidence that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will bring justice to those responsible for financing, planning, and carrying out the assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri and so many others. That's why we've committed over $20 million to the workings of that tribunal.
I also want to convey to you that the Obama-Biden administration is committed to comprehensive peace in the region that benefits all people, including the Lebanese. That's why within the first 50 days of our administration we made it clear that we were fully, totally committed and will stay committed to pursuing a lasting peace.
Lebanon has suffered terribly from war. We have a real opportunity now, Mr. President, in my view, for peace. So I urge those who would think about standing with the spoilers of peace not to miss this opportunity to walk away from the spoilers.
Mr. President, you know it and I know it: Lebanon has immeasurable potential. And as I said to you and your colleagues earlier, I can't envision peace in the Middle East without a stable, strong Lebanon. The potential for a vibrant democracy, the potential to be a model for other Middle Eastern nations moving toward freedom and reform is, I think, within your grasp.
A famous Lebanese poet wrote the words -- and I want to get them exactly right -- "Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be." Not in what is, but in advancing toward what will be.
I'm confident, Mr. President, that what will be is a sovereign and democratic Lebanon that is stronger tomorrow than it is today. And I'm determined -- and President Obama is determined -- that Lebanon and America will advance together toward a better future.
Once again, on behalf of the President of the United States, I thank you for this welcome, and I assure you we stand with you in guaranteeing a sovereign, secure Lebanon with strong institutions.
Thank you, Mr. President.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

U.S. Under Secretary of Treasury Visits Lebanon

Under Secretary of the Treasury Stuart Levey visited Beirut on May 15.  Accompanied by Ambassador Michele J. Sison, he met with Minister of Finance Mohammad Chatah, the Central Bank Vice Governors, the Chairman of the Banking Control Commission, and members of the banking community to discuss a range of issues including Lebanon's role as a regional leader in anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.    "I appreciate the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to a sovereign and free Lebanon and to strengthen our collaboration with Lebanon to combat the financing of terrorism and other internationally recognized threats to the integrity of the financial system," said Under Secretary Levey.
Under Secretary Levey was confirmed on July 21, 2004 as Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, leading an office that marshals the Treasury Department's policy, enforcement, and regulatory functions to sever the lines of financial support to international terrorists, proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, narcotics traffickers, and other threats to our national security.  Under Secretary Levey has guided the development and implementation of financial strategies and authorities aimed at countering threats to U.S. national security and protecting the international financial system from abuse.
US Embassy Lebanon - Press Release   

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Monday, May 11, 2009

President Barack Obama Decision to renew sanctions against Syria‏

Office of the Press Secrectary
For Immediate Release                                 May 8, 2009

- - - - - - -

On May 11, 2004, pursuant to his authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701-1706, and the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, Public Law 108-175, the President issued Executive Order 13338, in which he declared a national emergency with respect to the actions of the Government of Syria. To deal with this national emergency, Executive Order 13338 authorized the blocking of property of certain persons and prohibited the exportation or re-exportation of certain goods to Syria. On April 25, 2006, and February 13, 2008, the President issued Executive Order 13399 and Executive Order 13460, respectively, to take additional steps with respect to this national emergency.
The President took these actions to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States constituted by the actions of the Government of Syria in supporting terrorism, maintaining its then-existing occupation of Lebanon, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, and undermining U.S. and international efforts with respect to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq.
Because the actions and policies of the Government of Syria continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, the national emergency declared on May 11, 2004, and the measures adopted on that date, on April 25, 2006, in Executive Order 13399, and on February 13, 2008, in Executive Order 13460, to deal with that emergency must continue in effect beyond May 11, 2009. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared with respect to certain actions of the Government of Syria.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.


May 7, 2009.

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