Thursday, February 26, 2015

Treasury Targets Africa-Based Hizballah Support Network


Action Sanctions Three Hizballah Members and Entities They Own and Control in West Africa
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today targeted a key Hizballah support network based in Africa. Mustapha Fawaz, Fouzi Fawaz, and Abdallah Tahini have been designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 for acting for or on behalf of Hizballah.  Amigo Supermarket Limited, Wonderland Amusement Park and Resort Ltd, and Kafak Enterprises Limited have also been designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 for being owned or controlled by Mustapha Fawaz and Fouzi Fawaz.  Any property or interests in property these individuals or entities may have within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.
Hizballah is a Lebanon-based terrorist group, which is known or suspected to have been involved in numerous terrorist attacks throughout the world.  The Annex to Executive Order 12947 of January 1995 listed Hizballah as a Specially Designated Terrorist (SDT).  The Department of State designated Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under E.O. 13224 in October 2001.
"As these designations make clear, we will track Hizballah's illicit activities to all corners of the earth," said Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam J. Szubin.  "Together with our international partners, we are tirelessly working to dismantle Hizballah's financial apparatus.  Wherever this terrorist group may seek to raise funds, we will target and expose its activity."
Mustapha Fawaz
Mustapha Fawaz has been a significant donor to Hizballah and is also a member of Hizballah's Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO).  In mid-May 2013, the Nigerian State Security Service detained Mustapha Fawaz for his affiliation with Hizballah.  Mustapha Fawaz reportedly confessed the details of Hizballah activities in Nigeria and identified additional names of other Hizballah IJO cell members in Nigeria, as well as a specific property in Kano, Nigeria that was used to support terrorism.   As of mid-September 2003, Mustapha Fawaz solicited donations in Abuja, Nigeria, and helped arrange the transmission of these funds to Hizballah in Lebanon. 
Since the 1990s, Mustapha Fawaz has been involved in activities related to communications, surveillance, and reporting for Hizballah.  He communicated with Hizballah in Lebanon by e-mail and reportedly received updates and newsletters regarding Hizballah activities and distributed this information to other Hizballah supporters in Abuja.  He used special surveillance cameras based at Amigo Supermarket to monitor the movements of expatriates, especially Israelis.  He also provided Hizballah with a report of his visit to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria. 
Fouzi Fawaz
Fouzi Fawaz is a member of the Hizballah terrorist cell in Nigeria.  Individuals who were arrested in Nigeria for their involvement with Hizballah claimed Fouzi Fawaz was in possession of heavy weapons and involved in other terrorism-related activities.  Fouzi Fawaz was a Hizballah Foreign Relations Department (FRD) official in Abuja, Nigeria.  The FRD claims to be in charge of "community relations;" but the primary goal of the FRD in Nigeria is to scout recruits for Hizballah's military units, as well as to create and support Hizballah's terrorist infrastructure for its operational units in Africa and globally.  In 2008 Fouzi Fawaz coordinated travel for a Hizballah associate.  In 2007, he coordinated travel arrangements and itineraries with other Hizballah Foreign Relations officials in Lagos and Kano, Nigeria.
As of 2013, Nigerian authorities issued an arrest warrant for Fouzi Fawaz following the discovery of a Hizballah weapons cache in the Kano, Nigeria.  Fouzi Fawaz was a resident of Abuja, Nigeria and the brother and business partner of Mustapha Fawaz.
Abdallah Tahini
In May 2013, Abdallah Tahini was also arrested for being a member of the Hizballah terrorist cell in Nigeria and was found to be a Hizballah veteran and long-term fundraiser of the organization.  Tahini underwent Hizballah military training in Lebanon in his youth, and he is now a permanent representative of Hizballah's FRD in Abuja, Nigeria.  Tahini has also served as the Hizballah representative from Kano, Nigeria to Hizballah Martyrs Foundation annual conference.
As of November 2013, Tahini was an operative in Hizballah's FRD.  Tahini's duties in Hizballah's FRD included organizing Hizballah delegations visiting Nigeria, as well as directing others to collect information for Hizballah on Western targets in Nigeria.
Amigo Supermarket Limited
Amigo Supermarket Limited is a supermarket based in Abuja, Nigeria.  Mustapha Fawaz and Fouzi Fawaz are co-owners of Amigo Supermarket Limited, holding a combined 70% ownership share, and are both listed as a Director. 
Wonderland Amusement Park and Resort Ltd
Wonderland Amusement Park and Resort Ltd is an amusement park based in Abuja, Nigeria.  Mustapha Fawaz and Fouzi Fawaz hold a combined interest of 100% of the business shares of this entity, and Mustapha Fawaz is its Managing Director.
Kafak Enterprises Limited
Kafak Enterprises Limited is a holding company operating in Nigeria and Sierra Leone.  Mustapha and Fouzi Fawaz are the Managing Directors of this entity. 
Identifier Information
Name:                                                 Mustapha Reda Darwish Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Moustafa Reda Darwish-Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Mustafa Fawwaz
AKA:                                                  Mustapha Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Mustapha Rida Darwich Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Mostafa Reda Darwich Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Mustapha Rhoda Darwich Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Moustapha Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Mustafa Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Mustafa Darwish Fawaz
Citizenship 1:                                      Lebanese
Citizenship 2:                                      Nigerian
Citizenship 3:                                      Sierra Leonean
Location:                                             Abuja, Nigeria
DOB 1:                                               June 25, 1964
DOB 2:                                               September 10, 1964
POB 1:                                                Jwaya, Lebanon
POB 2:                                                Koidu Town, Sierra Leone
SSN:                                                    418-15-2837
Passport No. 1:                                    RL 2101602 (Lebanon)
Passport No. 2:                                    0168459 (Sierra Leone)
Passport No. 3:                                    RL0148105 (Lebanon)
Passport No. 4:                                    0257909 (Sierra Leone)
Address 1:                                           Flat 4, Blantyre Street, Behind Amigo, Supermarket,
                                                            Wuse II, Abuja, Nigeria
Address 2:                                           3 Gaya Road in Kano, Nigeria
Name:                                                 Fouzi Reda Darwish-Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Fawzi Reda Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Fawzy Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Fawzi Fawwaz
AKA:                                                  Fowzy Fawaz
AKA:                                                  Fawzy Reda Darwish-Fawaz
DOB 1:                                               February 12, 1968
DOB 2:                                               March 24, 1973
POB 1:                                                Sierra Leone
POB 2:                                                Jwaya, Lebanon
Passport No. 1:                                    0258649 (Unknown)
Passport No. 2:                                    0107516 (Lebanese)
Citizenship 1:                                      Lebanese
Citizenship 2:                                      Nigerian
Citizenship 3:                                      Sierra Leonean
Name:                                                 Abdallah Asad Tahini
AKA:                                                  Abdallah Thahini
AKA:                                                  Ahmad Tahini
AKA:                                                  Abdallah As'ad Thini
DOB:                                                  June 20, 1965
POB:                                                   Lebanon
Name:                                                 Amigo Supermarket Limited
D.B.A.:                                               Amigo Supermarket
Address:                                              1023, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II,
                                                            Abuja, Nigeria
Name:                                                 Wonderland Amusement Park and Resort Ltd
AKA:                                                  Wonderland Amusement Park
Address:                                              B1 Kukbawa, Opposite National Stadium, Abuja
                                                            FCT, Nigeria
Name:                                                 Kafak Enterprises Limited
Address 1:                                           88B, T/Balewa Road, Kano State, Nigeria
Address 2:                                           Sierra Leone

Sunday, February 15, 2015

McCarthy Statement on the 10th Anniversary of the Assassination of Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri

Feb 14, 2015
Washington D.C. - House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on the 10th anniversary of the assassination Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri:

"Saturday, February 14, 2015 marks ten years since the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and more than twenty other Lebanese by a car bombing in central Beirut.  The attack marked the beginning of a campaign of assassination of Lebanese political leaders dedicated to an independent, democratic, and multi-sectarian Lebanon, free from Syrian occupation and opposed to the erosion of the state by Iranian-backed Hizballah.  Despite the existence of a UN Special Tribunal, justice for the victims of these attacks remains elusive.

"Today, Hizballah and its Iranian patrons continue to pose a threat to Lebanon's sovereignty, just as they continue to pose a threat to Israel, to regional peace and stability, and to United States interests.

"Hizballah continues to subvert state institutions in Lebanon.  Iran and Syria have re-armed Hizballah since the group's 2006 war with Israel and Hizballah continues to plot and conduct attacks against Israel.  Hizballah is also a co-belligerent in Assad's war against the Syrian people that has left more than 200,000 dead and fueled sectarian radicalism, and brought the scourge of ISIL to Lebanon itself.

"Hizballah is not a rogue force; it is an appendage of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  It is Tehran's arms and hands in the Levant.

"Tragically, too little is being done to confront the spread of Iran's malign influence throughout the region.  The radical, sectarian aggression of Iran and its agents has stoked the underlying conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, giving rise to terrorist groups like ISIL and making it impossible to defeat the threat of radical Islamist terrorism without a strategy to address Iran's malign role in the region."

Friday, February 13, 2015

Statement on the Anniversary of the Death of Rafic Hariri

Washington, DC
February 13, 2015

Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, known to many as "Mr. Lebanon," was guided by his vision of a stable, sovereign, and prosperous homeland. For years, he gave hope to Lebanon's youth through scholarship programs that helped to educate generations, even during his country's darkest days. He stood for peaceful change and the resolution of differences through conversations – not carnage. He spent his life working to make Lebanon more democratic, more free, more prosperous, and more secure – for all its people.

Ten years ago today, he was assassinated because some feared he might succeed.

Still today, justice for that crime has not been served, and the United States stands with the Lebanese people and the international community in supporting the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and demanding that the murderers of Rafik Hariri be held accountable.

We also recognize the need to focus – not only on justice for the cowardly crimes of the past – but on Lebanon's future – on honoring the legacy that Hariri left behind.

On behalf of President Barack Obama, I can tell you that America's commitment to Lebanon remains as strong as ever. We continue to support in very practical ways Lebanon's full sovereignty and independence from outside influence, including through our support for the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Baabda Declaration, and Lebanon's dissociation policy from foreign conflicts. And we continue to support Lebanon's efforts to strengthen its political and security institutions as a safeguard against violence, whether from outside or inside the country.

No challenge is more perilous to Lebanon's security than the rise of violent extremism throughout the region. We are committed to helping the Lebanese Armed Forces meet this challenge, because they alone have the legitimacy to defend their country's borders and protect their citizens. Make no mistake: there is no justification for the retention of arms by a militia or terrorist group that answers – not to the Lebanese people – but to foreign governments in Damascus and Tehran.

Between the spillover of extremist violence from Syria, the refugee crisis created by that conflict, and the economic difficulties that exacerbate every other test Lebanon is facing, it's fair to say that the status quo is not the Lebanon that Prime Minister Hariri envisioned. And while finally moving forward with the election of a Lebanese president will not fully resolve these challenges, it will be an essential step in the right direction. I urge Lebanon's leaders not to look outside of their country for a resolution to the presidential gridlock, but instead to find a solution from within. Unless and until a president is chosen, the erosion of Lebanon's political institutions will only become more pronounced.

As Lebanon seeks to fulfill its potential – as it seeks to continue Hariri's work toward a better future – the United States will stand right by its side. We will continue to work with political leaders, activists, scholars, and public servants throughout the country who share Hariri's vision for a sovereign, secure and prosperous Lebanon. And we will be guided by the clear understanding that the answers to the challenges facing Lebanon today lie – as they did ten years ago – not in violence and extremism, but in moderation and coexistence.

Ambassador Hale Honors the Legacy of Rafik Hariri on the 10th Anniversary of his Assassination

February 13, 2015

Today American Ambassador David Hale visited the grave of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his assassination.  The Ambassador also paid his respects to Minister Mohammad Chatah, Major General Wissam al-Hassan, and the other individuals buried at the site. 
Below is Ambassador Hale's statement following his visit.
I first met with Prime Minister Hariri in 1988.  I was a very junior diplomat and I was part of a delegation that met with him in Damascus.  I worked more closely with him in the nineties.  I came back and was assigned to Lebanon on two occasions.  I had the opportunity to see him more closely, and I was always struck by how accessible Rafik Hariri was, even to a young diplomat like myself, but more importantly to the Lebanese people, and I saw firsthand what a remarkable man he was.
He was a great benefactor and the legacy he has left in terms of generosity in educating generations of Lebanese was really quite remarkable.  He also was a remarkable visionary of a prosperous, and stable, and independent Lebanon.  Those of Lebanon and Lebanon's friend need to continue to work on that legacy, even today.
I think as we reflect this weekend on the loss of Rafik Hariri and his fellow comrades, it is important to celebrate their legacy, but also to renew our demand for justice and for accountability for these crimes, crimes that were not just crimes against individuals, but also against the state of Lebanon.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

America Delivers $25 million in Weapons and Ammunition to the Lebanese Army

February 8, 2015
Today American Ambassador David Hale presided over the delivery of $25 million in assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) via the M/V Advantage vessel at the Beirut Port. Ambassador Hale was accompanied by Brigadier General Manuel Kerejian, Director of the LAF Logistics Brigade.
Below are Ambassador Hale's remarks from the event.
Today's shipment, from the generosity of the American people, is valued at over $25 million. It includes 70 M198 howitzers and almost 26 million rounds of ammunition and artillery of various shapes and sizes, including heavy artillery.
Lebanon is now the 5th largest recipient in the world of U.S. military foreign assistance. Over $100 million last year, and over $1 billion in the last 8 years.
This is top of the line equipment, the best that is on the market. It is what our soldiers use, and we're proud to know that very soon, your brave soldiers will be using it too, along with other U.S.-supplied equipment, to defeat the terrorist and extremist threat from Syria.
We are fighting the same enemy, so our support for you has been swift and continuous. I am confident that, with the right equipment, Lebanon's soldiers can defend Lebanon successfully.
And the equipment we are providing is exactly with the army leadership has asked for, and exactly what the army needs.