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The United States and the Government of Qatar have taken coordinated actions against a major Hizballah financial network based in the Gulf. Ali Reda Hassan al-Banai, Ali Reda al-Qassabi Lari, and Abd al-Muayyid al-Banai, are being designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Hizballah. Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Nabi Shams, Yahya Muhammad al-Abd-al-Muhsin, Majdi Fa’iz al-Ustadz, and Sulaiman al-Banai are being designated as SDGTs pursuant to E.O. 13224 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Ali al-Banai. Additionally, Qatar-based AlDar Properties is being designated for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Sulaiman al-Banai.
This represents one of the most significant joint actions we have taken with a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partner to date and underscores our extensive bilateral cooperation on countering terrorism finance. The United States designated Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 and as an SDGT in 2001, and the GCC designated Hizballah as a terrorist organization in 2016.
Hizballah seeks to abuse the international financial system by utilizing global networks of financiers and front companies to support its malign activity. The United States will continue to cooperate with partners, such as the Government of Qatar, to protect the U.S. and international financial systems from terrorist abuse. Concurrent with this action, the Government of Bahrain has frozen bank accounts and referred three individuals to their prosecutor’s office.
There is growing international recognition of Hizballah’s true nature, with 14 countries in Europe and South and Central America taking significant steps to designate, restrict, or ban Hizballah in the past several years. We urge other governments to follow suit.