Friday, 6 March 2015

Hezbollah’s operations in west Africa - Blogs - Jerusalem Post

Hezbollah’s operations in west Africa - Blogs - Jerusalem Post

Last Thursday, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on three Lebanese individuals – Mustapha Fawaz, Fouzi Fawaz and Abdallah Tahini –accusing them of running a significant Hezbollah supply network in west Africa. The trio, all Lebanese-born but now residing in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, have a history of alleged links to Hezbollah.

According to the Treasury Department, Mustapha Fawaz has had ties with the group since the 1990s, organizing a network of hidden cameras to monitor the movement of Israelis. Fawaz is also rumored to have provided Hezbollah with a report of his visit to the US Embassy in Abuja. In May 2013, the Nigerian authorities detained him, whereupon he gave up crucial intelligence on Hezbollah’s activities throughout the country. Fawaz’s confession led the Nigerian security services to an unremarkable property in the Nigerian city of Kano, where they uncovered a veritable armory  housing weapons to be used against Israeli targets across West Africa. Following this discovery, Mustapha’s brother – Fouzi Fawaz – along with Abdallah Tahini were apprehended by the Nigerian security forces and charged with supporting Hezbollah operations in the country. All three men have since been released.
Thursday’s sanctions were not the first time the Treasury Department has targeted individuals connected to Hezbollah in west Africa. In June of 2013, the United States blacklisted four Lebanese men – Ali Ibrahim al-Wafta, Abbas Loutfe Fawaz, Ali Ahmad Chehade and Hicham Nmer Khanafer – after they were accused of masterminding Hezbollah’s fundraising campaigns in Sierra Leone, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and the Gambia....
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