Europe

EU Report Shows How Hezbollah Uses Organized Crime to Finance Terror

A newly released report by the European Union details Hezbollah’s international web of terror sponsoring and reveals how Lebanese nationals worked with organized crime organizations to finance Hezbollah’s terrorist activities, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2018 wrote, “In 2017, member states carried out several investigations into financing of terrorism. One major investigation focused on a large network of Lebanese nationals offering money laundering services to organized crime groups in the EU and using a share of the profits to finance terrorism-related activities of the Lebanese Hezbollah’s military wing.”

The report added, “The cooperation of these money-launderers and Hezbollah’s military wing was a clear example of a nexus between organized crime and terrorism.”

With an annual budget of $700 million, Iran is Hezbollah’s main benefactor and both have played a major role in turning the tide of the Syrian civil war in favor of Syrian regime President Bashar al-Assad.

The EU consider only Hezbollah’s so-called military wing to be a terrorist entity. The proscription came in response to an attack by the organization on an Israeli tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria in 2012, which resulted in the deaths of five Israelis and their Bulgarian Muslim bus driver. The US, Canada, Israel, the Arab League and the Netherlands classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

In February, some 60 members of the European Parliament sent a letter to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, urging her to classify all of the Lebanese organization Hezbollah as a terrorist entity.

The letter stated, “In light of the above and Europe’s strong commitment against intolerance and terrorism, we firmly urge the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council to proscribe Hezbollah in its entirety. Only by recognizing the organization’s true nature may we be successful in protecting Europe and our common values.”

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