Iran

U.S. Designates Chief of Hezbollah’s Intelligence Unit as a “Global Terrorist”

The United States announced on Tuesday that it has identified Husain Ali Hazzima, a senior Hezbollah operative, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).

In a statement, the U.S. Department of State said that Hazzima is the chief of Hezbollah Unit 200, which is the intelligence branch of the Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization. The Lebanon-based group was designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997, and as a SDGT in 2001.

“Terrorist designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system,” the department said.

Meanwhile, a new intelligence assessment released by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia revealed on Thursday that the number of Hezbollah operatives rose in the country in 2018, Benjamin Weinthal reported in the Jerusalem Post.

Hezbollah’s aim “of annihilation of the state of Israel and the establishment of ‘Islamic rule’ over Jerusalem remain unchanged to this day,” the report said.

The assessment also noted that, “In order to achieve these goals Hezbollah also uses terrorist means. For years it [Hezbollah] has been responsible for attacks in northern Israel, posing a direct threat to the state of Israel.”

The German government has allowed the Iranian-backed terrorist group, with an estimated 950 members operating inside Germany, to continue unhindered its fundraising and recruitment efforts in the country.

In a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in June, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Germany to follow Britain in proscribing Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization.

Pompeo urged the German government to “take the next step so that we can stop the Iranian torrent of destruction.” The secretary of state specifically emphasized Tehran’s ongoing ballistic missile program, a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

In May, the domestic intelligence agency for the German state of Bavaria warned that Iran is “making efforts to expand its conventional arsenal of weapons with weapons of mass destruction.” The report defined those efforts as “the spread of atomic, biological, chemical weapons of mass destruction.”

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