US targets Hezbollah efforts in West Africa
The United States added four Lebanese Hezbollah supporters responsible for the terrorist group's efforts in West Africa to its sanctions list on Tuesday, dpa reported.
The US Treasury Department named Ali Ibrahim al-Watfa, Abbas Loutfe Fawaz, Ali Ahmad Chehade and Hicham Nmer Khanafer for conducting fundraising, recruiting members for Hezbollah and acting as "ambassadors" on behalf of the group in Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Gambia.
The US aimed to expose what it called the "alarming reach" of Hezbollah's efforts to create a worldwide network beyond its traditional base in Lebanon and carry out terrorist attacks around the world.
The expansion of Hezbollah's international network was becoming more important as funding from Iran was squeezed by international sanctions placed on that country, said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S Cohen.
The sanctions prohibit US residents from doing business with the men and freeze any assets they may have in US banks.