Letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee on Hezbollah

June 07, 2017

The Honorable Edward R. Royce
House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Eliot L. Engel
Ranking Member
House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel,

In advance of tomorrow’s full Committee hearings entitled “Attacking Hezbollah’s Financial Network: Policy Options,” we write to provide the views of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and ask that this statement be included as part of the official hearings record.

The Anti-Defamation League

Founded in 1913, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is the nation’s foremost non-governmental authority on domestic terrorism and extremism, and organized hate groups and hate crimes. Researchers in our National Office in New York and investigators in the field monitor, analyze, and expose the full range of domestic extremist groups and international terrorist organizations. The League maintains comprehensive, frequently-updated informational resources for law enforcement personnel engaged in combating extremism and criminal activity. ADL is a strong advocate of a secure State of Israel at peace with its neighbors, and as such works to expose those who threaten and seek to destabilize the Jewish state.

We very much appreciate the Committee holding this hearing examining the possibility of additional tools to target Hezbollah’s financial resources. The Committee has been a vital bulwark against terrorism and, specifically, against Hezbollah, including support for the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015.

Targeting Hezbollah’s Financial Networks

ADL would support additional legislation designed to limit the influence, capability, and reach of Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based terror organization that is responsible for the loss of many American lives. Hezbollah continues to pose a threat to a key United States ally, Israel, and is one of the main actors in Syria responsible for perpetrating atrocities against the Syrian people.

While examining further actions against Hezbollah, we urge the Committee to consider the following initiatives:

  • Applying secondary sanctions to financial entities connected to Hezbollah and/or its associates.
  • Identifying, designating, and sanctioning more individuals belonging to the organization’s leadership cadre.
  • Highlighting Iran’s role in financing Hezbollah and assessing ways to stem the cash and arms flow from Tehran.
  • Investigating and exposing intelligence and logistical support networks in the Latin American region. Despite the public exposure of Iranian and Hezbollah operatives in the deadly 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Hezbollah continues to enjoy financial benefit through relations with regional-based transnational criminal organizations.

We appreciate the opportunity to provide our views to the Committee on this issue of high priority to our organization. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can provide additional information or if we can be of assistance in any way as the Committee considers further action against this dangerous, potent threat to US interests in the Middle East.

Kenneth Jacobson
Deputy National Director
Anti-Defamation League