ADL Calls on E.U. To Designate Hezbollah as Terrorist Group Following Guilty Verdict in Cyprus

New York, NY, March 22, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the conviction of Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, a Swedish and Lebanese citizen and self-professed member of the terrorist group Hezbollah, on five charges in a conspiracy to attack Israeli tourists in Cyprus.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

The conviction of a Hezbollah member in Cyprus for preparing an attack on Israeli tourists should put an end to the EU’s hesitation to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. 

The Bulgarian government blamed Hezbollah for the murders in Burgas last July, and now a Cypriot court has rendered an unambiguous and unanimous decision that Hezbollah tried to do the same in Cyprus. Two E.U. member states have decisively shown that Hezbollah engages in terrorism on European soil, demonstrating why the Netherlands and the U.K. have already designated Hezbollah. The E.U. as a whole needs to act now and not wait until the next attack.

Designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization is a meaningful counter-terrorism measure. European law enforcement agencies would have a basis to disrupt Hezbollah’s fundraising and financial arrangements in Europe, which provide significant support for their murderous acts of terrorism. 

Designating Hezbollah is morally right and strategically right. There’s no excuse for inaction.

ADL has for many years called on the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group, most recently in a February 2013 letter to all E.U. foreign ministers. The group’s history of terror attacks is available on the League’s web site.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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