The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated pursuant to Executive Order 13224 al Manar, a satellite television operation owned or controlled by the Iran-funded Hizballah terrorist network. Additionally designated today were al Nour Radio and the Lebanese Media Group, the parent company to both al Manar and al Nour Radio.
Al Manar and al Nour
Al Manar and al Nour are the media arms of the Hizballah terrorist network and have facilitated Hizballah's activities.
Any entity maintained by a terrorist group whether masquerading as a charity, a business, or a media outlet is as culpable as the terrorist group itself, said Stuart Levey, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Al Manar has employed multiple Hizballah members. One al Manar employee engaged in pre-operational surveillance for Hizballah operations under cover of employment by al Manar.
Al Manar and al Nour have supported fundraising and recruitment efforts by Hizballah. Al Manar raised funds for Hizballah through advertisements broadcast on the network and an accompanying website that requested donations for the terrorist organization. As recently as late 2005, Hizballah-affiliated charities aired commercials on al Manar, providing contact information and bank account numbers for donations. Moreover, Hizballah Secretary General Nasrallah publicized an invitation for all Lebanese citizens to volunteer for Hizballah military training on al Manar and al Nour.
In addition to supporting Hizballah, al Manar has also provided support to other designated Palestinian terrorist organizations, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, notably transferring tens of thousands of dollars for a PIJ-controlled charity. PIJ is listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. Government, and is also named on the European Union's list of terrorist entities.
Hizballah Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah, along with Hizballah's Executive Council, managed and oversaw the budgets of al Manar and al Nour.
The Lebanese Media Group
The Lebanese Media Group is the parent company of both al Manar and al Nour. Prominent Hizballah members have been major shareholders of the Lebanese Media Group.
Background on Hizballah
Hizballah is a Lebanon-based terrorist group. Until September 11, 2001 , Hizballah was responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist organization. Hizballah is known or suspected to have been involved in numerous terrorist attacks throughout the world, including the suicide truck bombings of the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut in September 1984. Hizballah also executed the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 en route from Athens to Rome and assumed responsibility for the suicide bombing of the Israeli embassy in Argentina in 1992. It also attacked the Israeli cultural center in Buenos Aires in 1994.
On January 25, 1995 , the Annex to Executive Order 12947 listed Hizballah as a Specially Designated Terrorist. The Department of State designated Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. Additionally, on October 31, 2001 , Hizballah was designated as a Specially Designated Global terrorist under Executive Order 13224.
Today's action prohibits transactions between U.S. persons and the designated entities and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
The U.S. Department of State added al Manar to the Terrorism Exclusion List (TEL) in December 2004. For more information on this action, please visit: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2004/40081.htm.