Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

US Counterterror Officials Announce Reward for Help in Capture of Hezbollah Leaders

US Counterterror Officials Announce Reward for Help in Capture of Hezbollah Leaders

Hamiyah has been a part of attacks around the world, including against Americans and Israelis.

Ali Kourani and Samer el Debek were arrested in June, and charged with providing material support to Hezbollah's Islamic Jihad Organization. These undercover operatives were supposed to "maintain ostensibly normal lives but could be activated and tasked with conducting IJO operations", the complaint said.

But what impact that would have on how Iran uses Hezbollah is unclear.

"It has become the global threat it is today for one reason: Tehran's deep and abiding assistance", added State Department Counterterrorism Coordinator Ambassador Nathan Sales, of the organization.

On Tuesday, Sales forcefully rejected the notion that Hezbollah can be separated into its political and military wings.

Some US allies impose sanctions on Hezbollah's "military wing" while tolerating the group's role as a political party representing many Lebanese Shiites in government.

As part of that push, Mr. Sales, who appeared at Foggy Bottom Tuesday alongside National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen, said the USA government is now offering $12 million for information leading to the apprehension of Hezbollah operatives Talal Hamiyah and Fu'ad Shukr. "But that is a false distinction", he said.

"Make no mistake", he continued. "It is a single organization, a terrorist organization, and it is rotten to its core", he argued.

Washington and the Lebanese movement have been foes since 1983, when the group was blamed by for deadly suicide bombings against its embassy and a United States barracks in Beirut. In 2012, Israel accused the group of bombing a bus of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. "We are talking about Hezbollah and the Lebanese army, and unfortunately this is the reality".

Both France and the United States have provided Lebanon with advanced weaponry, and this past summer, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) received 50 armored vehicles, 40 artillery pieces and 50 grenade launchers from the United States as part of an aid package to bolster the Middle Eastern country against the threats posed by militant groups. A further United States dollars 5 million is on offer for leads on Fuad Shukr, "a senior military commander" of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Following a visit to Washington by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in July, the administration signaled it would proceed with USA military aid to the country.

Both countries border Israel to its north.

The US State Department said the government was offering up to $7 million for information leading to the arrest of Talal Hamiyah, head of Hezbollah's external security organization, and up to $5 million for Fuad Shukr, a top Hezbollah military operative. "They're not on a suicide mission".

Like this: