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December 17, 2019 1:38 pm

US State Department Task Force Meets on Countering Hezbollah Activities

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah delivers a live broadcast address to supporters in Beirut. Photo: Reuters / Aziz Taher.

The State Department task force on thwarting the activities of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah met in the Netherlands on Monday and Tuesday, an official statement said.

The meeting held by the State Department’s Law Enforcement Coordination Group (LECG), tasked with countering Hezbollah, brought together law enforcement officials and financial experts from the Middle East, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.

Also attending were officials from the Departments of State, Justice, and the Treasury, as well as the FBI, National Counterterrorism Center and Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to the statement, the meeting primarily focused on Hezbollah’s financial networks and their linkage to terrorist operations. Attempts by law enforcement to disrupt these activities were also discussed.

The LECG will reconvene sometime next year.

Hezbollah, which is primarily funded by Iran, dominates Lebanese society and politics, and is also involved in international terrorism and drug smuggling.

Israel sees the terror group as the most significant security threat it faces on its borders, as the group wields an arsenal of thousands of missiles. An extensive network of tunnels dug by the terrorist group under Israel’s northern border was destroyed in a recent IDF military operation.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration placed direct sanctions on Hezbollah and targeted Lebanese lawmakers linked to the group.

The Associated Press quoted Sigal Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the US Treasury Department, as saying last month, “We have taken more actions recently against Hezbollah than in the history of our counterterrorism program.”

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