On June 10, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued sanctions targeting several Lebanese companies and businessmen for supporting Hezbollah, an Islamist militia and political party in Lebanon. Adham Tabaja, Kassem Hejeij, and Husayn Ali Faour, along with their companies and subsidiaries, were named as sanctioned entities. According to the Treasury Department’s press release, the new sanctions reflect Hezbollah’s “continued exploitation of the legitimate commercial sector for financial, organizational, and material support...which enable the group to carry out acts of terrorism.”

The following is the full text of the press release.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury targeted a key Hizballah support network today by designating Hizballah member Adham Tabaja, his company Al-Inmaa Group for Tourism Works, and its subsidiaries, as well as Lebanese businessman Kassem Hejeij and Hizballah Islamic Jihad member Husayn Ali Faour, who provide support and services to Hizballah.  Also designated today is Car Care Center, a front company based in Lebanon that supports Hizballah’s transportation needs.  Treasury’s actions against these three individuals and four companies were taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. 

Today’s actions underscore the direct ties between Hizballah’s commercial and terrorist activities, as well as the group’s continued exploitation of the legitimate commercial sector for financial, organizational, and material support – from vehicles to investment and construction services – which enable the group to carry out acts of terrorism.  Today’s actions continue Treasury’s ongoing efforts to target Hizballah and its supporters under E.O. 13224, which have recently included actions against a key Hizballah support network based in Africa and a global Hizballah-linked procurement network, among numerous other designations.

“Hizballah is responsible for perpetrating terrorism and fomenting instability worldwide.  Hizballah is using so-called legitimate businesses to fund, equip, and organize these subversive activities,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.  “The United States will pursue any individual or company that supports Hizballah’s activities.”

As a result of this action, all assets of those designated today that are based in the United States or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. 

Adham Tabaja, his company Al-Inmaa Group for Tourism Works, and its subsidiaries

Tabaja is a Hizballah member and majority owner of the Lebanon-based real estate development and construction firm Al-Inmaa Group for Tourism Works.  The company’s subsidiaries include Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting, which operates in Lebanon and Iraq, as well as Lebanon-based Al-Inmaa for Entertainment and Leisure Projects.

Tabaja maintains direct ties to senior Hizballah organizational elements, including the terrorist group’s operational component, the Islamic Jihad, and holds properties in Lebanon on behalf of the group.  Tabaja’s company Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting has been one of the largest and most successful real estate businesses in Lebanon since the late 1990s and has been used by Hizballah as an investment mechanism.  In 2006, Tabaja used his ties to Hizballah leadership to create a construction monopoly for Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting in the Hizballah-controlled Dahieh section of Beirut and Southern Lebanon.

More recently, Tabaja has used the Iraqi branches of Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting to obtain oil and construction development projects in Iraq that provide both financial support and organizational infrastructure to Hizballah.  Tabaja and his companies have also sought to secure lucrative business contracts in the Green Zone areas of Baghdad, Iraq.  Tabaja has worked with Hizballah officials, including E.O. 13224-designated Hizballah political official Shaykh Muhammad Kawtharani, for these projects.

Kassem Hejeij

Hejeij is a Lebanese businessman that maintains direct ties to Hizballah organizational elements.  In addition to his support to Adham Tabaja and his affiliated companies in Iraq, Hejeij has helped open bank accounts for Hizballah in Lebanon and provided credit to Hizballah procurement companies.  Hejeij has also invested in infrastructure that Hizballah uses in both Lebanon and Iraq.

Husayn Ali Faour and Car Care Center

Faour is a member of Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad, the unit responsible for carrying out the group’s overseas terrorist activities.  Faour has also managed the Lebanon-based Car Care Center, a front company used to supply Hizballah’s vehicle needs.  More recently, Faour has worked with Tabaja to secure and manage construction, oil, and other projects in Iraq for Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting.

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