According to recent reports, Angola has developed a “reputation as a refuge for international terror financiers,” specifically Hizballah.
Hatem Barakat and Kassim Tajideen are accused of using Angola as a terrorism financing hub. The two individuals were recently arrested in South America and Morocco. However, their companies continue to operate in Angola. The companies were designated by the US in 2010, but reports suggest that they continue to receive shipments from US-based companies in contravention of sanctions. Tajideen is believed to be an important financial contributor to Hizballah.
Analysis: The companies may be fronts for Hizballah activity, but are more likely used to generate profits through legal activity; some of the profits may be diverted to the terrorist organization. Diversion of funds from legitimate businesses is one of the main ways that terrorist groups, including Hizballah, generate funds for their activities.