The US Department of the Treasury has sanctioned two Hizballah financiers, Shibl Mhusin ‘Ubayd Al-Zaydi, and Adnan Hussein Kawtharani.

Al-Zaydi served as a financial facilitator between IRGC-QF and armed groups in Iraq. He has facilitated investments in Iraq on behalf of the IRGC-QF Commander  Qasem Soleimani, and  has coordinated the smuggling of oil from Iran. 

Al Zaydi’s role has also involved providing protection for companies in Iraq financed by Hizballah, and facilitating movement of Hizballah funds into Iraq for investments. He has also facilitated the movement of funds to Lebanon to finance Hizballah, including bulk cash from Iraq into Lebanon. 

Kawtharani facilitated business transactions for Hizballah inside Iraq and has been involved in securing a significant source of funding for Hizballah. As of 2016, Kawtharani worked to obtain a weapons contract in order to raise funds for Hizballah fighters.

Analysis: These two designations demonstrate the extent to which established terrorist organizations like Hizballah rely on specialized financial facilitators for their more advanced financing requirements, including the management and maintenance of investments. While most terrorist organizations do not reach this level of sophistication, when groups do obtain significant amounts of funds, investments to maintain and expand those funds are often required, which in turn necessitates specialized facilitators. 

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Category

extremist financing, Hizballah, illicit financing, Terrorist Financing

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