Justice Department Designates Hezbollah as Transnational Crime Group
Pictured Above: Posters of Hezbollah’s flag and the terror group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, in Beirut. Credit: Al Aan Arabic Television via Wikimedia Commons.
(JNS) The Department of Justice designated Hezbollah as a transnational crime group on Monday, officially making the Lebanese terrorist group the highest priority of law enforcement.
“The day I was sworn in, President Trump sent me an executive order to dismantle transnational criminal organizations—the gangs and cartels who flood our streets with drugs and violence,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “We embrace that order and we carry it out every single day.”
He continued, “Today, to increase our effectiveness, I am putting in place new leadership to drive our transnational organized crime efforts and forming a Transnational Organized Crime Task Force of experienced prosecutors that will coordinate and optimize the department’s efforts to take each of these groups off of our streets for good.”
Also receiving the designation are Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, Clan del Golfo and the Sinaloa Cartel.
The Attorney General’s Transactional Organized Crime Task Force will be led by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and “will be composed of experienced prosecutors,” according to the DOJ.
Leading the subcommittee over Hezbollah will be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Ilan Graff, who is “overseeing the prosecution of two alleged members of Hezbollah’s External Security Organization, the first such operatives to be charged with terrorism offenses in the United States,” said the DOJ.
This DOJ initiative follows Sessions establishing the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team, which consists of prosecutors who have fought against terrorism, organized crime, money-laundering and international narcotics trafficking.
Last year, Politico exposed Hezbollah’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operation, all ignored by the Obama administration, despite overwhelming evidence in a law-enforcement effort called Project Cassandra, in order to strike a nuclear deal with Iran, which supports the terrorist group.
Following the bombshell, Sessions ordered a DOJ review “to evaluate allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately handled.”