You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

US task force to probe Hezbollah 'narcoterror'

AFP  |  Washington 

The announced today creation of a special task force to investigate what it called "narcoterrorism" by the powerful Lebanese movement

The unit will comprise specialists on money-laundering, drug trafficking, and organized crime, targeting ally Hezbollah's sprawling network, whose reach extends across and into Central and South America, the department said.

"The Justice Department will leave no stone unturned in order to eliminate threats to our citizens from terrorist organizations and to stem the tide of the devastating drug crisis," Jeff Sessions.

"The team will initiate prosecutions that will restrict the flow of money to foreign terrorist organizations as well as disrupt violent international drug trafficking operations."

The move comes amid a stepped-up effort to battle Iran's growing influence in the and expanded military capabilities of Hezbollah, one of the dominant forces in Lebanese

But Sessions said the creation of the Financing and Team was also a response to criticisms that former held back from cracking down on Hezbollah's global networks, investigated under the previous Project Cassandra, in order to achieve the nuclear deal with

"The HFNT will begin by assessing the evidence in existing investigations, including cases stemming from Project Cassandra, a targeting Hezbollah's drug trafficking and related operations," the department said.

Officials in and US allies and Israel, have increasingly raised the alarm over Hezbollah's growing power in and around the world.

On Wednesday, former top Treasury Department sanctions official told that Hezbollah's drug smuggling and money laundering operations are global in scale.

"Recent actions by the (DEA) and Treasury to dismantle networks of Hezbollah's 'Business Affairs Component' have exposed financial and trade nodes that the operates and led to arrests and enforcement actions around the world," he told a hearing of the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 21:35 IST