The Bush administration moved yesterday against a key fundraising arm of Hezbollah, the militant Shiite Muslim movement that is part of Lebanon's government, ordering a freeze on its assets in the United States and making it illegal for Americans to contribute to the organization...............
Since the war in Lebanon began, U.S. officials have tried to fashion ways to cut off Hezbollah's financing, which is central to its ability to build up its stockpile of weapons. Under a U.N. Security Council resolution passed this month that called for a halt to the conflict, Hezbollah is required to give up its weapons.
This part raises many questions and I have a feeling the answers will be provided soon enough:
But Levey acknowledged that a financial crackdown on Hezbollah is more difficult than the Treasury's successful efforts to thwart North Korean counterfeiting and preventing financial aid for the Hamas-led Palestinian government. In part, that is because Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government, not the government itself. The European refusal to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization has also been a problem.
"In principle, this (Hizbollah) money came through shipment, because it did not come from the Central Bank ... and not from the banking sector because there was a shortage in banknotes at the time," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
"The banking sector is obliged to declare any amounts of money it withdraws."
The money is widely believed to have come from Iran, the main backer of the group, but Salameh said Hizbollah's action did not violate Lebanon's laws, adding that the central bank was ready to answer any international inquiries.