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House bill aims to halt Hezbollah funding

- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 3, 2014

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs is hoping newly-crafted economic sanctions against the terrorist organization Hezbollah will put a dent in its ability to conduct operations.

The Hezbollah International Financial Prevention Act aims to restrict the organization's "ability to use its funds to support global terrorist activities" in the Middle East and and "cut off a major source of terrorist support," said a statement released Thursday by its authors.

The legislation will be introduced by Reps. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, and Brad Schneider, Illinois Democrat, members of the committee's panel on the Middle East. Committee chairman Ed Royce, California Republican, and Eliot Engel, New York Democrat and ranking member, will also endorse the bill.

"Prior to September 11, 2001, Hezbollah was responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist organization," Mr. Royce said in the committee's statement. "Since that time their capabilities have grown, enabling them to attack the U.S. and our allies around the world — from the Philippines, to Bulgaria, and in even on our doorstep in South America. We cannot afford to ignore this threat."

The U.S. isn't alone in its efforts to cut off funding from Hezbollah. In July, the European Union designated it a terrorist organization, a decision backed by the State Department.

"This designation will have a significant impact on Hezbollah's ability to operate freely in Europe by enabling European law enforcement agencies to crack down on Hezbollah's fundraising, logistical activity, and terrorist plotting on European soil," the department said in an issued statement. "We call on other governments to follow the EU's lead, and to take steps to begin reining in Hezbollah's terrorist and criminal activities."

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