Project Cassandra has been in the news the last several weeks so I wanted to outline some of the highlights of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) operation targeting Hezbollah.
The United States Government has tremendously skilled and dedicated personnel working throughout the agencies to disrupt, dismantle and destroy Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) capabilities. They are most effective when the agencies work in a unified fashion as opposed to compartmentalizing information and operations.
In my 28 years in law enforcement, I’ve seen many operations that were both successful and failures. Many of the failures that I have witnessed were not a result of lack of effort or skill by the investigators. Rather, those failures were the result of lack of leadership and political infighting that created an environment built around securing and maintaining one’s own kingdom, as opposed to serving the American people.
During 2004, DEA agents in Miami initiated a large-scale United States Attorney General Exempted Operation (AGEO) money laundering investigation, titled Operation Titan. Operation Titan successfully used confidential sources to infiltrate a significant organized crime group in Medellin Colombian identified as the Oficina de Envigado. This very successful AGEO, coordinated by the Special Operations Division (SOD), a multi- agency operational coordination center with 30 agencies represented, led to unprecedented results and exposed elements of the terrorist group Hezbollah who were being directly funded by worldwide cocaine sales.
This operation also highlighted the pitfalls of a dysfunctional internal U.S. Government system when targeting major threats with multiple agencies interests involved.
During the early phases of Project Cassandra, several innovative undercover operations were managed in the United States relating to the large scale drug trafficking group in Medellin, Colombia. There were numerous undercover activities conducted related to large sums of U.S. currency that were be moved around the world. As a result, DEA identified numerous subjects for the Miami and Colombia based organization.
DEA Agents in several offices worked together and passed significant intelligence to the DEA in Bogota, Colombia. As a result of the cooperative effort, the Colombian National Police (CNP) initiated an investigation on the organization located in Colombia.
Over a two-year period the CNP, assisted by DEA, conducted an exceptional investigation in Colombia. During this complex investigation, they identified a Lebanese male named Chekry Harb, who also used the alias the “Taliban”. Harb’s role was to work with the Colombian and South American drug organizations in the capacity as a global money launderer. Harb coordinated his activities with the Oficina de Envigado and Drug Kingpin Francisco Antonio Florez-Upequi, who operated front companies around the globe for his international operation.
During 2008, the U.S. cooperative investigation with Colombia culminated with over 130 arrests, to include Harb, Florez-Upequi and many other senior-level operatives, and $23 million was seized. (Rotella, 2008) In one example during the case, the primary undercover DEA agent received approximately $20 million in cash from female associates in Guatemala. This enabled the investigators to fully identify the scope and the alliance between South American drug traffickers to money laundering operations in Hong Kong, Central America, Africa and Canada.
Another very significant development during this investigation was the volume of Arabic calls intercepted in Colombia that were not reviewed or analyzed until the same DEA undercover agent who spoke the language actually sat and listened to the Lebanese criminals discussing their global business. This also illuminated the extent of this global organized crime network.
The DEA undercover agent did such a great job infiltrating this network, one of the targets asked the undercover operative if he was interested in running the cocaine business for the enterprise in the Middle East. The target explained how they were expanding their business and making lots of money shipping cocaine to that region, but needed a reliable person on the ground to manage the day to day operations.
Subsequently, the DEA organized an undercover meeting to discuss the business opportunity further. DEA received the adequate approvals and confirmed the meeting with the TOC organization. The day before the undercover agent was scheduled to depart and join the TOC members, the meeting was suddenly cancelled by another United States Government Agency. There was never any viable explanation given to DEA even after DEA Executives inquired with high level representatives of that specific agency.
As a result, the undercover agent’s role was compromised with the criminal group and could no longer infiltrate this global organization. It was very unfortunate this meeting was cancelled since it could have exposed great insight to the United States on the emerging cocaine business in the Middle East and ties to a radical group like Hezbollah.
In May 2008, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff warned after “someone described Hezbollah like the A-team of terrorists in terms of capabilities, in terms of range of weapons they have, in terms of internal discipline,” Chertoff told FOX News. “To be honest, they make Al Qaeda look like a minor league team and poses the greatest threat to national security” (News, 2008).
In July 2009, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, working very closely with DEA and relying on the information uncovered during Operation Titan, designated Florez- Upequi as a specially designated narcotics trafficker. The Treasury action also targeted Harb, four Lebanese nationals and several other members of this organization. Six entities controlled by Florez- Upequi were also designated in the Treasury announcement. There was a hotel company, agricultural and livestock businesses, a butcher shop, a clothing store and 2 sports clothing companies identified as well. (Center, Treasury Designates Medellin Drug Lord Tied to Oficina de Envigado Organized Crime Group, 2009).
Based on the substantial information developed during Operation Titan and very alarming and emerging trends, the Counter-Narco Terrorism Operations Center (CNTOC) located at SOD commenced an initiative focusing on all aspects of this network. The CNTOC formed a Threat Finance Team (TFT) with experts in global money laundering working at SOD. The CNTOC spearheaded a focused investigation with the field DEA offices on the Middle Eastern money launderers working with the South American drug traffickers who were shipping multi-ton quantities of cocaine into West Africa for distribution around the world.
During this initiative, DEA identified Ayman Joumaa as the leader of this sophisticated network who coordinated multi-ton shipments of cocaine from Colombia to Los Zeta’s Mexican Drug Cartel and was laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in drug proceeds back to Colombia. Joumaa also established a very sophisticated network in West Africa to move currency via couriers back to Lebanon.
The CNTOC personnel coordinated their efforts with the State and Treasury Department to conduct a U.S. Patriot Act 311 action against the Lebanese Canadian Bank. The TFT reviewed extensive financial records and identified millions of dollars flowing back to the United States, through the Lebanese Canadian Bank, for the purchase of used cars. CNTOC also enlisted the support of very experienced Assistant United States Attorneys working in the Southern District of New York to assist in this endeavor.
The CNTOC organized a four-phased plan to include OFAC designations against substantial targets, first identified as Ayman Joumaa Elissa and Ayash Exchange, a U.S.A. Patriot Act 311 action against Lebanese Canadian Bank, a civil money laundering action against Lebanese Canadian Bank and Hezbollah’s used car businesses involved in the scheme and criminal prosecution directed at the leaders of the Hezbollah involved with the drug and money laundering operation. CNTOC’s strategy included all the tools of national power in a focused effort to disrupt and dismantle this trade-based money-laundering scheme.
In June 2010, SOD later organized a large-scale coordination meeting in Ashburn, Virginia with participating offices from around the world. This was an effort to identify the scope of this Hezbollah’s operation throughout Europe with the large-scale money launderers. During this meeting, it was very apparent that millions of dollars in euros were being seized all over Europe from couriers that were suspected to be connected in some fashion to this Hezbollah operation.
The European law enforcement agencies did not have the background on what was really happening nor did they connect the organizations around the globe. Also discussed during this meeting was the fact that the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) documented extensive car exports from the U.S to West Africa and that the FBI and HSI had similar investigations targeting Lebanese organized criminals involved with extensive money-laundering and or the shipment of used cars to West Africa.
For a variety of reasons, even though this was discussed extensively with leadership in DEA, FBI, HSI and the US Attorney’s office, it was decided that DEA would move forward utilizing only the DEA derived case information.
As an example for the Patriot Act 311 action, the CNTOC Team identified 30 US businesses involved with the scheme when in fact there was approximately 300 identified in the inter-agency effort. However, the DEA initiative could only move forward against the 30 businesses, not the larger network due to the inter-agency and bureaucratic barriers.
In January 2011, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of Treasury, under the specially designated narcotics traffickers kingpin program, designated ten individuals and twenty entities related to the Joumaa organization to include the Elissa and Ayash Exchanges in Lebanon (Center, Treasury Targets Major Lebanese-Based Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Network , 2011)
In February 2011, The Department of Treasury with DEA announced the identification of the Lebanese Canadian Bank (LCB) as a financial institution of primary money-laundering concern under section 311 of the USA Patriot Act. This was the first time ever the 311 Action was used in a drug case.
The organized crime network was moving large shipments of drugs from South America to Europe and the Middle East via West Africa and laundering hundreds of millions of dollars to accounts held at LCB as well as through trade base money-laundering involving consumer goods throughout the world, including three used car dealerships in the U.S. LCB was helping Hezbollah through the Joumaa network. (Center, Treasury Identifies Lebanese Canadian Bank Sal as a “Primary Money Laundering Concern”, 2011)
In December 2011, there was a complaint filed in the SDNY exposing this Lebanese money-laundering scheme which investigators documented over $300 million into United States for the purchase and shipment of used cars to West Africa. The complaint alleged that the assets of LCB, Hassan Ayash Exchange and Elissa Holding, along with the assets of approximately 30 U.S. car buyers and a U.S. shipping company and related entities that facilitate the scheme, are forfeitable as the proceeds of violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).
Through this investigation, the task force of agencies exposed the LCB as money-laundering for Hezbollah through a very aggressive financial attack against the network. The elaborate scheme exposed very innovative ways terrorist groups like Hezbollah could identify alternate sources of income to fund their operations.
As terrorists are increasingly turning to criminal networks for their funding, this operation clearly supported this statement made by the President of the United States and Senior Homeland Security Officials. This particular complaint was seeking penalties totaling $483 million.
From January 1, 2007 to early 2011 at least $329 million was transferred by wire from LCB and the two exchange houses and other financial institutions for the purchase and shipment of used cars. (DEA, DEA News: Civil Suit Exposes Lebanese, 2011)
One of the key elements identified during this investigation was in 2007 and 2008 approximately 1.2 billion in US currency that was declared was transported across the Togo and Ghana border on its way from Benin to the airport in Accra where the cash was then be shipped by Middle East and couriers to Lebanon. When the cash arrived in Lebanon at Beirut airport, Hezbollah security safe guarded the delivery of the cash into the financial exchange houses. The money was then routed through the Lebanese Canadian Bank and other financial institutions and subsequently wire transferred to the United States so the used-car businesses can purchase vehicles. The vehicles were then shipped to West Africa for resale. It was estimated that the network would earn approximately 20% profit on each car that was sold.
The DEA working with partners at CBP also identified how the car parks were exploding with volume after Hezbollah developed a scheme in 2006 as a way to generate plenty of cash after their war with Israel.
During the December time frame, the Eastern District of Virginia announced the indictment of Ayman Joumaa for coordinating the shipment of tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to Los Zetas Drug Cartel for distribution into the United States over an eight year period. Joumaa was also charged with laundering millions of dollars in drug proceeds for the organization. Joumaa’s organization was further exposed through the OFAC sanction. (EDVA, 2011)
In December 2011, the New York Times, Jo Becker wrote a very comprehensive article titled, “Beirut Bank Seen as a Hub of Hezbollah’s Financing “.
In this article, Ms. Becker documented how Hezbollah’s financial resources diminished after the war with Israel in 2006 and they establish this new scheme to help finance their operations. The article spoke about the Lebanese Canadian Bank’s role to facilitate the worldwide money-laundering and how Harb was overheard on Colombian wiretaps speaking about his organization. The article also explained how the U.S. government actions against the LCB was an important step to block Hezbollah’s ability to profit from the scheme. (Becker, 2011).
Subsequent to the lawsuit against the LCB, investigators revealed that the LCB personnel moved assets to other banks in Lebanon in a way to hide the assets from the United States government. This criminal activity was part of the international scheme where several Lebanese financial institutions with connections to Hezbollah used the U.S. banks to launder narcotics proceeds through West Africa into Lebanon.
In August 2012, the Southern District of New York filed a 981K action against corresponding banks in the United States that were doing business with Banque Labano Francais. This particular Lebanese bank received $150 million from the Lebanese Canadian bank after they were exposed with their international money-laundering business.
As a result of this very successful 981K action, the Banque Labano Francais, transferred $150 million to the United States Marshals Service account in New York.
In June 2013, the Southern District of New York settled a civil forfeiture action against the Lebanese Canadian bank and the settlement required LCB to forfeit $102 million to the United States. This was an unprecedented action targeting Hezbollah and their worldwide illicit activities. The settlement also identified to the world that international money-launderers for terrorists and narco-traffickers will face serious consequences even when the activity is outside the US. (Justice, 2012) (York, 2013)
During June 2012 Department of Treasury in a further action as part of this coordinated endeavor designated four individuals, Abbas Huseein Harb and Ibrahaim Chibli, Ali Houssein Harb and Kasssem Mohamed Saleh, and three entities who were laundering significant proceeds on behalf of Ayman Joumaa and a Lebabese Colombian Ali Mohammad Saleh for providing financial, material or technological support to Joumaa.
This was another outstanding effort by the Inter-agency team to announce sanctions against these organized criminals which would hopefully limit their ability to continue operations. (Center, Treasury Targets Major Money Laundering Network Linked to Drug Trafficker Ayman Joumaa and a Key Hizballah Supporter in South America, 2012)
In April 2013, the Treasury Department along with DEA named two more Lebanese Exchange Houses, Kasim Remeiti and Halawi Exchange, as foreign financial institutions of primary money- laundering concern under section 311 of the USA Patriot Act.
This was very significant since it was the first time the Treasury Department had used section 311 against a non-bank financial institution. These actions were all part of the ongoing DEA CNTOC strategy working closely with the Treasury Department to expose the businesses around the world working with the Joumaa organization.
The significance of these actions is that it forces these financial institutions out of working in the US and international financial systems. These exchange houses used their money transmitting businesses to process millions of dollars on behalf of drug traffickers. Between 2008 and March 2011 Rmeti Exchange provided at least 25 million in payments to US based car dealerships and other exporters connected to Juma’s organization.
Halawi Exchange laundered profits from drug trafficking for a main Hezbollah official. In one year alone this business were engaged in multiple transfers over $4 million on behalf of one organization. (Center, Treasury Identifies Kassem Remeiti & Co. for Exchange and Halawi Exchange Co. as Financial Institutions of “Primary Money Laundering Concern”, April)
Later in 2013, Rachel Louise Ensign, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, the Senators Call for Financial Sanctions on West Africa Drugs as part of a conclusion made in a report by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D, Calif.), Chairman of the Caucus, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) who is co- Chairman. The Senators called for financial sanctions targeting the West African drug trade in a new report. The bipartisan senate caucus on international narcotics control said the Treasury Department and other agencies should prioritize efforts to quash the flow of money linked to the growing drug trade in the region. Terrorist organizations in West and North Africa are in part financed by drug money, the report said. In recent years, a number of arrests in the region have exposed connections between the two, it said.
The report hailed the U.S. government’s 2011 lawsuit against the now-defunct Lebanese Canadian Bank, which alleged that the institution participated in a scheme that funded Hezbollah and involved cocaine sales in West Africa. The bank eventually settled for $102 million earlier this year. (Ensign, Senators Call for Financial Sanctions on West Africa Drugs, 2013)The investigation that led to the suit began in 2006 and involved multiple agencies, including the Treasury Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“The Lebanese Canadian Bank investigation and associated enforcement actions should serve as a model for future inter-agency cooperation,” the report said. Another suggestion was to prioritize by adding drug traffickers operating in the region to the Treasury Department’s blacklist. A designation freezes a person’s assets and generally prohibits Americans from engaging in business dealings with him or her. (Ensign, Senators Call for Financial Sanctions on West Africa Drugs – Wall Street Journal, 2013)
During 2014 after the LCB investigation received tremendous attention around the US Government, the DEA Administrator organized a briefing to Attorney General Eric Holder. During this brief, Mr. Holder was accompanied by several of his Senior Staff in the Department of Justice Command Center. The meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes, but since there was a sincere interest by the Attorney General, the meeting was extended for approximately 20 minutes. At the conclusion of the briefing, Mr. Holder advised that he was very impressed and alarmed by the investigation, but was also very concerned by the findings. Mr. Holder acknowledged that he was concerned at the volume of money and the connections to Hezbollah.
Mr. Holder went on to explain that every week he participated in high level meetings at the White House and explained that most of the people in those meetings were responsible for recommending U.S. Policy on national security issues. Mr. Holder seemed very concerned and believed the folks that participated in those meetings could benefit significantly from a DEA briefing of the facts related to Project Cassandra. He specifically spoke to one of his assistants and directed her to organize a briefing for key Executives on the U.S. National Security team in the very near future.
On a sad and disappointing note, this subsequent brief never took place. It is believed that based on the U.S. government’s overall strategy to deal with Iran, that this initiative could undermine the narrative for the US government policymakers. Therefore, the key personnel involved with the Iran deal were not interested to hear from the DEA about their Hezbollah success story.
The DEA then organized a separate briefing after Attorney General Holder to Deputy Attorney General James Cole. Prior to conducting the meeting, the DEA presenter was asked by Department of Justice Attorney’s to edit the presentation to include deleting any mention of the ultimate prosecution plan to target and Indict members of Hezbollah on significant U.S. charges.
It should be noted that The CNTOC spent countless hours debating with other U.S. Government “experts’ on Hezbollah who discounted the findings of the CNTOC.
There was also information received from a well know Washington, DC Hezbollah expert that since the DEA was making significant gains in exposing the global group, other elements of the U.S. Government became concerned and wanted to dismantle the DEA’s efforts on Project Cassandra for unknown reasons.
Also in 2014, the Department of Justice Threat Mitigation Group (TMG) as part of the President’s Transnational Organized Crime Strategy (TOC) met with members of several agencies and identified Hezbollah as a significant threat to the United States. Since the inter-agency all agreed during the TMG process that Hezbollah was considered a priority threat to the U.S., a decision was made to bring together all the information from the relevant agencies in the U.S. government in an effort to assemble the best strategy to go after this organized criminal group in the best interest of the U.S. government.
As part of the TMG process, Admiral William Mc Raven, U.S. Special Operations Command, (SOCOM) agreed to host a series of meetings at in Tampa, Florida. While preparing the actual presentation that would be presented in Tampa, members of the CNTOC staff were pressured by U.S.G. personnel to edit their briefing and to delete some of the relevant facts.
There was a very significant arrest in 2014 made in Prague that caused deep concern. There were then meetings conducted with the lower level inter-agency representatives during the beginning of the week in Tampa in an effort to share and consolidate all the intelligence, and organize a briefing for the most Senior U.S. Government Officials on the agreed-upon targets. The main purpose of these first meetings was to put all the information on the table so if there were any disagreements it could all be discussed in open and cooperative manner in the spirit of good efficient government.
Toward the end of the week, the Senior Executives from each agency participated in briefings in an effort to develop clear unity in moving forward.
On the last day of the conference, AG Holder, DHS Secretary Johnson and other very Senior Level Government personnel listened to the briefings and walked away with the understanding that the agencies would move forward together looking to disrupt and mitigate the threats that the four targets, including Hezbollah, posed to the United States.
Once again, AG Holder expressed serious concern about the magnitude of the Hezbollah Operation, but was complimentary of the outstanding investigative work and very supportive as well.
During February 2016, DEA working with European law enforcement identified a massive Hezbollah drug and money-laundering scheme. This complex investigation targeted Hezbollah’s Lebanese Hezbollah’s Business Affairs Component (LHBAC). This particular component has been engaged in weapons purchases for Hezbollah to support its activities in Syria. This investigation involved multiple countries and showed once again the connection between Hezbollah and drug trafficking.
This particular aspect of Project Cassandra focused on LHBAC. The founder of this network was leader, Imad Mughniyah, who was killed. The LHBAC was now under the control of Abdallah Safieddine and Global Terrorist Adham Tabaja. The LHBAC formed a business relationship with the South American cocaine traffickers responsible for shipping multi-tons of cocaine around the world. The massive proceeds made by this element provides proceeds for the purchase of weapons needed for their international terrorist operations. (DEA, DEA and European Authorities Uncover Massive Hizballah Drug and Money Laundering Scheme, 2016) During the entire initiative, DEA working with counterparts around Europe fully identified a very intricate network of couriers who were transporting millions of euros from Europe to the Middle East.
This initiative has been ongoing for many years but unfortunately the U.S.G. was not able to organize a real “unity of effort” with all the government agencies. Hopefully the agencies have learned a valuable lesson and will improve moving forward.
One of my main recommendations to the new administration would be to take the foundation of what has been created at the CNTOC at the Special Operations Division with the supporting intelligence centers and “put it on steroids”, as Admiral Mc Raven previously stated.
One has to ask the question, why would anyone currently in the U.S. government want to derail the CNTOC’s efforts on terror financing organizations like the one documented above, especially when the U.S. Congress report on combating drugs in West Africa rightfully concluded, “The Lebanese Canadian Bank investigation and associated enforcement actions should serve as a model for future interagency cooperation”. (Ensign, Senators Call for Financial Sanctions on West Africa Drugs, 2013)
To illustrate the need for units such as CNTOC and added support, one only needs to look at the December 19, 2016 article published by the Wall Street Journal titled, “The travels of Mrs. Murray’s Toyota Unveils Terror-Finance Network”.
In this investigative article, the authors did a thorough job and reviewed the United States to Benin used car trade, which DEA and its partners had established, were involved in a global trade base money-laundering scheme to support Hezbollah’s global operations. The WSJ concluded that the scheme is still operational and involved used-car businesses in the United States. The article goes on to describe the following disturbing facts:
- Many of the car dealers identified in the 311 initiative continued to ship cars to West Africa.
- The used-car export business to West Africa has expanded and is very active.
- The vehicle exports to Benin in 2015 totaled $434 million and were up from $47 million in 2005. (Christopher S. Stewart, 2016)
As we move into the future, identifying terrorist groups using criminal enterprises in order to fund and facilitate activities will continue to become increasingly more complex. The new leaders under President Trump must support and advance the multi-agency successful efforts of groups like the CNTOC.
The United States Government needs to continue its efforts to advance technical capabilities within law enforcement agencies. Project Cassandra illustrates amazing results when highly capable and competent law enforcement agents and analysts are investigating various types of crimes linked to terrorism activities and work together.
The conclusions and identification of criminal/terrorist networks can then be passed along to various other agencies, who are then able to focus their efforts on building on the information as opposed to duplicating efforts.
There is no shortage of information flowing into law enforcement and other agencies around the world.
The challenge we face in the future is building the capacity to adequately analyze and report on that information. In order to be successful we must have highly trained individuals that are capable of making subjective assessments with the assistance of complex technical solutions and algorithms that minimize the noise in the data and maximize the expended effort.
It is no longer good enough to have fancy talking points, but rather we need to show our resolve by providing adequate training and solutions through budgetary initiatives and leadership.
I believe that by placing qualified personnel in key leadership positions with law enforcement background, we can ensure that communication is flowing appropriately in both directions between law enforcement and the other pertinent agencies.
There are some reasonable and justified reasons to withhold information at times from key law enforcement personnel, but should be minimized. It would be my hope that we can improve those relationships by ensuring that law enforcement does not feel that they are “only a source of information” as opposed to a partner in the fight against terrorism.
As terrorists are looking for funding to carry out their dangerous agendas, criminal activity has been a golden source of revenue. This means, the agencies need to “break down the barriers” and unite.
In the year 2018, it’s almost impossible to successfully investigate global terrorists without utilizing the amazing criminal law enforcement personnel around the globe. It should be “one great U.S.G. force”.
I am excited and hopeful that key Homeland Security and Justice Department personnel in the Trump administration will examine successful operations like the Lebanese Canadian Bank and Operation Titan and develop best practices moving forward.
These complex transnational organized criminal operations are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Law Enforcement and Intelligence need a sound strategy to continue to pursue the sophisticated groups and the U.S. Government needs a unified effort.
They must place some of the best and brightest people into positions like the CNTOC and continue to pursue the sophisticated groups in a focused and prioritized manner.
If you successfully crush a TOC organization’s financial network, you will significantly increase the chances of disrupting their illicit activities.
Becker, J. (2011, December 13). Beirut Bank Seen as a Hub of Hezbollah’s Financing. Retrieved from nytimes.com: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/world/middleeast/beirut-bank-seen-as-a- hub-of-hezbollahs-financing.html
Center, P. (2009, July 09). Treasury Designates Medellin Drug Lord Tied to Oficina de Envigado Organized Crime Group. Retrieved from Treasury.gov: https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press- releases/Pages/tg201.aspx
Center, P. (2011, February 10). Treasury Identifies Lebanese Canadian Bank Sal as a “Primary Money Laundering Concern” . Retrieved from Treasury.gov: https://www.treasury.gov/press- center/press-releases/Pages/tg1057.aspx
Center, P. (2011, January 26). Treasury Targets Major Lebanese-Based Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Network . Retrieved from Treasury.gov: https://www.treasury.gov/press- center/press-releases/Pages/tg1035.aspx
Center, P. (2012, June 27). Treasury Targets Major Money Laundering Network Linked to Drug Trafficker Ayman Joumaa and a Key Hizballah Supporter in South America. Retrieved from Treasury.gov: https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1624.aspx
Center, P. (April, April 23). Treasury Identifies Kassem Rmeiti & Co. for Exchange and Halawi Exchange Co. as Financial Institutions of “Primary Money Laundering Concern”. Retrieved from treasury.gov: https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl1908.aspx
Christopher S. Stewart, R. B. (2016, December 19). The Travels of Mrs. Murray’s Toyota Unveil Terror- Finance Network. Retrieved from wsj.com: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-travels-of-mrs- murrays-toyota-unveils-terror-finance-network-1482163526
DEA. (2011, Dec 15). DEA News: Civil Suit Exposes Lebanese . Retrieved from DEA.gov:
DEA. (2016, February 01). DEA and European Authorities Uncover Massive Hizballah Drug and Money Laundering Scheme. Retrieved from dea.gov: https://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2016/hq020116.shtml
EDVA. (2011, December 13). U.S. Charges Alleged Lebanese Drug Kingpin with Laundering Drug Proceeds for Mexican and Colombian Drug Cartels. Retrieved from Justice.gov: https://www.justice.gov/archive/usao/vae/news/2011/12/20111213joumaanr.html
Ensign, R. L. (2013, December 12). Senators Call for Financial Sanctions on West Africa Drugs. Retrieved from wsj.com: http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2013/12/12/senators-call-for-financial- sanctions-on-west-africa-drugs/
Ensign, R. L. (2013, December 12). Senators Call for Financial Sanctions on West Africa Drugs – Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from feinstein.senate.gov: https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/feinstein-in-the-news?ID=45858A0D-A037-4C55-A2D6-B7AEDAF357E7
Justice. (2012, August 20). Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Seizure Of $150 Million In Connection With A Hizballah-Related Money Laundering Scheme. Retrieved from Justice.gov:https://www.justice.gov/archive/usao/nys/pressreleases/August12/lcbseizure.html
News, F. (2008, May 28). Chertoff: Hezbollah Makes Al Qaeda Look ‘Minor League’. Retrieved from Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/05/29/chertoff-hezbollah-makes-al-qaeda-look- minor-league.html
Rotella, C. K. (2008, October 22). LA Times.com. Retrieved from Drug probe finds Hezbollah link:
York, S. D. (2013, June 25). Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces $102 Million Settlement Of Civil Forfeiture And Money Laundering Claims Against Lebanese Canadian Bank. Retrieved from Justice.gov: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-us-attorney-announces-102- million-settlement-civil-forfeiture-and-money