Talal Hamiyah

Talal Hamiyah is a top military leader of Hezbollah in charge of orchestrating its operations abroad. Hamiyah heads Hezbollah’s External Security Organization (ESO). “Treasury Designates Hizballah Leadership,” U.S. Department of Treasury, September 13, 2012, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1709.aspx. The ESO is responsible for planning and executing Hezbollah’s terrorist activities outside of Lebanon. “Treasury Designates Hizballah Leadership,” U.S. Department of Treasury, September 13, 2012, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1709.aspx. On October 10, 2017, the U.S. government offered a reward of up to $7 million for information on Hamiyah.“Rewards for Justice - Reward Offer for Information on Hizballah Key Leaders Talal Hamiyah and Fu'ad Shukr,” U.S. Department of State, October 10, 2017, https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/10/274722.htm.

Hamiyah is suspected of involvement in the 1994 Hezbollah attacks in Argentina. Yaakov Lappin, “Hezbollah terror attack on Israelis abroad ‘is imminent,’” Jerusalem Post, April 21, 2011, http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Hezbollah-terror-attack-on-Israelis-abroad-is-imminent. Security officials recorded Hamiyah praising “our project in Argentina” in a conversation with his predecessor, Imad Mugniyah. Ronen Bergman, “Bracing for Revenge,” New York Times, February 18, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/opinion/18bergman.html. Hamiyah replaced Mughniyeh after the latter was killed in 2008. Yaakov Lappin, “Hezbollah terror attack on Israelis abroad ‘is imminent,’” Jerusalem Post, April 21, 2011, http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Hezbollah-terror-attack-on-Israelis-abroad-is-imminent.

There have not been any attacks specifically attributed to the ESO since 1994. “Hizballah’s External Security Organisation,” Australian National Security, accessed February 23, 2015, http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/Listedterroristorganisations/Pages/HizballahsExternalSecurityOrganisationESO.aspx. Israeli intelligence officials believe Hamiyah is recruiting Hezbollah cells around the world, primarily in South America, Western Europe, and Africa. Yossi Melman, “Every night in a different hotel or hideout,” Haaretz, August 1, 2006, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/every-night-in-a-different-hotel-or-hideout-1.194185. Sympathetic Shiite communities offer Hamiyah opportunities for recruitment and fundraising. Yossi Melman, “Every night in a different hotel or hideout,” Haaretz, August 1, 2006, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/every-night-in-a-different-hotel-or-hideout-1.194185. Israeli intelligence has accused Hamiyah of coordinating with Moqtada Sadir’s Mahdi Army and other Shiite militias in Iraq following the U.S. invasion. Yossi Melman, “Every night in a different hotel or hideout,” Haaretz, August 1, 2006, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/every-night-in-a-different-hotel-or-hideout-1.194185. Hamiyah’s cells reportedly rely on Iranian embassies to help transfer weapons. Yossi Melman, “Every night in a different hotel or hideout,” Haaretz, August 1, 2006, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/every-night-in-a-different-hotel-or-hideout-1.194185.

Hamiyah reportedly answers directly to Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and Iran’s al-Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. Yaakov Lappin, “Hezbollah terror attack on Israelis abroad ‘is imminent,’” Jerusalem Post, April 21, 2011, http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Hezbollah-terror-attack-on-Israelis-abroad-is-imminent.

On October 10, 2017, the U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice program offered a reward of up to $7 million for information on Hamiyah and a $7 million reward for Hezbollah operative Fu’ad Shukr.“Rewards for Justice - Reward Offer for Information on Hizballah Key Leaders Talal Hamiyah and Fu'ad Shukr,” U.S. Department of State, October 10, 2017, https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/10/274722.htm. A senior Hezbollah official told Reuters that the group rejects U.S. accusations against Hamiyah and Shukr, which “will not affect the work of the resistance at all.”“Hezbollah dismisses U.S. rewards for arrest of its operatives,” Reuters, October 11, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lebanon-hezbollah/hezbollah-dismisses-u-s-rewards-for-arrest-of-its-operatives-idUSKBN1CG2IX.

United States

The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Talal Hamiyah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist on September 13, 2012.“Treasury Designates Hizballah Leadership,” U.S. Department of Treasury, September 13, 2012, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1709.aspx.

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