CEP Applauds Gambian Government for Expelling Hizballah Funder

CEP investigation results in decisive actions

(New York, NY) -- The Counter Extremism Project today applauded the government of Gambia for expelling a Lebanese businessman whose operations provided substantial financial support to violent extremist group Hizballah.

According to news reports, Husayn Tajideen, one of three Lebanese brothers sanctioned by the United States for providing financial support to Hizballah, was accused of "unacceptable business practices that are detrimental to the Gambian economy,” ordered to cease all business operations and leave the country within 30 days.

“Gambia deserves high praise for taking decisive action against the forces of violent extremism and expelling Hizballah funder Husayn Tajideen,” said CEP CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace.  “Husayn Tajideen and his two brothers control a series of businesses in Gambia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and the British Virgin Islands designed to funnel money to Hizballah. We hope Gambia’s strong leadership is replicated by other countries, resulting in the severing of the funding pipeline to one of the world’s most dangerous extremist organizations.”

Linked to the government action, money transfer firm Western Union reportedly terminated its contract with Trust Bank Gambia Ltd, accusing it of links to an individual on a U.S. anti-terrorism list. Although Western Union did not name the individual, sources in the government confirmed it was Tajideen.

In March, CEP wrote to Western Union and international mail and package delivery company DHL to clarify and sever any links they had with front companies such as Tajco and Congo Futur, owned and operated by the Tajideen brothers. In response, Western Union closed its branch office in a Gambian shopping center owned by the Tajideen brothers, terminated its contract with the operator of the store and hired an outside law firm to investigate how, in contravention of established company policy, a connection to a Hizbollah front entity could have taken place.

In response to a CEP’s inquiry, DHL acted to end efforts by Congo Futur to falsely claim DHL as a business partner on its website. DHL confirmed to CEP in writing that Congo Futur removed the DHL logo from its website, thereby ending the misuse of DHL’s name and reputation.

Husayn, Ali and Kassim Tajideen and their network of enterprises have all been sanctioned by the United States for their financial support for Hizballah. In a 2010 designation, former Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey stated that “Ali and Husayn Tajideen’s multinational network generates millions of dollars in funding and secures strategic geographical strongholds for Hizballah.” (U.S. Treasury Department, “Treasury Targets Hizballah Financial Network.” 12/9/10)

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