State Department Offers $12M Bounty For Capture Of Hezbollah Leaders

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tours Israel's northern border on Tuesday

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tours Israel's northern border on Tuesday

Hamiyah has been a part of attacks around the world, including against Americans and Israelis.

According to the criminal complaint against him, Kourani described his role with IJO as a "sleeper".

In addition to offering rewards for information that leads to the arrest of the two Hezbollah officials, the U.S.is also pressing allies in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia to target the terror group with sanctions to help close financial loopholes the group's operatives have been using to their advantage.

Earlier on Tuesday Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman Lebanon said that the Lebanese army has become an integral part of Hezbollah's network, warning that the next war on Israel's northern border will not be confined to one front but will see conflict with both Syria and Lebanon.

The official also announced a multi-million dollar reward for tips leading to the arrest of two Hezbollah officials: Talal Hamiyah and Fu'ad Shukr.

Hezbollah in Lebanon has been designated as terrorist group for 20 years. "But that is a false distinction", he said.

Further complicating the US effort to counter Hezbollah, some countries view the organization both as a terror group and as a political party. The United States holds the organization responsible for the 1983 U.S Embassy bombing in Beirut. "It is a single organization, a terrorist organization, and it is rotten to its core".

Designating the group as a terrorist organization is "not merely symbolic", he continued.

Saudi Arabia in March halted its military aid program to Beirut after Lebanese President Michel Aoun defended Hezbollah's arsenal in an interview with an Egyptian TV channel, calling it "an essential component" of the means to defend Lebanon. After a July meeting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in July, Trump suggested the organization was an enemy of the government.

The Pentagon said Washington has provided Lebanon with more than $1.5 billion in military assistance since 2006, and that USA special forces have been providing "training and support" for the Lebanese army since 2011.

While Hezbollah has never directly attacked the United States homeland or expressed a desire to do so publicly, David Schenker, director of the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told CNN the group has conducted fundraising operations in the country and would likely want to position so-called "sleeper agents" as part of its efforts to develop operational capabilities in the country. "We need to be ready for every possible scenario and the new reality is also preparing new challenges for us". "They're not on a suicide mission".

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