This page is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
In light of the international sanctions imposed on the Lebanese terrorist organization, Hezbollah has turned to Facebook to raise money for its terrorist activities. Hezbollah instructs its supporters to come to Beirut in order to donate the money in person or use Western Union in order to transfer the money from outside of Lebanon.
Hezbollah has found a way to use social media not just for spreading propaganda but for building up its terrorist infrastructure. In an attempt to bypass the economic sanctions imposed in recent years on banks used by the terrorist organization, Hezbollah is taking advantage of Facebook by advertising a donations hotline number without the number of a bank account. A Shurat HaDin investigator looked into this method in order to understand how it works.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah recently threatened Lebanese banks that are complying with the economic sanctions that the U.S. imposed on them. “There are banks in Lebanon that have gone too far,” he said. “They have become more American than the Americans. We are rejecting this attack and we are unwilling to accept it!”
However, the main problem for Hezbollah has always been and remains the money transfers coming from outside Lebanon. The Shurat HaDin investigator tried to see how this method of collecting donations via the phone number posted on Facebook works. “My neighbor told me that there’s a ‘give equipment to a fighter’ project and I want to donate,” the investigator told the Hezbollah representative from the hotline. “There’s no number of a bank account and no information that can help me donate.” The representative replied: “Darling, if we transfer the money via the banks, they will accuse us of terrorism.”
The hotline offers a potential donor two options: “Maybe there’s someone who can travel [to Beirut] on your behalf and donate the money in person because the banks aren’t allowing us to transfer the money through them,” the representative told the Shurat HaDin investigator. The second option is to transfer the money in a discreet way through Western Union, which allows people to transfer money without using a bank account.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the founder and CEO of Shurat HaDin, explained that Shurat HaDin plans to contact Western Union officials and show them that they are exposing themselves to criminal proceedings and lawsuits filed by the relatives of Hezbollah terror victims because they are aiding the terrorist organization.