The US House of Representatives has passed the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2014; the bill has now gone to the US Senate for a vote on passage, to become law. Most observers believe that this will occur in September, due to the imminent summer recess. There has been overwhelming support for the bill in both chambers.
Lebanese banking circles have been quoted as that that the bill, which severely punishes financial institutions that conduct business with Hezbollah, will not impact them, as they claim to already be fully compliant with US sanctions. Though the bill is designed to target Latin American and African violators of US sanctions, whether Lebanese banks have truly completely divested themselves of connections to Hezbollah is doubtful, if we look objectively at the terrorist organization's history of the use of Lebanese banks to facilitate its operations.
Of course, whether American law enforcement takes action against Lebanese violators, due to political considerations, is not known. The United States supports the Lebanese Government, and may be reluctant to again attack its banks for terrorist financing or money laundering.
|Lest we forget