SIGACT – Hizballah Money Launderer Extradited from Cyprus to the U.S. On 18 July, 2020, Lebanese national Ghassan Diab, 37, who is alleged to have conspired to engage in and actually engaged in the laundering of drug proceeds through the use of the black market peso exchange in support of Hizballah’s global criminal-support network was extradited from the Republic of Cypress to the U.S. Diab was charged by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office on counts of several charges including money laundering over $100,000 and unlawful use of communications devices.
SITREP – These charges and subsequent extradition suggests Lebanese Hizballah may have a “boots-on-the-ground” presence in south Florida. It is unknown if the infrastructure used for money laundering simply transited through south Florida or if the money was used to support operations in the area. As a proxy force of the Iranian government, Hizballah may be used to carry out pre-operational surveillance of targets inside the United States. Iran has historically demonstrated the intent and capability to infiltrate the U.S. and attempt to strike targets (https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-men-charged-alleged-plot-assassinate-saudi-arabian-ambassador-united-states).
RECOMMENDATION – Further information required to fully assess Hizballah’s potential presence in south Florida. The money laundering operation in south Florida may be used for local operational activities or may be just another link in Hizballah’s global support network. -LB