Add Lebanon to the Terrorism Sponsor States

Add Lebanon to the Terrorism Sponsor States

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Pierre Sayegh started this petition to USA President Joe Biden and

The Lebanese State, especially after the election of Hezbollah closest ally Michel Aoun as President of the Republic in 2016, has actively and relentlessly become the right hand of hezbollah within and abroad. In fact, since the assassination of PM Hariri in 2005, who mainly requested the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, till yesterday's assassination of anti-hezbollah activist and intellectual Loukman Slim in southern Lebanon hezbollah stronghold (February 4, 2021), no local criminal case related to the assassination of such leaders (more than fifteen) has reached a conclusive finding (Knowing that last summer, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in Lahaye found guilty Salim Ayach, a prominent hezbollah member, for his key role in Hariri assassination). Such passivity includes the case related to Port's of Beirut explosion on August 4, 2020 as President Aoun had then promised results within five days.Today, nothing yet has pointed towards the criminals knowing that any reasonable mind would quickly find some conclusions : ask any chemist beginner what was in the containers that caught fire at the port; he or she would answer you that all the ingredients needed to assemble a missile, including the huge quantities of Ammonium Nitrate. Anyone knows that hezbollah has control over the port.

Moreover, hezbollah is not only a local threat but also an international terrorist group as listed so by several and main big powers as the USA, Germany, Colombia, Canada, etc. The organization has stocked Ammonium Nitrate throughout Europe, participated in the Yemen and Syrian wars, especially against the oppressed Syrian people, and has organized narcotic-trafficking and money laundering grids across South America and Africa. We will not mention here all that we obviously know as simple citizens about hezbollah illegal activities because we would need to write a whole encyclopedia, and it's not really worth it.

As a result, and due to the political-economic-terrorist establishment controlling the Lebanese State that is in fact an alliance of entities believing and daily practicing corruption and violence, the latter is clearly the accomplice and even organically bound to hezbollah. It is actively taking part and facilitating the organization's illegal activities. For example, the Lebanese State does voluntarily not control the transit, through the boundaries, of illegal goods nor of militiaman to Syria (despite US sanctions on Syria). The Lebanese State did not question hezbollah over it's illegal activity in Lebanon and abroad and did not lunch any inquiry against it. The judicial system is fully compliant with hezbollah and did not reach or even try to reach any outcome regarding cases the organization might be implicated in.

To illustrate furthermore, on September 15, 2020, the USA has imposed sanctions on two prominent political figures, lately government members, former Lebanese Transport Minister Yusuf Finyanus and former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, by adding them to the list of the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN) which entered into force with the Executive Order 13224 signed by President Bush on September 23, 2001 mainly to curtail terrorism financing and to block the designated terrorists' properties and funds in the USA. Indeed, the concerned persons are initially designated under the order, with specific criteria, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT). It will later be amended and will comprise a larger scope of categories of individuals and groups as partially described below. According to Reuters agency, the Ministers above have been accused of being ''involved in directing political and economic favors to Hezbollah and involved in some of the corruption that made Hezbollah’s work possible in Lebanon''. According to the Department of Treasury, they are considered to be SDGT relating to hezbollah under the Executive Order 13224 aforementioned and were sanctioned as such under the Global Terrorism Sanction Regulations, more precisely (1) and eventually (6) and (7) of §594.201 of the Code of Federal Regulations on Prohibited Transactions Involving Blocked Property that provides that such persons shall be sanctioned as being: ''

(1) Foreign persons listed in the Annex to Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, as may be amended;

...

(6) Foreign persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to knowingly provide significant financial, material, or technological support for or to:

(i) Bayt al-Mal, Jihad al-Bina, the Islamic Resistance Support Association, the Foreign Relations Department of Hizballah, the External Security Organization of Hizballah, or any successor or affiliate thereof as designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State;

(ii) Al-Manar TV, al Nour Radio, or the Lebanese Media Group, or any successor or affiliate thereof as designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State;

(iii) A foreign person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to be engaged in fundraising or recruitment activities for Hizballah; or

(iv) A foreign person owned or controlled by a person described in paragraph (a)(6)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this section;

(7) Agencies or instrumentalities of a foreign state determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to have, on or after October 25, 2018, knowingly:

(i) Conducted significant joint combat operations with, or significantly supported combat operations of, Hizballah; or

(ii) Provided significant financial support for or to, or significant arms or related materiel to, Hizballah;''

Moreover, on November 6, 2020, the President of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), the political movement of Michel Aoun, Gebran Bassil was also sanctioned by the Department of Treasury as described hereafter :''

Bassil has held several high-level posts in the Lebanese government, including serving as the Minister of Telecommunications, the Minister of Energy and Water, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, and Bassil has been marked by significant allegations of corruption. In 2017, Bassil strengthened his political base by appointing friends to positions and purchasing other forms of influence within Lebanese political circles. In 2014, while Minister of Energy, Bassil was involved in approving several projects that would have steered Lebanese government funds to individuals close to him through a group of front companies.

Bassil was designated for being a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery.''

The President's gender was sanctioned under Executive Order 13818 entitled:'' Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human
Rights Abuse or Corruption'', pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of December 23,2016. Thus was he added as well to the SDN.

Consequently, the sanctions on the aforementioned former Government members show effectively that the Lebanese Government as well as the Lebanese Presidency (which host is elected by the parliament), the parliament (with actually no members representing the opposition) and the judiciary (approved by the Executive) are actively contributing, either by meddling in corruption or by direct implication with hezbollah, to sponsor the terrorist organization both locally and internationally. Per consequence, the Lebanese State shall globally be held accountable for its acts. It will have to choose : either serve a militia and its ally corrupted political class or the Lebanese people looking for freedom and justice.

Therefore, I ask in my name and in the name of the signatories hereafter, the American newly formed Government to consider adding Lebanon to the blacklist of Terrorrism Sponsor States until the Lebanese Sate cuts off its ties completely with hezbollah.

I further ask the US Government to consider taking all appropriate measures to impose all relevant sanctions on the Lebanese State pursuant to the combined regulations of section 1754(c) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620 A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. The former shall prevent all financial aid to the Lebanese State, such resources that anyway do not contribute anyhow to the well-being of the Lebanese people, but rather to provide a shell to corrupted and terrorists. 

Sources: 

-https://www.state.gov/executive-order-13224/#state

-https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/glomag_eo.pdf

-https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr5515/BILLS-115hr5515enr.pdf (p.579)

-https://fas.org/asmp/resources/govern/aeca00.pdf (p.74)

-https://fas.org/asmp/campaigns/legislation.html

-https://www.treasury.gov/ofac/downloads/sdnlist.txt

-https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/specially-designated-nationals-list-sdn-list/program-tag-definitions-for-ofac-sanctions-lists

-https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=3ce0d183feeeef8d4049cdc1623990a7&mc=true&node=se31.3.594_1201&rgn=div8

-https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm1177

-https://www.state.gov/state-sponsors-of-terrorism/#:~:text=Currently%20there%20are%20four%20countries,)%2C%20Iran%2C%20and%20Syria.&text=For%20more%20details%20about%20State,in%20Country%20Reports%20on%20Terrorism

-https://www.reuters.com/article/lebanon-crisis-usa-sanctions-int-idUSKBN25Z2UB

-https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2020%2F08%2F04%2Fworld%2Fmiddleeast%2Fbeirut-lebanon-explosions-photos.html&psig=AOvVaw2b1iq43kttYrOFewMlAD6y&ust=1612644438967000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAkQjhxqFwoTCPiB9uvO0-4CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAT

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