Treasury designates Hezbollah operative

Nov. 19, 2012 at 3:12 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department said it sanctioned Ali Mussa Daqduq al-Musawi, a Hezbollah commander responsible for attacks against coalition troops in Iraq.

The man the Treasury Department calls Daqduq is a senior Hezbollah commander responsible for attacks against coalition troops in Iraq, including an attack on the Karbala Joint Provincial Coordination Center in January 2007 in which five U.S. soldiers died, the agency said Monday in a release.

Treasury officials said they designated Daqduq pursuant to an executive order that, among other things, authorizes the U.S. government to block assets of individuals and entities providing support, services or assistance to, or associate with, terrorists and terrorist organizations designated under the order.

From January 2009 until December 2011, U.S. military forces held Daqduq in Iraq under the terms of the 2008 security agreement concerning U.S. troop withdrawal, the department said. After the U.S. combat troop pullout, Daqduq was tried in Iraq on terrorism and other charges but in May 2012, an Iraqi court dropped terrorism and false documents charges against him.

Daqduq was in Iraqi custody until last week when the Iraqi government determined it no longer had a legal reason to hold him and was released Friday, Treasury officials said.

"Ali Mussa Daqduq al-Musawi is a dangerous Hezbollah operative responsible for planning and carrying out numerous acts of terrorism in Iraq," Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said. "The United States is extremely disappointed he was allowed to go free and we will continue our efforts to bring him to justice."

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