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Hezbollah bolstering its drone unit in case Israel attacks Iran (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By MICHAL SHMULOVICH 04/28/12)Source: http://www.timesofisrael.com/hezbollah-bolstering-its-drone-unit-in-case-israel-attacks-iran/ TIMES OF ISRAEL TIMES OF ISRAEL Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
US officials also probe Beirut’s banks out of concern that Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran are using them for money laundering

Hezbollah has been allocating “increased resources toward bolstering its drone unit,” an unnamed security source said, according to a report published by Yedioth Ahronoth Friday. The terror group possesses Ababil (“Swallow”) drones, manufactured and provided by Iran, and is reportedly gearing up to use the unmanned aerial vehicles in case Israel strikes Iranian nuclear sites.

Iran is widely believed to fund, train, and arm Lebanese-based Hezbollah, which the United States and European Union consider a foreign terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is scrutinizing Lebanon’s financial banking system out of concern that Syria, Iran, and Iranian- proxy group, Hezbollah, are using Beirut’s banks to evade “international sanctions and fund their activities,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Treasury Department and Drug Enforcement Administration are probing Hezbollah’s money-laundering operations, which involves “millions of dollars in drug sales revenues from a Lebanese narco-trafficker that they say have gone to the Lebanese militia and political group [Hezbollah],” US officials said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

US officials are also worried that Syrian President Bashar Assad may be using Lebanese channels to move money around, particularly after international sanctions were leveled against him because of his regime’s ongoing clampdown on Syrian civilians and political opponents.

In a seemingly unrelated incident, a cargo ship suspected of shuffling a large cache of weapons to Syrian rebels was seized by the Lebanese Navy Friday. Crew members were arrested as was the owner of the ship, who is believed to be a Syrian national.

The vessel allegedly departed from Libya and stopped in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria before making its way to Tripoli, a northern port city in Lebanon. (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 04/28/12)


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