Reward Offer for Information on Hizballah’s Financial Networks Muhammad Kawtharani
The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information on the activities, networks, and associates of Muhammad Kawtharani, a senior Hizballah military commander. This announcement is part of the Department’s standing reward offer for information leading to the disruption of the financial mechanisms of the terrorist organization Lebanese Hizballah.
Muhammad Kawtharani is a senior leader of Hizballah’s forces in Iraq and has taken over some of the political coordination of Iran-aligned paramilitary groups formerly organized by Qassim Sulemani after Sulemani’s death in January. In this capacity, he facilitates the actions of groups operating outside the control of the Government of Iraq that have violently suppressed protests, attacked foreign diplomatic missions, and engaged in wide-spread organized criminal activity. As a member of Hizballah’s Political Council, Kawtharani has worked to promote Hizballah’s interests in Iraq, including Hizballah efforts to provide training, funding, political, and logistical support to Iraqi Shi’a insurgent groups.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Kawtharani as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2013.
In April 2019, Rewards for Justice announced a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the disruption of the financial mechanisms of the global terrorist organization Lebanese Hizballah.
Rewards can be provided for information leading to the identification and disruption of:
Sources of revenue for Hizballah or its key financial facilitation mechanisms;
Major Hizballah donors or financial facilitators;
Financial institutions or exchange houses facilitating Hizballah transactions;
Businesses or investments owned or controlled by Hizballah or its financiers;
Front companies engaged in international procurement of dual-use technology on behalf of Hizballah; and
Criminal schemes involving Hizballah members and supporters which financially benefit the organization.
Hizballah is a Lebanon-based terrorist organization that receives weapons, training, and funding from Iran, which the Secretary of State designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1984. Hizballah generates about a billion dollars a year from a combination of direct financial support from Iran, international businesses and investments, donor networks, and money laundering activities. The State Department designated Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in October 1997 under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in October 2001 under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.
The Rewards for Justice Program is an effective law enforcement tool and is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid in excess of $150 million to more than 100 people who provided actionable information that helped bring terrorists to justice or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide.