Hezbollah’s Role in Iran’s Global Illicit Networks

October 3, 2017
8:30 am -

Event Video

Event Description

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies hosted a breakfast event on Hezbollah’s Role in Iran’s Global Illicit Networks, taking place on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, October 3 from 8:30am to 10:30am.

Conversations featured Chairman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Eliot Engel, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Derek Maltz, former DEA official who served as Special Agent in Charge of DOJ, DEA, and the Special Operations Division; Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President; and Yaya J. Fanusie, Director of Analysis for FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance. Joyce Karam, Washington correspondent for Al-Hayat Newspaper, moderated the discussions.

A recent FDD assessment notes that Hezbollah is “likely to stay buoyed by external support from Iran and its vast network of illicit businesses around the world.” How extensive is Hezbollah’s global influence, given the presence of its members among the Lebanese diaspora and the several South American and African regimes supporting its trafficking networks? What steps should Congress and the administration consider in response?

Hezbollah’s Role in Iran’s Global Illicit Networks
Conversations with Chairman Ed Royce, Rep. Eliot Engel, Derek Maltz, Jonathan Schanzer, and Yaya J. Fanusie
Moderated by Joyce Karam

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
8:30am – 10:30am

Congressman Eliot Engel is the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Before becoming Ranking Member, Mr. Engel served as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He also sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee.  Congressman Engel is a leading champion of pro-Israel and pro-Jewish issues in Congress.  He is a co-chair of the Israel Allies Congressional Caucus and the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combatting Anti-Semitism, where he has focused on the BDS movement, the threat of anti-Semitism to Jewish communities across Europe and elsewhere, and many other issues. Congressman Engel is the author of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, which successfully sparked international pressure on Syria to withdraw from Lebanon. Follow him on Twitter @RepEliotEngel.

Chairman Ed Royce serves California’s 39th Congressional District. For the 115th Congress, Rep. Royce serves as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a position he has held since January 2013. He is one of our nation’s premier representatives to foreign governments around the world, and is a strong advocate of a foreign policy that keeps the American homeland safe. Immediately prior to becoming Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Royce served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. As a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, he sits on two Subcommittees: Housing and Insurance, and Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. Chairman Royce is the author of the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act (H.R. 3329), which recently passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  The legislation builds on Chairman Royce’s 2015 Hezbollah sanctions law by further restricting Hezbollah’s ability to fundraise and recruit; increasing pressure on banks that do business with Hezbollah; and cracking down on foreign states – including Iran – that support Hezbollah. Follow him on Twitter @RepEdRoyce.

Yaya J. Fanusie is the director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF). Mr. Fanusie spent seven years as both an economic and counterterrorism analyst in the CIA, where he regularly briefed White House-level policy makers, U.S. military personnel, and federal law enforcement. In 2008, he personally briefed President George W. Bush on terrorism threats, and in 2009, he spent three months in Afghanistan providing analytic support to senior military officials. After government service, Mr. Fanusie worked with a small consulting firm where he led a team of analysts working on a multi-billion-dollar recovery effort involving a global corruption ring. Most recently, he has operated his own consulting practice training firms specializing in strategic analysis and business due-diligence. Follow him on Twitter @SignCurve.

Joyce Karam is the Washington correspondent for Al-Hayat Newspaper and The National. She has covered American politics extensively since 2004 with focus on U.S. policy towards the Middle East. Joyce has interviewed key US leaders including President George W. Bush and Vice President Joe Biden.  Prior to that, she worked as a research assistant at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, as a Journalist in Lebanon, covering the Post-war situation and as a media editor at the UN ESCWA headquarters in Beirut. Joyce holds a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. Follow her on Twitter @Joyce_Karam.

Derek S. Maltz was the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Special Operations Division (SOD) from May 2005 through July 2014. Mr. Maltz previously held the position of the Associate SAC of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force. As the Agent in Charge of SOD, Mr. Maltz was instrumental in the growth of SOD from 9-30 participating agencies, while incorporating the DOJ’s priority International Organized Crime and Gang Operational programs into the center. Mr. Maltz formally established the Counter Narco-Terrorism Operations Center (CNTOC) in January 2007. Since its establishment, the CNTOC successfully coordinated several significant narco-terrorism operations, including the identification of the Lebanese Canadian Bank as a facilitator involved with an international trade-based money laundering scheme supporting Hezbollah, and a subsequent U.S. Treasury Patriot Act 311 action. This was the first time a 311 action was used in this manner in conjunction with law enforcement on a drug case, which ultimately led to a $150 million seizure. Mr. Maltz retired from the DEA after 28 years of service and now serves as the Executive Director, Government Relations for Pen-Link Ltd., a firm providing law enforcement and intelligence agencies with state-of-the-art software. Follow him on Twitter @dmmdjm.

Jonathan Schanzer is Senior Vice President at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). Dr. Schanzer is part of the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, which provides policy and subject matter expertise on the use of financial and economic power to the global policy community. Previously, Dr. Schanzer worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers. A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He has testified before Congress and publishes widely in the American and international media. Follow him on Twitter @JSchanzer.


Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network