Lebanon seeks Saudi help on the 2 Hezbollah commanders designated as terrorists


Nuhad MashnoukLebanese Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouk told Saudi daily Al-Watan in remarks published Thursday that Lebanon may ask Saudi authorities to provide it with the files of the two Hezbollah officials designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia for allegedly spreading “chaos” in the region in order to take necessary measures against them.

“The Lebanese government will ask Saudi authorities to provide it with the files of the two Hezbollah commanders – Khalil Harb and Mohammad Qabalan – in order to take the local necessary measures,” Mashnouk was quoted as saying .

He stressed that there is “full cooperation” between Lebanese and Saudi security agencies.

This development comes after Saudi Arabia sanctioned the 2 Hezbollah commanders who were allegedly involved in regional terrorist operations, in a sign of the kingdom’s growing coordination with the U.S. Treasury Department.

Riyadh on Wednesday blacklisted both officials for activities the Saudis alleged were designed to destabilize the kingdom’s close strategic allies in Yemen, Egypt and Lebanon.

The U.S. Treasury sanctioned the same Lebanese men in August 2013. Hezbollah is a militia and political party based in Lebanon.

“The Saudi government will continue to combat Hezbollah’s terrorist activities with all available tools and will continue to work with partners around the world to make it clear that Hezbollah’s militant and extremist activities should not be tolerated by any nation,” Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of the Interior said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia accused Harb with playing a major role in funding Houthi insurgents in Yemen. Riyadh has been conducting airstrikes against the Shiite rebels for the past two months, and has also blamed Iran for supporting the group.

Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said Harb has been providing hard currency to the Houthis since 2012

“Harb was responsible for Hezbollah’s Yemen activities and was involved in the political side of Hezbollah’s Yemen portfolio,” the Saudis said in the statement.

Saudi Arabia issued the following profiles on the 2 Hezbollah officials

1. Khalil Yusif Harb. Date of Birth: 9 October 1958

Khalil Harb served as the deputy commander and then the commander for Hezbollah’s central military unit, the commander of Hezbollah’s central military operations and supervised Hezbollah military operations throughout the Middle East. As well as Harb was responsible for Hezbollah’s Yemen activities and was involved in the political side of Hezbollah’s Yemen portfolio. Since the summer of 2012, Harb has been involved in the movement of large amounts of currency to Yemen., and in late 2012, Harb advised the leader of a Yemeni political party that the party’s monthly Hezbollah funding of $ 50,000 was ready for pick up.

2. Muhammad Qabalan. Date of Birth:1969.Citizenship:Lebanese.

Hezbollah terrorist cell leader Muhammad Qabalan (Qabalan) once served as the head of a Hezbollah infantry platoon, as a leader in Hezbollah’s Unit 1800, was serving as the Lebanon-based head of the Hezbollah Egypt-based terrorist cell targeting tourist destinations in Egypt and was coordinating the cell’s activities from Lebanon. In April 2010, an Egyptian court sentenced Qabalan in absentia to life imprisonment for his involvement in the cell, which was subordinate to Hezbollah’s Unit 1800. As of late 2011, Qabalan worked in a separate Hezbollah covert unit operating in the Middle East. Also Qabalan still plays an essential role in supervising Hezbollah policy that spreads instability, conducts terrorist attacks and engages in criminal and illicit activities around the world.