By William Tucker
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency filed a lawsuit against the Lebanese Canadian Bank in December 2011 following allegations that the bank was laundering money for Hezbollah. The Lebanese terrorist group was using the banks to hide proceeds from drug trafficking and the sales of U.S. manufactured vehicles in Western Africa. Eventually the money made its way to Lebanon and was used to support the group’s activities. This is not the first time a Hezbollah scheme for moving money was uncovered in the U.S. In 2000, Hezbollah operatives were convicted of smuggling cigarettes from North Carolina to Michigan. The sales bypassed a state sales tax, but still provided profit to the smugglers. Proceeds from the cigarette sales were used to by military equipment in the U.S. which was then smuggled into Lebanon. Indeed, Hezbollah is engaged in numerous criminal activities to supplement its other income sources. Though this is an important disruption it is unlikely to have a lasting impact on Hezbollah.