Written by IICC
May 27, 2008
Funding terrorism: Hezbollah uses its websites to collect donations for itself and for its affiliated institutions in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world. The donations are deposited in bank accounts in Lebanon and Europe.
1. Hezbollah collects donations using its websites and by various other means. The donations are collected in Lebanon , Iran , and other countries in the world. A significant portion of the donations are collected in Shi'ite Lebanese communities, being the organization's primary support infrastructure.
The donations are collected to supplement the Iranian financial assistance, which makes up most of Hezbollah's budget. The donations are used not only for social and cultural activities but also to support the restoration of Hezbollah's military infrastructure following the second Lebanon war (including the acquisition of weapons).
2. One of Hezbollah's main institutions involved in collecting donations is the Support Association of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon (hereinafter: the Support Association ) . Founded by Hezbollah in 1989, it is associated with Beit al-Mal (an Islamic financial institution which fulfills some of the functions of a bank, an important component in Hezbollah's financial structure in Lebanon ). The Support Association collects funds in Lebanon (in commerce sites, mosques, educational institutions, gas stations, roadblocks, etc.) and also among Shi'ite Muslim communities in Arab countries and elsewhere in the world (mostly in the Gulf States and in Western countries).1 Pamphlets distributed by the Support Association make it perfectly clear that the donations are also used to support Hezbollah's military infrastructure.
A receipt issued by the Support Association (from the American Treasury Department website).2 On the other side of the receipt (bottom) are details on the projects for which the donations are intended. Some of those projects include: “Helping a jihad warrior”, “Participating in [the cost] of a rocket”, “Participating in the cost of a bullet”. The text on the bottom of the receipt says that, by virtue of Islamic religious law, the Support Association is religiously authorized to collect one fifth of the donor's income for charity.
A pamphlet published by the Support Association of the Islamic Resistance found in southern Lebanon in the second Lebanon war. The main message of the cover illustration is that the donations are used to purchase arms intended to destroy Israel.
3. Hezbollah's extensive network of websites, published in several languages, is an important leverage for collecting donations for the organization and its various institutions. Using online ads, web surfers worldwide can call Hezbollah's numbers in Lebanon in order to transfer the donations to their destination in Lebanon . In some cases, donations can be transferred to bank accounts located in Lebanese and European banks mentioned in the websites.
4. Following are the methods used to collect donations using the various websites. It should be noted that some websites involved in raising funds are serviced by US -based Internet Service Providers (even though Hezbollah is considered a global terrorist organization by the American State Department).
a. Collecting donations through the English-language Wa'ad website
5. Wa'ad (Arabic for “promise”) is one of Hezbollah's important news websites, available in Arabic and in English. Both versions are serviced by a US -based Internet service provider. The website was active until early April 2008, when the English version went offline. Past experience shows that it may be a temporary shutdown.
6. Using the Wa'ad website, Hezbollah collects donations for some of its institutions:
a. The Support Association of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon .
b. Jihad al-Bina' (the Reconstruction Campaign).
c. Muassasat al-Shahid (Al-Shahid Foundation).
7. Raising funds for the Support Association of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon : formerly, the Support Association had its own website for transferring donations to Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist organizations. Now, the donations are transferred through the Wa'ad website, which publishes Lebanese telephone numbers (country code 961). The title reads: “Do not turn a blind eye to the holocaust in the Gaza Strip”. Hezbollah, which combines the collection of donations with propaganda, has adopted the false Palestinian propaganda, claiming that Israel is perpetrating a “holocaust” in the Gaza Strip while using a term which refers to the genocide of European Jewry.
Contact numbers for transferring donations through the Support Association
8. Collecting donations for Jihad al-Bina' , a socio-economical organization which helps rebuild the infrastructure of Hezbollah and its supporters in Lebanon . The phone numbers mentioned in the ad are located in Lebanon .
Jihad al-Bina's contact numbers for transferring donations
9. Raising funds for Al-Shahid Foundation, an institution belonging to Hezbollah which helps the families of martyrs killed in the organization's activities. It is also involved in commemorating killed terrorists, glorifying them, and turning them into role models for the rest of Hezbollah's operatives and for the Lebanese. Since the second Lebanon war, Al-Shahid Foundation has been supporting some 2440 martyrs' families, compared to 1440 families before the war. 4
10. Details on the Wa'ad website (English version): 5
IP address: 220.127.116.11
ISP: US-based versaweb.net
b. Raising funds through the Al-Shahid Foundation website
11. The Al-Shahid Foundation has its own website (www.alshahid.org), which is also used as a leverage for fundraising. The website features a Lebanese phone number for transferring funds to the “Mutual Solidarity [ takafful ] Program”, that is, financial assistance to families of martyrs supported by Hezbollah.
The remains of the Al-Shahid Foundation building after an air strike by the Israeli Air Force during the second Lebanon war 6
Al-Shahid Foundation's contact numbers for transferring donations
12. Website details:
IP address: 18.104.22.168
Internet Service Provider: Syrian Telecommunication Establishment
c. Collecting donations through the Shiaweb website
13. Hezbollah's Shiaweb website calls to donate funds to an Islamic charitable society named The Islamic al-Emdad Aid Association— Lebanon7 (or Imam Khomeini Relief Organization ). That association (henceforth “Al-Emdad Association”) is an Iranian charitable society which was established along with other Iranian charitable societies following Khomeini's revolution in 1979. The Iranian charitable societies are under the direct control of the leader's office, they act in an independent, non-government context, and are mostly headed by senior figures in the regime. They are major economic corporations which serve as an important component in exporting the Islamic revolution and spreading Iranian radical Islam, inter alia, by providing financial and material assistance to Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist organizations (including Hamas 8 and the PIJ).
14. Other than their social activity, the Iranian charitable societies are a channel through which donations intended to people in need are funneled to Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terrorist organizations. Ayatollah Khomeini, as stated above, has given a religious approval to such activities by issuing a fatwa (Islamic religious opinion) allowing charitable societies to transfer funds for the armed struggle waged by the Palestinians against Israel .
15. Iran 's major foundations, including the Al-Emdad Association, have branches in Lebanon through which they implement Khomeini's concept. Starting 2001, those foundations, including Al-Emdad, have passed into the possession and management of Hezbollah. Accordingly, it is Hezbollah which sets the policy of the Al-Emdad Association in Lebanon and determines the allocation of its budget. In public interviews granted in 2001, Hassan Nasrallah noted that the Al-Emdad Association was one of Hezbollah's sources of funds in the social sphere (Hezbollah is engaged in extensive social activity among the population, particularly Lebanon's Shi'ites, to deepen its hold and recruit operatives).
A station for collecting donations in the streets of Lebanon (photo from Al-Emdad's website).
(Right) A station for collecting donations to the Al-Emdad Association in Iran (Wa'ad website, August 1, 2006 ). 9 Below: an image of Hassan Nasrallah and the emblem of Hezbollah.
16. Published on the Shiaweb website are bank account numbers through which donations can be transferred for the Al-Emdad Association, and phone numbers through which fund transfers can be arranged. Most of the bank account numbers and telephone numbers are in Lebanon ; however, two bank account numbers are in BLC Bank, Paris and in Dresdner bank, Frankfurt . Those who donate to those bank account numbers are asked to make their transfers in Euros or in Dollars.10
Instructions for transferring donations to bank Instructions for transferring donations to bank a
accounts in Beirut and Paris to bank accounts in Beirut and Frankfurt
(Left)“Educational” activity in Lebanon sponsored by the Al-Emdad Association. In the front of the room are pictures of Khomeini and Ali Khamenei, and a poster that reads: “Welcome to the beloved, the sons of Imam Khomeini”. Hezbollah spends considerable resources on indoctrinating the young generation of Shi'ites with the values of radical Islam upheld by the Iranian regime.
(Right) A speech by Nasrallah with Al-Emdad flags on both his sides
17. Website details:
Internet Service Provider: US-based cologuys.com
d. Collecting donations through the Al-Emdad website
18. The Al-Emdad Association has a website at www.alamdad.net. This website, too, is used to collect donations for the charitable association and, indirectly, for Hezbollah.
Phone numbers and bank accounts for donating to Al-Emdad
19. Published on the website are telephone numbers of Al-Emdad's various offices in Lebanon: the central management of the charitable association (“the center”), the Beirut branch, the Tyre office, the Jabal ‘Amel office (south Lebanon), the Saida office, the Bint Jbeil office, the Al-Khayam office, the Central and North Beqaa offices, the Hermel office, the West Beqaa office. All the offices are located inside Shi'ite population centers in Lebanon . Fax numbers are listed, and there is an option to make a Western Union transfer to Habib Amar in Beirut , or to the Middle East and Africa Bank in the Beirut neighborhood of Al-Shiyah.
20. Website details:
IP address: 22.214.171.124
Internet Service Provider: US-based servepath.com
The website is registered with France-based bookmyname.com
The website's owner is Rehlah multimedia services from Beirut
The Imam al-Mahdi Scouts website
21. Imam al-Mahdi Scouts is Hezbollah's youth movement, which nurtures the values of Islamic revolution, violence, and hatred against Israel among generations of children and teenagers.11 The scouts go on to become the new generations of Hezbollah's operatives. The organization's website shows telephone numbers and an email address through which donations can be made.
1 For more details, see our Information Bulletin: “Documents captured during the second Lebanon war reveal how Hezbollah raises funds and at the same time furthers its propaganda and indoctrination campaign, stressing the younger generation” ( August 25, 2006 ).
3 Zakat (“charity”, “philanthropy”) is one of the five pillars of Islam. Imam Khomeini granted an Islamic religious approval ( fatwa ) to transfer funds intended for zakat for practical support of the Palestinian struggle against Israel . With such an authorization, the Islamic Resistance Support Network and charitable associations affiliated with Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist organizations are able to allocate resources to Hezbollah's military buildup and to assisting Palestinian terrorist organizations.
5 For details on the website (and on other websites), we have used the whois websites and the manager of the American Haganah website.
7 In Arabic: Jam'iyyat al-Imdad al-Khayriyya al-Islamiyya—Lubnan.
8 The “charitable societies” of the Hamas movement are an important component of its civilian activities, and serve to support the military-terrorist wing.
10 http://shiaweb.org/hizbulla/emdad.html. Details on these bank accounts were formerly published on the Al-Emdad Association website; however, they were taken off the website and, probably recently, republished on the Shiaweb website.
11 See our Information Bulletin: “Hezbollah's Shi'ite youth movement, “The Imam al-Mahdi Scouts,” has tens of thousands of members. According to captured documents, they are indoctrinated with the principles of radical Iranian Islam. That indoctrination includes the personality cult of Iranian leader ‘Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah's “battle legacy;” national Lebanese symbols are minimized” ( September 11, 2006 ).
This Report provided by th Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)