Treasury Department Targets Organization With Michigan Branch Linked to Hezbollah

The Bush administration took action Tuesday against an Iran-based foundation, including its U.S. branch, for allegedly providing support to Hezbollah, a terrorist group the United States has blamed for bloodshed in Lebanon.

The Treasury Department's action covers the Martyrs Foundation and Goodwill Charitable Organization of Dearborn, Mich., which the government identified as a fundraising office for the foundation.

The government also moved against al-Qard al-Hassan, a Beirut firm that the U.S. government believes was used by Hezbollah "as a cover to manage its financial activity."

Two Lebanese people — Qasem Aliq and Ahmad al-Shami — also were covered by Tuesday's order.

The U.S. identified Aliq as a Hezbollah official who was once the director of the Martyrs Foundation's branch in Lebanon. The U.S. says he is currently a director of Jihad al Bina, a Lebanon-based construction company allegely formed and operated by Hezbollah.

Al-Shami had worked for the foundation in Lebanon, the department said.

The action means that any bank accounts or other financial assets found in the United States that belong to those identified on Tuesday must be frozen. Americans also are forbidden by doing business with them.