The U.S. government has imposed sanction on three Hezbollah figures, an amusement park and a supermarket based in Nigeria, according to the International Business Times.
Mustapha Fawaz, Fouzi Fawaz and Abdallah Tahini, all born in Lebanon, are accused of being part of the groups “Foreign Relations Department” in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
Hezbollah is designated as a terrorist group by the U.S., while the European Union and the United Nations consider only the groups armed wing, not its political branch, a terrorist organization. Hezbollah has operated in at least 45 nations, 11 of which are in Africa, according to Now Lebanon.
Nigeria is home to a small Shiite Lebanese population, many of whom emigrated in search of work in the mid-1900s, according to Augustus Richard Nortons book Hezbollah.
In 2013, Nigerian authorities arrested four Lebanese nationals accused of working with Hezbollah after they uncovered an armory in Kano they claimed belonged to the organization. The weapons were allegedly intended to be used in an attack against “Israeli and Western interests, Nigerian State Security officialstold BBC.
Mustapha Fawaz was among the men detained and reportedly confirmed that Hezbollah had a cell in the country. He alsoreportedly gave Nigerian officials names of several other Hezbollah members based in the country.
The Fawaz brothers, who have citizenship in Lebanon, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, own Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park and Resort in Nigeria. But according to the statement announcing U.S. sanctions, they are really running a Hezbollah front.
The FRD [Foreign Relations Department of Hezbollah] claims to be in charge of community relations; but the primary goal of the FRD in Nigeria is to scout recruits for Hezbollahs military units, as well as to create and support Hezbollahs terrorist infrastructure for its operational units in Africa and globally.