Extradited by Morocco to the US in 2017, Lebanese Hezbollah financier Kassim Tajideen Pleaded guilty to evading sanction charges on Thursday.
Rabat – International news outlets reported on Thursday that the 63-year old, one of Hezbollah’s top supporters, pleaded guilty in front of a court in Washington, according to the US Justice Department.
The US Treasury listed Tajideen as a “specially designated global terrorist” in 2009 for alleged financing to Hezbollah.
With the charges against him, Tajideen might face a five-year prison sentence. Tajideen will also pay a forfeiture of $50 million, the department added.
Quoted by US News, Attorney General Matt Whitaker said that the Department of Justice “has put a target on Hezbollah.”
He added, “We are going to keep targeting Hezbollah and other terrorist groups and their supporters, and we are going to keep winning.”
Morocco’s law enforcement arrested Tajideen in 2017 in Casablanca. The arrest and Morocco’s decision to extradite was an important contributor to Hezbollah.
In May, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said that tension between Iran and Morocco flared when Morocco arrested Tajideen. He also added that Iran “threatened Morocco to release him. We gave him to the United States and from that day there was a change.”
Bourita said that the change “threatens our own security.”
Bourita made this statement after Morocco decided to cut ties with Iran on May 1, accusing Iranian ally Hezbollah of delivering military equipment to and training the members of the Polisario Front in the Tindouf camps, Algeria.
“This Mr.Tajideen who was captured in Morocco was laundering money in Africa. All the benefits to Iran from Hezbollah are being reinvested in Africa,” Bourita said in an interview with US news outlet Breitbart News in September.
The official added that Tajideen was important to Iran because he was “linking” Iran and its proxy with sub-Saharan countries, especially “West Africa.”
The official said that when Morocco proved the alleged Polisario-Hezbollah collusion, Hezbollah members were ordered not to talk “with Lebanese accents but to be more discreet when they are coming” to Tindouf.