|Treasury adds Hezbollah leader who was in US custody last year to terrorism list|
|The Treasury Department added a Hezbollah leader who was in the US military's custody until late last year to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Mussa Ali Daqduq, the Hezbollah leader who was responsible for molding the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups into potent fighting forces and who also was involved in the murder of US soldiers, was released to Iraqi custody in December 2011 and freed late last week.|
Treasury added Daqduq to the list of global terrorists today. The Iraqi government freed Daqduq on Thursday, saying it had no reason to keep in custody. An Iraqi court had dismissed terrorism charges against him in May. After his release, Daqduq promptly flew to Hezbollah's home base in Lebanon, according to his lawyer.
When the US transferred Daqduq to Iraqi custody last December, White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said that Iraqi officials assured the US they would prosecute Daqduq. The Obama administration refused to transfer Daqduq to Guantanamo Bay for a military trial, while members of Congress said they would block administration attempts to transfer Daqduq to the US for a trial in federal court.
Daqduq's designation is both tragic and ironic as he was in US custody a mere 11 months ago. Before his release it was well known that he has been involved with Hezbollah since 1983. He served as the head of Hezbollah's special forces, as well as the commander of Hezbollah emir Hassan Nasrallah's bodyguard, before being assigned to help kill US troops in Iraq.
According to Treasury: "In approximately 2005, Iran asked Hezbollah to form a group to train Iraqis to fight Coalition Forces in Iraq. In response, Hassan Nasrallah established a covert Hezbollah unit to train and advise Iraqi militants in Jaish al Mahdi (JAM) [or Mahdi Army] and JAM Special Groups, now known as Asaib Ahl al Haq [League of the Righteous]," a Mahdi Army faction.
"As of 2006, Daqduq had been ordered by Hezbollah to work with IRGC-QF [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force] to provide training and equipment to JAM Special Groups to augment their ability to inflict damage against US troops," Treasury stated.
Daqduq has been linked to one of the most high-profile attacks in Iraq in 2007, in which five US troops at the Karbala Joint Provincial Coordination Center were captured and subsequently executed.