Huge dollar rewards were announced for information about Hezbollah officials Talal Hamiyah and Fu'ad Shukr on Tuesday during a State Department briefing.
The briefing by the national counterterrorism center's director was based on the center's belief that Hezbollah "is determined to give itself an option" of carrying out an attack on U.S. soil.
Hamiyah was protégé and deputy to Imad Mughniyah, a senior member of Hezbollah who was killed in 2008 by a car bomb in Damascus, in an assassination attributed in foreign reports to Israel. Today, Hamiyah oversees coordination and execution of Hezbollah's attacks outside of Lebanon. Hamiyah has been responsible for coordinating recruitment activities, and sending Al-Qaida volunteers to Iraq via Syria. According to reports from Lebanese sources, he went to Iraq quite often and was in contact with the leaders of the Shi'ite militias there, who are fighting the U.S. Army and the coalition forces.
Hamiyah is said to be in his fifties. He likely answers directly to Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, and is suspected of involvement in the organization's 1994 attack on a Jewish center in Argentina that killed 85.
Shukr reportedly replaced Mustafa Badreddine, Hezbollah's military chief, who was killed in 2016 by his own commanders.
Shukr played a central role in the 1983 attack on the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut. The Marine headquarters was destroyed at 6:22 A.M. when a truck rigged with around 10 tons of explosives and fuel exploded, killing 241 people. Minutes later, 58 French soldiers were killed in an explosion at their base in Ramlet al-Baida.
According to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Shukr serves on Hezbollah's highest military body and played "a vital role" in Syria by helping Hezbollah fighters and forces loyal to the Assad regime fight insurgents.
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