US seizes 13 Hezbollah web domains

The US Justice Department announced Thursday it had seized 13 web domains controlled by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, saying they were operated by sanctioned individuals and groups but using US internet registries.

The domains blocked included the personal site of Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem, the main site of the Islamic Resistance Support Association, Hezbollah’s fundraising arm, and sites controlled by Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV.

Visitors to the domains now see a large one-page statement in English and Arabic that reads, “This website has been seized,” with the logos of the US FBI and Department of Commerce.

The Justice Department said the sites were registered with two US-based groups, Public Internet Registry and Verisign Inc.

“Today’s web domain seizures deny terrorist organizations and affiliates significant sources of support and makes clear we will not allow these groups to use US infrastructure to threaten the American people,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said in a statement.

The US designated Hezbollah, a major political and paramilitary group in Lebanon, a “foreign terrorist organization” in 1997.

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