Terrorism isn't cheap. Like any organization, these groups have payroll, supplies and other overhead to take into account. Terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah have their own network of international investments, drug trafficking and illicit financial channels, and the latest evidence suggests that includes selling used cars.

The story comes into focus through a legal complaint filed by U.S. government officials. In the suit, federal prosecutors allege that Hezbollah is funded through Lebanese financial institutions that buy used cars in the United States, sell them in West Africa, launder the money through various established channels and funnel it back to the terrorist organization in Lebanon.

The evidence implicates the Lebanese Canadian Bank as well as two Lebanese exchange firms: Hassan Ayash Exchange Co. and Ellissa Holding. If courts uphold the federal prosecutors' findings, these financial institutions could stand to have their assets in the United States frozen, and their ability to do business with any American firms blocked.


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