United States Seizes Websites Used by Foreign Terrorist Organization
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The United States has seized “r-m-n.net” and “Almaalomah.com,” two websites that were unlawfully utilized by Kata’ib Hizballah, a Specially Designated National and a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
“The internet must not be used as a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations to promote violent extremism and spread their hateful rhetoric,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We stand committed with our law enforcement partners to use all available resources to combat terrorism.”
“Special Agents with the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Export Enforcement will use all of the tools at our disposal to protect American citizens, including our military service members, from terrorist acts of violence inspired and directed via online platforms,” said Kevin J. Kurland, who is performing the non-exclusive duties of the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the Bureau of Industry and Security. “We will continue to aggressively disrupt Foreign Terrorist Organizations such as Kata’ib Hizballah and their efforts to utilize U.S. cyber infrastructure to harm U.S. national security.”
On July 2, 2009, the U.S. Secretary of Treasury designated Kata’ib Hizballah, an Iran-backed terrorist group active in Iraq, as a Specially Designated National for committing, directing, supporting, and posing a significant risk of committing acts of violence against Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces. On the same day, the U.S. Department of State designated Kata’ib Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization for committing or posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.
On Aug. 31, 2020, pursuant to a seizure warrant in the District of Arizona, the United States seized “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org.” “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org,” served as Kata’ib Hizballah’s media arm and published internet communications such as videos, articles, and photographs. Within weeks, federal agents located the content from “Aletejahtv.com” and “Aletejahtv.org” on “Aletejah.tv” and “kataibhezbollah.com,” including the Kata’ib Hizballah flag and the words “Islamic Resistance, Kataib Hizbollah.” The content even included false information about COVID-19 designed to damage the perception of the United States in the minds of Iraqi citizens and to destabilize the region to the benefit of Iran.
On Oct. 14, 2020, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued in the Eastern District of Virginia, the United States seized “Aletejah.tv” and “kataibhezbollah.com.”
On March 25, 2021, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued in the Eastern District of Virginia, the United States seized “Almaalomah.com” and “r-m-n.net.” Visitors to the site received the following message:
Federal law prohibits designated entities like Kata’ib Hizballah from obtaining or utilizing goods or services, including website and domain services, in the United States without a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control. “Almaalomah.com” and “r-m-n.net” are domain names that are owned and operated by a U.S. company based in Reston, Virginia. Kata’ib Hizballah did not obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control prior to utilizing the domain names.
This seizure was investigated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement, Miami Field Office.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Department of Justice’s National Security Division prosecuted the seizure.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.