On October 21, 2020, the US Department of Justice announced the seizure of two websites that were used by Kata’ib Hizballah to recruit new members and promote the group’s terrorist agenda. Kata’ib Hizballah is an Iran-backed terrorist group in Iraq that was designated in 2009 by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for committing acts of violence against Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces, and designated at the same time by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
The two websites – “Aletejahtv.com” and “kataibhezbollah.com”– were seized on October 14, 2020 pursuant to a warrant issued in the Eastern District of Virginia. The DOJ reports that both domain names are owned and operated by a company based in Reston, Virginia. Designated entities are prohibited from utilizing US goods and services, including websites and domain services, without first obtaining a license from OFAC. According to the DOJ, Kata’ib Hizballah failed to obtain an OFAC license prior to utilizing the domain names.
Today’s seizures come weeks after the DOJ ‘s August 31, 2020 seizure of two other domains from Kata’ib Hizballah pursuant to a warrant for websites that served as the group’s media arm, used to publish videos and television broadcasts to promote Kata’ib HIzballah’s terrorist agenda in Iraq.