On March 25, 2021, the US announced the seizure of two websites – r-m-n.net and Almaalomah.com – that were unlawfully utilized by Kata’ib Hizballah, an Iran-backed terrorist group that operates in Iraq. Kata’ib Hizballah was designated in 2009 by the US Department of the Treasury for its involvement in 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 US Department of Justice reports that “r-m-n.net” and “Almaalomah.com” are domain names that are owned and operated by a company based in Reston, Virginia, and that Kata’ib Hizballah failed to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control before utilizing the US-based websites. The websites were seized pursuant to a seizure warrant issued in the Eastern District of Virginia because sanctioned entities are generally prohibited by federal law from utilizing goods and services in the US without first obtaining an OFAC license.
This action follows the DOJ’s August 31, 2020 seizure of four websites from Kata’ib Hizballah that were used as the group’s media arm, and the October 21, 2020 seizure of two additional websites from the group that were used to recruit new members and promote the group’s terrorist agenda.