The Obama administration allegedly thwarted a federal investigation into Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah in order to appease Iranian officials in their single-minded determination to pass the Iran Nuclear Deal. In the wake of this bombshell, which is now confirmed to be a target for investigation by Congress, a story that did not make it past the local news today should be making national headlines.
Roda Taher along with his wife, Haanan Jaafar, both from Beirut are involved in a massive internet fraud scheme that “…law enforcement sources say he used to finance Hezbollah, the radical Muslim group based in Lebanon,” as reported at the Miami Herald. The pair were charged with about a dozen others in October, but evidently Roda Tahar & his wife were free to leave the country.
While the initial DOJ report fails to mention Hezbollah, Jay Weaver of the Miami Herald lays out a good case that the massive multi-million dollar scheme was indeed funding the terror organization:
“While a pair of indictments outlining the scheme involving 15 defendants do not mention Hezbollah or any support for the terrorist organization, sources told the Miami Herald that Taher’s network was set up to back the notorious group in the Middle East. Hezbollah, now considered an influential political force in Lebanon, has financial links stretching from South Florida to South America to Africa and other regions of the world.
The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment about the possible ties between Taher and Hezbollah. But a telltale sign that this isn’t just another money-laundering case recently surfaced in court papers, when prosecutors asked a federal judge to appoint a security officer to handle classified information before trial in Miami.
A counter-terrorism expert who focuses on Hezbollah’s illicit activities around the globe said that while he has no knowledge of Taher’s links to Hezbollah, his indictment points to a highly sophisticated money-laundering network that transferred millions from bank accounts in South Florida to suspicious companies around the globe.
“Little scammers in Miami don’t wire $94 million to foreign bank accounts in places like China and Hong Kong,” said Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Washington-based nonprofit Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. “It’s very plausible to see this as a larger scheme for funding Hezbollah.””
Based on Politico‘s reporting, it is not a stretch to consider that had President Obama not “derailed” the federal investigation, dubbed Project Cassandra, perhaps Roda Tahar and Haanan Jaafar would be in custody instead of on the run.