Hezbollah recently launched a campaign to raise money for its military activities. The campaign was waged by the Islamic Resistance Support Association (IRSA), Hezbollah’s main fund-raising institution. The campaign is waged in the Shi’ite communities in Lebanon and abroad at the beginning of every year. The funds collected are mainly used to buy weapons for Hezbollah operatives (through what is called the “equip a jihad fighter” project). The amount of money collected is small relative to Hezbollah’s overall budget, which is supplied by Iran, but Hezbollah needs the contributions in view of its financial difficulties and considers them very important.
IRSA is careful not to publicize the names of the banks or other institutions through which donations can be made because of the sanctions imposed by the United States on support for Hezbollah. Funds are solicited by telephone from donors in Lebanon and abroad, who call IRSA offices at numbers issued by Hezbollah and IRSA. One of the numbers is a dedicated line for donations from outside Lebanon. It belongs to IRSA’s “overseas department,” which is headed by Haj Muneif Qashmar (Abu Issam).
A reporter from Israel’s Channel 11 called IRSA’s overseas number as part of a broadcast on Hezbollah’s fund-raising campaign. He was answered by Haj Muneif Qashmar, and said he wanted to donate money. The reporter was told to transfer the money to Haj Muneif Qashmar at the OMT company offices, and then to give him the tracking number of the transfer. An ITIC examination revealed that OMT is a “financial services company” for transferring funds (and other services) with offices throughout Lebanon.