Terrorist Designations of Hizballah Operatives Meliad Farah, Hassan el-Hajj Hassan, and Hussein Atris
The Department of State has designated Meliad Farah, Hassan el-Hajj Hassan, and Hussein Atris as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. The consequences of these designations include a prohibition against U.S. persons engaging in transactions with Farah, Hassan, and Atris; and the freezing of all property and interests of Farah, Hassan, and Atris that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons.
On July 18, 2012, a bombing at the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria killed six people, including five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian citizen. In July 2013, Meliad Farah and Hassan el-Hajj Hassan were publicly identified as key suspects in the bombing, which has been attributed to Hizballah, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Both are believed to be located in Lebanon.
Hussein Atris is a member of Hizballah’s overseas terrorism unit. In 2012, Atris was arrested in Thailand in connection with a terror warning about a possible attack in Bangkok. Atris was found to be hiding nearly three tons of ammonium nitrate, a component in the manufacture of explosives. In 2013, a Thai court sentenced Atris to two years and eight months in prison for illegally possessing the materials. He was released in September 2014, and traveled to Sweden and later Lebanon, where he is believed to be located currently.