ICE removes Hezbollah terror group financier to Lebanon

This photo comes from the second national wave of Operation Cross Check, an effort by ICE to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants with criminal records. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Released)
July 13, 2020

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed a man sanctioned for financing Hezbollah, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and convicted of violating those sanctions.

Kassim Tajideen, 65, arrived in Beirut July 8, on an ICE Air charter. Tajideen entered ICE custody June 11 at the Federal Correctional Institute in Cumberland, Maryland, where he was serving a federal sentence for conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in furtherance of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). In 2009, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Tajideen for his financial support of Hezbollah.

“ICE is critical to the nation’s criminal justice system and to our national security,” said ERO Baltimore acting Field Office Director Francisco Madrigal. “By removing Tajideen, ICE complements the work of our federal law enforcement partners in our shared mission to protect public safety.”

ICE has removed hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens, some of whom fall under the category of high-profile removals, since the agency was established in March 2003.

High-profile removals include those who are wanted for a crime in another country, such as murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, drug offenses, alien smuggling, fraud or theft. Others include persons who are national security risks, such as suspected terrorists, those involved in counter-proliferation crimes or those on the terrorist watch list and/or the no-fly list, along with human rights or war crimes violators.

ICE removed or returned 267,000 aliens in fiscal year 2019. In FY 2019, 86 percent of ERO’s administrative arrests consisted of aliens with criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.

ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.

Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE Tip Line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.