By Ahmad Salloum
July 20, 2021
On Monday, July 19, US authorities reissued an offer of a $7 million reward in exchange for information on a pivotal member of Lebanese Hezbollah.
The State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program has again issued a public call for information that could help in locating Salman Raouf Salman, a Columbian-Lebanese national in his mid-to late 50s also known as Samuel Salman El Reda.
Salman is wanted for his alleged part in a 1994 suicide van attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and left hundreds injured in the single biggest terror attack on the Jewish community in Latin America, masterminded and ordered by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In the aftermath of the anniversary of the bombing on Sunday, US authorities said that Salman, a leader of Hezballah’s External Security Organization (ESO), also known as the Islamic Jihad Organization, which is responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing Hizballah terrorist attacks around the globe, was “assessed to have served as the [AMIA] attack’s on-the-ground coordinator”.
The US Treasury also designated Salman a global terrorist after the initial call by the US State Department in July 2019. As a result, any assets he holds in the US are frozen and US citizens are barred from doing business with him.
According to the Treasury, Salman directs Hezbollah operatives abroad from Lebanon and coordinated Hezbollah sleeper cells in Buenos Aires and the Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay in the run-up to the AMIA attack 27 years ago.
Since then, the Treasury added, he had “risen through the ranks” of Hezbollah and served as a member of the ESO. He was later also identified as the handler of Mohammed Hamdar, who was arrested by Peruvian counterterrorism police in October 2014 for planning a terrorist attack in Peru.