US, Argentina convene summit on Hezbollah threat ahead of AMIA attack’s 25th anniversary

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States and Argentina convened a two-day regional summit in Buenos Aires about the persistent Hezbollah threat in the Western Hemisphere.

The summit Tuesday and Wednesday was held a month ahead of the 25th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in the Argentine capital.

Law enforcement, prosecutors and financial practitioners attended the workshop, a State Department release said. They came from the two convening countries as well as Chile, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.

“The workshop focused on Hezbollah’s modus operandi globally and its terrorist and criminal infrastructure and activities in the Americas,” the release said. “Participants discussed various techniques to constrain and counter the group’s illicit activities, including the financial and law enforcement tools available to identify, investigate, and prosecute Hezbollah’s global support and facilitation networks.”

The summit was timed as part of the events that Argentina’s government is planning to mark the anniversary of the blast on July 18, 1994, which killed 85 and injured more than 300.

On July 18, Argentina’s embassies in 20 cities around the world will mark the anniversary in a joint initiative with the World Jewish Congress. The next day, Argentina will host a Western Hemisphere Ministerial, where government ministers meet and discuss policy, in commemoration of the attack.