Amid crisis, Hezbollah ‘bank’ a lifeline for some, and a boon for terror group

Operating under Islamic rules forbidding interest, the al-Qard al-Hasan association provides hundreds of thousands of micro-loans while entrenching support among poor Shiites

A branch of the Hezbollah-run Qard al-Hassan Association, in Beirut, Lebanon, January 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

BEIRUT, Lebanon — When Lebanon’s financial meltdown began in late 2019, Hassan Shoumar was locked out of his dollar savings like everyone else in the country as banks clamped down with capital controls.

But the young engineer had an alternative. He could still pull out the dollars in his account at the al-Qard al-Hasan Association, the financial arm of the terrorist Hezbollah group.

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