By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. on Friday designated a senior Hezbollah operative accused of masterminding the deadly 1994 attack on what was Latin America's largest Jewish community center.
The Treasury Department said Salman Raouf Salman is a senior member of Hezbollah's External Security Organization, and he coordinated the attack on the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires that killed 85 victims.
Hundreds more were injured and the building itself was completely destroyed after a bomb-laden van smashed through it before exploding.
The terrorist attack is the largest in Argentina's history. It remains unresolved, but the U.S. has pointed at Iran and Hezbollah as bearing responsibility.
"This Administration will continue to target Hizballah terrorists who plot horrific murderous operations and indiscriminately kill innocent civilians on behalf of this violent group and its Iranian patrons," Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department's terrorism intelligence chief, said in a statement using an alternate spelling for Hezbollah.
The State Department further offered $7 million for information leading to Salman's identification or location under its Rewards for Justice program.
The Treasury accused Salman of providing "all necessary support to perpetrate the terrorist attack against the AMIA building," and said he coordinated Hezbollah sleeper cells in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.