Lebanon’s Hezbollah group has brushed off Washington's US$12 million bounty for the arrest of two of its senior members, insisting it would have no impact.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced the reward for Talal Hamiyah and Fuad Shukr, citing a growing "homeland" threat.
The move came as the White House prepared to unveil a strategy to step up pressure on Hezbollah's main backer, Iran.
Trump hinted he would scrap the nuclear deal with Tehran, possibly later this week.
A Hezbollah official rejected the U.S. move, calling it, "part of the continuous efforts to demonize Hezbollah."
“These accusations from the American administration against Hezbollah and its mujahideen are rejected and void ... They will not affect the work of the resistance at all,” he told Reuters.
While another told AP on Tuesday, "They are false accusations that will not have any effect on the operational activities of Hezbollah."
Amer Zahr, an adjunct law professor at the University of Detroit-Mercy, also caste doubts over the U.S. State Departments projected threats.
"What we do know is that the Trump administration has taken sides in the Iran-vs-Saudi Arabia fight for power and hegemony and influence in the Middle East," Zahr told Middle East Eye.
"This is straight out of the Saudi Arabian playbook - riling up fear of Iran and Iran’s subsidiaries, which is how Hezbollah is seen," Zahr added.
Hezbollah was formed in 1982 as a response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
Nicholas Rasmussen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, NCTC, said during a press briefing on Tuesday, “We in the intelligence community do in fact see continued activity on behalf of Hezbollah here inside the homeland."
"It's our assessment that Hezbollah is determined to give itself a potential homeland option as a critical component of its terrorism playbook and that is something that those of us in the counter-terrorism community take very, very seriously" Rasmussen said.
The U.S. State Department released a "Wanted" poster describing Hamiyah as the person who orchestrated the terrorist attacks outside of Lebanon.
While Shukr has been accused of being a man who "played a central role in planning and executiom of the 1983 U.S. Marine Corps Barracks Bombing in Beirut, Lebanon."
These are first bounties issued by the U.S. government in over a decade.