Saturday, March 28, 2009

Our Porous Southern Border

A few years ago at a lecture I attended, Mahdi Obeidi, author of The Bomb In My Garden, warned that our southern border with Mexico was the most possible avenue of bringing weapons of mass destruction into the United States.

Apparently, if this report from the Washington Times is accurate, Hezbollah is already active along our southern border:
EXCLUSIVE: Hezbollah uses Mexican drug routes into U.S.

Hezbollah is using the same southern narcotics routes that Mexican drug kingpins do to smuggle drugs and people into the United States, reaping money to finance its operations and threatening U.S. national security, current and former U.S. law enforcement, defense and counterterrorism officials say.

The Iran-backed Lebanese group has long been involved in narcotics and human trafficking in South America's tri-border region of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Increasingly, however, it is relying on Mexican narcotics syndicates that control access to transit routes into the U.S.

Hezbollah relies on "the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels," said Michael Braun, who just retired as assistant administrator and chief of operations at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

"They work together," said Mr. Braun. "They rely on the same shadow facilitators. One way or another, they are all connected.

"They'll leverage those relationships to their benefit, to smuggle contraband and humans into the U.S.; in fact, they already are [smuggling]."

His comments were confirmed by six U.S. officials, including law enforcement, defense and counterterrorism specialists. They spoke on the condition that they not be named because of the sensitivity of the topic.

While Hezbollah appears to view the U.S. primarily as a source of cash - and there have been no confirmed Hezbollah attacks within the U.S. - the group's growing ties with Mexican drug cartels are particularly worrisome at a time when a war against and among Mexican narco-traffickers has killed 7,000 people in the past year and is destabilizing Mexico along the U.S. border.


... To finance its operations, [Hezbollah] relies in part on funding from a large Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim diaspora that stretches from the Middle East to Africa and Latin America. Some of the funding comes from criminal enterprises.

Although there have been no confirmed cases of Hezbollah moving terrorists across the Mexico border to carry out attacks in the United States, Hezbollah members and supporters have entered the country this way.

Last year, Salim Boughader Mucharrafille was sentenced to 60 years in prison by Mexican authorities on charges of organized crime and immigrant smuggling. Mucharrafille, a Mexican of Lebanese descent, owned a cafe in the city of Tijuana, across the border from San Diego. He was arrested in 2002 for smuggling 200 people, said to include Hezbollah supporters, into the U.S.

In 2001, Mahmoud Youssef Kourani crossed the border from Mexico in a car and traveled to Dearborn, Mich. Kourani was later charged with and convicted of providing "material support and resources ... to Hezbollah," according to a 2003 indictment.

A U.S. official with knowledge of U.S. law enforcement operations in Latin America said, "we noted the same trends as Mr. Braun" and that Hezbollah has used Mexican transit routes to smuggle contraband and people into the U.S.

Two U.S. law enforcement officers, familiar with counterterrorism operations in the U.S. and Latin America, said that "it was no surprise" that Hezbollah members have entered the U.S. border through drug cartel transit routes.


A senior U.S. defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of ongoing operations in Latin America, warned that al Qaeda also could use trafficking routes to infiltrate operatives into the U.S.


Adm. James G. Stavridis, commander of U.S. Southern Command and the nominee to head NATO troops as Supreme Allied Commander-Europe, testified before the House Armed Services Committee last week that the nexus between illicit drug trafficking - "including routes, profits, and corruptive influence" and "Islamic radical terrorism" is a growing threat to the U.S....
Is it inevitable that our southern border will be the route by which comes into America the method for carrying out a mass attack? A lot of experts and quasi-experts believe so.

At the moment, we have Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Alert blaming respectively United States' drug policies and Mexican President Felipe Calderon's crackdowns on the drug cartels for the present lawlessness along our southern border and in our southern-border states. We do not see much concern from them about terrorist infiltration as part of or an adjunct of the Mexican drug cartels.

Until the unthinkable happens, we "town criers" sound like paranoid nutjobs.

When the unthinkable happens, our so-called elected representatives will come up with something probably called The Domestic Contingency Plan or The Plan To Contend With The Tiny Minority Of Extremists.

At what point will our leaders recognize the Islamic threat? Are they capable of doing so?


Epaminondas said...

"Are they capable of doing so?"

The current dialectic does not permit this

christian soldier said...

To your last question---NO-they are not...

Anonymous said...

This has been a topic at JW for years:

Michigan Man Accused of Hezbollah Membership January 15, 2004

Al-Qaida south of the border February 16, 2004

Terror's South American Front March 19, 2004

Hizballah in America May 25, 2005

Hezbollah, Illegal Immigration, and the Next 9/11 April 28, 2006

FBI stopped Hezbollah smugglers March 30, 2006

Hizballah raises funds, builds network inside US August 7, 2006

and on and on . . .

But remember, the war on terror has been officially cancelled . . .our brave new leader, Obama, prefers to battle some contingency thingy.


revereridesagain said...

Most people in this country think the Tri-Border Region is a Mexican restaurant, despite the fact that this information has been out there and available for years.