Islamic rogue regimes rank among the leaders of the unholy alliance of state-supported and state-sponsored global narco-terrorism. Narco-terrorism has become a most effective weapon – economically and operationally – in the battle against the most effective opponent of rogue regimes, the USA. These regimes aim to undermine the US homeland security, to injure the US morale, morality and social fabric, to instill fear and erode the confidence of Americans in the capabilities of their own government, and to bankroll expanding global terrorist operations.
Driven by ideology and greed, Iran, Syria, Hizballah, Hamas and additional Palestinian, Arab and Islamic terror organizations have targeted the US throughout the globe and on the mainland, establishing beachheads in Central and South America and setting sleeper cells in the US and in Canada.
The deep roots of the narco-terrorist threat to the US and to the Free World were highlighted by the Congressional Research Service in an April 30, 2010 report, and by Anthony Placido, the intelligence chief of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, during his March 3, 2010 testimony before the House Government Reforms Subcommittee on National Security: “More than 31,000 Americans – or approximately ten times the number of people killed on September 11, 2001, die each year as a direct result of drug abuse… It is important to note that this is not an emerging threat per se, but one that has existed since the late 1980s or early 1990s…. Eighteen of 44 designated international terrorist groups have been linked to some aspect of the international drug trade…. The nexus between drugs and terrorism is well established, and the threat to our national security is evident… Some drug trafficking organizations, based in the Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay Tri-border Area [which has a large Muslim population], have ties to radical Islamic terrorist groups such as Hezbollah…. There are numerous reports of cocaine proceeds entering the coffers of Islamic Radical Groups (IRG) such as Hezbollah and Hamas in Europe and the Middle East.”
During the 1970s and 1980s, Arafat’s and Mahmoud Abbas’ PLO controlled clandestine laboratories in Lebanon, laying some of the foundations to the current narco-terrorism infrastructure, which boosted PLO’s stashed bank accounts. According to Western law-enforcement agencies, 40 percent of PLO’s weaponry acquisition was then financed by the trafficking of heroin, hashish or morphine. Much of the heroine consumed in the US and West Europe was provided by Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, the PLO and other terrorist organizations, in return for Soviet Bloc military supplies. Tom Smith, a retired FBI Deputy Director for Intelligence stated, in a March, 1988 interview with the El Paso Times that PLO’s large contingency in Nicaragua aimed to facilitate a narco-terror offensive against the USA.
Narco-terrorism in the service of America’s enemies was discussed by Dr. Vanessa Neumann, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, in a December, 2011 E-note: “Venezuela and Iran are strong allies…. Iran also has a growing direct influence in Latin America, spurred by three principal motivations: 1) a quest for uranium, 2) a quest for gasoline, 3) a quest for a base of operations that is close to the US territory, in order to position itself to resist diplomatic and possible military pressure, possibly by setting up a missile base within striking distance of the mainland US, as the Soviets did in the Cuban Missile Crisis. FARC, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda all have training camps, recruiting bases and networks of mutual assistance in Venezuela as well as throughout the continent… Latin America is an increasing source of funding for Middle Eastern terrorism…. Hezbollah has high-level officials directly involved in the South American cocaine trade and its most violent cartels, including the Mexican gang Los Zetas…. The Tri-Border Area, South America’s busiest contraband and smuggling center, has long been an ideal breeding ground for terrorist groups…”
Narco-terrorism constitutes a most sinister weapon, aiming to maim and murder the soul and the body of free societies. Regimes and organizations which are involved in narco-terrorism are afflicted by a corrupt character, which contrasts the essence of liberty and peace.
Narco-terrorist regimes and organizations cannot engage in – or adulate – narco-terrorism on the one hand, and claim to be engaged in the pursuit of peace on the other hand.
The sweeping and comprehensive uprooting of regimes and individuals which are involved in narco-terrorism, directly and indirectly, constitutes a prerequisite for the advancement of genuine, long term peace. On the other hand, the engagement with – rather than the confrontation of – narco-terrorist regimes and organizations, amounts to the sacrifice of permanent values and long term interests on the altar of short-term convenience.
By: Yoram Ettinger
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