Some Facts and Notes About The Situation on the Border: From the Jihadi Threat Perspective

h2Terror Trends Bulletin, By Christopher Holton, July 27.2014:

• Hezbollah has a major presence in North, Central and South America.

• Hezbollah is embedded in the Lebanese Muslim community in the US and enjoys protection from a neighborhood watch-type program that serves as a countersurveillance and counterintelligence operation. They also are embedded in multiple Shia mosques, some of which are directly tied to the Iranian regime.

• In 2003, then-CIA director George Tenet testified before Congress that 12 Hezbollah cells has been identified as operating in the US conducting surveillance.

• A Congressional Research Service report published in 2011 indicated that Hezbollah was present in 15 US cities, including Houston and Nashville.

• Hezbollah’s activities in the US primarily center around drug trafficking and criminal schemes and scams.

dea-used-car-scam

Picture-117

9780345475688_custom-8b3b812bb7a60f29ee8ebf06175997ba504dd84c-s6-c30

• In Operation Smokescreen from 1995-2002, a Hezbollah cell in North Carolina that was bootlegging cigarettes to raise money was broken up. This was detailed in the excellent book, “Lightning Out of Lebanon.”

• In Operation Tobacco Road, 16 Muslim in the US were indicted for trafficking bootleg cigarettes in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. The proceeds are believed to have gone to Hezbollah and/or HAMAS.

tobacco-road-1

• In 2011, 70 car dealerships in Florida and elsewhere were uncovered laundering cars for sale in West Africa to raise money for Hezbollah.

16344803_BG1[1]

• Hezbollah has two major networks operating in Latin America:

1. The Hojjat al-Eslam Mohsen Rabbani Network

2. The Ghazi Atef Salameh Nassereddine Network

• Rabbani is an Iranian diplomatic official who was formerly the cultural attache’ to Argentina when Hezbollah attacked two Jewish targets there in 1992 and 1994. He is wanted on an Interpol Red Notice.

Hojjat al-Eslam Mohsen Rabbani

• Nassereddine was born in Lebanon, became a Venezuelan citizen in 2000-2001 and became Venezuela’s number 2 diplomat to Syria.

Ghazi Atef Salameh Nassereddine

• Hezbollah’s Rabbani network operates in Brazil and Venezuela and is linked to the Sinaloa Cartel and has been identified as operating cocaine labs and providing security for drug operations.

The Southern Border of the US

• Former DEA Operations Chief, Michael Braun, has testified about Hezbollah’s extensive operations in Latin America:

–Hezbollah has exploited America’s porous southern border for years.

–Hezbollah has close relations with Mexican cartels.

• Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman detailed Hezbollah’s Latin American operations in his indictment of Iranian officials for the 1992 and 1994 Buenos Aires bombings:

–9 Latin American countries have Hezbollah deeply embedded.

20130220_hezbollah_south_america

–The origin of Hezbollah’s presence in Latin America was the heavy emigration out of Lebanon from 1975-1990.

–Hezbollah initially set up operations in the lawless “Tri-border” area where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay come together.

The lawless "Tri-Border Area" in South America

• Hezbollah has a particularly heavy presence in Venezuela, especially on Margarita Island, where Hezbollah operates a training camp and has banking assets

hezbollah776283

• Hezbollah operates in Mexico and has relations with the Los Zetas cartel.

• In Mexico, Hezbollah’s operations include drug and human trafficking and providing explosives and tunneling training for the cartels. Hezbollah originally provided explosives training to Al Qaeda in Sudan in the 1990s and they have extensive experience in tunneling operations on the Lebanon-Israel border.

Hezbollah tunnel

• In July 2010, acting on intelligence provided by the US, Mexican authorities arrested a Hezbollah operative in Tijuana.

• The two main north-south routes for Hezbollah trafficking operations are I-35 and Highway 59.

interstate-35-map

US Highway 59

• US LE and Border Patrol have reported an increase in detainees with Farsi language tattoos and Hezbollah imagery on tattoos in recent years.

Source: fortressoffaith.org

• It has become increasingly common for Muslims in Mexico to change their Islamic surnames to Hispanic sounding names to facilitate moving across the border. Apologists claim this is simply to avoid discrimination. 

• Cartels have been involved in trafficking Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and Hezbollah operatives into the US.

• From 2008-2010, an estimated 180,000 OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) were believed to have crossed the border illegaly.

• In that same period, 1,918 “Special Interest” OTMs were apprehended on the border. “Special Interest” means they originated from nations of terrorism concern, such as Middle Eastern Islamic nations.

• In January 2011, a Farsi language book was found on the border in Arizona. It was named “In Memory of Our Martyrs.” It was an anthology of Jihadis killed in martyrdom operations.

English language translation of "In Memory of Our Martyrs" published by Iran's Qods Force and available on Amazon in the UK

• In April 2005, then-FBI director Robert Mueller reported that Hezbollah was involved in human trafficking on the southern border.

• In July of 2012, six Special Interest aliens from Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen were arrested in Laredo, TX. Each had 60,000 Iraqi dinars.

Information on general enforcement conditions on the Mexican border:

• There are constraints on border control. The Border Patrol is forbidden from patrolling on federal land. The Border Patrol reports receiving instructions to avoid detaining and processing illegal aliens.

• The majority of border crossers are NOT economic immigrants.

• Cartels are buying real estate on both sides of the border to set up staging areas and camps.

• The cartels employ high-tech comm gear superior to that in the hands of US LE.

• Cartels and coyotes employ scouts and snipers on the high ground along trafficking routes.

• The Mexican army has in fact provided surveillance and cover fire FOR traffickers on more than one occasion.

• Arizona ranchers are afraid to use their cell phones in the open because cartel snipers might think they are calling in reports to LE and kill them. Even US LE are careful about using comm gear in the open on the southern border. It is believed that the cartels have snipers and scouts in the high ground all the way to Phoenix.

• In 2010, an indictment in San Antonio involved the human smuggling of 100 or more Al Shabaab members from Somalia.

In short, the border is not secure, not at all. Any politician that says otherwise is LYING. In significant portions of the border, for much of the day/night, the border is completely controlled by cartels who have known ties to Jihadis, such as Hezbollah.

Christopher Holton is Director of Education and Outreach at ACT! for America. Holton joined ACT! for America after serving for 10 years at the Center for Security Policy, where he directed the Center’s Divest Terror Initiative and Shariah Risk Due Diligence Program. He has been involved in legislation in twenty states to divest taxpayer supported pension systems from foreign companies that do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Sudan, and the Syrian Arab Republic as well as passage of American Laws for American Courts and several other forms of state level legislation in dozens of states. In 2005, he was a co-author of War Footing, published by the US Naval Institute Press. Holton’s work has also been published by National Review, Human Events, The American Thinker, Family Security Matters, Big Peace, World Tribune, World Net Daily, and NewsMax. Before joining the Center, Chris was President of Blanchard and Company, a two hundred million dollar per year investment firm, and editor-in-chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit.

Experts: Iran Exerting Troubling Influence in Latin America

Guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC / AP

Guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC / AP

By :

Iran and its terrorist proxy groups’ influence in Latin America remains a troubling security threat to the region and world, experts said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Hezbollah, a Shiite terrorist group based in Lebanon and sponsored by Iran, has established illicit networks in Latin America in the last few decades to provide millions annually for its global operations, experts on the region told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

Those networks involve money laundering, counterfeiting, piracy, and drug trafficking in cooperation with local criminal groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Celina Realuyo, assistant professor of national security affairs at the National Defense University, said the “convergence” of terror and crime networks in Latin America presents a significant threat to regional and global security.

“These types of illicit actors, terror providers, and criminals, a lot of them are offering and brokering services but may not espouse the ideological fervor that other groups have,” she said. “But they’re offering a lot of special services—a terror pipeline—where you see this very unholy alliance between terror groups and criminal groups who have a win-win.”

The witnesses’ testimony on Tuesday appeared to contradict a State Departmentreport issued last year that downplayed the threat of Iran and Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere and was sharply criticized by some lawmakers and terrorism experts.

Realuyo said a lot of fundraising for Hezbollah in the region cannot be “separated out” from the illicit operations of local criminal groups.

Douglas Farah, senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Americas Program, added that just because ties between Hezbollah and groups like FARC seem opaque does not mean they are nonexistent.

“It’s hard to get through the policy perception that [they’re] not there,” he said.

Realuyo pointed to three recent cases as evidence of the links between Hezbollah and criminal groups in Latin America.

Read more at Free Beacon

More on Hezbollah activities in Latin America: http://counterjihadreport.com/category/latin-america/

Jihadists exploit Latin America to finance terror

imagesCAH4IYW8Money Jihad:

Latin America has experienced a possible increase in terror financing activities by radical Islamists throughout 2012.  Consider the developments that have been revealed this year:

  • In September, published reports indicated that a Hezbollah camp in Nicaragua is training 30 operatives and is laundering money.
  • The Venezuela chapter of Hezbollah is using Panama for bulk cash smuggling for follow-on transfer to Beirut.
  • Some goods, possibly even missile components, are being exported via Panama directly to Iran.
  • The use of the Venezuelan air carrier Conviasa to smuggle contraband through Africa to Europe earned it an “operational ban” from the EU in April.  Hezbollah profited from the Conviasa flights.  It is unclear whether the ban interferes with Conviasa’s African flights.
  • Cuba was listed again by the U.S. in 2012 as a state sponsor of terrorism partly for the continued safe haven Cuba provides to terrorist groups FARC and ETA.  Havana is now also letting IHH, the radical Islamist Turkish charity that has been banned by Germany for its financing of Hamas, build a mosque in Cuba.
  • A trio of Hezbollah agents in Mexico was exposed during an arrest of one operative who had previously been convicted in the U.S. for credit card fraud that funded terrorism.
  • Ecuador was blacklisted in June by FATF, the international financial watchdog, for failing to make progress against money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • In its annual report in July, the U.S. State Department said, “Brazil has not criminalized terrorist financing in a manner that is consistent with the FATF Special Recommendation II.”

Given its Western heritage and deep Catholic faith, Latin America can and should be a natural ally in the war against Islamic terror.  Its energy resources make it a natural counterweight to the oil powerhouse of the Middle East.

But this wonderful opportunity to present a united trans-American front against jihad is being jeopardized by attitudes of permissiveness, ignorance, and political correctness.  American politicians like Michelle Bachman and Connie Mack who recognize the threat are written off as know-nothing xenophobes.  But the news this year indicates that they are correct.

Congressional report ties Middle East terrorists to Mexican drug cartels

Iran Quds force

By Matthew Boyle

A new congressional report from the House  Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and  Management ties Middle East terror organizations to Mexican drug cartels.

The report, released Thursday, is titled “A Line in the Sand: Countering  Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border.” It found that the “Southwest border has now become the greatest threat of terrorist infiltration  into the United States.” It specifically cites a “growing influence” from  Iranian and Hezbollah terror forces in Latin America.

“The presence of Hezbollah in Latin America is partially explained by the  large Lebanese diaspora in South America,” the report reads. “In general,  Hezbollah enjoys support by many in the Lebanese world community in part because  of the numerous social programs it provides in Lebanon that include schools,  hospitals, utilities and welfare.”

The congressional report, prepared by the subcommittee’s chairman, Texas  Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, argues that the “explanation for Iranian  presence in Latin America begins with its symbiotic relationship with  Hezbollah.”

“United in their dedication to the destruction of Israel, Iran has helped  Hezbollah grow from a small group of untrained guerrillas into what is arguably  the most highly trained, organized and equipped terrorist organization in the  world,” the report reads. “In return, Hezbollah has served as an ideal proxy for  Iranian military force – particularly against Israel – which affords Iran  plausible deniability diplomatically. Hence wherever Hezbollah is entrenched,  Iran will be as well and vice-versa.”

Read more at Daily Caller

Election in Venezuela: A Wild Card for US National Security

Venezuela’s opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles

By Luis Fleischman:

The upcoming October 7th elections in Venezuela do not  constitute just another round of elections in another country. These  elections are crucial for the future of Latin America and for the  security of the United States. In fact, it is no exaggeration to point  out that the Venezuelan drama should be as great a  concern as the   elections in the young democracies of the Middle East that emerged in  the aftermath of the Arab spring.

Unfortunately, the Venezuelan electoral process  has been  characterized by intimidation of the opposition and the press, violence,  and indiscriminate use of state resources, all this with the objective  of providing an advantage to Hugo Chavez.

In fact,  two supporters of Henrique Capriles Radonsky, the  opposition candidate  challenging the President,  were recently shot to  death.

**********

The U.S needs to exercise leadership among countries in the  Hemisphere but making sure that the Democratic Charter signed by members  of the Organization of American States (OAS) is implemented. The U.S  must exercise its influence to take democratic leadership in the region  or allow another key country to do so. It would be ideal if Brazil could  be persuaded to take such leadership as the country is a growing  democracy and economic power.

I would add that the struggle for democracy in our hemisphere should  not be merely based on moral principles. The struggle for democracy  needs to be understood as a major strategic tool of national security.  Democracy promotion creates a culture of peace and tolerance. A real  democracy includes substantive components that reject elements such as  alliances with rogue states.

As Venezuela continues to ally itself with Iran, Belarus, Russia  and China, the security threat on the United States aggravates. Chavez  has brought his Bolivarian allies in the hemisphere including Presidents  Rafael Correa from Ecuador, Evo Morales from Bolivia and Daniel Ortega  from Nicaragua into similar alliances with Iran. If Iran turns nuclear,  it is likely that missiles will be posted on Venezuelan soil creating a  major threat to our security.

Chavez has built an illiberal democracy that includes  regular  elections but  nothing else: no rule of law, no reasonable dialogue  between the factions, no free press and abundant violence and  intimidation. Chavez, nonetheless, rules because he continues to be  elected. This is the card he holds to maintain his legitimacy. This is  why Western Hemisphere  countries have accepted Venezuela as a  democracy,  as have  the Organization of American States (OAS) and   Mercosur (The South American Common Market). In both organizations  democracy is a pre-condition to become a member. However, Venezuela does  not seem to fall under the category of non-democratic countries because  Chavez  elections are held and Chavez has been “democratically  elected”..

If Chavez continues in power,  he will consolidate his regime to the  point where it will survive his death. Moreover, both China and Russia  have  major interests in perpetuating the Chavez government for a number  of reasons including an ability to counteract U.S. influence in the  hemisphere.

The United States cannot treat the Venezuelan case as it has treated the Syrian case. Our national security is at stake.

U.S. policy should be as determined and aggressive as possible with  the purpose of restoring genuine democracy to Venezuela and the  hemisphere. The morning after the election will be the real test for the  region and for the United States.

Read it all at Center For Security Policy

 

Related articles

Congressman Jeff Duncan’s First Bill Passes US House

 A big victory for ACT! for America! One of their high priority bills, Congressman Jeff Duncan’s Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act (HR 3783), passed the full House.

Washington, DC—South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan achieved a major legislative victory on Wednesday afternoon after one of his bills, the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act (HR 3783), passed the full House with unanimous support. Duncan’s legislation addresses a growing concern among security experts that Iran is increasing its sphere of influence in Latin America. The legislation passes the House of Representatives just two weeks after an Israeli news organization revealed that Iran has established a Hezbollah terrorist training base in northern Nicaragua, and one week after the media reported that three suspected Hezbollah terrorists were arrested in Merida, Mexico.

“One of the ways we can honor the memory of those who lost their lives during the War on Terror is to be vigilant in protecting against new threats here at home,” said Duncan. “In the shadow of Iran’s growing nuclear ambitions, there’s another threat emerging of an Iranian-backed terror network in our own hemisphere.”

“From the deployment of an Iranian television network in Latin America, to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s frequent trips to the region; Iran’s made their interest in the region well known,” said Duncan. “Recent developments including arresting suspected Hezbollah terrorists in Mexico, and evidence showing terrorist networks potentially working closely with Mexican drug cartels is even more disturbing.”

With Duncan’s bill clearing the House of Representatives without a single Democrat objection, the legislation has a chance of passing out of the United States Senate.

“Iran’s actions in our neighborhood represent a real threat to our safety and security,” said Duncan. “This bill provides the first step to countering Iran’s hostile presence right here at home, and I’m hopeful that this measure will move quickly through the Senate.”

Duncan’s legislation:

  • This legislation establishes a strong U.S. posture, policy, and relationship with Latin American countries
  • Protects U.S. interests and assets in the Western Hemisphere such as embassies, consulates, businesses, energy pipelines, and cultural organizations, including threats to U.S. allies
  • Addresses the vital national security interests of the United States by ensuring that energy supplies from the Western Hemisphere are free from the influence of any foreign government that would attempt to manipulate or disrupt global energy markets
  • Requires a secure U.S. border with the U.S. working in coordination with the governments of Mexico and Canada to prevent Iranian operatives from entering the U.S. Counters efforts by foreign persons, entities, and governments in the region to assist Iran in evading U.S. and international sanctions

Iran Courts Latin America

by Ilan Berman

Middle East Quarterly
Summer 2012, pp. 63-69 (view PDF)

In October 2011, U.S. attorney general Eric Holder and FBI director Robert Mueller revealed the thwarting of an elaborate plot by elements in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington at a posh D.C. eatery, utilizing members of the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel.[1]

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) hosted an Iftar (fast breaking) ceremony on Ramadan in Tehran, September 3, 2009, which was attended by Bolivian president Evo Morales (right) during a two-day official visit. Tehran is now believed to be extracting uranium from as many as eleven different sites in Bolivia close to the country’s industrial capital of Santa Cruz.

The foiled terrorist plot, with its Latin American connections, focused new attention on what had until then been a largely overlooked political phenomenon: the intrusion of the Islamic Republic of Iran into the Western Hemisphere. An examination of Tehran’s behavioral pattern in the region over the past several years reveals four distinct strategic objectives: loosening the U.S.-led international noose to prevent it from building nuclear weapons; obtaining vital resources for its nuclear project; creating informal networks for influence projection and sanctions evasion; and establishing a terror infrastructure that could target the U.S. homeland.

Building Western Hemisphere Alliances

Outreach to Latin America is seen by the Iranian regime first and foremost as a means to lessen its deepening international isolation. Since 2003, when its previously clandestine nuclear program became a pressing international issue, Tehran has sought to mitigate the mounting political and economic restrictions levied against it by the United States and its allies through intensified diplomatic outreach abroad.

Due to its favorable geopolitical climate—typified by vast ungoverned areas and widespread anti-Americanism—Latin America has become an important focus of this effort. Over the past decade, the regime has nearly doubled the number of embassies in the region (from six in 2005 to ten in 2010) and has devoted considerable energy to forging economic bonds with sympathetic regional governments.[2]

Far and away the most prominent such partnership has been with Venezuela. Since Hugo Chavez became president in 1999, alignment with Tehran has emerged as a cardinal tenet of Caracas’s foreign policy. The subsequent election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Iranian presidency in 2005 kicked cooperation into high gear with dramatic results. Today, the two countries enjoy an extensive and vibrant strategic partnership. Venezuela has emerged as an important source of material assistance for Tehran’s sprawling nuclear program as well as a vocal diplomatic backer of its right to atomic power.[3] The Chavez regime also has become a safe haven and source of financial support for Hezbollah, Iran’s most powerful terrorist proxy.[4] In turn, Tehran’s feared Revolutionary Guard has become involved in training Venezuela’s secret services and police.[5] Economic contacts between Caracas and Tehran likewise have exploded—expanding from virtually nil in the early 2000s to more than $20 billion in total trade and cooperation agreements today.[6]

Just as significantly, Venezuela has served as Iran’s gateway for further economic and diplomatic expansion into the region. Aided by its partnership with Caracas and bolstered by a shared anti-American outlook, Tehran has succeeded in forging significant strategic, economic, and political links with the regime of Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador. Even Iran’s relations with Argentina, where Iranian-supported terrorists carried out major bombings in 1992 and 1994, have improved in recent times, as the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has hewed a more conciliatory line toward Tehran.[7]

It would be a mistake, however, to view these contacts as simply pragmatic—or strictly defensive. The Iranian regime’s sustained systematic outreach to regional states suggests that it sees the Western Hemisphere as a crucial strategic theater for expanding its own influence and reducing that of the United States. Indeed, a 2009 dossier prepared by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that “since Ahmadinejad’s rise to power, Tehran has been promoting an aggressive policy aimed at bolstering its ties with Latin American countries with the declared goal of ‘bringing America to its knees.'”[8] This view is increasingly shared by the U.S. military: In its 2010 report on Iranian military power, the Office of the Secretary of Defense noted that “Iran seeks to increase its stature by countering U.S. influence and expanding ties with regional actors” in Latin America.[9]

To this end, Tehran is ramping up its strategic messaging to the region. In late January, on the heels of Ahmadinejad’s very public four-country tour of Latin America, the Iranian regime formally launched HispanTV, a Spanish-language analogue to its English-language Press TV channel.[10] The television outlet has been depicted by Ahmadinejad as part of his government’s efforts to “limit the ground for supremacy of dominance seekers”—a thinly-veiled reference to U.S. influence in the Western Hemisphere.[11]

As Ahmadinejad’s statement indicates, Tehran is pursuing a strategy that promotes its own ideology and influence in Latin America at Washington’s expense. In this endeavor, it has been greatly aided by Chavez, who himself has worked diligently to diminish U.S. political and economic presence in the region under the banner of a new “Bolivarian” revolution.

Read more

Iran’s Offensive in America’s Backyard

By Clare Lopez:

While much attention lately has rightly been focused on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the mullahs have also been busy elsewhere—especially in America’s own backyard. During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s two-term presidency, Iran has expanded its activity in the Western Hemisphere to an alarming degree.

Tehran has found hospitable terrain among some of Latin America’s most anti-American regimes, including in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The jihadist regime’s hundreds of commercial, diplomatic and security ventures across the region not only help it break out of isolation, evade U.S. and international sanctions and forge relationships that provide access to needed resources, but also gain a foothold for Iranian intelligence, military and terrorist operations within striking distance of the American homeland.

Since Ahmadinejad took over the Iranian presidency in 2005, his administration has expanded Iran’s diplomatic facilities in Latin America from five to 11 and set up 17 “cultural centers.” Every one of these provides cover slots for operatives of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Quds Force and intelligence service (MOIS – Ministry of Intelligence and Security).

Their job is to manage relationships with narcotrafficking, organized crime and terrorist organizations. Riding the vector of a bourgeoning Lebanese Shi’ite immigrant population in South America dating to the 1970’s, Hizballah has made the region a focus of its attack plotting, fundraising, money laundering, proselytizing, recruitment and terror training activities.

Evidence also is mounting that Hizballah cells, with members in the hundreds, increasingly are working in cooperation with Mexican drug cartels, sharing terrorist expertise with them, and moving northward, across the border and up into the U.S. and Canada.

Reza Khalili, a former IRGC officer and CIA spy, says that IRGC units are running operations out of U.S. mosques and Islamic Centers. Toronto authorities have just discovered antisemitic, jihadist passages from Iranian sources in public school textbooks.

To date, though, U.S. leadership, fixated on negotiating Iranian compliance on nuclear issues, has been reluctant to see Iran’s Western Hemisphere activities as the critical national security threat that they are.

Read more

Mexican Jihad

by Raymond Ibrahim:

As the United States considers the Islamic jihadi threats confronting it from all sides, it would do well to focus on its southern neighbor, Mexico, which has been targeted by Islamists and jihadists, who, through a number of tactics—from engaging in da’wa, converting Mexicans to Islam, to smuggling and the drug cartel, simple extortion, kidnappings and enslavement—have been subverting Mexico in order to empower Islam and sabotage the U.S.

According to a 2010 report, “Close to home: Hezbollah terrorists are plotting right on the U.S. border,” which appeared in the NY Daily News:

Mexican authorities have rolled up a Hezbollah network being built in Tijuana … closer to American homes than the terrorist hideouts in the Bekaa Valley are to Israel. Its goal, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper that reported on the investigation: to strike targets in Israel and the West. Over the years, Hezbollah—rich with Iranian oil money and narcocash—has generated revenue by cozying up with Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. In this, it has shadowed the terrorist-sponsoring regime in Tehran, which has been forging close ties with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who in turn supports the narcoterrorist organization FARC, which wreaks all kinds of havoc throughout the region.

Another 2010 article appearing in the Washington Times asserts that, “with fresh evidence of Hezbollah activity just south of the border [in Mexico], and numerous reports of Muslims from various countries posing as Mexicans and crossing into the United States from Mexico, our porous southern border is a national security nightmare waiting to happen.” This is in keeping with a recent study done by Georgetown University, which revealed that the number of immigrants from Lebanon and Syria living in Mexico exceeds 200,000. Syria, along with Iran, is one of Hezbollah’s strongest financial and political supporters, and Lebanon is the immigrants’ country of origin. Just like only 19 jihadists were necessary to cause the devastation of September 11, 2001, only a handful of these 200,000 are necessary to wreak havoc north of the border.

A jihadist cell in Mexico was recently found to have a weapons cache of 100 M-16 assault rifles, 100 AR-15 rifles, 2,500 hand grenades, C4 explosives and antitank munitions. The weapons, it turned out, had been smuggled by Muslims from Iraq. According to this report, “obvious concerns have arisen concerning Hezbollah’s presence in Mexico and possible ties to Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTO’s) operating along the U.S.-Mexico border.”

As far back as 2005, an article entitled “Islam is gaining a Foothold in Chiapas” showcased the inroads of Islam in Mexico:

Long a bastion of Catholicism, southern Mexico is quickly turning into a battleground for soul-savers. Islam, too, is gaining a foothold and the indigenous Mayans are converting by the hundreds. The Mexican government is worried about a culture clash in their own backyard… Muslim women in headscarves have become a common sight….

To appreciate the significance of the fact that Muslim headscarves “have become a common sight” in Mexico, consider the words of former jihadist Tawfik Hamid, who personally knew al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri. In his book, Inside Jihad, he writes: “The proliferation of the hijab [Muslim headscarves] is strongly correlated with increased terrorism…. Terrorism became much more frequent in such societies as Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria, and the U.K. after the hijab became prevalent among Muslim women living in those communities.”

After discussing an increase in converts to Islam, the article continues by saying: “It’s a development that is beginning to worry the Mexican government. Indeed, the government even suspects the new converts of subversive activity and has already set the secret service onto the track of the Mayan Muslims. Mexican President Vincente Fox has even gone so far as to say he fears the influence of the radical fundamentalists of al-Qaida” [emphasis added].

Kidnappings, as part of a drug cartel or as part of a jihadist operation, which legitimizes crimes such as kidnapping and child slavery, have become increasingly common. To convert non-Muslims to their cause, Islamists also whip up—and then exploit—a sense of “grievance” against the “white man.”

In addition, according to counterterrorism experts in this report, Islamic terrorists blend in better with Mexicans than with Europeans, thereby enabling them to sneak into the U.S. across the southwest border. This Muslim cleric, for example, discusses how easy it is to smuggle a briefcase containing anthrax from Mexico into America, thereby killing at least some 330,000 Americans in a single hour.

Read more

Middle East Terrorists Operating along Arizona Southern Border

By Lyle J. Rapacki, Ph.D. at FSM:

The southern border of Arizona remains unsecure with a growing threat from those who detest America in every way and intend to destroy our country. This threat is not simply Mexican drug dealers, although they are posing an ever increasing and violent presence as they move into Arizona, and then launch their activities into 257 known American cities, according to the National Association for Retired Border Patrol Officers.  A more ominous threat of the unsecure southern border into the U.S. is the increased activity of Middle Eastern terrorists. Since Oct, 2003, Border Patrol agents in the Tucson, AZ sector apprehended 5,510 illegals from countries other than Mexico, Central or South America. 

In this Tucson sector, captured illegals were Middle Eastern and spoke Farsi or Arabic. A large number of these that were apprehended escaped capture and disappeared into the United States

The Arizona desert is littered with evidence of illegals coming from countries that are violently opposed to and stated enemies of America; especially countries like Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, and the spreading al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Further evidence demonstrates the growing relationship and cooperation by these terrorist groups and drug cartels, as well as criminal gangs like MS-13. 

Much of this activity stems from miles of open borders in Arizona, and the fierce open miles of desert unique to southern Arizona. One cannot fully appreciate, much less understand, the rough and unforgiving regions of desert unless you actually have been there – pictures alone will not suffice. Cartels and gangs have taken up residence on multiple pathways, created desert roadways, mountains and command activity within their dedicated region or sector. With military grade weapons, satellite communications, high powered vision aide, these scouts and small pockets of “soldiers” are becoming increasingly formidable. This aids in the movement of small groups of suspected terrorists through the desert deep into Arizona, and then to a final destination.

FOR YOUR ANALYSIS AND CONSIDERATION

 
1.        The U.S. Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs received testimony on February 2nd, 2012, that demonstrated Iran’s growing influence along the U.S. Border south of Arizona. Michael Braun, a former chief of operations for DEA, testified that Hezbollah has developed strong and sophisticated relationships with Mexican drug cartels. One dimension to this relationship is the control of the southern Border of Arizona, then corridors into every region of America.
 
2.        There is growing “chatter” that Iran will strike the United States from within if Iran’s nuclear program is attacked. Once again, the southern Border of Arizona comes into focus, as a significant corridor for assets hostile to America to travel.
 
3.        Besides Iran and Hezbollah, South American satellite terrorist-sponsoring nations like Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua are assisting with the massing and training of terrorists, weapons (including medium-range missiles), logistics and other support. Latin America is quickly becoming a platform from which an attack against the United States can be launched. This includes moving aforesaid terrorist groups, with cooperation from Mexican drug cartels, right up to the border south of Arizona and into Arizona, an activity that was revealed in testimony before the U.S. Congress Committee on Homeland Security, subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence on 7 July 2011.
 
4.        Back in 2005, a captured ranking al-Qaeda agent revealed the plan to move nuclear materials from South America through the border and into America for attacks at a later date. Adnan ash-Shukrijumah, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, it was learned, was chosen by bin Laden to serve as the field commander for the terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The code name: “The American Hiroshima” plan was affixed. This plan purportedly is to launch simultaneous explosions on American cities. American law enforcement agencies have been seriously looking for Adnan ash-Shukrijumah since 2005. The latest “FBI Most Wanted” reports (1/19/2012) indicate that Shukrijumah is still at large.    
 
5.        The Federal Government is proclaiming how border apprehensions are down 40%. This is misleading. What is not being shared with the public is the fact that Fed policy is to count only selected groups and allow others to go free or to turn south back to Mexico counting neither category.
 

 

Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Lyle J. Rapacki, Ph.D. is a frequent contributor to RFFM.org. Rapacki is private-sector intelligence analyst. The head of SENTINEL INTELLIGENCE SERVICES, LLC, Rapacki receives and disseminates critical intelligence and policy information from and to law enforcement, intelligence and homeland security officials, and government and community leaders; Rapacki is the author of dozens of white papers, bulletins and briefings, and he is frequently called on to share his expertise with public and private security directors and organizations. He serves as a Special Advisor to select members of the Arizona State Senate and House of Representatives on matters of Intelligence and state security.