Growing Hezbollah Presence in Southwest U.S.

Hezbollah’s ‘business relationship’ with Mexican drug cartels is a driving force behind this phenomenon.

Hezbollah - LevittBY RYAN MAURO:

Terrorism expert Matthew Levitt writes that an increasing number of U.S. prison inmates have tattoos that are pro-Hezbollah or are in Farsi, the language spoken in Iran. The claim is made in Levitt’s new book, Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God.

“Law enforcement officials across the Southwest are reporting a rise in imprisoned gang members with Farsi tattoos” and some express loyalty to Hezbollah.

His book includes an eye-opening quote from another official: “You could almost pick your city and you would probably have a [Hezbollah] presence.”

Hezbollah’s business relationship with Mexican drug cartels is seen as a driving force behind the phenomenon.

In 2009, Michael Braun, former Chief of Operations for the Drug Enforcement Agency, said that Hezbollah uses “the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels.”

In April 2010, an individual named Jamal Yousef was apprehended in New York City. During interrogation, he admitted to stealing weapons from Iraq for Hezbollah. Yousef alone knew of a Hezbollah stockpile in Mexico that included 100 M-16 assault rifles, 100 AR-15 rifles, 2500 hand grenades, C4 explosives and anti-tank weapons.

An actual member of Hezbollah was captured in Tijuana in July 2010. His arrest was the smoking gun proof that Hezbollah is investing in building a network in Mexico.

Read more at The Clarion Fund

 

The following clip, “Radical Islamic Recruitment Inside U.S. Prisons” is from The Clarion Project film, The Third Jihad:

 

With lure of religious classes, Iran seeks to recruit Latin Americans

AP -  This1995 photo shows Moshen Rabbani, former cultural attache in the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

AP – This1995 photo shows Moshen Rabbani, former cultural attache in the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

By :

The Mexican law student was surprised by how easy it was to get into Iran two years ago. By merely asking questions about Islam at a party, he managed to pique the interest of Iran’s top diplomat in Mexico. Months later, he had a plane ticket and a scholarship to a mysterious school in Iran as a guest of the Islamic Republic.

Next came the start of classes and a second surprise: There were dozens of others just like him.

(Alejandro Pagni/ASSOCIATED PRESS) - Firefighters and rescue workers search through the rubble of the Buenos Aires Jewish Community center, after a car bomb rocked the building, killing 85 people, on July 18, 1994. Mohsen Rabbani, who currently runs several programs in Iran for Latin American students, was accused of the bombing.

(Alejandro Pagni/ASSOCIATED PRESS) – Firefighters and rescue workers search through the rubble of the Buenos Aires Jewish Community center, after a car bomb rocked the building, killing 85 people, on July 18, 1994. Mohsen Rabbani, who currently runs several programs in Iran for Latin American students, was accused of the bombing.

“There were 25 or 30 of us in my class, all from Latin America,” recalled the student, who was just 19 when he arrived at the small institute that styled itself an Iranian madrassa for Hispanics. “I met Colombians, Venezuelans, multiple Argentines.” Many were new Muslim converts, he said, and all were subject to an immersion course, in perfect Spanish, in what he described as “anti-Americanism and Islam.”

The student, whose first name is Carlos but who spoke on the condition that his full name not be used, left for home only three months later. But his brief Iranian adventure provides a window into an unusual outreach program by Iran, one that targets young adults from countries south of the U.S. border. In recent years, the program has brought hundreds of Latin Americans to Iran for intensive Spanish-language instruction in Iranian religion and culture, much of it supervised by a man who is wanted internationally on terrorism charges, according to U.S. officials and experts.

They describe the program as part of a larger effort by Iran to expand its influence in the Western Hemisphere by building a network of supporters and allies in America’s backyard. The initiative includes not only the recruitment of foreign students for special study inside Iran, but also direct outreach to Latin countries through the construction of mosques and cultural centers and, beginning last year, a new cable TV network that broadcasts Iranian programming in Spanish.

Regional experts say such “soft power” initiatives are mainly political, intended in particular to strengthen Tehran’s foothold in countries such as Venezuela and Ecuador, which share similar anti-American views. But in some cases, Iranian officials have sought to enlist Latin Americans for espionage and even hacking operations targeting U.S. computer systems, according to U.S. and Latin American law-enforcement and intelligence officials.

report issued in May by an Argentine prosecutor cited evidence of “local clandestine intelligence networks” organized by Iran in several South American countries. The document accused Tehran of using religious and cultural programs as cover to create a “capability to provide logistic, economic and operative support to terrorist attacks decided by the Islamic regime.”

Singled out in the report is an Iranian cleric and government official, Mohsen Rabbani, who runs several programs in Iran for Latin American students, including the one attended by Carlos. A former cultural attache in Buenos Aires, Rabbani was accused by Argentina of aiding the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in that city that killed 85 people, the country’s deadliest terrorist attack.

Read more at Washington Post

LOS ZETAS AND HEZBOLLAH, A DEADLY ALLIANCE OF TERROR AND VICE

south-america-globe The Americas Report on July 8, 2013

By Terence Rosenthal:

When Americans think about the illegal drug trade and black markets in Mexico, it is probable that they do not associate them with terrorism, or Islamic fundamentalism. One would think that drug cartels like Los Zetas, the most sophisticated and second most powerful drug cartel in Mexico would have enough allies and connections not to need the assistance of an organization like Hezbollah based half way across the world in Lebanon. However, there is proof that Hezbollah, as well as elements of the Iranian Quds force are functioning with cartels like Los Zetas, the most sophisticated drug cartel in Mexico. The combination of power hungry cartels like Los Zetas, and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah who want a presence in North America, in or near the United States inhibit U.S. companies from wanting to conduct business in Mexico, and should not remain unnoticed.

The question is, how did this deadly alliance come into existence? For decades, immigrants, legal and illegal, have been arriving in Mexico from Lebanon. This population has been growing steadily, and has a certain level of favorability with Hezbollah. One of the creations of Hezbollah in Mexico is that of well-connected global drug dealers, like Ayman Joumaa. Joumaa, indicted in 2011 is of Lebanese heritage, and has been linked to Hezbollah, and Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel. With the help of the Los Zetas, and companies like The Lebanese Canadian Bank, Ayman Joumaa has laundered between $850 and $900 million.

Joumaa is known among Israeli intelligence as being in contact with Hezbollah elite forces, and was connected to senior operatives handling Hezbollah drug operations. He has received bulk payments of U.S. dollars in Mexico City after coordinating drug shipments from South America to the Los Zetas cartel, receiving a cut for laundering and camouflaging funds. Drug and contraband profits were disguised through the trading and selling of used cars through an exchange in Africa with the help of Beirut exchange houses. Eventually, similar fraud rings connected to Joumaa were discovered throughout North and South America, and the Middle East. Various methods of investment fraud are typically used by drug dealers to cover their tracks. Many fraud rings use creative investment tactics that can pass as legal activity if not scrutinized. One such operation involved the selling of thorough-bred horses to cover up the trade of millions of dollars in fraudulent drug money.

Since 2005, Iran and Hezbollah have developed a presence in Latin America, opening 17 cultural centers, and forming relations with the Mexican drug cartels. 200,000 immigrants from Lebanon and Syria, many of whom are illegal residents, live in Mexico, and have established residence with the help of drug cartels like Los Zetas, the most technically advanced of Mexico’s drug cartels. Those who are sympathetic to Islamic extremist movements make perfect recruits for the drug trade because they understand how illegal activity in the Americas empowers whoever wishes to weaken the power of U.S. sovereignty. As shown by the increase of Islamic missionaries in Mexico, as well as the growing influence of Hezbollah and Iran, it is clear that Islamists are trying to win the hearts and minds of the Mexican people. However, beneath these seemingly peaceful developments lie the fact that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard and Quds forces are partnering with major Mexican drug cartels. They are learning Mexican culture, as well as Spanish, and are starting to blend in with native-born Mexicans.

 Read more

Former Amb. on State Dept. Report on Hezbollah: “Borders on a Lie”

-694421257Center For Security Policy:

Roger Noriega, former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, is blasting a recently released State Department report, which claims that there are no “known operational cells of either al-Qa’ida or Hizballah” in the Western Hemisphere.

“Quite frankly, to be very blunt about it, I think this [report] borders on a lie. This report has become a diplomatic report, formulated not to offend anybody. But in terms of shedding any real operational, tactical light on the very real threat that we face in this hemisphere…it just falls well short of that.”

In an interview airing Tuesday on Frank Gaffney’s radio show, Noriega lays part of the blame for the mincing of words in the State Department’s report on the same “fear of offending” that led to the much-criticized Benghazi talking points—in this instance, fear of offending Mexico.

To this shortcoming, Noriega has some blunt advice. “The Mexicans are grownups. They don’t want a terrorist threat to happen in their territory or along our mutual border worse than any of us. We just have to shoot straight with them.”

Additionally, because of the Obama administration’s desire to see organized terrorism as obsolete, he argues, it seemingly has “set the bar so high that they don’t have to acknowledge any kind of threat, so they have an instantaneous excuse not to formulate an effective policy for responding to that threat.“

“This administration is very fond of saying how they’ve shattered the leadership of international terrorism and that we only have to worry about these lone wolves,” Noriega says.  “Then they flip it around and say, ‘Well, there may be lone wolves, but there’s no operational control.’ Well, really, they can’t have it both ways.”

Noriega contends that there are substantial threats posed by Hezbollah and Iranian operatives in the region, including Mohsen Rabbani, who is wanted in connection to the 1994 terrorist bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, and Ghazi Atef Nassereddine Abu Ali. According to Noriega, the latter is “Hezbollah’s representative to the petro-rich state of Venezuela, which is essentially a sponsor of Hezbollah and Iran’s best friend in the Western hemisphere.”

Those two men and their allies are not “lone-wolves,” but experts working with extensive financial backing, Noriega says, that are part of a wider threat. “What we see here is really a synergy, a collaborative threat of narco-traffickers, money launderers, radical political movements, terrorist organizations, Iran and Venezuela, all operating—maybe not in a coordinated or integrated way, but definitely in a collaborative way.”

South American & Mexican Hezbollah Jihadis Threaten the United States

20130220_hezbollah_south_americaby ALAN KORNMAN:

History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid” – Gen. Eisenhower.

The Iranians and their terrorist proxy Hezbollah has been building forward operating bases in the Tri-Border area of South America and Mexico for the last three decades.  Venezuela’s uranium deposits have been an important and rarely reported on component fueling Iran’s efforts to win the hearts and minds of the people in Latin America and Mexico.

Iranian Press Expose the Hispanic Insurgency

Sending young Iranian clerics to Latin American countries to spread Iranian-style radical Shi’ite Islam: To prepare for such missions, clerics train for three years, and study a variety of subjects to help them in their activity in Latin America: Spanish, religions and cultures of Latin America, and skills for converting Spanish speakers to Islam. In February 2012 Hojjat-ol-Eslam Ruhollah Maheri, the deputy director of the institute, announced that registration was open for the eighth course. Those interested were asked to call the institute or send an application form by email (AmuzehSpanish@gmail.com). (Rasa News Agency, 2/15/2012)(ITIC)

U.S. Congress Alerts The Nation

Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management, in a 2012 report report titled, “A Line  In The Sand: Countering Crime, Violence and Terror At The Southwest Border“,  is alerting Americans to a very serious problem that we must all become aware.

Of growing concern are Hezbollah, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Quds Force, partnering with Mexican and South American drug syndicates, joining in  lucrative drug, gun running, counterfeiting, and human trafficking operations.  Out of these associations, Islamic terrorist groups are making hundreds of millions of dollars while exploiting our Mexican border and entering the United States at any time of their choosing, often cloaked as illegal immigrants.

Wikileaks Exposes U.S. Brazilian Counterterrorism Recommendations (2011)

CONFIDENTIAL SÃO PAULO 000653

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SR FARAH PANDITH, KAREN CHANDLER AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PASS TO AMCONSUL RECIFE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/11/20

TAGS: PGOV OEXC OIIP PHUM PINR PINS PROP SCUL PTER BR

SUBJECT: Scenesetter for SR Farah Pandith’s Visit to Brazil: São Paulo’s Muslims

REF: São PAULO 433 São PAULO 421 BRASILIA 709 2008 São PAULO 542

Classified By: David C. Brooks, State POL; Reason: 1.4 (d)

The U.S. government also wishes to develop relations between U.S. Muslim community leaders and the Muslim communities in Brazil. They hope that by fostering a connection they will “bolster mainstream Islam in Brazil, highlight the importance of freedom of religion in America, the diversity of Islam in America, and debunk the myths that exist about Islam in America.” Additionally it would further the Sao Paulo Muslim community’s effort to spread its “interfaith relations… with other Muslim communities around the World.”

“Post, Karen Chandler, has suggested several possible programs, including a campaign to provide consular information to Muslim contacts, a series of outreach presentations on President Obama, and, most important, our desire to bring down a visiting U.S. Sheik who can explain how Islam is now a vital part of American society and build ties with local religious leaders. Given its size, diversity and traditions of cultural tolerance, Brazil could be an excellent testing ground for programs that might be useful to other WHA posts with similar Muslim minority populations.”

Obama and State Department Arrogance and Idiocy Towards Political Islam

The United States is an Infidel nation, following man made laws, in direct violation of Islamic Law.  For President Obama’s Foreign Policy team to think we can “influence Hezbollah Islam in Brazil by promoting the diversity of Islam in America” as a force multiplier across the South America region to counter the Hezbollah power base in the tri-border area, is patently absurd and quite dangerous.

Our State Department articulates they will achieve this naive objective above by doing a “series of outreach presentations on President Obama and bringing down a U.S. Sheik to say how important Islam is to American Society.”

The WikiLeaks memo above focuses a neon light on how utterly ignorant our State Department officials are about the Islamic Threat Doctrine, Hezbollah, Al-Queda, and the Muslim Brotherhood.  American policy makers believe this mythical form of Infidel U.S. friendly Islam will out Islam the truer Islam of Iran is like the Keystone Cops giving tactical training to the Navy SEAL’s.

Hezbollah is currently sending Jihadis through the porous Mexican / U.S. Border creating a national security risk which The Obama Administration refuses to name, much less address and counter.

Read more: Family Security Matters 

Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Alan Kornman is the regional coordinator of The United West-Uniting Western Civilization for Freedom and Liberty. His email is: alan@theunitedwest.org

 

Update: Creeping Sharia has extensive coverage of Hezbollah in Belize:

Hezbollah getting passports in Belize to travel from Mexico to U.S.

 

Previous CJR posts on the growing terrorist threat from Hezbollah in South America: