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Terrorism and Drug Routes

Once again we are reminded of the seriousness of border security and the terrorist implications by the revelation that Hezbollah uses Mexican drug (cartel) routes to gain entry to the United States.

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...

The article attempts to reassure us that there have been no known terrorist events perpetrated by Hezbollah as a result of using these routes. But if you examine the statements of Michael Braun, former Assistant Administrator and Chief of Operations of the DEA, the implications are clear:

● Hezbollah relies on "the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels."

● "They work together...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]."

Is it that difficult to project trouble looming on the near horizon given that Hezbollah, with the support of Iran, and perhaps in concert with our "friends" in South America (Hugo Chavez and Danny Ortega) and operating in the Tri-Border region of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, might be working to destabilize Mexico? Or perhaps be a source of the weapons and ammunition flowing to the drug cartels in Mexico (instead of Texas being the source)?

While awareness of the nexus of narcotics and human smuggling with terrorism seems to have "suddenly dawned" on U.S. officials, it has been clear for more than ten years that the illegal narcotics trade flowing from Mexico represented a serious flaw in U.S. security. The blinders however are not new. In fact in May 2002, in response to a rhetorical question, "Isn't there a fairly strong feeling that narcotics in this country is a terrorist activity?" a representative of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism remarked:

"There are similarities, but [drug trafficking and terrorism] are two different things," he says. "Where they start to go apart is that drugs are such an epidemic. If all drug dealers and cartels were terrorist organizations we'd be in big trouble."

Yes, this same article has been referenced a number of times before (it bears repeating). Knowledge of the drug tunnels crossing the border dates to the early 1990's. That Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations could be blending with the narco-terrorists in Mexico should be no surprise. Rather, the "surprise" is in the revelation.

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