Who is Al Qaeda?
"When video was released showing the two top Al Qaeda spokesmen, taking the place of Osama bin Laden, were American born Jews, the news was quickly removed from the press."
A created enemy to prolong a war, which provides cover for insanely profitable drug trafficking among other things, and which directs Americans to hate Muslims.
In the past year the war appears to move to the Western Hemisphere via West African and South American drug trafficking routes.
(Reuters 1/4/10) Colombia rebels, al Qaeda in "unholy" drug alliance Colombian guerrillas have entered into "an unholy alliance" with Islamic extremists who are helping the Marxist rebels smuggle cocaine through Africa on its way to European consumers, a U.S. official told Reuters. Interdiction efforts have made it more difficult to send cocaine straight from Colombia and other Andean producer nations to the United States and Europe.Al Qaeda, as shown above. Helping Islamic extremists and Marxist rebels smuggle drugs.
So criminal organizations including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, are going through Africa to access the European market. And they are doing it with the help of al Qaeda and other groups branded terrorists by Washington, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. [Jay Bergman, DEA director for the Andean region of South America - ed.]
The hub of organized crime in South America is the Tri-Border Area (TBA).
In 2003, a paper titled Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America (pdf) described in detail the many criminal and Islamist elements from around the world operating in the TBA, an organized crime paradise. Chinese, Russian, Lebanese, etc. Eventually, the TBA came to the attention of the appropriate authorities.The TBA narrative extends well back into the 1990s. Has the problem been solved? No. Organized crime activities, including human trafficking, continues at full tilt from the TBA.
The bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992, followed by the bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (Asociación Mutual Israeli-Argentina —AMIA), a Jewish community center, in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, focused the attention of the TBA countries, Israel, and the United States on the TBA because the investigation into both attacks led back to Hizballah operatives in the TBA.There's actually a very well-developed narrative about this area being connected to Hezbollah, Hamas, Lebanon, Iran and al Qaeda, among others. (Terrorist threat in the Tri-Border Area: myth or reality? 2004; Organized Crime: From Trafficking to Terrorism, Volume 2, pp. 159-161)
TBA drug traffickers have been laundering their drug money through US banks also back into the 1990s:
One of the most well known money laundering scandals involved Banestado, the bank of Brazil’s Parana state. In 1995, five banks in the tri-border region, including Banestado, were authorized to open currency exchange accounts, known as CC-5 accounts. CC-5 accounts quickly became popular in money laundering, and brokers opened hundreds of fake CC-5 accounts, into which criminals deposited millions of reals. The money was then wired in dollars to the Banestado branch in New York City and from there to other banks, usually in countries considered to be tax havens. Money changers and complicit Banestado officials took cuts from each transaction. More than 250 phony CC-5 accounts have since been identified, and it is suspected that as much as $30 billion passed through Banestado accounts in the U.S. between 1996 and 1999, a portion of which was likely laundered. The case is still being investigated. (6/10/08)
Meanwhile, the scourge of murderous drug traffickers in Mexico, on the US border, has increased.
All the problems only seem to get worse, even though the authorities know about them. Why is that?
The difference between state-sponsored violence and gang-related violence, as seen in Guatemala:
Gang-related violence has certain characteristics.
Social cleansing and state-sponsored violence has different characteristics.
- bodies are not usually mutilated or tortured
- perpetrators almost always use guns
- bodies are most often left in the place where the homicide occurred
- gang members flee the crime scene quickly to avoid being apprehended
- perpetrators usually lack the resources to move bodies without being seen or caught
- motives are usually self-defense or revenge
- bodies are often heavily mutilated and tortured, strangled, cut up, beaten, bound
- bodies are left in relatively public spaces, showing a high level of premeditation
- the perpetrators have the money and protection to transport the body to a public place
- motives are exterminating a specific social group, creating and/or reinforcing a culture of terror
- terror is amplified and compounded by retelling and news reports
- gangs are named as perpetrators, the culture of fear reinforced
Social cleansing and state-sponsored violence does not get investigated.
What may arguably be the strongest indication of the state’s role in the current violence is an absolute void of effective homicide investigations. Null or non-existent forensic investigations are a textbook indication of social cleansing. They allow for complete impunity, a heightened culture of terror, and increased powerlessness of victims’ family members, and more widely, civil society.
Rep Sue Myrick (R-NC) has told Janet Napolitano to provide increased surveillance for Hezbollah operations along the US Mexico border.
Or, as put by Israel Today: http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=21409
Lebanese terrorist militia Hizballah is eager to threaten not only Israel, but its allies in the US as well. What better way to reach them than to team up with the top infiltrators of American borders, the Mexican drug cartels?Indeed, what better way indeed? The Mexican drug cartels have been getting away with bloody murder for a long time, and no one ever seems to be able to do a thing about it. Hey what took Hezbollah so long to figure this out?
Myrick Calls For Taskforce to Investigate Presence of Hezbollah on the US Southern Border
Dear Secretary Napolitano:
Former intelligence officials have suggested that Hezbollah has increased its presence in Central and South America, and are now operating in Mexico and on our southern border. Even more troubling is that I believe Hezbollah and the drug cartels may be operating as partners on our border.
I believe we need to do more intelligence gathering on Hezbollah's presence on our border. I therefore request that you form a Homeland Security task force to engage US and Mexican law enforcement and border patrol officials about Hezbollah's presence, activities, and connections to gangs and drug cartels.
This task force should develop a public report on this issue, so that the American public understands these threats. They should also develop a report for intelligence officials and policymakers, complete with policy recommendations on how we can clamp down on Hezbollah's operations on our border.
Where is the evidence?
Thanks to the good work done by the Treasury Department, terrorist organizations like Hezbollah have found it increasingly hard to obtain or transfer funds through financial institutions. As a result, Hezbollah has increased their presence in drug trafficking to obtain funds that cannot be traced.Oooooh, a conspiracy. Unidentified former intelligence officials suspecting things and driving policy.
Many experts believe Hezbollah and drug cartels have been loosely working together for decades. We have seen their cooperation in countries across South America, particularly the tri-border area of South America (bounded by Puerto Iguazu, Argentina; Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; and Foz do Iguazo, Brazil). Hezbollah operates almost like a Mafia family in this region, often demanding protection money and "taxes" from local inhabitants.
In fact, while speaking about Hezbollah and the drug cartels, former Chief of Operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Michael Braun stated: "Hezbollah relies on the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartel...They work together; they rely on the same shadow facilitators. One way or another they are all connected."
The connection between Hezbollah and the drug cartels has seemed to grow over the past few years. This may be especially true on the US Southern border.
Across states in the Southwest, well trained officials are beginning to notice the tattoos of gang members in prisons are being written in Farsi. We have typically seen tattoos in Arabic, but Farsi implies a Persian influence that can likely be traced back to Iran and its proxy army, Hezbollah. These tattoos in Farsi are almost always seen in combination with gang or drug cartel tattoos. These combinations have been increasing in number and point to the fact that these criminals are tied to both Hezbollah and gangs and drug cartels.
Former intelligence officials have pointed to the terrain that makes up our border, especially in the San Diego border sector, as a reason why drug cartels have been partnering with Hezbollah. This terrain is very much like the areas around Israel's borders. As we well know, Hezbollah is extremely skilled in the construction of tunnels. Israel has time and again found Hezbollah tunnels leading into Israel, some of which are large enough to accommodate trucks. Likewise, these intelligence officials say that the drug cartels, in an effort to dig larger and more effective tunnels, are employing the expertise of Hezbollah. For their expertise, Hezbollah could be receiving a cut of the drug money or even be helping put cash up front to assist in the overall drug operations.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appear have formed a tight bond. This is concerning on many levels, but it may also explain the recent rise of Iranian nationals being apprehended by well trained border agents. Experts believe Iranian agents and members of Hezbollah are going to Venezuela to learn Spanish. When somewhat fluent, they obtain false documents in hopes of crossing the US border as a Hispanic. If stopped by border agents when trying to cross, they try to pass off as Mexican. Only well trained border agents can detect that their Spanish accent is Venezuelan, not Mexican. If this is not detected they are merely sent back into Mexico where they try to cross into the US again, rather than binging detained for more questioning.
The Venezuela and Hezbollah false documentation connection is further supported by NY County District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau's comments at a Brookings Institution speech on December 8, 2009. He stated: "Particularly alarming, within the ranks of Chavez's corrupt government lie supporters of Hezbollah. In fact, Mr. El Aissami, who at one time headed Onidex, the Venezuelan passport and naturalization agency inside the interior ministry, is suspected of having issued passports to members of Hamas and Hezbollah." If officials within Venezuela are willingly giving away passports to Hezbollah, it stands to reason they can help them with a variety of other fraudulent documentation.
Further, some authorities have opined that Hezbollah and other Islamic radicals have been welcomed into Mexico and other Latin American countries by the cartels because of their access to cheap narcotics from Afghanistan. One high ranking Mexican Army officer, who asked not to be named for security reasons, states they believe Hezbollah may be training the Mexican drug cartels' enforcers in the art of bomb making. This might lead to Israel-like car bombings of Mexican/USA border personnel or National Guard units in the border regions. This militant threat could be exacerbated by the current tensions between the US and Iran, since Iran directs Hezbollah.
A taskforce could explore all these issues. It is vital we know what is happening on our border, especially as crime and violence continue to rise there and as terrorist plots and threats are increasing inside the US.
I thank you for your attention to this vital national security issue, and hope that you can initiate a task force on this as soon as possible.
By the way, Mexico has already deployed 45,000 troops, the US and Mexico have pledged $1.1 billion over the past two years, plus another 17,000+ US agents and troops, to no avail.
Because unfortunately, these drug traffickers -- whoever they are -- have been able to launder their money through US banks, including Wachovia and Bank of America, year after year.
The admission came in an agreement that Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia struck with federal prosecutors in March, and it sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for the past four years. ...“Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” says Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor who handled the case.
...“It’s the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy,” says Martin Woods, director of Wachovia’s anti-money-laundering unit in London from 2006 to 2009. Woods says he quit the bank in disgust after executives ignored his documentation that drug dealers were funneling money through Wachovia’s branch network. “If you don’t see the correlation between the money laundering by banks and the 22,000 people killed in Mexico, you’re missing the point,” Woods says.
So in order to fix the problem, someone would have to go after the banks. Hahahahaha. The banks all say they take this very seriously and they really haven't done anything wrong. And even when they do, as Wachovia just admitted, they pay a fine. In this case Wachovia paid $160 million, or less than 2% of it's $12.3 billion profit in 2009, promising to revamp their detection systems. And if they do the US government will drop all charges as soon as March of 2011.
The US Government...SO easy to work with!
“We have substantially increased the caliber and number of staff in our international investigations group, and we also significantly upgraded the monitoring software,” Eshet says. The agreement bars the bank from contesting or contradicting the facts in its admission. The bank declined to answer specific questions, including how much it made by handling $378.4 billion -- including $4 billion of cash-from Mexican exchange companies.
The 1970 Bank Secrecy Act requires banks to report all cash transactions above $10,000 to regulators and to tell the government about other suspected money-laundering activity. Big banks employ hundreds of investigators and spend millions of dollars on software programs to scour accounts.
No big U.S. bank -- Wells Fargo included -- has ever been indicted for violating the Bank Secrecy Act or any other federal law. Instead, the Justice Department settles criminal charges by using deferred-prosecution agreements, in which a bank pays a fine and promises not to break the law again.
An arrest in Paraguay, reported 6/17/10:
ASUNCION: Interpol said Tuesday it has arrested a Lebanese national suspected of funneling money to the Shiite militant group Hizbullah in Paraguay in the tri-border area with Argentina and Brazil. Moussa Hamdan, 38, was arrested in Ciudad del Este, part of the Triple Frontier, a region the United States has repeatedly cited as being exploited by militant groups that “finance terrorist activities.”
So the TBA is repeatedly cited by the US as a region exploited by militant groups that "finance terrorist activities." And yet, the primary method of financing terrorist activities comes through organized crime activities like drug trafficking and human trafficking. And the money from organized crime is being laundered through the banking system, including in the US. And when it comes to banks, the US government has a very friendly relationship with the banks, a little slap on the wrist a little fine, a few promises, kiss kiss hug hug and off they go.
The only thing that changes are the terrorists who must be captured and punished and brought to the attention of the American people. So we're looking at Hezbollah here. Naturally.