South American drugs and Islamists

The article TRAFFICKING COCAINE IN THE NAME OF ALLAH highlights the terrorists’ sources of income,

But drug smuggling is not new to Africa. Latin American drug cartels have collaborated with Nigerian organized crime groups for decades; shipping heroin from Asia to the Europe and the U.S., and South American cocaine across the Sahara to Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, and by air and sea to Europe.

Not to be dismissed is Hezbollah, which for decades used its drug trafficking operations in South America’s Tri-border region and Mexico, to purchase used cars in the U.S. then ship them to Western African countries with large Middle Eastern communities. While the criminal activities of these groups are no secret, stopping their money laundering operations is difficult. Last summer’s seizure of $150 million from the now defunct Montreal brunch of the Beirut based Lebanese Canadian Bank, is an exception.

Drug trafficking’s enormous revenues have corrupted many countries in the region, and helped al Qaeda to buy the loyalty of public officials and law enforcement. The destitution of the Sahel region makes it easier.

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