Watch as former George W. Bush administration officials Roger Noriega and Jose Cardenas discuss Hezbollah’s alliance with Venezuela, its new terror base in Cuba, its work with Mexican drug smugglers along America’s southern border, and more.
Romantic outsiders see in the events in Puno an uprising by Aymara-speaking Indians against multinationals. But the truth looks much uglier. The towns around Lake Titicaca are at the centre of a huge contraband trade. The protesters are silent about large-scale informal gold mining, which pollutes rivers far more than formal mines. In Puno’s lowlands, cocaine production is rising. Some locals say that the protests are a rebellion inspired by the leaders of illegal businesses against the rule of law.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is allegedly training a large number of Kuwaitis, Bahrainis and Saudis in a private training camp located in Waheera, a remote area near the borders of Venezuela and Columbia, and intends to use them to carry out terrorist activities within their respective countries and other areas across the world in case Iran is attacked militarily, Al-Seyassah daily quoted a reliable source as saying.
Since the reports come from Arab-language newspapers, I speculate that the location of Waheera is actually Guajira (whose phonetical pronunciation is the same as “Waheera”) in this map,
The article continues,
The trainees are first sent to Venezuelan capital Caracas or Columbian capital Bogota via Damascus and from there, they are sent to the border region in cars, one of the militants who broke away from the Iranian group told the daily.
Reportedly, the training camp is run by some Iranian intelligence officers and others affiliated to the Revolutionary Guard in cooperation with Hezbollah and Hamas. The trainees were given courses in making bombs, carrying out assassinations, kidnapping people and transporting the hostages to other locations.
The operations are financed through the drug trade,
When asked about the financing of this militia, the source said the money Iran makes through drug trafficking and money laundering is equal to the budget of some countries. “For example, Dutch police, in cooperation with security authorities of seven other countries, arrested 17 drug smugglers in 2009 in Korasu and confiscated 2,000 kilos of cocaine from them. The huge quantity was smuggled through tankers from Venezuela to West Africa and then to Holland, Lebanon and Spain. Smugglers also transported cocaine by air from Korasu to Holland, Belgium, Spain and Jordan. The Dutch authorities had then announced that the smuggling network was linked to Hezbollah and Iran,” he added.
These reports have been surfacing recently (including Kuwaiti newspapers), but long-time readers of this blog know about the Iranian and Hezbollah presences in Latin America. Interestingly, now the reports are including Hamas.
In a global triangulation that would excite any conspiracy buff, the globalization of terrorism now links Colombian FARC with Hezbollah, Iran with Russia, elected governments with violent insurgencies, uranium with AK-103s, and cocaine with oil. At the center of it all, is Latin America—especially the countries under the influence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
There are enough connections to make your hair stand on end: the FARC, Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua,
So, on one side Venezuela is funding and arming the FARC; on the other it is purchasing nuclear reactors and weapons from the Russians; on yet another, it is sending money to Iran and helping it find and enrich uranium. And then there is Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanon-based asset.
Reports that Venezuela has provided Hezbollah operatives with Venezuelan national identity cards are so rife, they were raised in the July 27, 2010, Senate hearing for the recently nominated U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, Larry Palmer. When Palmer answered that he believed the reports, Chávez refused to accept him as ambassador in Venezuela. Meanwhile, Iran Air, the self-proclaimed “airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” operates a Tehran-Caracas flight commonly referred to as “Aeroterror” by intelligence officials for allegedly facilitating the access of terrorist suspects to South America. The Venezuelan government shields passenger lists from Interpol on that flight.
Iran, meanwhile, has developed significant relationships elsewhere in Latin America – most prominently with Chávez’s allies and fellow Bolivarian Revolutionaries: Bolivian President Evo Morales, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
And let’s not forget the Tri-Border Area,
Argentine officials believe Hezbollah is still active in the TBA. They attribute the detonation of a car bomb outside Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires on 17 March 1992 to Hezbollah extremists. Officials also maintain that with Iran’s assistance, Hezbollah carried out a car-bomb attack on the main building of the Jewish Community Center (AMIA) in Buenos Aires on 18 July 1994 in protest of the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement that year.
Most of this report will not come as a surprise to long-term readers of Fausta’s blog, but you must read it all.
A terrorist organization whose home base is in the Middle East has established another home base across the border in Mexico.
“They are recognized by many experts as the ‘A’ team of Muslim terrorist organizations,” a former U.S. intelligence agent told 10News.
Hezbolah has operated in South America for decades and then Central America, along with their sometime rival, sometime ally Hamas.
Now, the group is blending into Shi’a Muslim communities in Mexico, including Tijuana. Other pockets along the U.S.-Mexico border region remain largely unidentified as U.S. intelligence agencies are focused on the drug trade.
“They have had clandestine training in how to live in foreign hostile territories,” the agent said.
The agent, who has spent years deep undercover in Mexico, said Hezbollah is partnering with drug organizations, but which ones is not clear at this time.
He told 10News the group receives cartel cash and protection in exchange for Hezbollah expertise.
“From money laundering to firearms training and explosives training,” the agent said.
For example, he tracked, along with Mexican intelligence, two Hezbollah operatives in safe houses in Tijuana and Durango
“I confirmed the participation of cartel members as well as other Hezbollah individuals living and operating out of there,” he said.
Tunnels the cartels have built that cross from Mexico into the U.S. have grown increasingly sophisticated. It is a learned skill, the agent said points to Hezbollah’s involvement.
While one should take unnamed sources with a grain of salt, Hezbollah has maintained a presence in Latin America for decades. It’s hardly surprising that they’re getting closer to the US border.
Al Qaeda operatives are in Brazil planning attacks, raising money and recruiting followers, a leading news magazine reported Saturday, renewing concerns about the nation serving as a hide-out for Islamic militants.
Operatives from Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaida are in Brazil planning attacks, raising money and recruiting followers, a leading Brazilian news magazine reported on Saturday.
Both Yahoo and the JP continue,
Veja magazine, in its online edition, reported that at least 20 people affiliated with al Qaeda as well as the Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah, the Palestinian group Hamas and two other organizations have been hiding out in the South American country.
The magazine said these operatives have been raising money and working to incite attacks abroad. The magazine cited Brazilian police and U.S. government reports, but did not give details on specific targets or operations.
The United States has said Islamic militants have been operating in the border region between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Brazil has denied this, while saying it is aware that some members of Brazil’s Lebanese community legally transferred funds to the Middle East.
My my… more evidence bubbles to the surface that the US-Mexican border war is about more than the civil rights of illegal immigrants… or the anticipated built in voter bloc for desperate Dems. Today brings good news that the Mexican police are actively working to thwart Hezbollah’s attempt to gain a foothold there. A surveillance operation focused on Hezbollah leader, Jameel Nasr, resulted in his arrest at his Tijuana home. Nasr employed Mexican nationals with family ties to Lebanon for his Hezbollah/Mexico network.
Mexico foiled an attempt by Hezbollah to establish a network in South America, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Hezbollah operatives employed Mexicans nationals with family ties to Lebanon to set up the network, designed to target Israel and the West, the Al-Seyassah daily said.
According to the report, Mexican police mounted a surveillance operation on the group’s leader, Jameel Nasr, who traveled frequently to Lebanon to receive information and instructions from Hezbollah commanders there.
Police say Nasr also made frequent trips to other countries in Latin America, including a two-month stay in Venezuela in the summer of 2008.
Nasr was living in Tijuana, Mexico at the time of his arrest, the report said.
In June, a U.S. congresswoman wrote to the Department of Homeland Security to warn that Hezbollah was increasing its presence in Central and South America.
In her letter, Congresswoman Sue Myrick called on the U.S. to work with Mexican forces, as there was intelligence that Hezbollah was working in conjunction with Mexican drug cartels on the U.S.-Mexico border.
which was trying to reach Gaza was organized by IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi – “humanitarian relief fund”), a Turkish aid foundation which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Free Gaza, which describes itself as a human rights group.
The IHH has known links to global jihadi networks, openly supports Iran-backed Hamas and maintains close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood movement, a global umbrella Islamic organization of which Hamas is a branch, as well as mujahideen groups in Afghanistan
Egypt also supports the flotilla, in spite of actually blockading Gaza with a border fence.
he Israel Navy requested the ships to redirect toward Ashdod where they would be able to unload their aid material which would then be transferred over land after undergoing security inspections.
During the interception of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.
As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire.
According to initial reports, these events resulted in over ten deaths among the demonstrators and numerous injured; in addition, more than four naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners are currently being evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.
The bigger issue, however, is America’s leadership crisis.
Relations between Washington and Israel were already at near historic lows. Now it looks like we ain’t seen nothing yet. But the immediate headlines should not obscure the 3 trends which are driving up tensions in the region and threaten to drive them up further. The first is Iran’s continuing search for a nuclear weapon, a development which Israel views as near existential threat. The second is the buildup of Hezbollah missiles which can reach all the major Israeli population from launching sites Lebanon. And the third are the unintended consequences of President Obama’s diplomacy which has resulted in the singling out of Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal at the month long Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in New York. Like a circular-running torpedo it managed to miss its every intended target — missing North Korea and Iran — while hitting Israel.
Together those three developments — the shadow of the Iranian nukes, the missiles of Hezbollah and the loss of American support — may have fostered a regional perception that Israel is vulnerable. Certainly the flotilla organizers could not have been insensible to the rising pressure on Israel and were determined to exploit it, nor was it lost on the IDF that if they showed weakness in the face of the flotilla there would be more to follow. In one sense the flotilla put to sea on the perceived political tides and were met by IDF elements sailing on the contrary currents. The result was a clash inconsequential in itself, but not in the sparks that it may generate.