The London Underground shooting, Brazil’s TBA, and al-Qaeda
The day after unexploded explosives were found in the London public transport system, Jean Charles de Menezes was shot and killed after being followed by police, jumping a turnstile and running into a London Underground car. That much we know. Mr. de Menezes, who had lived in England for three years
but spoke no English (correction: Commenter Pollo gave us this link to The Independent which states he spoke fluent English), is not known to have had connections with terrorists.
The mayor of Gonzaga (pop. 6,000), Mr. Menezes’s hometown, commented,
Mayor Souza said the root cause of Mr. Menezes’ death was Mr. Blair’s decision to back the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. That prompted the wave of terrorist attacks, the mayor said.
Mayor Souza needs to get out more often, and should visit Brazil’s own Triple Border region, also called the Tri-Border Area (TBA).
I hasten to add that the town of Gonzaga is not in the Tri-Border Area. In fact, it’s over a thousand miles away. I repeat, Mr. de Menezes is not known to have had connections with terrorists.
What is the Triple Border/TBA, and what does it have to do with terrorism?
The Triple Border, or Tri-Border Area (TBA), is where Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil meet. This report (pdf file), dated July 2003, by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, which was prepared under an interagency agreement with the Central Intelligence Crime and Narcotics Center, concludes that the TBA is a haven and base for Islamic terrorist groups:
- Various Islamic groups, including the Egyptian Al-Jihad (Islamic Jihad) and Al-Gama’s Al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group), Hama, Hizbollah, and al Qaeda, probably have a presence in the TBA
- Islamic terrorist groups are using the TBA for purposes of safe haven, fund-raising, money laundering, recruitment, training, training, plotting, and other terrorist activities
The study found that the TBA works as a center for organized crime, with an informal tripartite alliance between Islamic terrorist groups, the organized crime mafias which include not only the indegenous mafias but also the Chinese, Chechen, and Hong Kong (the Hong Kong mafia has close relations with Hizbollah in the region), and the many corrupt government or police officials in the area.
The activities are not limited to terrorism, since al-Qaida reportedly has become deeply involved in cocaine and heroine trafficking, arms and uranium smuggling, counterfeiting CDs and DVDs and money-laundering activities. Just this morning there’s an article on a 2002 Bin Laden deal with Colombian drug lords that fell through.
Mind you, the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress report is dated 2003, but in 2002 Sebastian Junger had published an article in Vanity Fair magazine (not available on line) where he explained that Hezbollah had been in the TBA for about 10 years, which would predate even the Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. In an interview with Connie Chung he said, “They mounted two attacks in Argentina from there in the early 90s”, one of which took place almost exactly 11 years ago at the Argentine Jewish community center, AMIA, on July 18, 1994. The link, which is from the The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center explains the roles played by Hezbollah, extremist Shiite Muslims, and Iran in the 1994 AMIA explosion. Visit that link and look at the similarities between that attack and recent terrorist attacks.
Iranian Voice has more information on the TBA:
The Triple Border, Junger explains, finds that many other militant groups, such as the Irish Republican Army, Basque Separatists (ETA), Colombian terror group FARC, and even a few disgruntled Americans, come to the region to raise cash and plan terrorism. From his observations Junger feels we’re entering a new era where militant groups and terrorist organizations, many once adversaries or who otherwise share no common goals, work together to help one another succeed. While free-for-all militant training centers are a disturbing thought, the most disturbing is Junger’s report of joint al Qaeda/Hezbollah terror camps in the region. More than just cooperation, it could signal a merger.
In his article, Junger explained,
According to local information, Triple Border has been a major logistical and planning base for al-Qaeda. But not just al-Qaeda. Triple travelers include members of the Irish Republican Army, ETA (the Basque separatist movement), FARC from Columbia and even neo-Nazi groups from the United States. They may represent either a stage of evolution or a deliberate process called “crossover.”
The “crossover” process is not limited to terrorists and mafiosi, however. As Mona Charen describes,
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the FMLN (a Salvadorian Communist terrorist organization) sent a letter to the U.S. embassy suggesting that the terror attack was a consequence of U.S. malfeasance, and four days later FMLN leaders attended a celebrations hosted by leftists in San Salvador in which Osama bin Laden was praised and the U.S. and Israeli flags were burned.
The Forum of Sao Paulo is Castro’s worldwide alliance, and its members are quite a rogue’s gallery. In addition to the heads of state mentioned above, the Forum also includes the Provisional IRA, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Baath Party, and representatives from Libya, the Tupac Amaru guerrillas in Peru and assorted other terror organizations. Also represented are the communist parties of the remaining “dead-enders” of the communist world — China, Laos, Vietnam and North Korea.
Yes, one man was shot by Police in the London Underground.
That doesn’t mean there’s reason to ignore the Brazil-Argentina-Paraguay terrorist breeding grounds. Their existence precedes any of “Mr. Blair’s decision to back the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq”.
Update: Welcome, LGF readers!