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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why Is Gaza's "Freely Elected Government" Trafficking In Drugs?

From CNSnews.com, we learning about something else that Hezbollah and Hamas have in common:
Hezbollah, Hamas Raise Money for ‘Terrorist Activities’ From Drug Trade in South America, Congressional Research Service Says
Amid growing concern about the illicit drug trade across the U.S.-Mexico border, the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas have been linked to South American drug trafficking organizations–and the money Hezbollah and Hamas make from narco-trafficking is used to finance their organizations, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS).

“International terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, have also reportedly raised funding for their terrorist activities through linkages formed with DTOs in South America, particularly those operating in the tri-border area (TBA) of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina,” stated CRS in an April 30 report.
The April 30 report quoted is entitled -- Latin America and the Caribbean: Illicit Drug Trafficking and U.S. Counterdrug Programs:

International terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, have also reportedly raised funding for their terrorist activities through linkages formed with DTOs [Drug Trafficking Organizations] in South America, particularly those operating in the tri-border area (TBA) of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.24
The footnote refers to a statement by Anthony P. Placido, Asst. Administrator for Intelligence Drug Enforcement Administration, who reported to Congress about "Threats To Global Stability and US Policy Responses":
DEA continues to assist its Latin American host nation counterparts through interagency coordination and bilateral agreements to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Some DTOs based in the Tri-border Area have ties to radical Islamic terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. It is important to note that this is not an emerging threat per se, but one that has existed since the late 1980s or early 1990s. Investigations into these groups as part of DEA’s Drug Flow Prevention Strategy reveal DTOs are exporting cocaine from South America to Europe and the Middle East.
There are numerous reports of cocaine proceeds entering the coffers of Islamic Radical Groups (IRG) such as Hezbollah and Hamas in Europe and the Middle East. The danger of DTO’s and IRG’s profiting from the lucrative cocaine trade can lead to an unlimited source of cheap and easy revenue to carry out potential terrorist acts.
Though Hamas ties to drugs has not made a big splash in the media, it has not been ignored completely. In 2008, CBS News reported:
While terror operations themselves are cheap, the maintenance of a terror organization on the whole is quite expensive. Recruiting, training, arms, fake documents, safe houses, and movement can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and that's why many groups, including the leftist Colombian terror group, the FARC, and Mideast terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah have turned to drug trafficking to finance operations.
Considering the poor economic situation that Hamas rule has left Gaza in, it is no wonder that Hamas has entered the lucrative field illegal drugs--but as CBS notes, the reason has nothing to do with helping Gazans.

Neither is this a new charge against Hamas--The DEA reported on its website in 2002:
The triborder area of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil continues to be a haven for Islamic extremists. The two major terrorist organizations in the triborder area are Hezbollah and the Islamic Resistance Movement known as HAMAS.
The claim of dedication to Islam are not an issue for Hamas--nor for Hezbollah, which has been involved in the drug trade for decades. In 2005, Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld testified before the House of Commons in Canada:
Since the mid 1980s, Hizballah has used illicit drugs as a major funding source and weapon against the West. An official Iranian fatwa ruled: “We are making these drugs for Satan America and the Jews. If we cannot kill them with guns, so we will kill them with drugs.”
The fact that Iran would clear the way for Hezbollah to deal in the illicit drug market is not surprising, considering its strong ties and support it gives to Hezbollah and to Hamas.

Considering Hamas's involvement in the drug trade, and the Iranian fatwa announcing the desirability of dealing drugs to Jews, the question arises whether border closures and sea blockades are a good idea for another reason.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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