Hezbullah's cocaine-running amigosApril 2006. In the time since then, Hezbullah has become more entrenched and has become deeply involved in trafficking cocaine. Now, with their Iranian funding drying up due to sanctions relating to the Iranian nuclear program, the Mexican cocaine operation is becoming a major source of Hezbullah funding.
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US intelligence indicates that Mexico is home to some 200,000 Syrian and Lebanese immigrants – most of them illegal – who were able to cross the border via an extensive web of contacts with drug cartels, both in Mexico and in other countries in South America.
These cartel contacts smuggle illegal immigrants – including individuals affiliated with Iran, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups – into Mexico, placing them a virtual stone's-throw away from the United States.
Western intelligence agencies have been able to gather ample evidence suggesting that the drug cartels in Mexico – which are the de facto rulers of the northern districts bordering the US – are in cahoots with Islamic terror organizations, which are eager to execute attacks against American, Israeli, Jewish and western targets; but most of all, the Islamic terror groups are eager to make money, so they can fund their nefarious aspirations.
In December 2011, the US authorities released an indictment filed against Lebanese drug lord Ayman Juma, which exposed Hezbollah's involvement with the Los Zetas drug cartel. According to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Los Zetas is the most technologically advanced and most dangerous cartel operating in Mexico.
Juma was indicted in absentia for smuggling 85 tons of cocaine into the US and for laundering $850 million for Los Zetas. He was also accused of serving as a go-between for the Mexican crime syndicate and the Shiite terror group.
According to US officials, for a modest 8%-14% commission, Juma's money laundering process would take about a week. The operation involved bank accounts in dozens of countries, making it virtually impossible to track the dirty money.
According to the indictment, Hezbollah is using Juma's cartel connections to minimize its dependency on Iranian funding. The international sanctions crippling Tehran's economy have taken a serious bite out of the $200 million in annual aid given to Hezbollah, but the latter's appetite for cash has only grown. Los Zetas' Beirut-based money man has reportedly helped the Shiite terror group meet its financial needs.
For more posts about Hezbullah in Mexico, go here.