A US intelligence organization reports that Hamas, Hezbollah and other radical Islamic groups have joined forces with Mexican drug trafficking cartels. The Islamic groups furnish weapons and use the proceeds to finance activities that include distributing narcotics in Europe and the Mideast. They are especially active in the border area shared by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, says the Islamic groups launder money for the drug traffickers. "Groups like Hezbollah and Hamas have trafficked large amounts of heroin and cocaine in Europe and the Middle East sold to them by narcotics traffickers of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil," according to the report.
The report puts an interesting spin on the widely accepted notion that the US is providing the bulk of weapons used by the cartels. “Many of these weapons, seized from narcotics traffickers by Mexican authorities, are made in Europe or the Middle East and that they are the type used by Islamic groups that support the Palestinian cause," an NDIC official said.
Declining to identify the particular cartels involved, a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) spokesman implied they will soon be revealed as the organization expects to conduct an operation against Hezbollah in South America.
The alliance that has extended the reach of the Mexican drug traffickers beyond the North and South American continents into Europe and the Middle East , has paid big dividends to the Islamic groups. An investment of $6,000 for a kilogram of cocaine could yield a profit of $30,00 in the US, $110,000 in Hungary or Israel, and up to $150,000 in Saudi Arabia [US dollars; source, Michael Brown, chief of operations of the Federal Antidrug Agency].
"The operation against Hezbollah that we will make public in coming days will offer into evidence the clear relationship that exists between narcotics trafficking and the Islamic groups, but above all it will show Latin American governments the huge current criminal potential of organized crime organizations of the region,” said a Justice Department official. “It will show Mexican authorities that these (Islamic) organizations are a great threat to the national security of their country, the United States, and even some South American countries."