According to a recent report in Italy’s respected Corriere della Sera newspaper, Cuba has allowed a group of Hezbollah operatives to establish a base for external terrorist operations in the region.
Three Hezbollah terrorists operating out of Mexico have left that country to establish a permanent ”bridgehead” to the communist island, calling their clandestine operation “The Caribbean Dossier.” Twenty-three other terrorists from the Iran-linked terror group are expected to join the operation, which has a startup budget of more than $500,000. Corriere reported that the mission in Cuba is to provide logistical support for upcoming terrorist attacks planned in the Western Hemisphere.
Safely ensconced with the Cuban government’s hospitality, Hezbollah’s operatives can carry out missions such as acquiring passports, recruiting informants and forging documents.
More disturbingly, they have been tasked to network with Hezbollah’s other terrorist cells in Venezuela, Paraguay and Mexico, all in need of logistical support for attacks.
The Italian newspaper reported that Hezbollah might be planning a major attack against Israeli targets in the Western Hemisphere in retaliation for Israel’s killing of Hezbollah’s chief assassin, Imad Mughniyeh, in Damascus in 2008. Mughniyeh was a Hezbollah terrorist leader implicated in the two huge attacks in Buenos Aires in the 1990s on Jewish targets — strikes that remain unpunished.
But the targets might not all be Latin American. With Hezbollah ordered to meet with, presumably in Havana, Mexico’s cartel traffickers that control illegal alien routes into the U.S., it’s likely terrorist attacks are in the works for America, too.
“Once you create the networks, the guerrillas will be held ready for their missions,” Corriere reported of Hezbollah’s orders.
A 2007 investigation by Telemundo and NBC News uncovered details of an extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah based in a remote region divided by the borders of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina known as the Tri-border, or the Triple Frontier.
The operation funnels large sums of money to militia leaders in the Middle East and finances training camps, propaganda operations and bomb attacks in South America, according to U.S. and South American officials.
At the time, it was reported that U.S. officials feared that poorly patrolled borders and rampant corruption in the Tri-border region could make it easy for Hezbollah terrorists to infiltrate the southern U.S. border. From the largely lawless region, it is easy for potential terrorists, without detection, to book passage to the United States through Brazil and then Mexico simply by posing as tourists. Then Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Hezbollah militiamen would raise no suspicions because they have Latin American passports, speak Spanish and look like Hispanic tourists.
The CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, in a 2004 threat paper, singled out the Mexican border as an especially inviting target for Hezbollah operatives. “Many alien smuggling networks that facilitate the movement of non-Mexicans have established links to Muslim communities in Mexico.”
According to a 2010 internal memo from the Tucson Police Department, Islamic terrorist groups are setting up shop in Mexico and forming alarming ties with the country’s brutal drug cartels. The memo warns that Hezbollah has established operations — and a large arms stockpile — in Mexico.
The memo also warns that consequences of partnerships between Hezbollah and Mexico’s drug partnerships could be disastrous for Mexico’s drug war, given Hezbollah’s advanced weapons capabilities — specifically their expertise with improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It notes that some Mexican criminal organizations have started using small IEDs and car bombs, a marked change in tactics that indicates a relationship with Islamic militants.
Partnerships between Mexican organized crime and Islamic militants are mutually beneficial — and therefore terrifying. The cartels are able to gain smuggling and weapons expertise, as well as access to cheap heroin from Afghanistan and Iran. The terrorists benefit from Mexico’s drug war lawlessness and its porous border with their primary target: The United States.
Perhaps, this scenario being played out in our back yard could be a reason that some call for the U.S. to secure its borders. It might not have anything to do with racism as is so often reported!