Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Chavez Terror Network On America’s Doorstep

Roger Noriega, writing in the Washington Post, has a very disturbing report describing a meeting between Venezuela's brutal dictator Hugo Chavez and radical Islamic terror groups:

On Aug. 22, 2010, at Iran’s suggestion, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hosted senior leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in a secret summit at military intelligence headquarters at the Fuerte Tiuna compound in southern Caracas. Among those present were Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shallah, who is on the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists; Hamas’s "supreme leader," Khaled Meshal; and Hezbollah’s "chief of operations,"

There is much more. Read it here.

This is incredibly troubling, and yet another sign that Chavez is looking to dominate the region, and is strengthening his ties with Islamic terror groups. Iran is a major sponsor of these groups, and as we reported in December, Chavez has allowed the Iranian government to place medium range, nuclear capable ballistic missiles, that have the ability to hit targets in the United States, in Venezuela.

This latest meeting is just another sign that Chavez is ramping up, and getting ready to do something.

Of course, this is nothing new, back in 2009 the Washington Times reported Hezzbollah had teamed up with the Mexican drug cartels. Radical Islamic paraphernalia has been found on our southern border in large amounts.

Hezbollah is using the same southern narcotics routes that Mexican drug kingpins do to smuggle drugs and people into the United States, reaping money to finance its operations and threatening U.S. national security, current and former U.S. law enforcement, defense and counterterrorism officials say.

The Iran-backed Lebanese group has long been involved in narcotics and human trafficking in South America’s tri-border region of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Increasingly, however, it is relying on Mexican narcotics syndicates that control access to transit routes into the U.S.

Hezbollah relies on "the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels," said Michael Braun, who just retired as assistant administrator and chief of operations at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

"They work together," said Mr. Braun. "They rely on the same shadow facilitators. One way or another, they are all connected.

"They’ll leverage those relationships to their benefit, to smuggle contraband and humans into the U.S.; in fact, they already are [smuggling]."

His comments were confirmed by six U.S. officials, including law enforcement, defense and counterterrorism specialists. They spoke on the condition that they not be named because of the sensitivity of the topic.

While Hezbollah appears to view the U.S. primarily as a source of cash
- and there have been no confirmed Hezbollah attacks within the U.S. - the group’s growing ties with Mexican drug cartels are particularly worrisome at a time when a war against and among Mexican narco-traffickers has killed 7,000 people in the past year and is destabilizing Mexico along the U.S. border.

Read more here.

This is a dangerous situation and President Obama is asleep at the wheel, as usual. This should serve as a strong warning that we must secure our nation's borders. This is a matter of national security.

It means we can no longer tolerate "open borders" advocates. Promoting the "open borders" agenda is dangerous. It also means the United States needs to get involved in the bloody war on our nation's southern border, one that has been completely ignored by the Obama regime.

The Mexican drug cartels are slaughtering people daily, and the violence has spread across the border and into our country. These drug cartels use the same violent methods the Islamic terrorists use. Car bombings, beheadings, kidnappings, and random acts of violence to intimidate the Mexican citizens, are their stock-in-trade. It's time to take this threat to the United States seriously.

Closing our borders and helping Mexico wipe these narco-terrorists out should be a top priority. By destroying the drug cartels, we'll also destroy a major partner radical Islamists intend to use to attack the United States.

We also need to keep an eye on Hugo Chavez, and look at imposing sanctions and an embargo on the oppressive nation. We need real leadership here.

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