A Hezbollah terror cell may be operating among drugs cartels around the U.S.-Mexican border, announced U.S. Republican National Committee Rep. Sue Myrick, according to a Fox News report.
Myrick requested that U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano create a special team to further investigate the potential problem and threat.
The Republican representative referenced several incidents that show evidence of Hezbollah's efforts to infiltrate the U.S. region with the aid of Mexican drug cartel gangs.
"It is vital we know what is happening on our border, especially as crime and violence continue to rise there and as terrorist plots and threats are increasing inside the U.S.," quoted the Fox News report.
Myrick cited the warming relationship between Iran and Venezuela as proof that Hezbollah members may be collaborating with Latin American drug cartels, who may be utilizing Hezbollah's ability to dig underground tunnels for drug smuggling and in turn, providing funding, document forging, and false identities.
The Fox News report referenced Anthony Placido, assistant administrator for intelligence at the Drug Enforcement Administration, testifying at a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee in March this year, that some drug smugglers in the U.S.-Mexico region have had relationships with Hezbollah between the 1980s and 1990s.
"There are numerous reports of cocaine proceeds entering the coffers of Islamic Radical Groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas," Fox News quoted Placido when he testified to the subcommittee. Placido labeled the proceeds as "easy revenue" that could potentially be used to fund terrorism.
Fox News also cited a 2006 House Homeland Security Committee report which details incidents of Hezbollah operatives who were apprehended when trying to access the U.S. through Mexico. The report mentions Mahmoud Youssef Kourani, a Hezbollah member who pleaded guilty in 2005 for supplying information to the terror organization after he was smuggled in the U.S. through Mexico, and lived in Dearborn, Michigan.
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