I commented that tunnels under our Mexican border have been found that resemble the ones used to funnel weapons into Gaza, and asked if terrorist entities like Hezbollah, al Qaeda and Hamas are actually helping to develop the Mexican drug cartels’ existing drug-trafficking infrastructures. Yes, was her concise reply. And why are the Islamists collaborating with the cartels? “For money – lots of it – and to defeat the ‘Big Satan’ and other infidels.”
That’s not to say that a Hezbollah attack in the United States is necessarily imminent. Other witnesses at last week’s Homeland Security hearing noted that it would take a significant provocation, like an attack on Iran by the U.S. or Israel, to prompt Hezbollah operatives to interrupt their lucrative trade and begin waging attacks in the U.S. But even so, the estimated $20 million per year raised by the group in Latin America is funneled home to Iran, likely strengthening our enemy’s weapons buildup and military activities.
Hugo Chavez hosted leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in a secret summit in Caracas last year. I asked Ehrenfeld if the rabidly anti-American Venezuelan strongman is organizing a drug/terror network of his own. “Chavez,” she replied,
has been actively supporting drug cartels and terrorist organizations, assuming the role of Fidel and Cuba in “the good old days.” While he is not running their operations, his cut is substantial. Moreover, terrorists and criminal gangs offer good deniability and efficient ways to forge documents, launder money, and smuggle everything. An excellent tool in the arsenal of any dictator.
In her CNN piece, Ehrenfeld set forth the basics for a crucial strategy to combat the narco-terrorism nexus:
To stop the funding of al Qaeda, the Taliban, radical Islamic organizations and other terrorist groups, it’s time for the U.S. government to publicly identify and list everyone — individuals, organizations and states — engaged in funding terrorism directly and indirectly, including those who finance the spread of radical Islam. They should also be designated as terrorists, prosecuted whenever possible, and their assets should be frozen.
Asked at her presentation to comment on President Obama and our national security, Ehrenfeld reluctantly replied that she didn’t want to get too political. She merely stressed that many Americans often take their freedom for granted, and suggested that we must take the necessary and perhaps unpleasant steps to protect that freedom against a plague of terrorists and drug traffickers.
Mark Tapson is a Los Angeles-based reporter and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Hororwitz Freedom Center.
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