A nonprofit that tracks radical Islam is raising the alarm over a coordinated effort between Iran, Hezbollah and Mexico’s drug cartels to smuggle jihadists into the United States through the porous southern border.
The Clarion Project, a nonprofit “that educates the public about the dangers of radical Islam,” published a report Tuesday that alleges Iran and Hezbollah are paying Mexican drug cartels to smuggle people and money through the border.
“In southern Chiapas in Mexico, there are Muslim communities. These communities are made up of Syrians and Lebanese who migrated to Mexico decades ago as well as recent Mexican converts to Islam. In addition, Islam is gaining a foothold in southern Mexico, with indigenous Mayans converting by the hundreds,” according to the nonprofit.
The Clarion Project contends Iran funds the communities “in the Diaspora” to work with Mexican drug cartels to move recruits, mostly from Lebanon, into America.
“For example, Ayman Juma, a Lebanese citizen linked to Mexican drug cartels and involved in the drug trade in Latin America and Mexico, is a member of the Hezbollah. He is also associated with al-Qaeda,” according to the report.
“Juma has smuggled tons of drugs from Mexico to the United States. The money made is partially used to fund terrorism, especially to prepare terrorist attacks against Israel as well as Hezbollah’s activities in America.”
The nonprofit points to documented cases dating back more than a decade, including a successful plot to smuggle 200 illegal Lebanese immigrants through Mexico with the help of drug cartels, as well as similar cooperation between Hezbollah and European mafias. Business Insider, the Tucson Police Department and others have also documented the close connection between Hezbollah terrorists and Mexican cartels.
More recently, the U.S. Justice Department has stepped up efforts to crack down on the nexus between terrorists and drug cartels with some success, though it’s rarely covered by the mainstream media. In August, a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C. sentenced 63-year-old Lebanese businessman to five years in prison and ordered him to forfeit $50 million he funneled through fake businesses to the terrorist organization in violation of U.S. sanctions.
“Taijideen’s case falls under DEA’s Project Cassandra, which targets Hezbollah’s global criminal support network, which operates as a logistics, procurement and financing arm for Hezbollah. This investigation and others are part of the Department of Justice’s Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team,” according to a Justice Department news release.
“The HFNT was formed in January 2018 to target the individuals and networks supporting Hezbollah. Comprised of experience international narcotics trafficking, terrorism, organized crime, and money laundering prosecutors and investigators, the HFNT works closely with partners like the DEA, the Department of Treasury, and the FBI, among others, to advance and facilitate prosecutions of Hezbollah and its support network in appropriate cases.”
The point of The Clarion Project’s report is the southern border presents a much bigger risk to the security of the country than many people realize, one that’s about a lot more than illegal immigrants looking for a better life in the land of the free.
“Although the United States has one of the most powerful intelligence services in the world and is not located in the Middle East, radical Islamic terrorism continues to threaten America – especially through Mexico, which has the largest border with America and one that is relatively easy to penetrate,” the nonprofit reports.
“This leads one to the conclusion that, at the very least, a border wall is needed to protect the U.S.’ national security interests from the likes of Iran and Hezbollah.”