History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Thursday, May 27, 2004

    The Terror Triangle

    Blogger and History's End reader rumcrook has pointed out to me that there have been some worries about parts of South America being used as a nexus for Islamic terror groups, something that I remembered reading about a while ago, but forgot after time. Terror groups so close to home is extremely worrisome, especially because of the way that terrorists could use smuggling service normally reserved for illegal immigrants to infiltrate America. I have been looking around the web a bit, and found a number of different sources talking about this potential threat. The earliest is this piece by CNN, dated all the way back to November 2001. I find this significant, because if we knew about the problem that long ago, and haven't heard much of it since, then it might not be that big of a deal. However, this piece from FrontPage Magazine indicates that this problem might still be festering. From that article:
    Located where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet, the area is home to roughly 20,000 Middle Eastern immigrants—mostly from Lebanon and Syria—and has long been a hotbed for terrorist fundraising, arms and drug trafficking, counterfeiting and money laundering. By moving freely through the region’s porous borders, operatives from the terrorist organizations Hizbollah, Hamas, and according to some reports, al-Qaeda, are able to conduct arms-for-drugs deals with secular Latin American terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Peru’s Sendero Luminosos (Shining Path). All told, U.S. officials believe that between $10 and $12 billion is funneled through the tri-border region each year, with Hizbollah among the prime beneficiaries.

    Needless to say, $10 to $12 Billion is a lot of money. And while only a fraction of it goes to different terrorist groups, that is still plenty of money. Now since it is Hizb'allah that is receiving most of that money, its not a problem, right? Wrong. Al Qaeda and Hizb'allah are not friends, to be sure, considering the one is Sunni and the other Shi'ite, but they do have a common enemy: America. Thus, it isn't impossible for them to work together. It should be noted that Hizb'allah was responsible for the Beruit barracks bombing back in 1983, so it has a proven track record of targeting Americans. So they should be dealt with even if Al Qaeda isn't involved. And there is no saying that they aren't. Plus, Iran is still an enemy.

    So what do I think? To tell the truth, not much. I simply don't know enough about the situation in South America to gauge the danger that this poses. I know that it isn't good, to be sure, but I can't give a proper sense of its importance in the grand scheme of things. I will continue looking for more information, and if I find anything noteworthy, I will try and update this.

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