Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Evidence of Hezbollah in Latin America

Via -

There is still significant debate within the U.S. government and among members of the national security establishment over the level of threat posed by Iran's growing presence and the increasing presence of Hezbollah that this presence brings.

So the arrest of a suspected Hezbollah fundraiser with an outstanding US arrest warrant in the Tri-border area is another important indicator of just how deep this relationship has now become.

Moussa Hamdan is the latest in a long line of suspected Hezbollah financiers who have been arrested in and around Ciudad del Este, the main hub of the Tri-border (where the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet near Iguazu Falls) region. U.S., European and Latin American investigations have traced tens of millions of dollars from the region back to Hezbollah in Lebanon, using the formal and informal money remittance systems. Hezbollah operatives in the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires have been documented as having used Ciudad del Este as their base while planning their attack on a Jewish target, operating under orders from Iran.

The Tri-border has historically been a smuggling and black market center for the Southern Cone of Latin America, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit profits. That is not new. What changed over the past 15 years is the importance of the region as a financial hub for terrorist groups, from Hezbollah to the FARC in Colombia to Hamas.

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