Hizbullah in Latin America: Terrorism and Organized Crime

(Realite-EU) Roman D. Ortiz - On Sep. 8, officials from the National Migration Institute of Mexico, supported by the Yucatan state police, captured a U.S. citizen of Lebanese origin named Rafic Mohammed Lebboun, in the city of Merida. Along with Lebboun, Belize nationals George Abdalah Elders, Yasser Safa and another three members of his family were apprehended. Lebboun had been released from prison a few months ago after serving a two-year sentence for fraud. During the trial, the FBI accused Lebboun of being the central player in a Hizbullah financing network. U.S. intelligence has been monitoring the activities of one of the captured Belizeans, Yasser Safa, for some time due to increased suspicion that he was connected to Hizbullah. In October 2008, the cooperation network between Hizbullah and the Colombian drug traffickers gang known as the "Envigado Office" was uncovered. A significant part of the profits produced by this extensive drug trafficking scheme ended up in the pockets of Hizbullah through a series of money laundering activities. The writer is a professor at the Department of Economics at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

2012-09-21 00:00:00

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