The Escalating Ties between Middle Eastern Terrorist Groups and Criminal Activity

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) David T. Johnson - Remarks by the Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Jan. 19, 2010: Hizbullah, al-Qaeda, the Taliban in Afghanistan and others - groups that the U.S. government has designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations - engage or have engaged in criminal activities as a vehicle to finance their terrorist (or violent political) activities. Two years ago, U.S. and Colombian investigators were able to dismantle an international cocaine-smuggling and money-laundering gang that funneled some of its profits to Hizbullah. Hamas and Hizbullah continue to finance their terrorist activities mostly through the state sponsors of terrorism, Iran and Syria, and through various fundraising networks in Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East. The funds channeled to these organizations frequently pass through major international financial capitals such as Dubai, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Zurich, London, or New York. Hizbullah also continues to profit from the drug trafficking groups in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon.

2010-01-22 08:39:16

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