U.S. Officials Fear Islamic Terrorist Links with Drug Lords

[AP] Curt Anderson - There is real danger that Islamic extremist groups such as al-Qaeda and Hizbullah could form alliances with wealthy and powerful Latin American drug lords to launch new terrorist attacks, U.S. officials said Wednesday. Extremist group operatives have already been identified in several Latin American countries, mostly involved in fundraising and finding logistical support. But Charles Allen, chief of intelligence analysis at the Homeland Security Department, said they could use well-established smuggling routes and drug profits to bring people or even weapons of mass destruction to the U.S. "The presence of these people in the region leaves open the possibility that they will attempt to attack the United States," said Allen, a veteran CIA analyst. "The threats in this hemisphere are real. We cannot ignore them."

2008-10-13 01:00:00

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