5 years ago
We have known for some time about the fact that Hezbollah has networks in Central and South America, and that they are present in more than 40 countries. Now, Michael Braun, former chief of operations at the drug enforcement agency, weighs in concerning the emerging threat on the Southern border.
The Iranian-supported Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah has spread its influence all the way to the U.S. border with Mexico, a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Iran’s influence in the Western Hemisphere heard on Thursday.
Michael Braun, a former chief of operations at the Drug Enforcement Agency, said Hezbollah had developed relationships with the powerful Mexican drug cartels to “move their agenda forward.” He cited a plot, recently uncovered by the DEA, involving an Iranian operative in Mexico allegedly planning to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C.
“Hezbollah are absolute masters at forming close relationships with existing organized crime groups around the world that helps them facilitate what they need to do to move their agendas forward,” Braun told CNSNews.com following the hearing. “And if anyone thinks for a moment that they don’t have their eye on the southwest border and all of our country, then they couldn’t be more wrong.”
In his prepared remarks Braun, who also served as interim director of the Department of Justice’s Drug Intelligence Fusion Center, said Hezbollah and other terrorist groups understand that the Mexican cartels are already operating successfully inside the United States.
“If anyone thinks for one moment that these terrorist organizations do not understand that the Mexican drug trafficking cartels now dominate drug trafficking in our country – reportedly in more than 250 cities – than they are very stupid or very naive,” he said.
“And these groups most assuredly recognize the strategic value of exploiting that activity, and all that has been built to support it, for moving their vision forward in this part of the world.”
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Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), committee member and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee of oversight and investigations, asked about Hezbollah’s relationship to criminal organizations in the Western Hemisphere and what it means for U.S. security.
Braun warned that those relationships allow “these groups to operate freely in our neighborhood” and said the U.S. would regret it if the threats were not taken seriously.
“I don’t want to sound too crude, but I think there’s going to be hell to pay in the not too distant future,” he said.
Braun discussed the Quds forces, which is controlled by Iranian general Suleimani. Recall that I have called for reversing executive order 12333 and assassinating general Suleimani. Concerning what he thinks about his scope and power of influence, listen carefully to his recent words.
An Iranian general said Iraq and Hezbollah-dominated South Lebanon “submit” to Tehran’s wishes.
“Those two countries, in a way or another, submit to the will and the wishes of Tehran,” head of Iran’s elite al-Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, was quoted as saying by Iran’s ISNA student news agency and later relayed by Al-Arabiya television.
He added that his country “can organize any movement that leads to the formation of Islamic governments [in Iraq and Lebanon] in order to fight imperialism.”
According to ISNA, Suleimani’s remarks came during a seminar entitled “Youth and Islamic Awareness”, which was held in Tehran on Thursday.
Commenting on the Syrian crisis, the general said that “the Syrian people support the government [of President Bashar al-Assad] completely.”
Assad’s troops have cracked down on protests against almost five decades of Baath rule which broke out mid-March, killing over 5,400 people and triggering a torrent of international condemnation.
He has killed American servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has pressed the ambitions of the radical Mullahs at every chance, and it’s time for him to go. We need a strategic assassination.
As for the Southern border, we are losing that battle, and it doesn’t bode well that we haven’t taken the fight seriously and yet allow a new gangster – General Suleimani – into the neighborhood.