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  U.S. Foils Swaps of Drugs for Weapons
Posted by CN Staff on November 07, 2002 at 13:08:23 PT
By Dan Eggen, Washington Post Staff Writer 
Source: Washington Post  

justice U.S. officials announced yesterday that they had foiled two separate plots to use drug money to buy weapons for terrorists, including an alleged attempt by a U.S. citizen and two Pakistanis to swap tons of heroin and hashish for Stinger missiles that they planned to sell to al Qaeda.

In the second case, Justice Department officials said they had broken up a plot by right-wing Colombian paramilitaries to buy $25 million worth of high-powered East European weaponry with cocaine and cash.

The cases illustrate the increasingly aggressive efforts by U.S. authorities to stanch the flow of drug money and other funds that terrorists use to buy weapons and finance their activities. From Islamic militants to Colombian paramilitaries, Attorney General John D. Ashcroft said, there is a "deadly nexus between terrorism and drug trafficking" that poses a serious threat to American security.

"We have learned, and we have demonstrated, that drug traffickers and terrorists work out of the same jungle; they plan in the same cave and they train in the same desert," Asa Hutchinson, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said at a Washington news conference with Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and other officials yesterday.

In both cases, authorities lodged the federal charge of providing material support to terrorist groups, a statute that has become the centerpiece of the Justice Department's domestic war on terrorism. The charge, used rarely before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has been filed against defendants including John Walker Lindh -- who pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban -- and the alleged members of al Qaeda sleeper cells in Lackawanna, N.Y., Portland, Ore., Detroit and Seattle.

According to a federal indictment unsealed in San Diego yesterday, the two Pakistani nationals and a naturalized U.S. citizen, who has lived in Minneapolis, were indicted on Oct. 30 for allegedly offering to trade 5 metric tons of hashish and 600 kilograms of heroin with undercover FBI agents for four Stinger missiles.

As the deal progressed, according to the indictment, the men told the agents meeting with them in Hong Kong that "they intended to sell the 'Stinger' anti-aircraft missiles . . . to members of the Taliban, an organization which the defendants indicated was the same as al Qaeda." The meetings with the men were taped, according to Ashcroft.

Syed Mustajab Shah and Muhammed Abid Afridi, both from Pakistan, and Ilyas Ali, a naturalized U.S. citizen from India, were arrested after that Sept. 20 meeting. They appeared in a Hong Kong court on Tuesday to fight extradition to the United States, officials said.

The Colombia case, called "Operation White Terror," began 13 months ago and resulted in videotapes and audiotapes of meetings with undercover FBI and DEA agents in London, Panama City and the Virgin Islands, where four suspects allegedly discussed exchanging drugs for weapons.

The arms were intended for the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, or AUC, a brutal umbrella group of paramilitary forces that has been blamed for hundreds of assassinations, kidnappings and massacres. It was labeled a terrorist organization by the State Department in September 2001.

U.S. authorities said the four suspects believed they were going to trade $25 million in cash and cocaine for weapons, including shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles; 9,000 assault rifles; grenade launchers and nearly 300,000 grenades; 300 pistols; and about 53 million rounds of ammunition.

The sting included a bogus "PowerPoint" computer presentation given to AUC representatives that showed the weaponry. Later on, in April, U.S. agents allowed one of the prospective buyers to inspect samples of the weapons during a meeting in St. Croix, according to court documents.

Four men were charged in the case: Carlos Ali Romero Varela and Uwe Jensen, both of Houston, and Colombian nationals Cesar Lopez, also known as Commandant Napo, and an unnamed defendant known only as "Commandant Emilio." The four were charged in federal court in Houston with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization -- offenses punishable by as much as life in prison.

Jensen was arrested on Tuesday in Houston. He said during a federal court appearance yesterday that he is Danish but with U.S. citizenship. The three others were arrested on Tuesday in San Jose, Costa Rica, after traveling there to finalize the deal with U.S. undercover agents. They face extradition to the United States.

The AUC has long been named by advocacy groups as the worst perpetrator of human rights abuses in Colombia, including carrying out executions and other operations against leftist guerilla groups at the behest of the Colombian army.

In separate moves earlier this year, Ashcroft announced indictments against members of both the right-wing AUC and the leftist guerrilla group FARC, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

U.S. investigators have said since Sept. 11, 2001, that they have uncovered several schemes by terrorist associates to raise money through drug sales. "Drugs are the currency of terrorists," said U.S. Attorney Michael Shelby of Houston, who was at yesterday's news conference. "This is the medium of terrorism in the 21st century."

In the largest recent case, dubbed Operation Mountain Express, participants in a massive methamphetamine ring allegedly sent millions of dollars to the Hezbollah terror organization. About 100 people were arrested in 10 cities in January as a result of the probe, which also found evidence of close ties between Mexican drug-trafficking organizations and Arab American organized crime groups in New York, Michigan and Canada.

Note: Ashcroft Announces Arrests in Two Cases.

Newshawk: Nicholas Thimmesch II --
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Author: Dan Eggen, Washington Post Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, November 7, 2002; Page A03
Copyright: 2002 Washington Post

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Comment #10 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on November 08, 2002 at 06:19:11 PT
US Complicit In Swaps of Drugs for Weapons
How come it's only terrorism when it's the other guy doing it?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #9 posted by DdC on November 07, 2002 at 16:26:37 PT
Little Ole Pot or Alkie-Petro-Pharmicidal Maniacs?
Welcome to Reality


Cannabis Hemp: The Invisible Prohibition Revealed


Organic Cannabis Food. Vs. 12 pounds of chemicalized grain per pound of exported meat...


Paramilitary squads are tearing apart Columbian families and culture as they defend U.S. oil interests. Monsanto produced defoliant is sickening thousands. Bush is asking for an increase in military aid to Columbia...The Colombian Deception Continued...

Collateral Damage $$$

Why prohibition of cannabis? The Shadow of the Swastika...Elkhorn Manefesto. "Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there." - William E. Dodd, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, 1937. Continued...

Hempron Deceptions

U.S.Al Qaeda!

Walters the Terrorist

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #8 posted by FoM on November 07, 2002 at 15:20:59 PT
CNN Upcoming Special Report - FRIED
I just saw a preview for a special that is scheduled to air on Sunday Night. It is called FRIED. I looked around CNN's web site but couldn't find anything but I did see it on CNN. Might want to keep your eyes open for it too. Looks like the girl will narrate that did the program called The Shadow Industry ( I think that's what it was called ) for MTV.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #7 posted by DdC on November 07, 2002 at 15:02:40 PT
Bush's Faustian Deal With The Taliban...
Enslave your girls and women, harbor anti-U.S. terrorists, destroy every vestige of civilization in your homeland, and the Bush administration will embrace you. All that matters is that you line up as an ally in the drug war, the only international cause that this nation still takes seriously.

That's the message sent with the recent gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the most virulent anti-American violators of human rights in the world today. The gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes the U.S. the main sponsor of the Taliban and rewards that "rogue regime" for declaring that opium growing is against the will of God. So, too, by the Taliban's estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on drugs that catches this administration's attention. Continued

Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, And Fundamentalism In Central Asia Paperback 288 pages... A journalist who covered the civil war in Afghanistan for 20 years and interviewed leaders of the Taliban organization brings into sharp focus this most radical of fundamentalist Islamic movements, which is creating instability in the East and taking an increasing role in the development of oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia to Western and Asian markets. Publisher: Yale Nota Bene

The Skulls Anthony J. Hilder Until the release of "The Skulls" most people who heard of Yale's Skull & Bones thought of this Faustian Financial Fratemity as fictitional. But that was yesterday. Today, all across America millions are flockng to see The Skulls, a frightening "Fictitional Film" which parallels raw reality. The real Fratemity at Yale, upon which this scary story is based, saw both President George Herbert Walker Bush and his not too bright, bumbling boy "BORN AGAIN" into the Skull & Bones' Satanic Order. They both laid rude in a coffin, while surrounded by 15 men, cloaked in black, Klansmen-like robes, who performed the rituals.

Taliban ask Bush to block sanctions KABUL, Dec 14: The Taliban on Thursday wished a "big congratulation" to George Bush for winning the US presidency and urged him to block fresh UN sanctions against them.


Today's Violence is Firmly Rooted in History: From Plunder by Raids to Plunder by Trade

The Inquisitions: To Suppress Freedom Under the Flag of Freedom, Chains Must Be Placed On The Minds Of The Masses

The Village Idiots

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #6 posted by knox42897 on November 07, 2002 at 14:36:48 PT:

Operation Green Terror
"We have learned, and we have demonstrated, that drug traffickers and terrorists work out of the same jungle; they plan in the same cave and they train in the same desert," Asa Hutchinson

With the help of the Northern Alliance and the Mexican connections, we should be able defeat these drug warriors push them out to the sea.


[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Ron Bennett on November 07, 2002 at 14:15:51 PT
Red Herring...Nothing to See Here...Move On...
Just a red herring...

Some guys say they're going to buy "heavy" weapons (bet some/all of their desire for such purchases were spurred by the undercover agents themselves) and all of sudden, the govt is making it out to be a big terrorist doesn't jive.

Anyways, if drugs were legalized, or at least decriminalized, much of these problems would disappear...


[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by pokesmotter on November 07, 2002 at 14:08:17 PT:

right on krutch
prohibition funds terrorism. terrorists around the world would crap their pants if we legalized drugs. they would be screwed.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #3 posted by krutch on November 07, 2002 at 13:51:53 PT:

This is the medium of terrorism?
Drugs are not the medium of terrorism. The reason this is possible is because drugs are contraband, and contraband is expensive. Much profit is to be had by smuggling it.

As far as herb goes. We could eliminate the profits to be had from dealing Arab hashish into the US for weapons by legalizing culivation of MJ. The demand for hash would be low if those who wish to toke could just grow their own.

Current draconian penalties for cultivation encourage those who indulge to buy from the street. If I one is caught buying on the street the offense is minor. If one is caught cultivating for persoal consumption in one's home the house is forfeited and a prison sentence is mandatory.

Prohibition funds terrorism. Legalize now.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 07, 2002 at 13:35:16 PT
A little humor here. I saw Bobby Brown got arrested. At this rate we'll need to have Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown perform a benefit concert for themselves. Maybe it should be called: Get Us Out Of Jail Please Concert. It's just so sad.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #1 posted by p4me on November 07, 2002 at 13:29:50 PT
The fascist Post
Of all the articles or commentary that could be written they chose to really put the words on this one. If they cover Mj at all it is hard to get more than one paragraph even when it is the announcement that there are enough signatures for an iniative for MMJ in Washington DC itself.

Having determined already that the Post is just another fascist propaganda paper, I am not surprized that they jump on anything that bridges the terrorism and marijuana wars. Fascist, fascist,fascist. They could not bring up the point that without prohibition expeorted world-wide by Washington rasises the price of cannabis from the level of broccoli to the level of gold. I mean they would not want to talk sense when there is fascism to be done. Go fascism.

Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston's husband went to an Atlanta jail for having some devilweed on him according to Yahoo:


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