Drug Cases Eyed For Ties To Mideast Terrorists 

Drug Cases Eyed For Ties To Mideast Terrorists 
Posted by CN Staff on December 26, 2002 at 17:59:53 PT
By Greg Krikorian
Source: Union Leader
Federal agents are investigating more than 40 major narcotics cases in the United States in which the proceeds of drug trafficking may have gone to Middle East terrorists, officials say. To date, only one of those cases — a nationwide methamphetamine ring — has been publicly identified. But in a recent interview, Drug Enforcement Administration chief Asa Hutchinson said authorities are examining dozens of other domestic drug cases with potential links to Islamic terrorists. 
The possible ties between drug rings and Middle East extremists, Hutchinson said, would be a result of U.S. efforts to shut down other potential financial sources of terrorism, such as phony companies or charities. “Because there is pressure on the traditional funding sources ... pressure on the money flowing to these groups, that leaves them to be entrepreneurs in how they will come up with money for the different cells,” said Hutchinson, President Bush’s choice as undersecretary for border and transportation security in the new Homeland Security Department. That, in turn, “leads them to various criminal activities (including) increased linkage to drug activity,” Hutchinson said. “That is the evidence we see and the trend that we see.” Last month, three men who allegedly sought to trade half a ton of heroin and five tons of hashish for four shoulder-fired Stinger missiles were charged in San Diego. That alleged plot is an FBI case, and included plans to sell the missiles to the al-Qaida network of terrorists, authorities said. One Justice Department source said the plot may say less about al-Qaida operation than the opportunism of extremists with access to large quantities of narcotics, since some authorities believe the three San Diego defendants would have sold the missiles to anyone for the right price. The Stinger missile case is illustrative of a burgeoning nexus between illicit drugs and terrorism, said Bill Gore, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Diego office. “It is a real problem,” he said. “There is no doubt that a lot of these groups have been supported by the sale of illegal narcotics ... (and) I think we will see more of these.” With more than 360 agents in 56 countries, the DEA has a far better chance of uncovering the drug-terrorism connections than other agencies, including the FBI, Gore said. Even then, it is difficult to prove that money from drug rings is destined for extremists, he said. In May, Hutchinson said the DEA had uncovered “significant evidence” that some of the millions of dollars collected by suppliers in a methamphetamine ring went to the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah. In addition, he said at the time, investigators had traced money to defendants’ families in Lebanon, Yemen and other Mideast countries, raising the possibility that illicit proceeds could have gone to other terrorist groups. Then and now, Hutchinson has declined to provide any details about that evidence, and federal prosecutors have not charged any of the 300-plus people arrested in that 3-year-old investigation with anything but drug-related offenses. But in the wake of the San Diego case, Hutchinson said his agency is moving forward on other drug investigations that could establish funding connections to terrorism. “We have tried to get a better handle on the number of our cases that have both ... a drug connection (and) a terrorist link of some sort,” he said. “We are not exaggerating. There is always the qualifier that drugs purchased in the United States may go to support terrorist or violent groups around the globe.” While the 40-plus cases cited by the DEA could prove to have links to the Middle East, Hutchinson said the United States should not accept the “artificial distinction” of pursuing those terrorists and not others elsewhere in the world. “We are focused on Middle Eastern terrorist groups,” he said. “But if our drug sales in the United States fund the assassination of a judge in Colombia or a prosecutor in Mexico, should we not feel the same sense of responsibility” to act? Complete Title: Blood Money: Drug Cases Eyed For Ties To Mideast Terrorists Source: Union Leader (NH)Author: Greg KrikorianPublished: December 26, 2002 Copyright: 2002 The Union Leader Corp.Contact: letters Website: DEA Archives
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Comment #4 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on December 27, 2002 at 07:23:08 PT
Sirs,  Why are the terrorists able to make money from the traffick of illegal drugs? Because of our government's ruthless opposition to drug sales. If our government allowed an alternative to the black market, the criminals would find their revenue drying up rapidly. Bootleg booze fueled criminal empires during prohibition, yet it ceased to be a problem once alcohol could once again be bought legally at reasonable prices. The same thing could happen with any drug that any terrorists are currently making money with. The war on drugs is the only reason the criminals can make lots of money selling drugs. Ending the drug war would be the quickest way to cut off this source of revenue once and for all.
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Comment #3 posted by charmed quark on December 27, 2002 at 05:49:15 PT
Increased heroin use supports anti-terroism effort
Cocaine and heroin are the only drugs that have any significant international trade. Pot used in the USA is mostly grown in the USA, Mexico or Canada. Cocaine all comes from South America which is not yet a hotbed of international terroism, only local, USA supported terroism.But a strong argument can be made that we need to use more heroin to support the antiterroism efforts in the Afganistan region. The Northern Aliance warloads are dependent on opium money to finace them. That's one reason the Taliban agreed to try to stomp out poppy growing. This linking of pot use with terroism is yet one more bizaare, madeup story that the Drug Tsar is telling the American people.And the news media don't call him on it. I guess they are afraid it will make them look unpatriotic. And that's how democracy falls.-Pete
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Comment #2 posted by BGreen on December 27, 2002 at 04:58:37 PT
They Better Pray It's Just The Money
going to the so-called terrorists. If it's the methamphetamine being sent to them they'll have paranoid, whacked out crazy asses fighting against our own paranoid, whacked out crazy ass drugged nazi fighters.It made me sick watching the news reports of the police states of amerika soldiers worshiping at Christmas with a likeness of the baby Jesus in front of them when they're ALL responsible for killing Afghani babies and children, and soon will be slaughtering Iraqi kids.A drugged up murderer is a drugged up murderer, regardless of who the puppeteer is.
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on December 26, 2002 at 18:24:59 PT
Prohibition = Terrorism 
Prohibition supports terrorism. Terrorism is a good excuse to steal our rights & spend all of our money on the military. It should be obvious to even an idiot. If you support the war on drugs, you support terrorism.The way out is the way in -The 9/11 Conspiracy: Unanswered Questions from 9/11(QuickTime Video, parts 1-4) 9/11 Truth Movement - Selected Resources for Researchers and Activists: 9/11 Documents: "Conspiracies" and the Defactualisation of Analysis: Skeptics Unite: Thompson's Complete 9/11 Timeline: People's Investigation of 9/11: 9/11 Links:
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