July 07, 2011

LulzSec Doc: Hezbollah in Mexico

hezbollah_tattoo_prison.jpg

We've been reporting the presence of the terrorist group in Latin America for nearly eight years now. In fact, we have an entire archive for terrorism in Latin America which we started when I first started hearing reports of Hezbollah's presence throughout the region.

So, this isn't exactly "news" in the sense that it will come as a surprise to any one. In fact, we've known for some time now that law enforcement agencies along the border have been keeping an eye out not only for the Iranian backed terrorist group but also Sunni Salafi types trying to come across our porous border.

But it is interesting nonetheless to see how law enforcement has framed the issue:

n July of this year, Mexican authorities arrested Jameel Nasr in Tijuana, Baja California. Nasr was alleged to be tasked with establishing the Hezbollah network in Mexico and throughout South America. In April of last year, the arrest of Jamal Yousef – in New York City – exposed a weapons cache of 100 M- 16 assault rifles, 100 AR-15 rifles, 2,500 hand grenades, C4 explosives and antitank munitions. According to Yousef, the weapons, which were being stored in Mexico, had been stolen from Iraq with the help of his cousin who was a member of Hezbollah.

With the arrest of Jameel Nasr and Jamal Yousef, obvious concerns have arisen concerning Hezbollah’s presence in Mexico and possible ties to Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTO’s) operating along the U.S. – Mexico border. The potential partnership bares alarming implications due to Hezbollah’s long established capabilities, specifically their expertise in the making of vehicle borne improvised explosive devises (VBIED’s).

And this doesn't change the fact that each and every member of the LulzSec group should be found, prosecuted, and then paired up with a rather large yet effeminate cell mate.

Thanks to Doug Ross who has more.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:59 AM | Comments |

April 22, 2011

Al Qaeda in .... Honduras?

I guess the answer is why not? These guys love lawlessness, and several countries in Latin America have areas which fit that bill.

Look closely at the name of one of the men alleged to be in Honduras. UPI:

Honduran authorities are on alert to track down two alleged members of al-Qaida international terrorist network after receiving warnings from U.S. Embassy officials in the capital...

The U.S. Embassy information on the two Afghan suspects, Khalil Al-Rahman Haqqani and Said Jan Abd Al-Salam, followed action by the U.N. Security Council to cut off all possible sources of finance for their alleged activities. Honduras received repeated U.N. requests to freeze the accounts of the two men but Honduran authorities didn't say if they found them.

That's right, a Haqqani. Send in the drones!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:08 PM | Comments |

April 07, 2011

Mass Murder in Rio: Perp Converted to Islam and Spent a lot of Time on the Internet

brazil_terrorism_murder_rio.jpg

Various numbers are being published on how many were murdered by an Islamic extremist in Reio de Janeiro, Brazil, but it looks like at least ten but as many as twenty. Pam over at Atlas Shrugs has this up:

At least 11 people, mostly children, died Thursday and more that 15 were wounded when an armed man attacked a school in Realengo in the poor suburbs of Rio de Janeiro.

According to a preliminary police report, the attacker - a 24- year-old former student at the school - was among the dead after shooting himself in the head. He attacked Tasso da Silveira school, where some 400 students ages 9-14 were in classes. [...]

Beltrami described the letter as 'the words of a person who no longer believes in anything, full of sentences that made no sense and references to Islamic fundamentalism.'

Details are still fuzzy -- and I presume we will learn more about Silveira in the coming days -- but I found this bit of information from the murderer's sister interesting:
He had no friends, and he spent all his time on the Internet," she said.

In recent months, she said, he appeared to have got closer to Islam.

What kind of extremist propaganda he was consuming on the internet? I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that he was finding friends at Islamist forums that praise those that murder infidel children.

We shouldn't dismiss the fact that the guy might also have been mentally ill, but neither should we forget that being crazy and being a jihadi are not mutually exclusive categories.

In fact, the more socially isolated and the more mentally ill one who is part of the online jihadi community is, the more likely they are to commit individual acts of violence. Think Nidal Hasan.

It's also possible that his only motivation were the voices in his head.

Thanks to multiple readers. Developing....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:07 PM | Comments |

November 10, 2010

Chavez Implicated in Cocaine Smuggling

Hmmmmmm, too good to be true?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:23 PM | Comments |

February 20, 2010

Three in Miami Aided Hezbollah in South America

Two Americans and two Paraguayans in Florida have been busy aiding and abetting the organization that orchestrated the killing of 241 Americans, mostly Marines. The three were apparently part of a scheme to ship what would normally be considered benign goods -- such as Sony Playstation 2s -- to shops owned by Hezbollah in the tri-border region of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil.

Hezbollah has a long history of operating in South America -- especially in the tri-borders region where many terrorist organizations are said to have a foothold.

Here's a summary:

Agents from the bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and officers from the FBI and other federal agencies executed search warrants in Florida on Thursday and arrested Emilio Gonzalez-Neira, Khaled Safadi and Ulises Talavera, owners of three Miami-area freight forwarding companies....

“This international ICE led multi-jurisdictional investigation demonstrates ICE’s mission to identify, investigate, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations that support designated terrorist entities and participate in the illicit trade of commodities that support terrorist activities and ultimately threaten the national security of the United States,” John Morton, ICE’s assistant secretary of Homeland Security, said in a statement.

The electronics shop in Paraguay is located within a mall known as Galeria Page, which the U.S. government has designated a terrorist entity for its ties to Hezbollah, according to sources.

"Hundreds of millions" of dollars were made from the scheme, and the money "goes directly to Hezbollah," one source said.

A fourth man, Samer Mehdi of Paraguay, was also indicted. He was the guy on the receiving end of the scheme.

A copy of the press release which accompanied the indictment is below.

---------------

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Investigations, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Harold Woodward, Director of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Michael Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Commerce (DOC), Adam J. Szubin, Director, Department of the Treasury’s, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and Michael Fithen, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, Miami Field Office, announced the indictment of four individuals and three Miami businesses on charges involving the export of electronics to a U.S. designated terrorist entity in Paraguay.

Samer Mehdi, 37, of Paraguay, Khaled T. Safadi, 56, of Miami, FL, Ulises Talavera, 46, of Miami, FL, Emilio Jacinto Gonzalez-Neira, 43, of Paraguay, Cedar Distributors, Inc. (Cedar), a Miami-based freight forwarding company owned by defendant Safadi, Transamerica Express of Miami, Inc. (Transamerica), a Miami-based freight forwarding company owned by defendant Talavera, and Jumbo Cargo, Inc. (Jumbo), a Miami-based freight forwarding company owned by defendant Gonzalez-Neira, were indicted on charges of conspiracy, 18 U.S.C. § 371, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1701-1706, and smuggling electronic goods from the United States to Paraguay, 18 U.S.C. § 554. The Indictment also seeks the forfeiture of an amount equal to the value of the electronics that were illegally exported. If convicted, the individual defendants face up to 20 years’ imprisonment on the IEEPA charges, 10 years’ imprisonment on the smuggling charges, and 5 years’ imprisonment on the conspiracy charge. The companies each face up to five years’ probation on all charges, and fines of up to $1,000,000 on the IEEPA charges, and $250,000 on the smuggling and conspiracy charges, respectively.

On Feb. 18, 2010, ICE special agents along with agents and officers of CBP, FBI, DOC, OFAC and the Secret Service, executed arrest and search warrants as a result of this criminal investigation. Cedar owner Khaled Safadi and Transamerica owner Ulises Talavera were arrested in Doral, FL, Jumbo owner Emilio Gonzalez-Neira was arrested in Sunny Isles, FL, and Jomana Import Export owner Samer Mehdi is still at large. Safadi, Talavera and Gonzalez-Neira had their initial appearances today. Gonzalez-Neira was held in pre-trial detention, and Safadi and Talavera are being held in pre-trial detention pending their bond hearings, which are scheduled for Monday, March 1, 2010, at 10:00 a.m.

This investigation was initiated in 2007 by ICE, FBI, CBP and DOC, as part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). According to the allegations in the Indictment, from at least as early as March 2007 through and continuing to at least January 2008, freight-forwarders Talavera, through Transamerica, and Gonzalez-Neira, through Jumbo, exported Sony brand electronics, including Playstation 2 consoles and digital cameras, to defendant Samer Mehdi, owner of Jomana Import Export, an electronics business located within the Galeria Page, a shopping center in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. Safadi, through Cedar, was a distributor of the electronics to the freight-forwarders.

Since December 6, 2006, the shopping center known as Galeria Page in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, has been designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity by OFAC, pursuant to Executive Order 13224. Consequently, any transaction or dealing by a U.S. person with Galeria Page, including any transaction or dealing with an entity within Galeria Page, is prohibited. The OFAC designation banned trade with Galeria Page and all tenants located therein. At all relevant times to the Indictment, it is alleged that the defendants were aware that shipping to Galeria Page was prohibited.

To conceal the true destination of the prohibited shipments, the defendants created fake invoices that contained false addresses and also listed fictitious ultimate consignees on the required Shippers Export Declarations (SEDs), and other necessary export paperwork. Locations referenced in these false documents, as well as corresponding emails, ensured that the electronics would reach the prohibited intended destination. Additionally, wire transfer payments from Mehdi in Paraguay to the U.S.-based distributors were routed through various facilities to mask their true origin.

On September 23, 2001, pursuant to his authority under IEEPA, then President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13224, and declared a national emergency to deal with the threat of acts of terrorism and threats of terrorism committed by foreign terrorists. The Executive Order empowered the U.S. Secretary of State to designate individuals or entities as having committed or as posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. The Order also authorized the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to designate certain individuals or entities as owned or controlled by, acting for or on behalf of, or providing support to, foreign terrorists. Executive Order 13224 blocked the property interests of such designated entities and persons, known as SDGTs. This Executive Order was in effect at all times relevant to this Indictment.

To implement Executive Order 13224, the U.S. Department of Treasury, through the OFAC, issued regulations that, among other things, prohibited any transactions or dealings in blocked property, or any transactions with an SDGT by a U.S. person in the absence of a specific license granted by OFAC. No such licenses were granted to the defendants here.

U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman stated, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to vigorously enforce OFAC regulations and federal laws designed to shut down financing to individuals or entities that pose a potential threat to our national security.”

“This international ICE led multi-jurisdictional investigation demonstrates ICE’s mission to identify, investigate, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations that support designated terrorist entities and participate in the illicit trade of commodities that support terrorist activities and ultimately threaten the national security of the United States,” said Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Miami.

FBI Special Agent in Charge John V. Gillies, stated, “The tri-border region is an area of concern to the FBI and our law enforcement partners both in the United States and overseas. We will continue our efforts to safeguard our national security and economic interests, including investigations of violations of our export laws that harm the United States.”

Harold Woodward Director of Field Operations for Customs and Border Protection stated “The changing face of terrorists and other criminal groups pose an increased area of concern for CBP and by fostering relationships with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies and foreign governments we improve the total security of global trade and travel. Dismantling these criminal organizations plays a major role in insuring the safety of our homeland.”

“OFAC will continue to pursue aggressive enforcement actions against domestic and foreign entities that conduct business with terrorist-linked entities through the United States," said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of ICE’s Office of Investigations in Miami, FBI, CBP, DOC, OFAC, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. State Department, Office of the ICE Attaché Buenos Aires and Office of the ICE Attaché Brasilia, and the cooperation of the Paraguayan and Brazilian governments. ICE’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Center and Trade Transparency Unit assisted in the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allyson Fritz and Russell Koonin, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Mariclaire Rourke.

An Indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:16 AM | Comments |

December 03, 2009

Good News: Islamist Terror Networks Growing in South America

They're baaack. And growing. JPost:

He said that Iran, particularly through Lebanese proxy Hizbullah, has a growing presence in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, using techniques it honed in Argentina before the country took measures to counter Teheran following the AMIA bombing.

He described sham operations involving taxi drivers, who conducted surveillance without arousing suspicion; fake medical school students, who could stay in the country for many years without raising eyebrows; and business fronts that helped funnel cash to operatives.

Meanwhile, the Iranians cultivated ties at the local mosques to search for people who could be radicalized.

I know Chavez claims he has nothing to do with this, but come on. What exactly has he done to discourage his Iranaian ally's proxy terror army?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:00 PM | Comments |

March 09, 2009

Terror Investigator Kidnapped, Tortured in Argentina; Iranian Involvment Suspected

Fausta notes a little covered story about the kidnapping and torture of Claudio Lifschitz, who helped in the investigation of the attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA; Argentine Israelite [i.e., Jewish] Mutual Association) building in Buenos Aires. The bombing, carried out by Hezbollah at the behest of Iran killing 85, and wounded 300 others.

Fausta offers this translation:

“A van passed me by and hooded men stepped out of it,” he recalled. “They forced me to climb into their vehicle, placed a garbage bag over my head and told me not to mess with SIDE (the Argentinean internal security service). They questioned me a number of times about tapes that tie Iran to the terror attack. They told me ‘you can relax, we won’t murder you. You’ll live until we decide otherwise’.”

After taking away his cell phone, the assailants released Lifschitz near the police academy building in the capital.

Read the rest. All evidence seems to point toward Iranian involvement.

An eerie reminder that the long arms of the Mullahs reach all the way into South America.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:31 PM | Comments |

June 11, 2008

Chavez Recruiting and Training for Hezbollah?

chavez_ahmadinejad_iran_hug.jpgIs it true that Hugo Chavez's government is recruiting and training young men to fight the US as part of Hizbollah forces? I dunno, sounds kind of far fetched -- but not so far fetched as to dismiss it outright.

We've seen some Hizbollah related activity in Venezuela in the past. See for instance this post about Hizbollah in Venezuala's website threatening the U.S. and a two part video report on the subject at Hot Air (part 1 & part 2). But if memory serves me correctly the group got in to some trouble after they were exposed and Chavez was forced to shut them down. A ploy, perhaps?

I'd like to see some investigation into these allegations. Chavez has certainly embraced the revolutionary and anti-American agenda of the Iranians, who sponsor Hezbollah. We've also long noted the Left/Islamist convergence of agendas. Stranger bedfellows have been made in the past.

Go check out Infidels are Cool who has the original Spanish language article and Fausta who has an English translation.

hezbollah-venezuela.jpg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:53 PM | Comments |

March 27, 2008

Terrorists' Uranium Found

Before you go into shock mode, the story goes on to say that the uranium was so low grade that it could not have been used in a dirty bomb. The implication is that the numbnuts in Hugo Chavez's favorite terrorist organization thought they were getting the good stuff, but instead they just bought a bag of oregano. Miami Herald:

Colombian authorities said they seized up to 66 pounds of low-grade uranium hidden off the side of a road in southern Bogotá on Wednesday, which the Colombian Defense Ministry said belonged to FARC guerrillas.

The Defense Ministry said the discovery adds weight to the evidence found in a laptop belonging to slain guerrilla leader Raúl Reyes, which showed the rebels were interested in buying and selling the uranium on the international underground market.

Thanks to Cindy.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:13 AM | Comments |

September 17, 2007

al Qaeda in....MEXICO!?!?!

Some are suggesting that al Qaeda is collaborating with left-wing insurgent groups in Mexico. I dunno...it's possible, but how likely is another question.

But since we know al Qaeda is full of Tom Clancy fans. And since we know Clancy predicts the next al Qaeda attack will be on soft targets via the porous Mexican border. What excuse do we have in not stopping illegal immigration not today, but five years ago?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:09 PM | Comments |

July 16, 2007

U.K. Embassy Bombed in Chile

WaPo:

A small bomb exploded outside the British embassy in the Chilean capital Santiago on Sunday night, causing minor damage to the building but no casualties, police said on Monday.

Senior police officer Jorge Rojas described the device as "a cylinder filled with powder and with a detonator on a timer."

Pipe bomb with a timer? The Israeli embassy is also nearby. But however stupid and inept terrorists and "peace activists" are, I just can't imagine they're so stupid that they can't tell the difference between the British and Israeli flags.

Hat tip: Laura

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:23 AM | Comments |

December 07, 2006

Fourteen Insurgents Killed in Ramadi

Coalition Forces used tank main gun rounds and precision guided ordnance to destroy buildings from which insurgents were attacking in Ramadi Wednesday.

Iraqi Soldiers and Coalition Forces were attacked with a heavy volume of small
arms fire from numerous insurgent positions including the Al Haqq Mosque. Iraqi
Soldiers and Coalition Forces returned fire with a combination of small arms fire,
machine gun fire and tank main gun rounds. When the enemy's attack did not cease, Coalition Forces used precision guided ordnance on the buildings being used as insurgent fighting positions, and the buildings were destroyed.

Iraqi Soldiers and Coalition Forces did not use precision guided ordnance or fire
their tank main guns at the mosque. Iraqi Soldiers entered the mosque to conduct a
search, and Coalition Forces remained outside the mosque. Nothing significant was
found in the mosque.

One Coalition member was killed and three were wounded during the operations.
Fourteen insurgents were killed. There were no reports of civilian casualties.

"When insurgents create situations such as occurred Wednesday, Coalition
Forces must defend themselves," said Coalition spokesman Marine Lt. Col. Bryan
Salas. "While we are mindful to limit damage, we must respond with necessary and
proportional force to protect our forces and Iraq from the insurgents."

Source: MNF

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:43 PM | Comments |

September 05, 2006

Hizbollah in Venezuala Threaten U.S.

Hizbollah_hezbollah_venezuela_meeting.JPGYou read that right, Hezbollah in Venezuala. Actually, they call themselves Hezbollah Latin America. Their goal? Bringing the Khomeinist Islamic Revolution to the Western hemisphere.

Right: A meeting of Hezbollah in Venezuela somewhere on the Guajira Peninsula.

Hezbollah has been active in Latin America for some time. In 1992 the 'Party of God' bombed the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. In 1998 Argentina expelled several Iranian diplomats after finding evidence of their involvement in the attack. In 1995 Hezbollah bombed the AMIA Jewish Community Center, again in Buenos Aires.

This is Hezbollah in Venezuela's website. One odd thing about it is that the links page takes you to Mexico's Al Markaz As Salafi-- a very un-Khomeinist site.

Check out Clint Taylor's vid at Hot Air, in which he relates this from Hezbollah in Latin America:

Hezbollah Latin America is looking into setting explosives against an allied organization of U.S.A. in Latin America.

The serious reason the launching for Hezbollah Latin America like an international movement, spreading the rejection to the attacks of Israel against Hezbollah Lebanon, showing our solidarity and endorsement to Hezbollah in its fight against Zionism and North American Imperialism.

The explosive apparatus will be of low power and will not cause injuries to people or property but will spread leaflets with slogans of Hezbollah Latin America against the occupation and against the Imperialism of USA.

In this form Hezbollah will appear before public opinion, national and international, like an Islamic revolutionary movement, that works to establish in all countries of Latin America, and from these countries to open a new space of Islamic resistance.

I wouldn't worry too much about Hezbo in Venezuela unless they begin to receive support from the Iranians. Their website seems both amateurish and even a bit unsure of what it means to be "Hezbollah". Their main focus seems to be on "resistance", which is very much in the mainstream of South American leftist rhetoric. In any event, these are definitely people to keep an eye on. It does not take much professionalism to do a lot of damage to soft targets.

Venezuela Today seems to concur with my assessment. Gustavo Coronel notes that the leader of the group is named Teodoro Darnott, now called "Commander Teodoro". Commander Teodoro has been a member of Hugo Chavez's political party in the past and called his communal project for the Wayuu tribe, Jehovah Nisi--a very evangelical Christian sounding name.

As Coronel notes:

It is not clear when Commander Teodoro decided to switch, once more, philosophical preferences, to become a follower of Hezbollah. The little information I have on him suggests that he is a very uncultured person, certainly not an expert on the Islamic religion or ways of life. At some point in time the real Islamic fanatics probably contacted him.
Although Coronel believes that Commander Teodoro is in contact with Hezbollah, it is not clear how deep those connections are.

Coronel also notes:

So far, they seem limited to holding rather "incestuous" meetings among the members of the tribe, to talk about exotic religious concepts that probably do not hold much appeal to them, and to wearing Islamic attire in Venezuelan territory, a cultural statement probably mostly designed to counterbalance Western culture.
Even so, the women with their head uncovered, something certainly not in line with Hezbollah teachings.

UPDATE: Part II from Clint Taylor and he reaches much of the same conclusions as I do.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:45 AM | Comments |