Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Most of the members of the Democratic Party, as well as Barack Hussain Obama and their supporters, are using to paint the Trump administration as inept or deceitful in redeploying a carrier battle group in response to intelligence that Iran is preparing first strikes. The narrative says President Trump and his people are purposefully over-weighting the threat of Iran and Hezbollah as a pretext for another war bog like Iraq.
But, if we will look into the international media reports, Iran’s global terrorism partner, Lebanese Hezbollah, has entered such dire financial straits that it can no longer supply free groceries to its employees and begs the people to fill jihad donation boxes. President Doland Trump’s to-the-bone-marrow sanctions against terror-patron Iran has forced Tehran is cutting subsidies to various jihadist and terrorist outfits around the world. This has forced Hezbollah fighter furloughs from Syria, staff layoffs at its Al-Manar Internet TV station, slashes in salaries and reimbursement expenses, and jihad donation boxes deployed all over Lebanon, the reports said.
But in fact, Hezbollah is not in “dire” financial crisis. Since 2006, this notorious terror outfit has joined the international cocaine trafficking industry in Latin America.
According to intelligence agencies, Iran was providing 70 percent of the annual operational budget of Hezbollah, which was anywhere from $200 to $700 million a year. This information is unknown to anyone outside the intelligence world. But in recent years, Hezbollah’s profit from the cocaine trafficking industry in Latin America exceeds what Iran gives in recent years.
According to the Small Wars Journal, Hezbollah is using far-flung members of the Lebanese diaspora, forced its way into the narcotics trade of Central and South America, secured access to narcotics, and developed an enviable smuggling and distribution network across North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Treasury Department said just one Hezbollah smuggling ring in Central America generated more than $200 million every month. The DEA’s 2008-2016 “Project Cassandra” found that Hezbollah’s “External Security Organization Business Affairs” arm collected as much as $1 billion a year from money laundering, criminal activities, and drug and weapons trade.
Hezbollah’s trafficking and globally circuitous money-laundering operations are extensive now, well-reported and notorious in Venezuela, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Panama.
Hezbollah is all able and willing to carry out large-scale suicide bombings such as three against Jewish targets in Panama and Argentina in the early 1990s, and smaller-scale assassinations when called upon, as they have in Thailand and Bulgaria.
Similarly, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, Lashkar e Taiba, Joish e Mohammad, Jamaatul Mujahedin or Hijbul Mujahedin also are being already engaged into international drugs trafficking industry as well as other activities such as money laundering and dealing in arms. A few months back Sri Lankan police some drug dealers with a huge consignment of drugs. Following interrogation, it was revealed that a chain of narco network has been established throughout the South Asian nations, while Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) has joined hands with the syndicate connecting Myanmar-based Yaba manufacturing and trafficking networks. This transnational drugs and money laundering business has become joint-venture between the jihadists, D-Company, and Pakistani ISI.
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the editor of Blitz. Follow him on Twitter Salah_Shoaib