Cal­i­for­nian seeks hear­ing on Is­lamic, Mex­i­can ties

The Washington Times Weekly - - From Page One - By Sara A. Carter

A rank­ing House Repub­li­can on Aug. 8 de­manded a hear­ing based on re­cent re­ports that Is­lamic ter­ror­ists embed­ded in the United States are teaming with Mex­i­can drug car­tels to fund ter­ror­ism net­works over­seas.

Rep. Ed Royce, rank­ing Repub­li­can on the House For­eign Af­fairs ter­ror­ism and non­pro­lif­er­a­tion sub­com­mit­tee, said the Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion (DEA) doc­u­ment — first re­ported Aug. 8 by The Wash­ing­ton Times — high­lights how vul­ner­a­ble the na­tion is when fight­ing the war on ter­ror­ism.

“I’ll be ask­ing the ter­ror­ism sub­com­mit­tee to hold a hear­ing on the DEA re­port’s dis­turb­ing find­ings,” said Mr. Royce of Cal­i­for­nia. “A flood of name changes from Ara­bic to His­panic and the re­ported link­ing of drug car­tels on the Texas border with Mid­dle East ter­ror­ism needs to be thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated.”

Like­wise, Rep. John Cul­ber­son, Texas Repub­li­can, said the DEA doc­u­ment re­vealed star­tling ev­i­dence that Is­lamic rad­i­cals are cam­ou­flag­ing them­selves as His­pan­ics while con­duct­ing busi­ness with vi­o­lent drug-traf­fick­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“I have been ring­ing the bell about this se­ri­ous threat of Is­lamic in­di­vid­u­als chang­ing their sur­names to His­panic sur­names for three to four years,” Mr. Cul­ber­son said. “Un­for tu­nately, Home­land Se­cu­rity’s high­est pri­or­ity is to hide the truth from Congress and the pub­lic. I just hope we’re not clos­ing the barn door af­ter ter­ror­ists have al­ready made their way in.”

Mr. Cul­ber­son, a mem­ber of the House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions home­land se­cu­rity sub­com­mit­tee, wrote a let­ter to the sub­com­mit­tee’s chair­man, Rep. David E. Price, North Carolina Demo­crat, re­quest­ing a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion and hear­ing into the mat­ter. A spokesman for Mr. Price said the com­mit­tee is con­tact­ing the law-en­force­ment agen­cies and will work closely with Mr. Cul­ber­son’s of­fice on the mat­ter.

“We cer­tainly want to learn more about the mat­ter from the agen­cies in­volved,” said Paul Cox, press sec­re­tary to Mr. Price.

The 2005 DEA re­port out­lines sev­eral in­ci­dents in which mul­ti­ple Mid­dle East­ern drug-traf­fick­ing and ter­ror­ist cells in the U.S. are fund­ing ter­ror­ism net­works over­seas with the aid of Mex­i­can car­tels. Th­ese sleeper cells use es­tab­lished Mex­i­can car­tels with highly so­phis­ti­cated traf­fick­ing routes to move nar­cotics — and other con­tra­band — in and out of the United States, the re­port said.

Th­ese “per­sons of in­ter­est” speak Ara­bic, Span­ish and He­brew flu­ently, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment.

The re­port in­cludes pho­to­graphs of known Mid­dle East­ern­ers who “ap­pear to be His­panic; they are in fact, all Span­ish-speak­ing Ara­bic drug traf­fick­ers sup­port­ing Mid­dle East ter­ror­ism from their base of op­er­a­tions” in the south­west­ern United States, ac­cord­ing to the DEA.

Michael Maxwell, a se­nior an­a­lyst with the House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions home­land se­cu­rity sub­com­mit­tee, said that the re­port is ev­i­dence that ter­ror­ism cells ex­ist in the U.S. and are be­ing aided by dan­ger­ous narco-traf­fick­ing car­tels.

“While the pro­cure­ment of fraud­u­lent or mul­ti­ple iden­ti­ties by ter­ror­ists to hide crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity is not new, the in­for­ma­tion sug­gests ter­ror­ist trade­craft is evolv­ing and re­la­tion­ships now ex­ist be­tween Mex­i­can and Mid­dle East­ern in­di­vid­u­als or groups, embed­ded here in the United States,” he added.

The ties are as deep as fam­ily, ac­cord­ing to the DEA re­port, which said that a Mid­dle East­ern mem­ber of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, in­volved in nar­cotics sales and other crimes, mar­ried into a Mex­i­can nar­cotics fam­ily.

“One of the tar­gets of this in­ves­ti­ga­tion is an Ara­bic man,” the doc­u­ment said.

A 2006 De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity intelligence re­port — also ob­tained by The Times — said that Al Qaeda has tried and is plan­ning on us­ing the South­west border to en­ter the U.S.

Mark Juer­gens­meyer, di­rec­tor of the Or­falea Cen­ter for Global & In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Santa Bar­bara and a ter­ror­ism spe­cial­ist, said that links be­tween ter­ror­ism and nar­cotics traf­fick­ing have been well-es­tab­lished in for­eign na­tions, such as Afghanistan.

But Mr. Juer­gens­meyer said the DEA re­port link­ing ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions in the United States to Mex­i­can drug car­tels dis­plays a new evo­lu­tion in ter­ror­ist tac­tics and poses a se­ri­ous con­cern in the area of se­cu­rity.

“In some ways, that’s even more fright­en­ing to think that drug-traf­fick­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions in Mex­ico may adopt some ji­hadist ide­ol­ogy,” he said. “If it’s an ide­ol­ogy be­ing adopted by a drug cul­ture then that makes this sit­u­a­tion very dan­ger­ous.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.