Time magazine’s Johnny Dwyer notes that the DEA picked up a Swedish-Lebanese gangster, connected him to the Russian arms dealer known as the “Lord of War,” and wonders aloud why it was the US DEA — the Drug Enforcement Agency — doing the picking up.
While few think of the DEA as a counterterrorism organization, since 2007 it has leveraged a little-known federal statute passed in 2006 to conduct sting operations across the globe, netting major figures including arms dealer Monzer al-Kassar and the “Lord of War” Viktor Bout by connecting the suspects to terrorism plots. That statute effectively created the team within the DEA’s multiagency SOD to take on investigations in which drugs and terrorism crossed over, what policy types call a nexus.
Time then decides to figure out the DEA’s role by talking mostly to the agency’s critics, including the Swede-Lebanese guy’s defense lawyer. And then finds a single case that backs up what the DEA is doing.
The DEA does have one case (emphasis added) that may fit the narcoterrorism thesis. In an indictment announced two weeks ago, federal prosecutors allege that Lebanese and Turkish suspects acknowledged a connection to Hizballah while attempting to acquire a laundry list of weapons (from Beretta handguns to surface-to-air missiles) from DEA informants.
Problem: There are a whole lot more than this one case that show the connection between terrorism and narcotrafficking. Narcoterrorism is not a “thesis,” it’s an established fact. Hizballah, for one, has expanded its global Islamist terror empire on bank fraud, arms trafficking, and the narco trade. This is well known. Over to the LA Times. And right here at the Tatler and PJM. Heck, even the Huffington Post has noticed the emergence of narcoterrorism. Back in 2008, Time itself noticed the connection between the Taliban and the opium trade. Maybe the bright lights at Time don’t think of the Taliban as terrorists (reserving that designation for the Tea Party), but terrorists are what the Taliban are.
The rise of narcoterrorism is one of the most dangerous developments in the war on terrorism, and the battle against illicit drugs, of the past decade or so. It injects Hizballah tactics into the already deadly Mexican cartels (such as the car bombings and beheadings that are now frequent features of life in Ciudad-Juarez and other Mexican cities), and provides a massive money spigot for the terrorists. The only surprise is how slow Time’s Johnny Dwyer seems to have been to catch on.
Another dangerous development is the rise of these dual nationalities that allow Hizballah agents to pose as citizens of, say, peaceful Sweden, for the purposes of moving about Europe and the world with great ease. It’s a dangerous outgrowth of liberal multiculturalism. But no one in power seems to want to do much about it.
Question: When will Time get around to really noticing Gunwalker?