Since the Obama administration failed to reward its illegal alien base with a mega-million amnesty, it has increased its general coddling of foreign lawbreakers, which it hopes to transform into loyal Democrats someday soon.
Judiciary Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) noted in his statement to the Committee that “Under this administration, detention looks more like recess. While funds for American students’ physical education classes are being cut, the new detention standards expand recreation for illegal immigrants.”
Four panelists testified and expressed widely differing points of view. Jessica Vaughan of CIS appears on the video below at 5:00 in. She observed the government’s extreme TLC toward lawbreaking foreigners compared with its refusal to provide anything positive for crime victims of illegal aliens.
Meanwhile, those who are the victims of this unlawful activity have no one in these agencies to speak to for for them. Congress should direct ICE to establish a Victim’s Advocacy Unit to address the concerns of those who are victims of crimes and other damaging actions committed by removable aliens. Currently these victims and their families have no voice within the DHS bureaucracy, no avenue to get their questions answered, and no way to help ensure that immigration law enforcement failures that have tragic consequences are not repeated. In fact, ICE appears to have no interest whatsoever in meeting and discussing their cases with surviving family members, much less providing basic information on how they were handled.
Interestingly, Democrats on the committee thought that the detained persons weren’t treated well enough. Apparently they missed the glowing press stories a couple weeks back of how comfy the new detention centers are. For example, NPR reported on March 14: Trying To Make Immigrant Detention Less Like Prison.
The following article was typical in that background information clearly was not researched.
A Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday on Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s newly adopted detention standards revealed an increasingly bitter Congressional divide on immigration.
The hearing in front of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Policy and Enforcement was held to review ICE’s standards, which grant health care services to detainees, expand protections against sexual assault, provide more hospitable living conditions and expand access to legal services.
The development of the new standards came after a series of investigations, complaints and reports that revealed abuses in the system ranging from rapes to preventable deaths.
From the beginning, the hearing was a political firestorm. Even the name of the hearing was a point of controversy.
California Rep. Zoe Lofgren said she was “disappointed” to learn the hearing was titled “Holidays on ICE,” a title Texas Rep. Lamar Smith defended in his statement.
“This hearing is entitled ‘Holidays on ICE’ because ICE has decided to upgrade accommodations for detained illegal and criminal immigrants,” Smith said. “While we would all like to be upgraded, we don’t have the luxury of billing American taxpayers or making federal law enforcement agents our concierge.”
Smith said facilities designed to comply with new standards were too expensive and opulent, citing a new $30 million detention facility in Karnes City, Texas that is equipped with cable TV, basketball courts, a library and Internet access. Continue reading this article
Drug deals. Weapons purchases. Ties to a prison gang and a militant Islamic group and even a potential link to an unsolved homicide.
That was the list of allegations federal officials laid out against an Austin nightclub owner and nine of his associates in a dramatic hearing Tuesday.
Arrested last week on money laundering and drug charges, Yassine Enterprises owner Hussein Ali “Mike” Yassine, his brother, Mohammed Ali “Steve” Yassine, and eight others appeared in federal court and heard more details about the cases against them.
Mike Yassine, who owns eight Austin nightclubs, and the other suspects in the case face a variety of charges. Some are accused of cocaine distribution, purchases of guns to be used during drug deals and money laundering dating back to 2007.
Officials linked one suspect to the Texas Syndicate prison gang. They also said thousands of dollars were transferred to a Yassine relative in Lebanon who is reportedly connected to the militant group Hezbollah, considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.
Prosecutors for the first time also revealed that Mike Yassine is a “person of interest” in a case being investigated by the Austin Police Department’s homicide cold case unit. Austin police declined to provide additional details Tuesday, including the name of the alleged victim.
Mike Yassine might have also threatened witnesses, officials said, and is being investigated as part of a sexual assault case. Continue reading this article
On Monday I wrote about the Vietnamese butcher of five whose brutal crime was entirely preventable: Accused San Francisco Mass Murderer Was Not Deported to Vietnam. The case has not gotten much if any national attention, so it was reassuring to see law and sovereignty defender Congressman Ted Poe speak out on the issue:
Mr. Speaker, there’s been a lot of talk about immigration, border security and all of the problems in between. But let’s talk about one part of the immigration issue that has maybe slipped through the cracks and we don’t hear much about it. There are some illegal’s in the United States that are just criminals. They have been convicted of crimes from everything from stealing to killing, including rape, robbery and murder.
The Bureau of Prisons says that 27 percent of all the prisoners in Federal prisons are foreign nationals that are illegally in the United States. That’s astonishing, that over 25 percent of our Federal prisons house illegals, all at the expense of Americans. These criminals serve their sentence in our state or Federal prisons. Then after they serve that sentence and they are ordered deported, here’s what happens: many of their native countries refuse to take back their deported criminals.
Why would they take them back? They’ve got enough criminals of their own.
Since they won’t take back all of their own citizens that are convicted criminals after they serve their sentence, that nation tries to pawn off the remainder on the United States. These thugs get a get-out-of-jail-free card in the United States because we do not permanently detain them in jail after they have been ordered deported and their country of origin refuses to take them back. That mean they are released on the American streets. They are criminals without a country.
So how many people are we talking about? Well, according to an ICE report earlier this year, we’re talking about 138,000 illegal aliens who are pending deportation – either in jail or out on the streets. Some of these are never taken back to their home countries.
Now, who are these offending nations? Well, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, and yes, China. Our good buddies the Chinese are the second worst offenders, with 35,000 convicted criminals pending deportation. Imagine that – Chinese criminals in the United States. Who would have thought?
Well, we already have a law on the books that says that the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to report to the Secretary of State any countries that do not accept or unreasonably delay taking their citizens back. Then the Secretary of State is supposed to discontinue granting visas to citizens of that country. That sounds good, but the problem is Homeland Security doesn’t always enforce the rule of law. Homeland Security has the obligation to follow the law and ship these criminals back to where they belong. It’s simple: If you come to the United States illegally and commit a felony, you go home after you are lawfully deported.
It’s time we offer a proper incentive for these uncooperative nations – like China – who freely take money from us – like our debt – and turn around and disrespect our laws. There needs to be a punishment for any nation that refuses to take back lawfully deported criminal aliens. We should not be issuing visas to diplomats of other nations that refuse to cooperate with our government. There should be consequences for countries whose citizens illegally enter the United States, harm our citizens, go to prison, and the host country disrespects the law of the United States and doesn’t take back their malcontent citizens.
So how do we make sure that these disrespectful foreign governments take back their citizens? Today, I introduced the Deport Convicted Foreign Criminals Act. This bill is simple. First, if a country does not take back their criminal aliens after 90 days of being given proper legal notice, diplomatic visas will be withheld. Then, if the country still refuses to take back their criminals, these sanctions will be expanded to include other types of visas.
Our government needs to be more concerned about the rule of law, the security of our Nation, and the cost to the American taxpayer than it is about hurting the feelings of some foreign country. Immigration is a complicated issue. But this part is simple. Foreign convicted criminals need to go back home. Their homeland should take them whether they want them or not. The United States cannot be a halfway house for foreign criminals.
The main action taken by the judge was to order Onyango Obama to hand over his drivers license to authorities for a mere 45 days, pictured below. And Uncle O. complained about that little inconvenience.
One tiny bit of justice was Onyango’s admitting to the prosecution’s case that he was driving drunk. He had tried to blame to arresting officer as somehow being unfit. What is it about the Obama family that they all seem incapable of taking responsibility?
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts drunken driving charge against President Barack Obama’s uncle will be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for a year, officials said Tuesday.
Onyango Obama, 67, admitted to sufficient facts at a hastily scheduled hearing Tuesday. That means he didn’t plead guilty but acknowledged Massachusetts prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him. A judge continued the case for one year without a finding, meaning that if he does not get arrested during that time, the charge will be dismissed. A judge also ordered him to attend a driver alcohol education program.
Onyango Obama is the half brother of the president’s late father. He was arrested in Framingham in August after a police officer said he made a rolling stop at a stop sign and nearly caused the officer’s cruiser to crash into Obama’s sport utility vehicle. Police said Obama registered 0.14 on a blood-alcohol test, above the state’s legal limit of 0.08.
On Tuesday, the judge ordered him to give up his driver’s license for 45 days. But his lawyer said he will apply for a hardship license to allow him to drive to and from his job as the manager of a liquor store in Framingham. Two other traffic violations were dismissed.
“He felt it was in his best interest to put this behind him,” said his attorney, P. Scott Bratton. “He wants to return to his normal, quiet existence in society.”
Obama, who is from Kenya, is also appealing a deportation order that dates to 1992, when he failed to renew his application to remain in the U.S. Bratton called it a technical error. He said Obama moved here as a teenager in the early 1960s to live with a host family and attend school. Continue reading this article
Below is recent video of Roy Beck of NumbersUSA speaking about the same topic on CNN, no less. He did a good job of making the point that jobless American workers deserve better treatment by their elected representatives.
San Francisco has been roiled for the last couple days by a particularly troubling mass murder of five who were hard to identify because of the physical savagery of the killings.
On Monday we learned the identities of the victims, all Chinese names, and the accused killer, Binh Thai Luc of Vietnam (pictured below), was arrested. The police have been very tight-lipped, saying over the past few days that the public needn’t worry about a random mass murderer on the loose. That plus the quick arrest indicates some sort of ongoing crime story about which we will surely hear more in the future.
Of further interest was that the accused had a criminal record, but was not deported, due to his home country’s refusal to take him back. So we can’t blame the diverse-criminal-friendly sanctuary city of San Francisco — this time.
We can blame Washington, particularly Congress and the State Department, for not producing a fix for this problem, which is not new. One worthy effort to solve the impasse was Congressman Ted Poe’s legislation in 2011 to require the State Department to deny diplomatic visas to countries that refuse to accept their deported criminal citizens. Congress should dust off that bill (HR 3256) and get it back on track.
The suspect in last week’s slayings of five people in San Francisco was ordered deported in 2006 after he served a prison term for robbery and assault, but because his native Vietnam would not issue travel documents for him, immigration officials had to let him go free, officials said Monday.
Binh Thai Luc, 35, of San Francisco was released under the terms of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said undocumented immigrants must be released after six months if their country of origin won’t take them back, according to officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
Immigration officials began making arrangements to deport Luc while he was serving an 11-year, 4-month prison term at San Quentin State Prison for a 1998 conviction for robbing employees of a Chinese restaurant in Santa Clara County at gunpoint, according to agency spokeswoman Gillian Christensen.
Federal agents took him into custody when he was released from prison Aug. 2, 2006, and a judge ordered him deported a month later.
“However, because Vietnamese authorities declined to provide appropriate travel documents, Luc ultimately had to be released due to the Supreme Court’s ruling” in a 2001 case, Christensen said.
He was released on Dec. 14, 2006, and continued to report to the federal immigration office in San Francisco, she said.
“Unfortunately there are some countries that people are very difficult to remove people to, and Vietnam is one of those countries,” Christensen said. “We had to follow the (Supreme Court) ruling.”
Similar instances of illegal immigrants being released under the ruling, including one involving a man who went on to kill a police officer in Miami in 2008, have resulted in calls for federal legislation to amend the decision.
Luc was arrested Sunday in the unusually violent killings of five people at a home in the southern part of the city. He is being held on suspicion of five counts of homicide and one count of use of a deadly weapon.
A source familiar with the investigation said authorities suspect the killer or killers were trying to collect on a gambling debt. Continue reading this article
Why are Muslims so clueless? Even when they aren’t blowing stuff up, they can be crude beyond belief with their made-up posture of victimhood. One recent example was the gaggle of burqafied women in France who wanted to deposit flowers at the childhood home of jihadist mass murderer Mohamed Merah in an “attempt to restore dignity to the Muslim community of Toulouse.” They remembered him as being a nice little boy, not a monster. That notion is unlikely to be much comfort to the families of the seven dead victims.
Fortunately, the French police prevented the twisted “honor” from taking place.
To compare with our culture, try to imagine Texans honoring the childhood home of the university tower shooter Charles Whitman who killed 16 people in 1966. After all, little Charlie was an Eagle Scout as a young fellow and was only a mass murderer on one day.
Of course, such a dishonor to the innocent victims would never occur in Texas.
In other Toulouse news, the media seems stuck on the question of whether Merad was part of a jihadist gang. That focus misses an important point, that Merad devolved from being a petty criminal to a Muslim Allah-bot by immersing himself in online Islamist propaganda. He then bought himself a serious arsenal using money he got by common theft. Merad didn’t need a gang of associates to commit his one-on-one murders — although police need to know whether there are other dangerous characters in town.
The take-away point is that any single Muslim plugged into the internet can become a murderous Soldier of Allah from anywhere on earth — including the United States. That fact should be a reminder that Muslim immigration is a terrible idea and should be ended to protect public safety and national security.
PARIS — Investigators have found no signs the suspected gunman behind a deadly string of attacks in southern France was under orders from al-Qaida or any militant group, a top French official said Friday — disputing Mohamed Merah’s claim of terrorist ties before he died in a shootout with commandos.
France’s prime minister and other officials have been fending off suggestions that anti-terrorism authorities failed to adequately monitor the 23-year-old Merah, who had been known to them for years before he carried out three deadly shooting attacks this month.
Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian descent who claimed links to al-Qaida, was killed in a dramatic gunfight with police Thursday after a 32-hour standoff at his Toulouse apartment. Prosecutors said he filmed himself carrying out the attacks that began March 11, killing three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three French paratroopers with close-range shots to the head. Another Jewish student and a paratrooper were wounded.
An autopsy of the gunman’s body showed he received two fatal bullet wounds to the left temple and to the abdomen — but that he was hit by some 20 bullets, mainly in the arms and legs, judicial and police officials said.
The head of the elite police unit, Amaury de Hauteclocque — whose mission was to take Merah alive — insisted his men fired only in self-defense.
Investigators looking for possible accomplices honed in on Merah’s 29-year-old brother, Abdelkader, and the brother’s girlfriend, described by one official as espousing an ultraconservative form of Islam. Both were detained early Wednesday, along with Merah’s mother.
The brother and girlfriend were being transferred Saturday to police anti-terrorist headquarters in Paris for further questioning. Abdelkader Merah had been implicated in a 2007 network that sent militant fighters to Iraq, but was never charged. Merah’s mother was to be released.
Meanwhile, a senior official close to the investigation told The Associated Press that despite Merah’s claims to negotiators of al-Qaida links, there was no sign he had “trained or been in contact with organized groups or jihadists.” Continue reading this article
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor recently met with Pope Benedict in the Vatican, and the subject of immigration of questionable legality appeared to be high on the agenda.
The Arkansas Bishop sounded quite upbeat about hispanic Catholics filling southern pews, after his years of suffering with the preponderance of English-speaking Protestants who have been the major population in the Bible Belt for generations.
Bishop Taylor complained, “This blessing and opportunity to welcome and defend the newcomer is felt especially in our overwhelmingly Protestant states of Arkansas and Oklahoma. When I was a child, Catholics constituted 3 percent of the population of our province — we were weaker than the beer! — and the local Church was almost entirely English-speaking.”
The horror! Traditional Americans behaving traditionally.
Below, a patriotic Catholic in Ohio prepared to protest his church’s open-borders position and distribution of bogus matricula identification cards. A 2009 Zogby poll showed 64 percent of parishioners preferred immigration enforcement rather than the mass amnesty supported by Catholic elites.
VATICAN CITY — Meeting Pope Benedict XVI for his first “ad limina” visit March 16, Bishop Anthony B. Taylor thanked the pope for his support of immigration and refugee issues.
The bishops of Arkansas and Oklahoma met privately with the pope and each gave a presentation on concerns from their dioceses.
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City gave an overview of the state of the Church in the province of Oklahoma and Arkansas, and Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa spoke about the work of Catholic Charities.
Before addressing the pope, Bishop Taylor introduced his guest, Deacon Andrew Hart of Little Rock, a seminarian at the North American College in Rome who will be ordained a priest in July. Hart met the pope for the first time in January 2010 when the pope had a private audience for the students for the college’s 150th anniversary (See related story on Hart’s experience here ).
“For me, it was a wonderful experience of the universality of the Church and of the primacy of the See of Peter,” Hart said. “People from every nation and background have been coming to this city for thousands of years to greet the successor of St. Peter and to see the man through whom the Holy Spirit continues to guide the universal Church.”
Bishop Taylor also presented the pope with a spiritual bouquet gathered by Arkansas Catholic (See related story on spiritual bouquet here ).
Bishop Taylor, a former Oklahoma priest, explained to the pope about influx of Hispanics from Mexico and Central America to the area.
“This blessing and opportunity to welcome and defend the newcomer is felt especially in our overwhelmingly Protestant states of Arkansas and Oklahoma. When I was a child, Catholics constituted 3 percent of the population of our province — we were weaker than the beer! — and the local Church was almost entirely English-speaking. Thanks to the large waves of immigrants from Mexico, Central America and Vietnam during the last 40 years, the Catholic population in our two states has doubled, and in many parishes Spanish-speaking immigrants now constitute more than half of the Catholics in the area.”
He told the pope that 55 percent of Catholics in the Arkansas are Spanish-speaking immigrants and their children.
“When I was ordained in 1980, Mass was offered in Spanish in only one parish in the entire Archdiocese of Oklahoma City — now it is offered in 37 parishes — 1/3 of all the Catholic churches — and the same dramatic growth has occurred in Arkansas. And although we have too few priests who are fluent in Spanish, I am proud of how committed most of our priests are to doing whatever they can to equip themselves to be able at least to administer the sacraments in Spanish and respond to their parishioners’ needs in a culturally sensitive way. People can tell when their pastor cares about them and they respond to his love even when his command of Spanish is poor.”
Bishop Taylor lamented that the Church is one of the few institutions in the state that will speak out against “hurtful” immigration legislation.
“We bishops and many of our priests take very seriously our obligation to speak out in defense of their human rights,” he said “Moreover, we strive to make our parishes a place of welcome and safety for our immigrant brothers and sisters. Often we have to challenge even our own English-speaking Catholics to open their hearts to welcome new immigrants, most of whom — at least initially — lack proper documentation and are forced by their unauthorized presence to live in the shadows, subject to all kinds of discrimination and economic exploitation. Yet while these members of our Church continue to face many problems and difficult challenges, we have also experienced much good will extended to them by their English-speaking fellow parishioners.” Continue reading this article
The size of Arizona’s undocumented-immigrant population has dropped significantly in recent years and is now near its lowest level in a decade, according to new government estimates.
A report released Friday by the Department of Homeland Security, based on 2010 census data, estimated there were 360,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona as of January 2011.
That is down 110,000 from a year earlier. It also is down 200,000 from the peak in 2008, when an estimated 560,000 illegal immigrants lived in Arizona. Those estimates are based on 2000 census data.
Experts say the the primary factor behind the exodus was the lack of jobs during the recession, but tighter border enforcement and tough immigration laws also played a role.
A DHS official cautioned against making direct comparisons between the estimates released Friday and earlier DHS estimates because they are based on census data a decade apart.
But, experts say, the new figures confirm a strong downward trend in the size of the undocumented population in Arizona, which has long been considered ground zero for illegal immigration. The size of the state’s undocumented population and the state’s reputation as the main corridor for illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexican border feed into that consideration, they say. Continue reading this article
In an economy where at least 14 million Americans are officially unemployed, the last thing we need in a new visa program admitting more legal immigrants to compete against jobless citizens for scarce jobs.
But certain members of the Senate think that additional thousands of foreign workers would be a swell idea.
WASHINGTON – Congress may have finally found an immigration issue it can agree on in an election year: letting in more Irish people.
At a time when the volatile issue of comprehensive immigration reform is hopelessly stalled in a divided Congress, senators of both parties are rallying behind legislation that would allow 10,500 Irish nationals to come to the U.S. to work each year.
The legislation by Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., has been attacked by critics as a cynical ploy to win Irish-American votes as Brown battles for re-election in a state where one in four residents is of Irish descent. It also has been decried by both pro-immigration and anti-immigration groups as an example of favoritism toward European immigrants over Hispanics and Asians.
But supporters of the bill — including Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York — say they are trying to help reverse discrimination against Irish nationals that was inadvertently created by a 1965 overhaul of the U.S. immigration system.
That overhaul, designed to end a bias against immigrants from Latin America, Asia and Africa, made it difficult for Irish immigrants to obtain visas despite their strong cultural ties to the U.S., supporters of Brown’s bill say. Hispanics and Asians have been the dominant immigrant groups to the U.S. since 1965 and, as they become citizens, their close family members have been given priority for U.S. visas as part of the U.S. government’s emphasis on family reunification.
About 40 million Americans identify themselves as being of Irish descent, or about 13% of the U.S. population of more than 313 million. Hispanics make up about 16% of U.S. residents. The number of Irish immigrants granted permanent legal status in the U.S. has plunged from nearly 38,000 in the 1960s to about 16,000 in the 10 years from 2000 through 2009. Continue reading this article
There is certainly widespread relief that Toulouse police have ended the killing spree of Mohamed Merah, who had murdered seven people over the last little while (including three children) for the greater glory of Allah. He was shot dead when trying to escape police who had surrounded his home.
But many Muslims who have left Islamic societies to reside in France can only think of how the monstrous crimes might effect them. The Muslims believe traditional French will generalize blame on all for the action of one jihadist and a backlash against Islamic diversity will result.
Anyway, Muslims in France feel they are misunderstood little lambs, put upon by “islamophobia” when their non-assimilation is pointed out, and then they squawk “Backlash!” when none is on the horizon. They worry about their own skins when serious self-reflection would be more appropriate.
One bit of unintended hilarity occurs near the end of the article below where one interviewee said mass murderer Merah couldn’t have been a “real Muslim” because Islam is so peaceful.
PARIS: French Muslims said on Wednesday they feared a backlash and increased inter-religious tensions as police besieged a suspected Islamist militant who allegedly killed seven people including three Jewish children.
Police were trying to negotiate the surrender of Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent suspected of killing three soldiers last week and three children and a teacher at a Jewish school on Monday.
Officials say he has visited Afghanistan and Pakistan, bragged of being an Al-Qaeda member and claimed to have acted to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children. On the streets of Paris and its suburbs, French Muslims denounced his attacks and said they hoped his acts would not spur anti-Islamic feelings in France.
“Killing young Jews to avenge young Palestinians causes nothing but revulsion,” said Abdelhak Eddouk, a Muslim leader in the Paris suburban region of Essonne.
“This type of person hurts everyone,” he said, adding that he feared that “in an election period, some will take advantage of this to stigmatise Islam as a religion and Muslims as citizens.”
Ezdine Ould Mohamed, the head of a local Muslim cultural association in Essonne, urged politicians to “ask the right questions and act responsibly” after the attacks. Immigration has been a top theme in the campaign for France’s April-May presidential election, with right-wing President Nicolas Sarkozy declaring this month that there were “too many foreigners” in France. Sarkozy allies and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen have also lashed out against the widespread production of Islamic halal meat.
In Paris’s working-class neighbourhood of Belleville, home to a large North African community, butcher Lassaad Fkiri said he feared the shootings would add fuel to the rhetoric. “I think politicians will fan the flames, after the halal debate, and some will use these dramatic events to point the finger at Muslims,” the 39-year-old said.
Outside a mosque in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, 31-year-old Mema Camara said she hoped most in France would not link the killer with all Muslims.
“He would not have done this if he were a real Muslim. God forbids us from fighting. I really hope there will be no confusion between this madman and the entire community,” she said.
Nearby, 51-year-old Nasreddine Hanifa said he believed the killer had been “recruited by extremists” and most likely “brainwashed,” but that he needed “to be punished for these horrible crimes.”
One item under discussion was the estimate that there are “hundreds” of Hezbollah agents working in the United States. Chairman King questioned the panel about that idea in the video below and there was general agreement:
The DEA has conservatively linked at least half of the FTOs [Foreign Terrorist Organizations] with involvement in one or more aspects of the global drug trade, but I believe that number to be far greater, especially when considering that there are so many ways to make hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in the industry. Generating contraband revenue from involvement in the industry can include the taxing of farmers, taxing finished drugs and the movement of drugs and precursor chemicals across borders, providing security to traditional cartels at clandestine laboratories, cache sites and airstrips, the manufacture of drugs, the transportation of drugs, and the distribution of drugs.
The real threat posed by this activity are the countless opportunities groups like the Quds Force and Hezbollah are presented with to develop and nurture relationships with organized crime and terrorist groups here in the Western Hemisphere, in Africa, Europe and many other countries. They are provided with many opportunities to learn from the most sophisticated organized crime syndicates in the world: the Colombian and Mexican drug trafficking cartels, which include the FARC. And these relationships most likely provide the Quds Force and Hezbollah with opportunities to leverage the transportation, money laundering, arms trafficking, corruption, human trafficking and smuggling infrastructures of the Colombian and Mexican drug trafficking cartels, as well as other organized crime and terrorist groups around the world.
I watched part of the hearing but didn’t hear anyone ask about Tehrangeles, as the Iranian section of Los Angeles is called by the many Persians who live there. It would certainly be an ideal place for Hezbo operatives to live and blend in.
Interestingly, the new reality TV show on Bravo, the Shahs of Sunset which focuses on rich young Iranians in LA, reveals a high level of assimilation to the material values of Beverly Hills.
Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah may have hundreds of operatives based in the United States, and Hezbollah – not al-Qaida – poses the greatest terrorist threat to Americans, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, said today.
Since September 11 2001, America’s counter-terror officials have focussed on al-Qaida and home-grown radicalised American extremists, said the New York representative at a hearing of his committee. But, now, the terrorist threat to the United States is shifting.
‘As Iran moves closer to nuclear weapons and there is increasing concern over war between Iran and Israel, we must also focus on Iran’s secret operatives and their number one terrorist proxy force, Hezbollah, which we know is in America. That’s right, we know Hezbollah operatives are here.
‘The question is whether these Hezbollah operatives have the capacity to carry out attacks on the homeland and how quickly they can become fully operational,’ King said.
Opening the hearing, King said, ‘we have a duty to prepare for the worst’, and referred to the 20 Hezbollah-related prosecutions that have taken place in the United States since 9/11.
He also referred to a murder plot allegedly directed by the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. last year as a further warning sign of the potential threat that the country poses to Americans. Continue reading this article
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