Hezbollah opens South American branch
From its Western base in a remote region divided by the borders of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina known as the Tri-border, or the Triple Frontier, Hezbollah has mined the frustrations of many Muslims among about 25,000 Arab residents whose families immigrated mainly from Lebanon in two waves, after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and after the 1985 Lebanese civil war.
An investigation by Telemundo and NBC News has uncovered details of an extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group founded in Lebanon in 1982 that the United States has labeled an international terrorist organization. The operation funnels large sums of money to militia leaders in the Middle East and finances training camps, propaganda operations and bomb attacks in South America, according to U.S. and South American officials.
There's a lot of reliance on anonymous sources in this report, and it's a big step from operating in a lawless region of South America to being able to mount attacks on the United States. So the warnings and predictions should be taken with large grains of salt. Plus there simply aren't that many radical Muslims (or Muslims, period) in the region. Hezbollah's presence seems to be more of a smuggling and finance operation than a serious military effort.
But such spin-off operations are exactly what we should be confronting in our war on terror, and demonstrate why Iraq is an expensive drain on resources better used elsewhere. We should go where the terrorists are and confront them there, not invade an unrelated country and then find ourselves battling a smattering of jihadists amid a much larger native insurgency and a brewing civil war. All the latter approach does is waste mind-blowing amounts of money and create unnecessary enemies.
terrorism, South America, Hezbollah, politics, midtopia