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Tag: narco-terrorism

Does Recent DEA Enforcement in Afghanistan Signal Hope in Narco-Terrorism War?

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. He is the author of the book “Carving Out the Rule of Law: The History of the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Michigan 1815–2008”.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

In October, 2008 this column pointed out the growing link between international narcotics traffickers and terrorists, especially in Afghanistan. This was not news to federal law enforcement. Still, few politicians or members of the public were aware of this relationship.

Support for a well financed and coordinated international enforcement strategy, despite the best efforts of a few at DEA, seemed to be desperately lacking.

This dim political recognition came despite the alarming facts: The Taliban was expected to receive $70 million from the poppy harvest that year, and half of the terrorist organizations were financed — at least in part– by drug trafficking. The money was used to buy more sophisticated weapons and explosive devices and to train and equip more Taliban fighters.

DEA Agent Forrest Leamon died in Afghanistan

DEA Agent Forrest Leamon died in Afghanistan

In 2009 the Obama administration launched a bold strategy to attack narco-terrorism in Afghanistan. A multi-agency task force was established in Kabul to disrupt financial channels. The military targeted dozens of drug lords and began to participate in seizure and interdiction efforts.

And, importantly, the number of DEA personnel stationed in Afghanistan jumped from from 13 to almost 100. Add to that number the dozens of retired federal agents who were sent as contract civilian trainers to advise and assist the Afghan anti-narcotic program.

Read more »

3 Charged with Narco-Terrorism to Support al Qaeda

ghana mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Three men arrested in Ghana this week arrived in New York on Friday to face charges of trafficking cocaine through Africa to support terrorist organizations including al Qaeda and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Drug Enforcement Administration said.

It was the first time al Qaeda associates had been charged with narco-terrorism, the DEA said, and it was a disturbing reminder of the growing link between drug traffickers and terrorist organizations.

“These narco-terrorists do not respect borders and do not care who they harm with their drug trafficking conspiracies,” DEA acting administrator Michele Leonhart said in a statement. “Working with our narcotics law enforcement partners in Ghana and across the globe, DEA is making unprecedented progress in dismantling illicit drug networks in western Africa and around the world.”

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara added in a statement that the “allegations reflect the emergence of a worrisome alliance between al Qaeda and transnational narcotics traffickers. As terrorist diversify into drugs, however, they provide us with more opportunities to incapacitate them and cut off the funding for future acts of terror.”

The narco-terrorist suspects included: Oumar Issa, Harouna Toure and Idriss Abelrahman. They were arrested in Ghana on Dec. 16 at the request of the U.S. government, the DEA said.

Read Criminal Complaint

Read DEA Press Release