NBC: Hezbollah building a base in South America

posted at 8:12 am on May 10, 2007 by Allahpundit

We hate to say we told you so (well, not really) but we told you so. Rather than fumble around for something cogent to say on the subject, I asked the man who shot two Vents for us on this subject last year to give us his take on NBC’s report. He kindly agreed. Here, without further ado, is our pal Clint Taylor:

***
It’s great to see the MSM waking up to the fact that Hezbollah maintains an active, malignant presence in South America. It’s even better to see them explore this implication of the story:

The implications of such lawlessness could be dire, U.S. and Paraguayan officials said. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Hezbollah militiamen would raise no suspicions because they have Latin American passports, speak Spanish and look like Hispanic tourists.

The CIA singles out the Mexican border as an especially inviting target for Hezbollah operatives. “Many alien smuggling networks that facilitate the movement of non-Mexicans have established links to Muslim communities in Mexico,” its Counter Terrorism Center said in a 2004 threat paper.

“Non-Mexicans often are more difficult to intercept because they typically pay high-end smugglers a large sum of money to efficiently assist them across the border, rather than haphazardly traverse it on their own.”

Last summer I reported for Hot Air about a Venezuela-based cell calling themselves “Hezbollah in Venezuela”, or “Hezbollah in Latin America”, which threatened attacks inside the continental United States if Iran were to be attacked. On its website, this group bragged about its connections all across Latin America, including to a “brother” in Mexico City (whom they asked for help in the form of transportation). So the idea that Hezbollah terrorists will be non-Mexican isn’t even a sure bet. They could even be American; after all, they sent me an e-mail. But it may not even matter where they’re from, because another Venezuelan branch of Hezbollah has an expertise in forging passports–Mexican passports–and helped set up the Hezbollah fundraising cell in Charlotte, N.C.

That branch–based mainly on Margarita Island–is overlooked in MSNBC’s report, but they may represent an important component of Hezbollah’s presence in South America. They are low-key, but reports about them suggest they are extremely competent and send a lot of money back to Lebanon.

The Hezbollah in Venezuela cell I reported on–based on the Guajira Peninsula–are the junior varsity. They denied any direct connection or support from Lebanese Hezbollah, but were allowed to continue using the brand name without any consequences. They are public, ostentatious, and not very careful. In fact, they’re kind of dumb. This bunch gets a brief mention in MSNBC’s report:

On their Web page, local Hezbollah militants in Venezuela call their fight against the United States a “holy war” and post photographs of would-be suicide terrorists with masks and bombs…

In October, homemade bombs were left in front of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, which is next to a school.

Police arrested a student carrying Hezbollah propaganda in Spanish. One of the pamphlets showed a picture of children and said, “Combat is our highest expression of love and the only way to offer a healthy and uncorrupted world.”

Caracas police were able to detonate the bombs safely. Police Commissioner Wilfredo Borras said they appeared to be “explosive devices made to make noise and publicity” — very different from what would be used if the United States attacked Iran.

In fact, shortly after this leaflet attack, the Venezuelan group posted new threats on their site, including death threats against Ambassador William Brownfield and pictures of bombs fashioned from propane cylinders.

brownfield-threat.jpg

cylinderbombcropped.jpg

Not long after posting that, as I reported in the American Spectator online, the loser in charge of the cell found himself under arrest.

While said loser is still under lock and key, there are still signs of life on his dormant website. Someone escaped the dragnet, and now they’ve scuttled along to who knows where.


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This will not stop the Dems and the RINOs from wanting to surrender in Iraq and open the borders.

Guns don’t kill people – Dems and RINOs kill people.

BobK on May 10, 2007 at 8:29 AM

I can only assume NBC reported this in a celebratory manner. Has Pelosi sent her congratulations to Hezbollah yet?

roninacreage on May 10, 2007 at 9:04 AM

From the largely lawless region, it is easy for potential terrorists, without detection, to book passage to the United States through Brazil and then Mexico simply by posing as tourists.

And they’re all willing to do the jobs that Americans won’t do…like blowing up schools and shopping malls.

RedWinged Blackbird on May 10, 2007 at 9:43 AM

As Someone who has been to Brazil and Paraguay I must say those are very remote areas with miles and miles of rainforest and areas where you could hide anything, training and all. they picked a good spot and will be hard to root out.

Paraguay’s economy is really bad too so their ability to combat an internal threat would be limited.

Brazil has the largest and best military in the area, but I dont know how well prepared they are to combat an internal threat. It also has been a rumor for decades that Brazil has “the Bomb” so that even furthers the danger if there should be some kind of successful internal uprising.

-Wasteland Man.

WastelandMan on May 10, 2007 at 10:11 AM

Gee, if only we hadn’t turned over operations of the Panama Canal to the Chinese, we’d have a unique ability to stop these Venezuelan Hezbollah well south of our unprotected, open border.

The ChiComs will help escort them across.

Jimmy Carter signed a treaty with Gen. Omar Torrijos that surrendered the canal to Panama on Dec. 31, 1999.

n a deal reported by the Washington Times on March 19, 1997, the Clintonesque government of Panama in effect sold the Chinese the rights to two prime, U.S.-built port facilities which flank the canal zone both to the east and the west.

As retired Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 16, 1998, “My specific concern is that this company Is controlled by the Communist Chinese.

Shortly after President Clinton announced the departure of the U.S. military from Panama, the Bank of China extended a 15-year, $120 million loan to Panama at a 3 percent interest rate. Nice.

This was during the 1996 U.S. presidential campaign, incidentally, when boatloads of Chinese money also were making their way into the coffers of the Democratic Party. And the Democratic National Committee chairman that year was Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut.

Thanks Jimmy and BJ. Setting the tone early on, for weakening our ability to protect and defend a strategic U.S. interest. Worse yet, handing it over to our enemies for campaign contributions to get re-elected.

Traitorous.

fogw on May 10, 2007 at 10:30 AM

When will we get a conservative who will run on securing our borders?!?! Maybe I’ll join the cut-and-run republicans and stay home in ’08′.

DannoJyd on May 10, 2007 at 12:12 PM

For all the worry about AQ and Wahabbism, I still see Iran as the threat. This is a pretty good example of why.

Krydor on May 10, 2007 at 12:15 PM

When will we get a conservative who will run on securing our borders?!?! Maybe I’ll join the cut-and-run republicans and stay home in ‘08′.

DannoJyd on May 10, 2007 at 12:12 PM

Danno, my e-friend, you can’t even contemplate that in these serious times. Regards,

Entelechy on May 10, 2007 at 2:05 PM

Dear Entelechy, I earned the right to do so in last years elections when I was busy doing the hard work that most Americans refuse to do. Honestly, please save your advice for last years cut-and-run republicans who cost us those dedicated house members which stopped the damned miserable Illegal Terrorist & Alien Amnesty Bill.

DannoJyd on May 10, 2007 at 4:00 PM

Write your congressman

Dear Congressman Donnelly, D-IN (2nd District)
Sir, I’m writing you about a very serious issue–two issues actually.

Sir, as the Global War on Terror rages on, I serve my nation in the United States Air Force. I have served on the front lines of Iraq, and now I’m living in Germany. I have a USAF Level-II Anti-Terrorism rating and I fully understand the danger terrorists pose to the future security to our nation.

Enter Hezbollah: Hezbollah is a Iranian/Syrian funded fundamentalist terrorist organization determined to institute Sharia (Islamic) law in Lebanon. They currently occupy southern Lebanon (as they have done after they solidified in 1982). Hezbollah is responsible for the murder of Colonel William F. Buckley and Colonel William “Rich” Higgins in the 1980′s. Further, Hezbollah agents murdered Petty Officer Robert Stethem during a hijacking in the 1980′s. Hebollah masterminded the brutal suicide bombing attack on the Beirut Marine Corps Barracks in 1983. Hezbollah actively fights against Israel (as we have seen in recent history) and they share Iran’s desire to wipe Israel off the earth. They want to destroy America, too, and have demonstrated their murderous ways against us over the last 25 years.

Now I find Hezbollah has been actively recruiting in South America, and they are establishing a base. We have known about this since September of 2006, yet nothing has been done to bolster our borders.

The issue of border security is a pointed one. If one argues in support of stronger border security, it’s like committing political suicide. Leftist groups around the country will call you a racist and drag your name through the mud. Is this what you fear on Capitol Hill?

Sir, Hezbollah is a threat to us and now they are a threat ON OUR HEMISPHERE. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17874369/from/RSS/

I respectfully ask you to please address this issue on Capitol Hill. Secure our borders, put Hezbollah on notice that America will not be intimidated by them. Despite their murderous history for killing our brave service members, we will not yield to them and will actively work to disrupt and deter their attempts to gain a foothold in South America.

Sir, I live in Germany, but I am a registered voter in Indiana’s second district. I welcome any comments you have on this issue.

This is a dangerous and growing threat to our national security, sir. I ask you to please take it seriously.

Thank you,

Technical Sergeant Black Adam [name removed]
Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany

Black Adam on May 10, 2007 at 4:06 PM

DannoJyd on May 10, 2007 at 4:00 PM

Yes Danno. And look what they’ve got. And look how they gripe as the day is long. If it wouldn’t be so serious/tragic, and if I’d be more cynical I’d say “you deserve what you brung us”, and I’d sit back and be entertained by them, and the current ‘leaders’. But I can’t.

We can’t allow this to happen, and we can certainly not contribute to it in ’08. Though, if the remaining leaders don’t get it, they deserve the same fate. Then, what about the country? It sure is complex. We need more true leaders, not only political whores. Regards,

Entelechy on May 10, 2007 at 4:36 PM

I spent the summer of 2001 in Ecuador staying with a family down there. They hated the Arabs. Oh yah, they’re already there in S. America.

Mojave Mark on May 10, 2007 at 9:27 PM

It’s good to know that half the Democratic field running for President don’t think there is a Global War on Terror.

And the other half won’t fight it.

cmay on May 11, 2007 at 7:56 AM