Outgoing Drug Enforcement Administration chief of operations Michael
Braun said Hizbullah, with help from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps, has been using the same trafficking routes as the drug cartel in
Mexico. Braun told The Washington Times that Hizbullah was employing Mexican weapons smugglers,
forgerers and other personnel to smuggle drugs into the United States.
Stavridis, head of the military's U.S. Southern Command, said much of
the Iranian and Hizbullah activity was taking place in the area that borders
Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. In a hearing to the House Armed Services
Committee on March 17, Stavridis also cited the Iranian presence in the
"We see a great deal of Hizbullah activity throughout South America, in
particular," Stavridis said.
In August 2008, the United States supported an operation in the
triborder area that targeted a drug trafficking network connected to
Hizbullah. Stavridis said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also
facilitated an operation that led to the arrest of several dozens of suspected
drug traffickers connected to Hizbullah in Colombia.
Stavridis said Hizbullah has formed a direct connection with drug
traffickers in Colombia. He said Colombia has become the pivotal element in
the war against drugs.
"Indentifying, monitoring and dismantling the financial, logistical and
communication linkages between illicit trafficking groups and terrorist
sponsors are critical to not only ensuring early indications and warnings of
potential terrorist attacks directed at the United States and our partners,
but also in generating a global appreciation and acceptance of this
tremendous threat to security," Stavridis said.