What a tangled web the radical Islamists weave. Islamic terrorist groups continue to pop up throughout the Western Hemisphere. The latest dispatch comes to us from the U.S. Attorney’s Office right here in Northern Virginia. The press released issued yesterday states in part:
Ayman Joumaa, a/k/a “Junior,” 47, of Lebanon, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., on Nov. 23, 2011, with conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and conspiring to commit money laundering. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
According to the indictment, for at least eight years Joumaa has conspired with others to coordinate shipments of tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia through Central America for sale to Los Zetas drug cartel. The ultimate destination of the cocaine was the United States.
This one case seems to have all the characteristics that warrant a deeper look by policymakers on the Hill and the Obama Administration. This fellow not only has ties to the Mexican drug cartels — that in some cases are entities that are bordering on earning a space on our Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list — but, Joumaa also has ties to Hezbollah. This Hezbollah nugget was not included in the DOJ press release, but it was discussed at the press conference by the U.S. Attorneys Office. Read more about it here.
Most regional policy experts in DC think tank are befuddled, they refuse to see it. Others, well, some are just in denial and contextualize it as a fleeting thing. The reality is that these radical Islamic terrorist groups have been operating in the Americas for some time. They are here to stay.
The U.S. Government — policymakers primarily because law enforcement can and has done to deal with this issue — should be treating the matter a little more seriously and requiring our allies to do the same, especially Mexico who has failed to contain the spread of narco-terrorism to its borders.