In 2006, the House Committee on Homeland Security released a report titled A Line In The Sand: Confronting The Threat at the Southwest Border (PDF). Within it is found the following paragraphs regarding terrorism, South America and how little we know about the convergence.
Furthermore, according to senior U.S. military
and intelligence officials, Venezuela is emerging as a potential hub of
terrorism in the Western Hemisphere, providing assistance to Islamic
radicals from the Middle East and other terrorists.
“Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, has been clearly
talking to Iran about uranium,” said a senior administration official
quoted by the Washington Times. Chavez has made several trips to Iran
and voiced solidarity with the country’s hard-line mullahs. He has
hosted Iranian officials in Caracas, endorsed Tehran’s nuclear
ambitions and expressed support for the insurgency in Iraq. The Times
reports Venezuela is also talking with Hamas about sending
representatives to Venezuela to raise money for the militant group’s
newly elected Palestinian government as Chavez seeks to build an
anti-U.S. axis that also includes Fidel Castro’s Cuba. “I am on the
offensive,” Chavez said on the al Jazeera television network, “because
attack is the best form of defense. We are waging an offensive battle….”
Given all that is happening in Chavez’s Venezuela, some American
officials regret that terrorism is seen chiefly as a Middle East
problem and that the United States needs to look looking to protect its
southern flank. A U.S. intelligence
official expressed concern that “Counterterrorism issues are not being
aggressively pursued in this hemisphere.” Another intelligence official
stated terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay are not being
interrogated about connections to Latin America. The bottom line, when
it comes to terrorism so close to U.S. shores, says the official, “We don’t even know what we don’t know.”
And hence, the sudden unexpected appearance of Guyana as a potential
hub of terrorism support and finance. When the arrested in the JFK
Airport plot include a powerful former member of Guyana’s parliament,
the usage of that individual’s influence within and upon government
there must be considered. Think “Passports.”
Go read the whole thing at the link. Douglas Farah at the Counterterrorism Blog has more: 'Plots such as that of bombing JFK airport can come to fruition
because of the mixture of Hezbollah training and intelligence guidance
under the protection of states; access to sophisticated weaponry from
the FARC and other rebel groups in the northern tier of South America,
again with the protection of states, primarily Venezuela; clear, easy
access to our borders through the normal _coyote_ routes through
Central America; the ability to move people and materiel by the Central
American _maras_, or gangs, that now have franchise operations in more
than 30 states in the United States.'
Putin to target Europe. Washington Times: 'President Vladimir Putin sent a chilling message to world leaders on the eve of the Group of Eight summit with a threat to aim Russian nuclear missiles at European cities for the first time since the Cold War. In comments that seemed calculated to cause consternation and division at Wednesday's meeting in Germany, the Russian leader said U.S. plans to erect a missile-defense shield in Eastern Europe had left him with no choice but to retaliate. "It is obvious that if part of the strategic nuclear potential of the United States is located in Europe, we will have to respond," he told reporters from G-8 countries in Moscow over the weekend. "What kind of steps are we are going to take in response? Of course, we are going to acquire new targets in Europe." ' CNN: 'Speaking to foreign reporters days before he travels to Germany for the annual summit with President Bush and the other Group of Eight leaders, Putin assailed the White House plan to place a radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland. Washington says the system is needed to counter a potential threat from Iran.'
CAIR named as terrorist supporter. And now for a spot of good news. From Captain's Quarters:
Federal prosecutors have named the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as an unindicted co-conspirator in support of the terrorist group Hamas. CAIR joins Islamic Society of North America and The North American Islamic Trust as accused terror-supporting organizations in the case against The Holy Land Foundation's officers, as well as 300 other individuals and entities:
Federal prosecutors have named three prominent Islamic organizations in America as participants in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, Hamas.
Prosecutors applied the label of "unindicted co-conspirator" to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, and the North American Islamic Trust in connection with a trial planned in Texas next month for five officials of a defunct charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. ...
Read the rest at the link. Ed concludes: 'It's about time that CAIR got outed, and in a manner which shows the editorial boards of papers like the NY Times and the Strib as the saps and suckers they are. It's also time for Keith Ellison to explain his ties to CAIR and to either repudiate them or to resign his office.'
Commentary. I suppose I should have included an item on Ahmadinejad's latest declaration that the countdown to Israel's destruction has begun. But that's not exactly news, is it?