Hizballah is setting up shop along the American border with Mexico, the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Seyassah reports. In an exclusive story, the Kuwaiti daily revealed that Mexican officials have arrested a Mexican national with ties to the Shiite terrorist group.
The militant, Jameel Nasr, was reportedly under police surveillance for a while, with authorities explaining he had traveled from Lebanon to countries throughout South and Central America, eventually gaining citizenship and a job as a graphic engineer in Mexico. While in Mexico, Nasr reportedly traveled frequently to Lebanon to receive information and instructions from Hizballah commanders.
The issue of border security for the United States, both to the North and the South, is not new. We recently reported on an investigation by the House Committee on Homeland Security that confirmed the threat is only increasing.
In June, Congresswoman Sue Myrick wrote to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano about this issue, asking that a task force be dedicated to the issue because, in the words of former Chief of Operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Michael Braun:
"Hezballah relies on the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartel…They work together; they rely on the same shadow facilitators. One way or another they are all connected."
Hizballah's ultimate goal in establishing a foothold in Mexico is unclear. On the one hand, inroads into Mexico may simply be an expansion of the already vast network that the terrorist organization has set up in the tri-border region where Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet. From Mexico, Hizballah could reach out to drug cartels and raise money through criminal activity and narcotics trafficking.
Alternatively, as the al-Seyassah piece suggests, Hizballah's intentions may be more sinister than simply using Mexico as a source for fundraising. The report cited Mexican authorities as saying that Nasr had been "entrusted with forming a base in South American and the United States to carry out operations against Israeli and Western targets."