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Update: Islamofascists in Latin America

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2005

On June 8, I blogged at length about Islamofascist terrorist activities in Latin America. Today, Captain Ed points out a related BBC story:

Police in Ecuador say they have broken up an international drugs ring which was raising money for the Islamic militant group, Hezbollah.

The authorities have declined to give details of the gang’s alleged links with the group, but say it was sending Hezbollah up to 70% of its profits.

Ecuadorean officials say the drugs network was run by a Lebanese restaurant owner in the capital, Quito.


Along with the restaurant owner, identified as Rady Zaiter, who was arrested in Colombia last week, six other suspects were also detained in Ecuador.

They are said to originate from Algeria, Ecuador, Lebanon, Nigeria and Turkey.

The police investigation, codenamed Operation Damascus, led to the arrests of a further 19 people in Brazil and the United States.

Captain Ed has a suggestion for U.S. prosecutors:

Whoever got arrested in the US for participating in this trafficking scheme should face charges of treason, if the suspects hold American citizenship and two witnesses can attest to their knowledge of the ring’s purpose. Funding Islamist terrorism abroad while we engage them as enemies qualifies as giving aid and comfort.

I suspect the effort would fail. The Constitution properly makes treason difficult to prove. Prosecutors would have to prove not just knowledge that the ring was funding Hezbollah, but knowledge that Hezbollah is an active participant in the Islamofascist war on the U.S. Heck, a significant portion of the population still doesn’t believe there is an Islamofascist war on the U.S.

As the title of his post says, Captain Ed’s main point is an ONDCP-like anti-drug message, arguing that coke snorters are responsible for the deaths of Hezbollah’s bombing victims. The very first comment, by Pat Curley, provides an appropriate response:

Remember that people who bought alcohol during prohibition were funding Scarface Capone and his mob as well. The answer to that was legalization, which removed the large profit margins for the mobsters.

The fact is that drugs might as well be legal in the US for all the difficulty that users have getting them. The only effect of illegality is to create huge profits for sellers, which, as you note, can be used to fund nefarious causes.

I am sure there would be negative effects from legalization. I am not sure they outweigh the negative effects from illegality.

Good job, Pat!

Go visit Pat’s blog — it looks like a good one. Today, he offers Hillary a compliment of sorts and notes that Florida Dems are in trouble with the IRS for failing to pay Social Security and payroll taxes.

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