The spread of Mexican Drug Cartels (MDC's) and other criminal organizations in Mexico and other Central and South American countries are beginning to join forces with terrorist groups like ISIS a report from the RenewAmerica web site stated on the 14 Mar 15.
Together they are tearing at the social, economic, and security fabric of our neighbours to the south. Powerful MDC's are well resourced; these groups traffic in drugs and humans. This includes smuggling into the U.S. heroin, cocaine, marijuana, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, methamphetamine – small arms and explosives, precursor chemicals, illegally mined gold, counterfeit goods, humans, and dangerous terrorists and contraband. They engage in money laundering using many American banks, bribery of officials from both Mexico and the U.S., intimidation and threats to business owners and individuals and bloody assassinations which include beheadings every bit as horrible as the recently depicted murders of innocent journalist and christens seen on worldwide TV by ISIS . They threaten the very underpinnings of democracy itself: citizen safety, rule of law, and economic prosperity. And they pose a direct threat to the stability of our partners and an insidious risk to the security of our nation. While there is growing recognition of the danger posed by transnational organized crime, it is often eclipsed by other concerns. According to General JOHN F. KELLY, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS COMMANDER of the UNITED STATES SOUTHERN COMMAND, who spoke before the 114th CONGRESS SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE, "I believe we are overlooking a significant security threat." Criminal organizations are constantly adapting their methods for trafficking across our borders. There are reports from intel sources around the world who believe that there are clear indications that the criminal networks involved in human and drug trafficking are interested in supporting the efforts of terrorist groups, these networks could unwittingly, or even wittingly, facilitate the movement of terrorist operatives or weapons of mass destruction toward our borders. Potentially undetected and almost completely unrestricted. Some experts and American officials think some WMD's are already within our borders. General Kelly reports that the drug trade – which is exacerbated by U.S. drug consumption – has wrought devastating consequences in many of our partner nations, degrading their civilian police and justice systems, corrupting their institutions, and contributing to a breakdown in citizen safety. The general points out that the tentacles of global networks involved in narcotics and arms trafficking, human smuggling, illicit finance, and other types of illegal activity reach across Latin America and the Caribbean and into the United States, yet we continue to underestimate the threat of transnational organized crime at significant and direct risk to our national security and that of our partner nations. Unless confronted by an immediate, visible, or uncomfortable crisis, our nation's tendency is to take the security of the Western Hemisphere for granted. I believe this is a mistake. In addition to thousands of Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, foreign nationals from the Middle East including countries like Somalia, Bangladesh, Lebanon, and Pakistan are using the region's human smuggling networks to enter the United States. While many are merely seeking economic opportunity or fleeing war, others are seeking to do us harm. Last year, ISIS adherents posted discussions on social media calling for the infiltration of the U.S. southern border. The Texas Department of Public Safety, 2013 Threat Assessment Spotlighted that the Economic Citizenship Programs provides a quick path for foreign nationals to acquire citizenship. Of concern, these "cash for passport" programs could be exploited by criminals, terrorists, or other nefarious actors to obtain freedom of movement, facilitate entry into the U.S., or launder illicitly gained funds. Last year, almost half a million migrants from Central America and Mexico – including over 50,000 unaccompanied children (UAC) and families – were apprehended on our border, many fleeing violence, poverty, and the spreading influence of criminal networks and gangs. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson testified that the "UAC migration serves as a warning sign that the serious and longstanding challenges in Central America are worsening." In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers moved tens of thousands of people to our nation's doorstep also serves as another warning sign: these smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland. As I stated last year, terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States." There appears to be financial and operational overlap between criminal and terrorist networks in the region. Terrorists and militant organizations are believed to be taping into the international illicit marketplace to underwrite their activities and obtain arms and funding to conduct operations to spread extreme Islam throughout the globe.
United States/Islamic State – A website purportedly run by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group has published what it says are the names, addresses and photos of 100 US military service members, and called upon its sympathisers to kill them. The Pentagon said after the information was posted that it was investigating the matter. "I can't confirm the validity of the information, but we are looking into it an unnamed US defence official on the 21 Mar 15. The website posting by a group referring to itself as the "Islamic State Hacking Division" encourages supporters to "take the final step" in killing, claiming they have made it easy for them with the release. The website's authenticity and its link to ISIL could not be immediately verified. "With the huge amount of data we have from various different servers and databases, we have decided to leak 100 addresses so that our brothers residing in America can deal with you," the group said in the English-language posting. The New York Times reported that it did not look like the information had been hacked from US government servers and quoted an unnamed Defence Department official as saying most of the information could be found in public records, residential address search sites and social media. The newspaper quoted officials as saying the list appeared to have been drawn from personnel mentioned in news articles about air strikes on ISIL fighters. The armed group controls parts of Syria and Iraq and has regularly been targeted in US-led air strikes. The posting, addressed to disbelievers, Christians and "crusaders" in the US, included what the group said were the names, military service branch, photos and street addresses of the individuals. The posting includes the military rank of some but not all of those named. 361 COMMENT: No doubt that the personnel whose names are involved will now take their details off the social media sites. However, the government and the press have a role to play in this as well. The releasing of names, ranks, locations should not be pushed out on media outlets. In most cases a military spokesman should be the only interface not those who are conducting operations. Whilst it maybe seen as a morale boost for news programs to have a face that is conducting operations it is not safe for the individual’s for this reason. The other part that requires emphasising is that military and police need to sanitise their on-line social media accounts and to stop placing family photographs and what they are currently doing if it involves any military or police involvement. There should be no mention or pictures placed on their site that can involve them in what their profession is. COMMENT ENDS.