Islamic terrorist groups are setting up shop in Mexico and forming alarming ties with the country’s brutal drug cartels, according to a 2010 internal memo from the Tucson Police Department.
As evidence, it points to the 2010 Tijuana arrest of Hezbollah militant Jameel Nasr, who was allegedly tasked with establishing a Hezbollah network in Mexico and South America. The memo also recalls the April 2009 arrest of Jamal Yousef in New York, which exposed a huge cache of assault rifles, hand grenades, explosives and anti-tank munitions. According to Yousef, the weapons were stored in Mexico after being smuggled from Iraq by members of Hezbollah.
The memo warns that consequences of partnerships between Hezbollah and Mexico’s drug partnerships could be disastrous for Mexico’s drug war, given Hezbollah’s advanced weapons capabilities — specifically their expertise with improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It notes that some Mexican criminal organizations have started using small IEDs and car bombs, a marked change in tactics that indicates a relationship with Islamic militants.
Partnerships between Mexican organized crime and Islamic militants are mutually beneficial — and therefore terrifying. The cartels are able to gain smuggling and weapons expertise, as well as access to cheap heroin from Afghanistan and Iran. The terrorists benefit from Mexico’s drug war lawlessness and its porous border with their primary target: The United States.