Saturday, December 19, 2009

Al-Qaeda's New Business Model: Cocaine And Human Trafficking

Osama Bin Laden's terrorist organization has become increasingly reliant on organized crime, including cocaine smuggling, human trafficking and kidnapping, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Friday in Manhattan's federal court. The charges filed against three alleged al-Qaeda associates by the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan is the latest chilling evidence of a convergence between terrorism and organized crime.

Oumar Issa, Harouna Touré and Idriss Abelrahman were snatched in Ghana on Wednesday by a Drug Enforcement Administration sting and shipped to New York, where they arrived on Friday to face charges of conspiracy to commit acts of narco-terrorism and providing material support to al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization. The arrests mark the first time that al-Qaeda associates have been charged with narco-terrorism offenses.

The complaint accuses the three men of agreeing to transport large amounts of South American cocaine through West and North Africa and ultimately to Spain for $2,000 a kilogram, a fee slated to be partly turned over to al-Qaeda and its affiliated group, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, in return for protection along the route.

"It's pretty compelling evidence, but not the only evidence that has been growing that al-Qaeda and its affiliates are becoming more and more involved in the global drug trade to help fund their operations," says Michael Braun, former chief of operations at the DEA and a founder of Spectre Group International. "They have to pay for their operations somehow."



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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