Monday, November 7, 2011

Mexico Drug Cartels Present Greater Threat to U.S. Security Than Iran: Says U.S. State Dept.

By Lic. Edward V. Byrne View Edward V. Byrne's LinkedIn profileView Edward V. Byrne's profile
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Only 48 hours after U.S. authorities announced the disruption of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington, a State Department official told Congress today that Latin drug cartels present a greater threat to the security of the United States than does Iran.
William Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, testified today before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Our greatest threat is now in Central America, from where drug cartels and criminal gangs move 90% of the cocaine which arrives in the United States,” said Brownfield. He told legislators that the situation presents a serious danger to all governments in the region.
The Republican committee chair said that the potential for internationally linked terrorism should be of great concern to the U.S., since one of the arrested Iranians had tried to hire someone he believed to be a Mexican drug cartel sicario (hit man) to carry out the planned assassination. The hit man was actually an undercover DEA agent.
The senior Democrat on the committee said that the United States should view its “neighbors (in Latin America) not as threats, but as opportunities” to enhance U.S. security.
More on the Iranian plot here.
More on Latin drug cartels and their U.S. operations here.

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