U.S. Gov’t Investigation Ties Illegal Drugs to Middle East Terrorists
By Fred Jackson
August 13, 2002
The head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says Middle East terrorists are getting funds from a cold medication ingredient that is sold legally in Canada but then used to manufacture an illegal drug in the United States.
Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper quotes DEA head Asa Hutchinson as saying, “It’s the first time we’ve seen drug proceeds going from the U.S. to a terrorist organization.” In previous interviews, Hutchison has identified Hezbollah as the prime benefactor.
According to reports, the chain of activity works something like this. Various groups smuggle the cold medication ingredient — pseudoephedrine — into the U.S. where other criminal elements then use it to manufacture what is commonly known as “speed.”
In one of the latest incidents, the U.S. Customs Service seized 21 million pseudoephedrine tablets at a Michigan border point. The pills were in boxes labeled “Fragile,” loaded on a truck headed for illegal methamphetamine labs in California. According to the newspaper report, Michigan authorities say they have made nine such seizures in the past year.
The Globe says earlier this year, investigators identified many of the suspects involved in the operation as being of Middle Eastern origin. The newspaper reports Hezbollah is believed to have also figured in a recent cross-border scheme involving smuggled cigarettes.
And what if the pills were in boxes labeled prescription drugs for seniors? Customs officials are prohibited from seizing or inspecting them thanks to Senator Vitter and his pals because they care more about pandering to seniors than national security or the fight against terror….. And we worry about dumping Poland Spring water bottles before boarding a plane?