An excerpt from the op-ed
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made clear yesterday that Hezbollah is not just an Iranian-backed terrorist organization, but also one of the most dangerous crime syndicates in the world.
In his remarks announcing the creation of a new Transnational Organized Crime Task Force, Sessions identified five criminal groups as America’s “top transnational organized crime threats.” The list includes Hezbollah alongside four Central American cartels known for their brutality, such as MS-13.
Yesterday’s announcement follows the Department of Justice’s decision, almost a year ago, to form a Hezbollah terror finance task force to combat the organization’s illicit financial flows. Yet Hezbollah’s crimes are not just financial; they are an active participant at every stage of the drug supply chain, including — ominously — significant sales to the U.S. market, as a case recently tried in Miami reveals. Thus, the identification of Hezbollah as a Transnational Criminal Organization, or TCO, is more than justified.
Over the past fifteen years, Hezbollah’s involvement in transnational organized crime has evolved into a multi-billion dollar global enterprise endorsed and coordinated by the group’s top leaders. Hezbollah’s production and sale of counterfeit medicines such as Captagon — a powerful amphetamine — is well documented. So are its growing involvement in cocaine trafficking, and its extensive and enduring ties with drug cartels.