(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced Monday that an international operation has led to the arrests of members of a Hezbollah terror cell in Europe involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.
According to the DEA, the Lebanese terrorist group uses the money it makes from the sale of cocaine in the U.S. and Europe to fund the purchase of weapons for use in Syria, where Hezbollah is fighting to preserve the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
A DEA statement said the “ongoing investigation spans the globe and involves numerous international law enforcement agencies in seven countries, and once again highlights the dangerous global nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism.”
The DEA said Hezbollah members have established business relationships with South American drug cartels.
"These drug trafficking and money laundering schemes utilized by the Business Affairs Component [of Hezbollah] provide a revenue and weapons stream for an international terrorist organization responsible for devastating terror attacks around the world," DEA Acting Deputy Administrator Jack Riley said. "DEA and our international partners are relentless in our commitment to disrupt any attempt by terrorists and terrorist organizations to leverage the drug trade against our nations. DEA and our partners will continue to dismantle networks who exploit the nexus between drugs and terror using all available law enforcement mechanisms.”
Among those arrested, the most prominent figure was Mohamad Noureddine, whom the DEA described as a “Lebanese money launderer who has worked directly with Hezbollah’s financial apparatus to transfer Hezbollah funds via his Lebanon-based company Trade Point International S.A.R.L. and maintained direct ties to Hezbollah commercial and terrorist elements in both Lebanon and Iraq.”