(May 3, 2019 / JNS) Tareck El Aissami, who was indicted in the United States in March on drug-trafficking charges, played a crucial role in assisting Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah in their operations in Latin America, reported The New York Times on Thursday. He is closely tied to Venezuelan dictators Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro,
The story cited a confidential dossier by Venezuelan intelligence agents documenting El Aissami’s activities, provided to the outlet by a former top Venezuelan intelligence official that was confirmed independently by another.
The United States sanctioned El Aissami in February 2017.
“El Aissami and his family have helped sneak Hezbollah militants into the country, gone into business with a drug lord and shielded 140 tons of chemicals believed to be used for cocaine production—helping make him a rich man as his country has spiraled into disarray,” according to the Times.
The publication, citing the dossier, wrote, “Informants told intelligence agents that Mr. El Aissami’s father was involved in a plan to train Hezbollah members in Venezuela, ‘with the aim of expanding intelligence networks throughout Latin America and at the same time working in drug trafficking,’ ” as el Aissami had the authority to issue residency permits, including to members of the terrorist group, thereby allowing them to remain in the country.
The dossier does not address if Hezbollah established a network there.
However, a Politico bombshell in December 2017 exposed the network of money-laundering and other crimes done by Hezbollah, that included operating in Venezuela. for which the Obama administration let pass in order to reach the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.