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Expert: Jihadists Lurk South of the Border
A terrorism expert told a seminar presented by the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University today that there are 'jihadists in Latin America,' and many of them are dangerous and have their sights set on the US, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
James Conway with Global Intel Strategies told the 'Isis and Jihad' conference at the J.W. Marriott Resort that there are two problems.
One, he said, is the danger posed by the cartels which are engaged in drug and human smuggling.
"We know that radical Islam has used many of those networks," he said. "Anecdotally, there have been terrorists arrested in Detroit who have been smuggling into the United States."
But Conway says a bigger worry is the increasing use of the nearly dysfunctional government of Venezuela to host Hezbollah and other dangerous jihadist groups.
"There are Hezbollah training camps there, there are uranium mining operations there," he said.
"We know that under Hugo Chavez, he purchased more military hardware, including attack helicopters, Russian missiles and so forth, then China and Pakistan together, and all that is sitting about a thousand miles south of the U.S. border."
Under Chavez, who had a pathological hatred of the United States, Venezuela opened its doors to all types of violent terror groups. Now that Venezuela, especially with bad economic policy essentially destroying its oil industry, is a failed state in South America, many of those weapons and other assets are up for grabs by those groups.