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Monday, August 16, 2004

The Terror Threat in the Southern Cone

August 16, 2004
Brazil said recently that it will bolster policing of its part of the Triple Border Area with Paraguay and Argentina. The move is welcome, if overdue. The Triple Border Area has long been identified as a fund-raising, training and procurement haven for diverse terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and Hezbollah.

Brazil's federal police said last week that they have established a new unit and will increase river and air patrols in the area. Authorities said they will combat drugs and arms smuggling, but adhering to a traditional state of denial, they did not mention terrorism. Still, terrorist groups would be affected by the policy, since they are heavily involved in smuggling and other activities to raise funds, which they send around the world.

As much as $50 million is believed to have been transferred from the Triple Border to Hezbollah accounts, Sebastian Junger reported in a 2002 Vanity Fair article. ... FR Reprint.

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