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Posted: 11/6/2002 1:45:57 PM EDT
Yup, them deomcRATs and handgunner controllers sayz thet they wuz guuna git them 'cause of the gun show looply hole lawz [whacko] U.S. Charges 4 in Drugs-Weapons Plot Nov 6, 3:04 PM (ET) By CURT ANDERSON WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. agents arrested four people in a drugs-for-arms investigation, charging them with plotting to deliver $25 million worth of weapons to a Colombian terrorist group, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Wednesday. It is the second such plot U.S. officials said they uncovered in recent weeks. In September, four men were arrested in Hong Kong on charges of attempting to sell heroin and hashish to finance the purchase of Stinger missiles for the al-Qaida terror network. In the Colombia case, dubbed "Operation White Terror," undercover agents secretly videotaped meetings in London, the Virgin Islands and Panama City at which the defendants allegedly discussed exchanging drugs for weapons that would be sent to the Colombian United Self Defense Forces, known as the AUC. The AUC is the umbrella group for right-wing paramilitaries who are blamed for most of Colombia's massacres. The State Department considers the AUC and the two main left-wing guerrilla armies it opposes to be terrorist organizations. U.S. authorities said the four suspects believed they were going to trade $25 million in cash and cocaine for weapons including 9,000 AK-47s and other assault rifles; grenade launchers and nearly 300,000 grenades; 300 pistols; shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles; and about 53 million rounds of ammunition. The four were charged in Houston with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, charges that could carry up to life in prison, Ashcroft said. Two suspects were identified as Uwe Jensen, 66, and Carlos Ali Romero Varela, 43, both of Houston. There was less detail on two others: Carlos Lopez and an individual identified only as "Commandant Emilio." All are in federal custody. "The war on terrorism has been joined with the war on illegal drug use," Ashcroft said. He added that, because of the investigation by the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration, "narco-terrorists from South America to Southeast Asia are less able to threaten American lives and American security." Ashcroft also provided details Wednesday of the Hong Kong case, in which three men face charges in an alleged scheme to use profits from illicit drug sales to finance the purchase of Stinger missiles for the al-Qaida terror network. The three men - two Pakistanis and one U.S. citizen originally from India - allegedly sought to sell a half-ton of heroin and five tons of hashish in the San Diego area and use the money to buy four Stinger missiles, authorities say. The three suspects in custody in Hong Kong were identified as Syed Mustajab Shah and Muhammed Abid Afridi, both of Pakistan, and naturalized U.S. citizen Ilyas Ali. They were arrested Sept. 20 and appeared in a Hong Kong court on Tuesday to fight extradition to the United States. Hong Kong, a former British colony now under Chinese rule, has an extradition treaty with the United States. The Stinger is a shoulder-fired, American-made weapon effective in attacking low-flying aircraft. There appeared initially to be no evidence that the men had any connection to the 19 hijackers involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Three of the Sept. 11 hijackers lived or visited the San Diego area. U.S. officials have long believed that drug sales, particularly heroin and opium from Afghanistan's huge poppy fields, at least indirectly helped al-Qaida and other terror groups. During a recent visit to Asia, Ashcroft praised Hong Kong for helping cut off terrorist financing and met with local officials about finding new ways to cooperate in the anti-terror war.
Link Posted: 11/6/2002 2:05:53 PM EDT
Sounds like an other good reason for lifting the drug prohibition. Legal drugs generate no revenue for terrorists.
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