Jerusalem Post Correspondent

"Some of these criminal syndicates have the organizational and financial wherewithal that could potentially allow them to acquire and sell radioactive material."

January 19, 2010 22:54
2 minute read.
Jerusalem Post Correspondent

ecstasy pills 248.88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


– The explosion in the narcotics trade has provided drug cartels with the capability of acquiring radioactive material, chemical weapons and other WMD technologies, a top US State Department official warned Tuesday.

“The sums of money involved are growing in extraordinary amounts, and that raises the possibility, because of the sums and the areas in which these groups have begun to operate, for that opportunity to be exploited,” said David Johnson, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

“Some of these criminal syndicates have the organizational and financial wherewithal that could potentially allow them to acquire and sell radioactive material, biological and chemical weapons, and technologies used for weapons of mass destruction.”

Johnson, who was speaking at the Washington Institute of Near East Affairs, attributed the massive growth in drug profits to increasing demand and supply in the worldwide market.

“The supply particularly of heroin is growing in ways that are hard to fathom,” he said.

When it comes to the , however, Johnson said that most of the major terror organizations get their funding from state sponsors rather than drugs and other criminal activities.

“If you’re looking at the areas around Israel, you’re talking about state sponsors driving the organizations and this being more opportunistic rather than a direct impact on what they’re doing,” Johnson assessed, calculating that even the drugs grown in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon are not a major source of income for Hezbollah.

“It’s more the case of criminal groups producing products and providing services that are quite useful to these groups that are engaged in even more nefarious activities,” he said, pointing specifically to smuggling and border crossing as a useful form of support criminal groups provide. He also spoke of the nexus of contraband and terror activity running through the tunnels Hamas has dug from into .

In the West Bank, Johnson noted that the has been helping train security forces there to deal with narcotics and other types of law enforcement and praised the efforts to date.

“We’re quite pleased with that program. The quality and capability of the individuals who came into it was significant,” he said of the force assembled under American General Keith Dayton.

He pointed to the crowd control the Palestinian police exerted during ’s strikes on last winter as “extremely effective.”

He said that, “The Palestinians were able to exercise their constitutional right to protest, but they did so in a manner which you wouldn’t have contemplated before.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

October 31, 2017
Bitan assures US Jewish leaders that Kotel crisis will be resolved