ecstasy pills 248.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Washington – 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
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.”