In a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing held June 14, Rep. Mike McCaul, R.,TX, asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to comment on the troubling issue of connections between transnational criminal organizations and terrorist networks.
McCaul quoted Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as saying “…cartels share ties with terror networks…and they have the ability to sneak drugs and people, including potential terrorists and dirty bombs” into the U.S.
McCaul asked Tillerson if he agreed that these ties represent a real national security threat, to which Tillerson replied: “Yes, I do…We clearly see the connections, extending all the way back to ISIS and al-Qaida.” He then discussed joint U.S.-Mexico efforts to combat illicit financial networks that support transnational crime and terror.
In the Balkans, prior to WW1, several criminal organizations doubled as guerrilla and terrorist groups, so the phenomenon isn’t new. …