A Review and Perspective Concerning Emerging Tactical and Strategic Developments – Summer, 2010 By C. L. Staten, National Security Analyst Emergency Response & Research Institute (ERRI)
FARC National Liberation Army Los Zetas Hezbollah
FARC and ELN were both founded in the 1960s, after Colombia’s two main political parties ended more than a decade of political violence and agreed to share power. In 1963, students, Catholic radicals, and left-wing intellectuals hoping to emulate Fidel Castro’s communist revolution in Cuba founded ELN. FARC formed in 1965, bringing together communist militants and peasant self-defense groups.-- Source: Council on Foreign Relations
Shining Path (Span. Sendero Luminoso), Peruvian Communist guerrilla force, officially the Communist party of Peru. Founded in 1970 by Abimael Guzmán Reynoso as an orthodox Marxist-Leninist offshoot of the Peruvian Communist party, the Shining Path turned to terrorism in 1980. By the mid-1980s it had several thousand guerrillas, largely in rural Peru. The group began urban terrorism in the late 1980s. In 1992 President Fujimori instituted martial law, and the subsequent capture and life sentence of Guzmán and the jailing of most the organizations central committee diminished their guerrilla raids and largely ended any serious threat to the government. The group persisted, however, continuing its attacks on a smaller scale, and has experienced a resurgence in growth since 2007, when it became involved in protecting the illegal cocaine trade.
Hezbollah is a Shiite Islamic organization with it’s main leadership in Lebanon. Hezbollah, earlier, was a combination of multiple violent Shia extremist groups who were assimilated into the larger Hezbollah. These smaller groups included names like Islamic Jihad, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth and the Revolutionary Justice Organization. Beginning in the late 80’s and early 90’s, various Islamic organizations (including Hezbollah) reportedly began infiltrating into Latin American countries… either covertly or overtly. In the current day, Iranian proxies (including Hezbollah) are reportedly openly operating in places like Venezuela and in the “tri- border area” of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay (see next slide) The Hezbollah connection was made particularly evident during the July 18, 1994, attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Hezbollah (and Iran) was officially blamed for the attack, which killed 87 people and wounded at least 100 others.
The Tri-Border Area (TBA) between Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil is primarily comprised of three cities: Puerto Iguazu (Argentina), Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), and Foz do Iguacu (Brazil). The area is well known as a haven for illicit activities ranging from counterfeiting to intellectual property theft to money laundering, and has been pointed to as a central point for the laundering of funds from drug trafficking and for the funding of terrorist organizations (believed to come from supporters within the large Arab population in the region
While terrorist groups remain the central structural unit in international terrorism, terrorist groups today are better described as networked groups tied together by individual relationships than as clearly defined organizations that are structured and discrete. The relationships between individual terrorists affiliated with different groups are paramount, especially when operating within diaspora communities in places like Europe and the United States. This cooperation and cross-pollination facilitates cooperation among groups, including operational cooperation but far more often interconnectivity at the logistical and financial support levels. Such links exist even between groups that do not share similar ideologies, leading to cooperation between religious zealots and secular radicals; between ideologically- or theologically-driven terrorists and criminal entities (as has been the case in several terrorist attacks in Iraq, where criminal elements played critical roles in return for monetary compensation); between Sunni and Shi’a groups; and between individuals whose person-to-person contacts require no agreement between their respective headquarters.
ERRI Observations, Indicators and Warnings ERRI analysts say that they fear that “narco-terrorists” of the cartels, many of whom are also extreme leftists, will combine forces with the Islamic radicals to target America and her allies in that region. Such an insurgency…fueled by drug money and equipped with modern “black-market” military weapons…obtained through Hezbollah/Hamas/Iran, could pose a more significant threat to the U.S. and her friends in Latin American. Moreover, Iranian/Hezbollah trainers will undoubtedly bring new and more dangerous weapons and tactics to the drug cartels…all likely to escalate conflicts already underway in Mexico and elsewhere.
Questions, comments, suggestions or requests for more information can be directed to: Emergency Response & Research Institute (ERRI) and EmergencyNet News 6348 N. Milwaukee Ave. #312 Chicago, IL 60646 (773) 631-3774 – Voice, messages (773) 631-4703 – Facsimile firstname.lastname@example.org – E-mail http://emergencynet-news.com - website Editor’s note: This report contains open source intelligence information (OSINT) and should be considered a preliminary assessment. More confirmed data should be available as forensic tests and other collection efforts proceed. This report may contain law enforcement, military, or FOUO sensitive data…Updated 11/13/2010 (c) Emergency Response & Research Institute, Inc. 1991-2010