RealNews

‘War on terrorism’ could turn to South America

Lawless tri-border region under new scrutiny as haven for islamic militants. Intelligence agencies have infiltrated an area bordering Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, where Lebanese and Syrians predominate. George W. Bush has sent US Special Forces soldiers to the Philippines, Georgia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Horn of Africa and Colombia in his global “war against terrorism.” The next battlefield may well be a remote jungle region along the banks of the Parana River in South America, where the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet. This lawless strip, a longtime vortex of drug smugglers, gunrunners and bandidos, is now seen as a center for Arab extremists who, by some accounts, are fanning out across Latin America. Intelligence agencies from a dozen countries have infiltrated the region, where Lebanese and Syrians predominate among the 20,000 Arabs who have turned this Casablanca on the Parana into a hotbed of intrigue, a haven for fugitives on the run from the Middle East and a money laundering center. This region, where the governments of three countries seem incapable of imposing order, first came to international attention after terrorist bombings in Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital, in 1992 and 1994. Both were blamed on Iran and Hizbullah. Yet this outlaw region still exists, with little apparent effort by any of the governments in whose territory it resides to curtail the illegal activities that clearly are carried out there. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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