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Big League National Security

Jordan, DeSantis demand answers from DOJ regarding Obama’s shutdown of the Hezbollah drug ring to protect #IranDeal

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Two members of the House Freedom Caucus fired off a letter Thursday to Attorney General Jefferson B. “Jeff” Session III requesting the details regarding President Barack Obama’s obstruction of a Drug Enforcement Agency investigations into Hezbollah drug trading in order to preserve his diplomatic rapprochement with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Hezbollah is a brutal terrorist group and it would be unconscionable for American policy to deliberately empower such a nefarious organization,” Rep. Ronald D. DeSantis (R.-Fla.), the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommitteee on National Security.

“Allegations that the Obama administration purposefully undermined law enforcement efforts against Hezbollah in order to save the disastrous Iran Deal need to be swiftly and fully investigated by Congress,” said DeSantis, a drilling Navy Reserve lawyer and a graduate of the Yale University Law School.

Rep. James D. Jordan (R.-Ohio), the founding chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said, “The allegations that Obama’s DOJ possibly halted the wheels of justice for the sake of an illegal deal cementing his political legacy is both unnerving and unacceptable. We need answers.”

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Read the letter here.

The letter comes on the heels of the outrage on Capitol Hill at the latest piece of evidence of how the Obama administration placed its fledging alliance with Iran above all other considerations and national priorities.

Although pieces of this story had been floating around the capital, it was all put together in a narrative Sunday by Politico reporter Josh Meyer.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

Eventually, DEA investigators would develop a dossier on Hezbollah that would include its money laundering operations through a massive used car operation in Africa and the tracked movements of Hezbollah agents conducting site inspections of military, national security and significant private targets inside the United States, Meyer reported.

Armed with this dossier, DEA official requested that the administration designate Hezbollah as a Transnational Criminal Organization, such as Brothers’ Circle, the Yamaguchi-gumi Syndicate and MS-13, but Meyer reported that the Obama administration shuffled the request through the bureaucracy, so that it was never approved.

More critically, Meyer quoted sources that detailed how the DEA leadership deliberately went public with its investigation with the public message that the Obama administration was getting tough on Hezbollah, but with practical effect ending the inquest and alerting Hezbollah to the undercover investigation and its vulnerabilities.

One of the people central to the story, Derek Maltz, who led Project Cassandra for the nine years before his 2014 retirement told Meyer he was upset about how everything went down.

“Turf battles, especially the institutional conflict between law enforcement and intelligence agencies, contributed to the demise of Project Cassandra,” he told Meyer. “But many Project Cassandra agents insist the main reason was a political choice to prioritize the Iranian nuclear agreement over efforts to crack down on Hezbollah.”

 

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Big League National Security

New York Man Pleads Guilty To Supporting and Trying To Join ISIS

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A New York has pleaded guilty in Federal Court to helping ISIS, according to the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Parveg Ahmed, a Muslim man, plead guilty before Judge Ann Donnelly on June 20 to one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS.

“I tried to travel to a land controlled by an organization which the US government has deemed a Foreign Terrorist Organization,” Ahmed told the court. “I knew it was deemed a Foreign Terrorist Organization. That’s my crime, traveling there.”

In June 2017, Ahmed traveled to Saudi Arabia to celebrate Ramadan, where he then tried to travel to Syria with the intent of joining ISIS. On his way to Syria, Ahmed was detained in the Middle East and was then deported back to the United States two months later. Despite knowing that Ahmed had plans to join ISIS, he was allowed to board a plane back to John F. Kennedy Airport, where he was arrested when he landed in August.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force obtained a search warrant for Ahmed’s personal computer on July 17, 2017. After obtaining a warrant, agents found ISIS propaganda and terrorist recordings of Anwar al-Awalaki, the leader of Al Qaeda on his laptop.

One of Anwar al-Awalaki’s recordings that was found on Ahmed’s laptop was from a sermon in which the terror leader said, “Jihad must continue and fighting must go on until the Final Hour comes. Fighting is only increasing as prescribed by Allah — now it is time to carry the battle to further lands outside of Arab countries.”

According to terror task force agents, Ahmed was also researching ways to erase data on his laptop the day he left for Saudi Arabia. His computer also contained manuals about Jihad, how to join ISIS, and lectures that justified violence and terror against non-believers of Islam in Western countries.

Ahmed will be sentenced in December and is facing up to 20 years in prison.

On Halloween of 2017, an ISIS terrorist who was driving for Uber mowed down a group of pedestrians in a bike lane in Manhattan, New York, killing eight people in an attack he said he carried out for the Islamic State.

In April of 2018, ISIS‘s propaganda wing, the Wafa Media Foundation, released a propaganda poster in which they threatened to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge subway station in New York City.

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