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Column 020110 Brewer Monday, February 1, 2010 Terrorism Roots in the Tri-border Area of South America By Jerry Brewer The Tri-Border area (TBA) that is shared by Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil continues to be a festering nest of lawlessness and other sinister activities. Perhaps the greatest question that needs to be answered revolves around whether al Qaeda will continue to increase their planning and operational acts against the Western Hemisphere and U.S. allies from this region. Essentially there have been no attacks directly linked to the TBA over the last decade, although elements of Hezbollah Shi’ite groups have been very active in “support-oriented,” but low profile, activities. A major concern has been the possibility of them aligning themselves with Wahhabi-oriented Sunni fundamentalists. There is an abundance of criminal activities within the TBA that obviously do not rival the specter of terrorism, but are increasingly burdensome to the trio of countries that align the borders. Significant rises in human trafficking, prostitution and related human slavery; as well as narcotics trafficking, places all three bordering nations on the frontlines of terror-related victimization. The lack of effective organization and coordination in law enforcement strategies must be enhanced for the greater good of the region and beyond. Leftist regimes that routinely reject U.S. antinarcotics and counter-guerrilla assistance, while threatening neighbor nations for allowing the U.S. use of land bases for effective tactical and strategic staging for counter-criminal operations, are part of the problem. They must be held accountable for any harboring of these criminal elements, as well as facilitating their activities and thus victimizing Argentine, Paraguayan, and Brazilian citizens as conduits of the illicit behavior. Rogue regimes with politically-aligned organizational structures that move to control society by fear do so to fit their particular ideological convictions and not the true will of their people. This forced revolution upon the citizens masks itself in many ways that also include a Marxist-Leninist model to

change the society to a state-run economy or, in the case of Islamic fundamentalists, a land and philosophy that is based on strict religious codes and laws. The smorgasbord of criminal activity within the TBA quite simply shows more than just a lawless region, but a diseased and polluted wasteland of moral decay. Argentina is a proud and morally aligned country with a rich history of human dignity and perseverance in the face of hardship. Brazil and Paraguay certainly share those values. However, much confusion in coordinated interdiction strategies and priorities exist. A fear should be that political loyalties to those nations, that are essentially part of the regional problem, could allow the TBA to become a greater hub for further despair, more intensive crimes against humanity, and the proactive birth of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. It is hoped that previous theories as to organized criminal activity and terrorism being totally separate from each other will be aggressively attacked for their similarities. Local law enforcement and police authorities worldwide are already confused as to their roles, understanding and ability to confront this terroristic style of criminal insurgency. These law enforcement organizations were never designed or created to confront this style of enemy. This was more of a nature that military forces were designed to face. The superior weaponry and electronic resources alone have been shown to be far superior to traditional police responsibilities. When we correctly focus on the overall problem of terror that is criminal in nature, we must look to the similarities of the threat itself. Threats, attacks, murder with impunity, narcotrafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, and out and out terrorism require sound and coordinated intelligence gathering and corroborated analyses. The hunt must be for flesh linked to any planning and decision making hierarchical level, whether it is political, organized criminal hierarchies, cellular enclaves that are small and fragmented, or outright guerrilla insurgency. As well, many of the routes utilized by the diverse criminal elements are unwittingly (or not) shared due to simple geography or ease of avoiding detection. So many crimes and attacks, and forthcoming related incidents, are graphically forecasted in many ways that are detectable, although with covert appearances. The interdiction must come from well-developed interagency communication and those that possess the technology and skills of espionagerelated tradecraft procedures. The enemy, for the most part, has been trained and skilled in all of the above by self-serving paramilitary types, as well as rogue state intelligence services. Reports are that representatives of al Qaeda have met with

Hezbollah and other groups within the TBA. And while there are those who reject the theory that al Qaeda will take a more active role in the TBA, this due to an unsympathetic ear to Islamic fundamentalism, Argentina’s state security, SIDE, has reported “increased terrorist activity” within the TBA. Desperate groups will continue to do desperate things. —————————— Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global risk mitigation firm headquartered in Northern, Virginia. His website is located at www.cjiausa.org.

jbrewer@cjiausa.org

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