Terrorism: June 5, 2005

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The presence of Islamic radicals in some parts of Latin America is well known. With its vast wildernesses and weak governments, Latin America has been used for safe houses, transit routes for personnel, and even training bases. The focus of these activities has been on moving and training Islamic terrorists. Recently, however, a potentially disturbing trend has begun to develop, as intelligence suggests that the Islamic radicals are establishing ties with domestic radical and criminal groups in several countries.

Haiti - members of an Islamic group known to have ties with al Qaeda have apparently been providing training in weapons and explosives use to one of the pro-Aristide gangs, while also attempting to convert gang members to Islam.

Dominican Republic - two local radical groups seem to have been in contact with Islamic radicals, seeking financial and technical assistance.

Nicaragua Al Qaeda, which is believed to have moved important operatives through the country from time to time, may be trying to reach out to dissatisfied fringe elements with the intention of helping them undertake terrorist attacks against the government.

Three Frontiers Region-- Hizbollah, and perhaps other Islamic groups, have been able to operate rather freely in the porous borderlands where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay come together, taking advantage of rampant corruption, to establish training camps, safe houses, and logistical bases.


 

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