Brazil says triple border area under constant vigilance [Arabs, Latin America, Mafia, Terrorism]

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/08/america/LA-GEN-Brazil-US-Triple-Border.php

The Associated PressPublished: February 8, 2007
BRASILIA, Brazil: Brazil’s top law enforcement official Thursday assured his American counterpart that Brazil is taking action to prevent terrorist groups from gaining a foothold in South America’s so-called Triple Border.

Measures to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering were among the top issues discussed by Justice Minister Marcio Thomaz Bastos and U.S. Attorney Alberto Gonzales in Brazil’s capital.

“As far as terrorism is concerned, I would like to say that we have the mechanisms to detect any strange movement in the Triple Border area,” Bastos told reporters after his meeting with Gonzales.

<b>The Triple Border, a porous region where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina converge, is home to more than 20,000 Arabs — mostly Lebanese Muslims — as well as drug and arms traffickers, smugglers and counterfeiters. It has also been described by the U.S. State Department as a focal point for Islamic extremism in Latin America.</b>

Bastos said beefed up intelligence services and newly established police stations in the area were capable of “detecting any situation meeting a yellow alert.”

Asked if the United States was satisfied with the steps taken by Brazil to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering, Gonzales said: “It seems that no matter how much we do there will always be more to be done, because there will always people getting involved in criminal activities.”

He praised Brazil for its “steps to combat terrorism” and added, “as your partners in the global fight against terrorists, violent gangs and criminals, the United States appreciates and supports your efforts.”

<b>The U.S. government contends that radical Islamic groups including Hezbollah and Hamas receive funds from the Triple Border area.

It has described the area as “South America’s busiest contraband and smuggling center, where billions of dollars annually are generated from arms trafficking, drug smuggling, counterfeiting, intellectual property-rights violations, and other crimes.”

In December, the Bush administration took action aimed at choking off what is said was a major fundraising channel for Hezbollah operating in the tri-border area.</b>

Americans were forbidden from doing business with nine people and two companies based in Paraguay, and the Bush administration also moved to freeze bank accounts in the United States linked to the people and companies.

Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay reacted angrily saying in a joint statement that “the information presented by the United States does not provide any new elements that would permit it to affirm the existence of terrorist activities in the region, including the financing of terrorism.”

Gonzales and Bastos did not mention the dispute over the action by the U.S. government.

ups from gaining a foothold in South America’s so-called Triple Border. Measures to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering were among the top issues discussed by Justice Minister Marcio Thomaz Bastos and U.S. Attorney Alberto Gonzales in Brazil’s capital. “As far as terrorism is concerned, I would like to say that we have the mechanisms to detect any strange movement in the Triple Border area,” Bastos told reporters after his meeting with Gonzales. The Triple Border, a porous region where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina converge, is home to more than 20,000 Arabs — mostly Lebanese Muslims — as well as drug and arms traffickers, smugglers and counterfeiters. It has also been described by the U.S. State Department as a focal point for Islamic extremism in Latin America. Bastos said beefed up intelligence services and newly established police stations in the area were capable of “detecting any situation meeting a yellow alert.” Asked if the United States was satisfied with the steps taken by Brazil to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering, Gonzales said: “It seems that no matter how much we do there will always be more to be done, because there will always people getting involved in criminal activities.” He praised Brazil for its “steps to combat terrorism” and added, “as your partners in the global fight against terrorists, violent gangs and criminals, the United States appreciates and supports your efforts.” The U.S. government contends that radical Islamic groups including Hezbollah and Hamas receive funds from the Triple Border area. It has described the area as “South America’s busiest contraband and smuggling center, where billions of dollars annually are generated from arms trafficking, drug smuggling, counterfeiting, intellectual property-rights violations, and other crimes.” In December, the Bush administration took action aimed at choking off what is said was a major fundraising channel for Hezbollah operating in the tri-border area. Americans were forbidden from doing business with nine people and two companies based in Paraguay, and the Bush administration also moved to freeze bank accounts in the United States linked to the people and companies. Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay reacted angrily saying in a joint statement that “the information presented by the United States does not provide any new elements that would permit it to affirm the existence of terrorist activities in the region, including the financing of terrorism.” Gonzales and Bastos did not mention the dispute over the action by the U.S. government.

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One Response to “Brazil says triple border area under constant vigilance [Arabs, Latin America, Mafia, Terrorism]”

  1. Ted Burrett Says:

    If you want to hear a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for four from five. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn yahoo to find the missed parts. Thank you, anyway!

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