What’s the top crime threat to the United States?
Or the top health threat?
Or the top national security threat?
That actually should have been “and,” since the threats all come from one source: Mexican drug cartels.
Government watchdog Judicial Watch detailed the issues in a new report.
“Mexican drug cartels have headquarters throughout the United States and are one of the country’s greatest criminal, national security and public health threats, according to a veteran Drug Enforcement Administration senior agent pushing the federal government to designate them as Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” the group reported.
It was Derek S. Maltz, who said in the report, “The Mexican cartels have left a trail of blood using intimidation and terrorist acts of ruthless violence.”
He helped set up the Counter Narco-Terrorism Operations Center, which has busted a number of number of bigtime narco-terrorism operations, before retiring from the DEA.
One of those was a money laundering scheme that supported the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, Judicial Watch said.
“The cartels engage in beheadings, car bombings, dissolving humans in acid, mass murders, torture, bombings and political assassinations,” Maltz told Judicial Watch. “Their actions are consistent with the behaviors of traditional terrorists and they have infiltrated the highest levels of the Mexican government with bribes and corruption.”
He warned in the report that the cartels already are using “mind manipulation” and “behavioral modification” practices that also are used by al-Qaida.
“The troubling details were delivered during recent testimony before the Ohio legislature, where Maltz made a powerful case for designating Mexican drug cartels as [foreign terrorist organizations],” Judicial Watch said.
That followed a huge arrest of cartel members in Ohio.
Maltz testified before the legislature that drug gangs already have “major hubs” in California, Arizona, Chicago, Texas, New York and Atlanta.
The state was considering declaring those cartels also are responsible for trafficking opioids and for human trafficking and that both of those are “direct threats to the economy, well-being and overall vitality of the state of Ohio and its citizens.”
The Ohio proposal notes that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has called cartels the biggest criminal threat, and said they meet the criteria to be considered a security threat.
The report said, “Judicial Watch made parallel arguments in a White Paper published earlier this year. In it, Judicial Watch’s investigative team provides comprehensive documentation that Mexican drug cartels, notoriously sophisticated criminal operations, undoubtedly meet the U.S. government’s requirements to be designated FTOs.”