Terrorism in Latin America (Part 2): The Threat from Human Trafficking

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The threat from Islamic extremists in Latin America remains an overlooked aspect of U.S. national security strategy and should be a new priority for the Trump administration, according to a recent study by National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow Dr. David Grantham.

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When a relatively inexpensive operation (in this case human trafficking) becomes accessible to many, the small-time Islamist thousands of miles away is a significant threat.

The threat from Islamic extremists in Latin America remains an overlooked aspect of U.S. national security strategy and should be a new priority for the Trump administration, according to a recent study by National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow Dr. David Grantham.

“Hypothetical scenarios often dominate the storyline of possible collusion between organized crime and jihadists in Latin America,” says Grantham, “however, when a relatively inexpensive operation (in this case human trafficking) becomes accessible to many, the small-time Islamist thousands of miles away is a significant threat.”

Dr. Grantham points out that:

  •     Evidence shows that U.S. adversaries teaming up with criminal organizations in Latin America to move people into position to attack American communities.
  •     The U.S. government could help Latin American governments draft conspiracy laws and human smuggling a U.S. national security priority.

In this study, Dr. Grantham argues that the fluidity of organized crime and jihadist networks pose a serious problem for counterterrorism and interdiction efforts, since both are constantly in flux. Targeting the illicit act of human smuggling instead of individual actors could lead to real solutions.

“The complex and confusing network of illicit relationships between organized crime and Islamists can create an endless stream of scenarios,” Dr. Grantham says, “But human smuggling should be a priority. Adversaries of the U.S. who have infiltrated Latin America have proven capable and willing to move people into positions to attack American communities.”

Read more here:
http://www.ncpa.org/pub/terrorism-in-latin-america-part-two-the-threat-from-human-trafficking

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