Saturday, August 20, 2011

Iraqis and Sinaloa

via Sylvia Longmire, a very creepy story about Iraqis and the Sinaloa Cartel in El Cajon, California, which is extremely close to where I grew up, in the East County of San Diego.

From the El Cajon police:

Our officers had noticed increased narcotics trafficking and violent crime in certain neighborhoods of El Cajon. These crimes have been attributed primarily to Iraqi organized crime elements, and as this investigation has discovered, the Sinaloa Cartel, a Mexico-based drug trafficking organization (DTO) which supplies them. 

Her immediate response was the same as mine, namely that it will not take long for people to jump on this as a sign that Middle Eastern terrorists are infiltrating the country.

I really need to emphasize here that there is no evidence that operational terrorists from Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East have entered the US in this manner. Of course, it's a huge concern for DHS that a member of Hizballah or al-Qa'ida might try to infiltrate a group of emigrating Chaldeans and sneak in with fraudulent documents. I'm not saying that this has never happened; however, if it has, no one in our government knows about it. Besides, the Chaldean community is pretty tight-knit, as are the groups of them that travel halfway across the world to Mexico in order to cross the border from Tijuana. They would be wary of an outsider trying to join their group. Again, while this scenario is always a possibility, it's less likely than you might think.

Moving onto the more interesting issue...the association between Chaldean TCOs and the Sinaloa Federation. I saw this and was immediately concerned that some media outlets would start screaming about the association between Mexican TCOs and terrorists. Trust me, that is NOT what is going on here. In fact, it's no different than all the other drug trafficking arrangements Mexican TCOs have with gangs and other criminal groups here in the US.

As long as demand remains high, then supply will move to fill it.  The lessons here is that we need to maintain effective criminal law enforcement but also to reduce demand.  Alarmism, however, is often more politically appealing.


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