America's Drug Habit Funds Terrorism
Exhibit Touches Down In Chicago
NBC5.com September 11, 2006
CHICAGO -- NBC5 is
partnering with the Drug Enforcement
Administration and the museum of science and
industry for a special series.
The museum is
hosting the DEA's traveling exhibit called
"Target America," which aims to bring new
insight to the damage drugs can cause.
It features the
many fronts of the drug battle, from explosive
meth labs to finding drugs online. Inside the
museum, shards of the Twin Towers sit as a
reminder of what the DEA said is the price of
America's drug habit.
One thing agents
say is clear: American drug money is buying
weapons and funding wars.
The DEA said that
money may fund operations like the WTC bombing
Meth labs in
Mexico, marijuana fields in Somalia and cocaine
trade in Colombia share more than American
Drugs have become
the cash cow for terrorist organizations. Half
of the U.S. State Department's list of foreign
terrorist organizations have drug ties.
The DEA has spent
decades tracking organizations like Colombia's
Farc. The drug lords net $300 million a year and
that money trail leads back to America.
"The Farc traded
cocaine for a stinger missle," said Karen Tandy,
of the DEA. "Gaeda was trading heroin for a
stinger missile. Both of those transactions
occurred in the United States."
strike, money-laundering experts track the
"With the Madrid
train bombings, the way the terrorists got the
explosives to blow up the train was by trading
hashish for explosives," said Tandy. "It cost
$50,000 worth of hashish, and you saw what
happened in the train bombings."
comb through everything from Taliban tax
receipts to money confiscated inside secret
about wire transfers on offshore accounts,
underground banking systems, bulk currency
movement, other concealed stuff not used above
-- ask if you need more," said a DEA accountant.
"It's a paper chase in a lot of instances."
industry has been used for buying chemicals to
make meth that flowed straight through Chicago
to the Middle East.