State Dept. Report: ISIS, Hezbollah Have Support In Latin America
A report from the U.S. State Department has some alarming news about support for terrorist groups in Latin America.
The State Department’s report, published Wednesday, states, “Many countries in Latin America have porous borders, limited law enforcement capabilities, and established smuggling routes.”
“These vulnerabilities offered opportunities to local and international terrorist groups and posed challenges to governments in the region. Canada and the Caribbean – particularly Trinidad and Tobago – were sources of foreign terrorist fighters in 2016; the return of these trained foreign terrorist fighters is of great concern,” the report reads.
Most alarmingly, the report reads that the terrorist Sunni group ISIS, as well as the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, both have a foothold in Latin America.
“Terrorist groups based in the Middle East find some support in Latin America despite the geographic distance. The call to fight in Iraq or Syria drew limited numbers of recruits from Latin America and parts of the Caribbean, which offered areas of financial and ideological support for ISIS and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and South Asia,” the report notes.
“In addition, in 2016 Hizballah maintained some financial supporters, facilitators, and sympathizers in the region that it could tap for support in building and expanding its activities there,” the report adds.
There was also the admission that Mexico saw an increase in support for terror groups on social media in the last year. However, Mexico, does not have any reported Islamic terror affiliates in their country at this time.
The country that causes the most alarm is Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean nation that is about 5 percent Muslim. Of that nation, the State Department writes, “Trinidad’s government reported in 2015 that more than 100 Trinidadian nationals, including women and minors, had traveled to Syria and Iraq,” adding that some have returned to the island country.
However, the State Department also reported that Canada is a bigger terror threat than Mexico, likely due to Muslim immigration to Canada.
President Trump ran on a platform of suspending immigration from nations compromised by terrorism and protecting the border from illegal immigration. (RELATED: Looking Back At Trump’s Convention Speech One Year Later)