A dangerous liaison: terrorists and organized crime in South America

South AmericaAbout 100 South Americans have fought alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and returned home. What’s to stop them from sneaking into the United States? In the U.S., the FBI monitors suspected terrorists. But are they effectively tracked in Choco forest in Colombia or business fronts in Bolivia?

Terrorist groups are closer to us than you might think. The most prominent and well-known in South America is Hezbollah. It works with drug cartels and local terrorists such as the FARC in Colombia. Now that Colombian citizens rejected a peace deal between the FARC and their government, there is a fear drug-trafficking will continue and connections with Hezbollah will remain. The U.S. needs to provide its regional allies with financial assistance, limited military aid, and intelligence to help disrupt these sorts of relationships before there’s another attack on U.S. soil.