Pulitzer-prize winning ProPublica came out with a thorough look into the links between Iran and Latin America. ProPublica is considered by some to be left-leaning, so I was expecting them to not sound alarmist. It’s therefore a surprise to hear them sound, well, alarmist.
There’s a lot in there for foreign policy / intelligence buffs to digest.
One money quote:
Witnesses at the House subcommittee hearing Tuesday described Venezuela as a gateway through which Iranian operatives travel to and from the region unmolested and obtain authentic Venezuelan documents to enhance their covers.
Witness Joseph Humire, a security expert, cited a report last year in which the Canadian Border Services Agency described Iran as the top source of illegal migrants to Canada, most of them coming through Latin America. Between 2009 and 2011, the majority of those Iranian migrants passed through Caracas, where airport and airline personnel were implicated in providing them with fraudulent documents, according to the Canadian border agency.
The allegations are consistent with interviews in recent years in which U.S., Latin American and Israeli security officials have told ProPublica about suspected Middle Eastern operatives and Latin American drug lords obtaining Venezuelan documents through corruption or ideological complicity.
“There seems to be an effort by the Venezuelan government to make sure that Iranians have full sets of credentials,” a U.S. law enforcement official said.
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