In a move that bolsters the Trump administration's war on terror and increased focus on Iran, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new task force Thursday focused on combating Hezbollah.
Hezbollah, the terrorism offshoot of the Iranian regime, is the largest and most sophisticated terror organization in the world. Its leaders a good portion of their money trafficking narcotics through Africa, South America and the United States.
"The Justice Department will leave no stone unturned in order to eliminate threats to our citizens from terrorist organizations and to stem the tide of the devastating drug crisis,” Sessions released in a statement. “In an effort to protect Americans from both threats, the Justice Department will assemble leading investigators and prosecutors to ensure that all Project Cassandra investigations as well as other related investigations, whether past or present, are given the needed resources and attention to come to their proper resolution. The team will initiate prosecutions that will restrict the flow of money to foreign terrorist organizations as well as disrupt violent international drug trafficking operations.”
The move comes after it was revealed the Obama administration squashed a number of Hezbollah narcotics trafficking and money laundering prosecutions --which led the U.S. to top leaders in the organization-- in order to secure the Iran nuclear deal with the regime. From POLITICO:
In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.
The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.
But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.
The announcement also comes just days before President Trump will make a decision about recertifying the nuclear agreement.