Navy Admiral: ISIS trying to use drug routes to smuggle weapons into U.S.

Navy Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command, testifies at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on defense posture, April 6, 2017.

The Commander of the United States Southern Command admitted that the Southern border of the United States is as vulnerable to terrorist weapons smuggling as it is to the illicit drug trade supply.

USSOUTHCOM Commander Admiral Kurt Tidd testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last Thursday with a chilling scenario as part of the command’s annual Posture Statement To Congress.

“Picture this,” he said, “We gain information on a group of individuals who are planning to make their way into the United States. They’re carrying a weapon that will kill dozens of people and put hundreds more in the hospital. This powerful weapon will drain millions from our economy in terms of health care costs, crime and lost productivity. It’s neither high tech, nor new. We know exactly how dangerous it is. This weapon passes freely through our defenses, as do hundreds more just like it.”

Tidd was referring to one of many metric tons of cocaine that is smuggled into the US via South and Central America, part of an advanced network that is seemingly unstoppable.

When coupled with the threat of ISIS utilizing the same networks and the fact that the organization has been recruiting in Latin America, Tidd said the very notion “keeps me up at night.”

Tidd’s fear is that ISIS -whose followers have been instructed to explore how to move WMDs through the Southern border the same way drug runners and coyotes move drugs and illegal immigrants- will move dangerous materials into the United States for complex and deadly attacks.

Tidd went on to refer to the drug war in Colombia, calling the nation one of the US’s greatest allies in the region.

While the concept of threats moving in from the southern border is nothing new, the effectiveness in which groups such as the Islamic State recruit and radicalize individuals -combined with the effectiveness of drug cartels that resemble small militaries- adds terrifying credibility to a relatively easily carried out scenario.

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Author

  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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