Are We Serious About Fighting Terrorism? The $28 Billion Heroin Smuggled Annually From Afghanistan-Pakistan via the Balkan Route and Croatia Into the Heart of Europe

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The excellent report by CBN News’ Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell and correspondent Julie Stahl features a televised broadcast segment titled, “Key to Reducing Terrorism: Cut Off the Funding” and includes responses by US Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA), Joel Anand Samy, co-founder, International Leaders Summit and the author.

The most recent UN report indicate that Balkan heroin trafficking brings in more than $28 billion proceeds annually, providing financing for Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.

How can $28 billion dollars generated by heroin trafficking annually be employed, if not through a Western financial and corporate entities? The anonymous off-shore and shell companies and banking accounts which hide the beneficial ownership are a perfect vehicles to launder money for organized crime and facilitate terrorism financing.

The co-existence between members of transnational organized crime networks and corrupt politicians in the Balkans brings monetary benefits to both. These criminal networks have vested interest in blocking the establishment of the rule of law and independent judiciaries in Croatia, Montenegro and throughout the rest of southeast Europe.

The Balkan Route’s heroin, arms, human and organ trafficking merges with cocaine trafficking coming from Latin America. Although we assume that the Balkan Route operations are driven primarily by financial gain and radical Islam by ideology, in the areas of arms and drugs trafficking, the distinction between organized crime, mafia states, terrorism financing and radical Islam becomes blurred.

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