The financial strength of the Taliban and the Hezbollah money laundering service ,are for Iran a vital part of its strategy to face any possible (perhaps imminent) USA attack due to Iran’s nuclear program. While the growth of the global economy has almost come to a complete stand still and political stability is tumbling, illegal financial streams are booming like never before. Intelligence agency’s are encountering financial movements which present a clear and present danger for the financial markets and thus for economic stability and progress.
Some of the most urgent and alarming illegal financial trends are;
The worldwide hegemony of opium production in Afghanistan, Taliban with the enormous money streams all over the globe.
The axis of financial ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon (and in the Lebanese Diaspora) and Hamas in the Gaza strip.
More than 90 % of the world’s production of opium, the main ingredient in heroin is Afghanistan originated. Estimated at a 7,000 tons according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The departure of the US and other allied forces from Afghanistan, the weakened central government of the president Karzai, who de facto only controls the capital of Kabul, left opportunity for the Taliban to become a financial institution funding several anti US and European terror organizations operating in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
While recognizing that attacking the USA on its soil may be a difficult mission, US and European interests in Africa and Asia seem to be a soft targets.
Due to the bordering with Pakistan and Iran, Taliban opium money find its way easily to the Middle East & Africa (through Iran) and Asia (through Pakistan).
For Iran, this is a vital part of their strategy to face any possible (perhaps imminent) USA attack due to Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran and Syria forced to rely more on underground financial streams
Because of the recent developments in the Persian region and the fact that Iran showed its capability to block the street of Hormuz, (which will lead to an Oil price of 200 USD per barrel), Iran is punished with additional sanctions against its central bank.
Although Iran is globally politically very isolated, it has its regional allies. The tumbling Assad’s regime in Syria as well as the well organized Hezbollah movement are among those strong ties.
Syria needs funds from the underground financial systems to compensate the effect of the Oil embargo by Europe and the USA, in order to be able to pay its soldiers fighting the uprising in all outskirts as well as funding terror organizations in Europe which are looked up on as a last resort in case of a USA led attack on Syria or a preemptive strike of Israel on Syria.
Hezbollah’s popularity in Lebanon is one on one related to the fact that most hospitals, schools and other vital organizations in Lebanon are funded by the organization of Sheikh Nasrallah. The Hezbollahmovement is blacklisted as being a terror organization, therefore all financial transactions are in cash. The main source of income ofHezbollah is drugs trafficking (receiving the drugs from Turkey and Iran).
Hezbollah in the Lebanese Diaspora
A second source of income for the Hezbollah is a (drug’s) money laundering service through the large Lebanese community living in Latin America. Recently European and other intelligence agencies have identified Lebanese ‘’business men’’ in Europe and the Caribbean that are involved in Hezbollah organized drug trafficking, money laundering activities and support of the Hezbollah movement on a wide scale.
In the first week of December 2011 a secret task force of the USA, UK, France and the Netherlands started on the Island of Aruba (part of the kingdom of the Netherlands) with a clear mandate to stop all Hezbollahrelated drug trafficking and money laundering activities, The taskforce is aiming to cripple the financial strength of Hezbollah in Lebanon and outside (Hamas). The first successful encounter is already a fact.
Although the Hamas movement in the Gaza strips is a Sunni Muslim movement and Hezbollah being a Shia Muslim organization, the ties between both organizations are to be considered as strong and tight.
The Muslim Brotherhood
With the end of the Regime of Mubarak in Egypt and the opening of the borders between Gaza and Egypt by the new military regime of Field Marshal Tantawy, Hamas finds itself in a unique position of being able to transfer and receive funds through a well organized financial network of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood , that won the first round of elections in Egypt, is the most powerful Muslim organization on the globe with affiliates in almost every single country supported by the majority of the Islamic populations in every country with a Muslim minority or majority.
The Axes of Green
The intelligence agencies identify the joint venture and increased synergy between all the above mentioned groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, Gaza and Egypt, as the Axes of Green (the color of money AND the color of the Islam).
This Axis of Green allows these organizations to be very effective in Asia, Middle East and last but not least Africa, which is the fastest growing and emerging market according to the World Bank.