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Lewis, speaking for the Obama administration, provided a list of eight arrests and prosecutions as proof.
establish and oversee Project Cassandra as a Defense Department illicit finance analyst.
On the campaign trail, he had asserted repeatedly that the Bush administration’s policy of pressuring Iran to stop its illicit nuclear program wasn’t working, and that he would reach out to Tehran to reduce further. officials to be back in business, and helping to arm militants in Syria and elsewhere with Russian heavy weapons. People familiar with his case say the Ghost has been one of the world’s biggest cocaine traffickers, including to the U.
He recommended in a policy paper that “the next president has the opportunity to set a new course for relations between the two countries” through not only a direct dialogue, but “greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political system.”Obama's White House counter terrorism adviser, who became CIA director in 2013., went further. government employees, attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization and attempting to acquire, transfer and use anti-aircraft missiles, was ultimately sent to Beirut. One of the most mysterious alleged associates of Safieddine, secretly indicted by the U. S.-bound cocaine loads and weapons shipments to Middle East.,” allowing them to remain active despite being under sealed U. S., as well as a major supplier of conventional and chemical weapons for use by Syrian President Bashar Assad against his people.
And Asher himself left the task force long before that, after the Defense Department said his contract would not be renewed. Meanwhile, Hezbollah — in league with Iran — continues to undermine U. interests in Iraq, Syria and throughout wide swaths of Latin America and Africa, including providing weapons and training to anti-American Shiite militias.
And Safieddine, the Ghost and other associates continue to play central roles in the trafficking of drugs and weapons, current and former U. officials believe.“They were a paramilitary organization with strategic importance in the Middle East, and we watched them become an international criminal conglomerate generating billions of dollars for the world’s most dangerous activities, including chemical and nuclear weapons programs and armies that believe America is their sworn enemy,” said Kelly, the supervisory DEA agent and lead coordinator of its Hezbollah cases.
He recommended in a policy paper that “the next president has the opportunity to set a new course for relations between the two countries” through not only a direct dialogue, but “greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political system.”By May 2010, Brennan, then assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, confirmed in a speech that the administration was looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” within Hezbollah.“Hezbollah is a very interesting organization,” Brennan told a Washington conference, saying it had evolved from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia and, ultimately, a political party with representatives in the Lebanese Parliament and Cabinet, according to a Reuters report.“There is certainly the elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern to us what they’re doing,” Brennan said. And when Project Cassandra agents and other investigators sought repeatedly to investigate and prosecute Abdallah Safieddine, Hezbollah’s longtime envoy to Iran, whom they considered the linchpin of Hezbollah’s criminal network, the Justice Department refused, according to four former officials with direct knowledge of the cases.
“And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements.”In practice, the administration’s willingness to envision a new role for Hezbollah in the Middle East, combined with its desire for a negotiated settlement to Iran’s nuclear program, translated into a reluctance to move aggressively against the top Hezbollah operatives, according to Project Cassandra members and others.a suspected top Hezbollah operative whom agents believed reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a key supplier of weapons to Syria and Iraq, was arrested in Prague in the spring of 2014. Hezbollah’s longtime envoy to Iran who allegedly oversaw the group's “Business Affairs Component” involved in international drug trafficking., Hezbollah’s longtime envoy to Iran, whom they considered the linchpin of Hezbollah’s criminal network, the Justice Department refused, according to four former officials with direct knowledge of the cases.But for the nearly two years Fayad was in custody, top Obama administration officials declined to apply serious pressure on the Czech government to extradite him to the United States, even as Putin was lobbying aggressively against it. The administration also rejected repeated efforts by Project Cassandra members to charge Hezbollah’s military wing as an ongoing criminal enterprise under a federal Mafia-style racketeering statute, task force members say.And they allege that administration officials declined to designate Hezbollah a “significant transnational criminal organization” and blocked other strategic initiatives that would have given the task force additional legal tools, money and manpower to fight it.Kelly and Asher are among the officials involved in Project Cassandra who have been quietly contacted by the Trump administration and congressional Republicans, who said a special POLITICO report April 24 on Barack Obama’s hidden Iran deal concessions raised urgent questions about the need to resurrect key law enforcement programs to counter Iran.That won’t be easy, according to former Project Cassandra members, even with President Donald Trump’s recent vow to crack down on Iran and Hezbollah.Former Obama administration officials declined to comment on individual cases, but noted that the State Department condemned the Czech decision not to hand over Fayad.