Hezbollah, narco-terrorism, and the Awans

Yesterday, Scott called attention to the blockbuster story in Politico about how President Obama derailed a law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah. Obama did so because he was desperate to secure a nuclear deal with Iran.

I agree with Scott that the Politico story is well worth reading in full, despite its length. The report is, as Scott says, “incredibly rich.”

I want to call attention to one small potential nugget. Part I of the story is called “A global threat emerges.” It is subtitled “How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.”

The “used cars” reference made me think of a post I wrote about the Awan scandal. This scandal, readers may recall, involves House staffers, most notably staffers of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with ties to Pakistan who are accused of stealing equipment from members’ offices without their knowledge and committing serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network.

In my post, citing George Raisley of Richard Viguerie’s Conservative HQ, I wrote:

Raisley says the Awans controlled a limited liability corporation called Cars International A (CIA), a car dealership with odd finances that took, but did not repay, a $100,000 loan from one Dr. Ali Al-Attar. According to Raisley, laundering money through used car dealerships is a known Hezbollah tactic.

Raisley also cites a former CIA officer who says Dr. Attar, the man who loaned the Awans car dealership $100,000, “was observed in Beirut, Lebanon conversing with a Hezbollah official” in 2012, shortly after the loan was made.

Politico has demonstrated that Hezbollah was laundering narco-terror money through used car dealerships. The Awans owned a used car dealership and obtained a loan from a man who, according to a former CIA official, had connections to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Does this prove that the Awans were laundering money for Hezbollah’s narco-terrorist operation? No. It is only suggestive.

However, the suggestion seems worth looking into. The Awans handled IT for leading House Democrats and, though this work, had access to highly sensitive intelligence information. Indeed, they performed IT services for at least three members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed them on a shared basis.

If the Awans were laundering Hezbollah money, the security implications of the Awan scandal are vast.

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