SAN DIEGO - The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee told Team 10 he is concerned about Hezbollah operatives entering the country along the U.S. border from San Diego to Texas, and the terrorists are getting help from Mexican drug cartels.
"Hezbollah operatives are here in the United States," said Rep. Michael McCaul. "Hezbollah has a large presence in Latin America."
His committee released a report titled "Line in the Sand" that details how Hezbollah and other terrorists get onto U.S. soil.
The report states Hezbollah continues having a strong relationship with Venezuela, despite the recent death of President Hugo Chavez. Iran, a known supporter of Hezbollah, has direct daily flights between Tehran and Caracas. This is happening, says the report, despite claims the flights have stopped. This provides easy access for operatives into the Americas.
The cartels help the terrorists by providing safe passage along their drug and human trafficking routes into and out of the country.
In return, because Hezbollah has connections with banks in the Middle East and other parts of the world, the terrorist group can allegedly move money for the cartels.
The relationship between Hezbollah and countries south of the U.S. described in the committee's report has become stronger since Team 10 first reported on the issue two years ago.
"While before they had a relationship about money, finance, the fact they could become operational is very much a national security concern," McCaul said.
Click here to view a federal case document relating to possible Hezbollah operatives in the U.S.
Team 10 has previously reported on a meeting between the cartels and the terrorists in a Tijuana safe house. Read that story here.
Read the Department of Homeland Security's OTM report by clicking here.