On Friday, the Mexican government announced that the radioactive material stolen last weekend has since been found. Mexico's National Coordinator of Civil Protection of the Ministry of Interior, Luis Felipe Puente made the announcement on his Twitter account, claiming: the container "was not violated, it contains the material, which was measured...As it wasn't manipulated, there was surely no risk to people.
Of course, not only was the recovery of the nuclear waste, breaking news, but the theft itself was as well to at least most of the world. The stolen material is known as Iridium-192, which has both industrial and medical applications.
Nuclear expert Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment claims that Iridium-192, can be used to make a radiological weapon, or 'dirty bomb,' though it would require much more of it than is found in its most common uses, the Daily Mail reported.
However, that may be just what the thieves had in mind, when they stole a truck containing the dangerous material, marking the third such theft in the last seven months. In December 2013, a truck carrying cobalt-60 was stolen near Tijuana.
Cobalt-60 is used in radiation therapy to treat cancer. It was hijacked by gunmen as it was being transported from a hospital to a nuclear waste facility.
While Mexican authorities claim none of the heists are related, and in each case the thieves were merely interested in the vehicle used to transport the radioactive material, there may be, a much more sinister reason behind the thefts...
On July 6, 2010, the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Seyassah reported that Mexican authorities arrested a Mexican national who was working for Hezbollah, and the Islamic terrorist group was recruiting Mexican citizens with ties to Lebanon to set up terror cells along the U.S. border.
On June 23, 2010, Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) wrote a letter to then-Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, asking that her agency form a task force to investigate the possible connection between the cartels and Hezbollah.
Former intelligence officials have suggested that Hezbollah has increased its presence in Central and South America, and are now operating in Mexico and on our southern border. Even more troubling is that I believe Hezbollah and the drug cartels may be operating as partners on our border.
I believe we need to do more intelligence gathering on Hezbollah’s presence on our border. I therefore request that you form a Homeland Security task force to engage US and Mexican law enforcement and border patrol officials about Hezbollah’s presence, activities, and connections to gangs and drug cartels.
The mutual benefits to a relationship between the cartels and Hezbollah are rather obvious. The Islamic terrorists could train cartel operatives in terror tactics, in exchange for escorting them into the U.S., along established smuggling routes.
In fact, there is some evidence that has already occurred...
During the summer of 2010, there was a string of car bombings, which began in Juarez. While the attacks were part of the ongoing war between the drug cartels, it was the first time this tactic was used by the cartels. Many were remotely detonated by cell phones, a technique so often seen across the Middle East.
Furthermore, in December 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed an indictment against Lebanese drug trafficker and Hezbollah financier, Ayman Joumaa. According to the DOJ, Joumaa shipped 85,000 kilograms into the United States through the Mexican drug cartel known as Los Zetas. He also reportedly used various front companies as well as the Lebanese Canadian Bank (LCB) to launder more than $850 million in drug profits.
Despite the growing evidence, former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed her agency had "no credible information on terrorist groups operating along our Southwest border," and refused to open a full investigation on the matter.
However, only a year before the Obama administration took office, Hezbollah's ability to move terrorists into the U.S. from Mexico was noted in a 2007 Homeland Security Committee report, which stated: "Members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, have already entered to the United States across our Southwest border."
Strangely enough, that report (www.house.gov/sites/members/tx10_mccaul/pdf/Investigaions-Border-Report.pdf), has since been scrubbed from the official U.S. House of Representatives website. See for yourself...
Unfortunately, the presidential administrations of both Mexico and the United States have very little credibility on this issue, and will likely, only publicly admit that Islamic terror organizations are now exploiting Mexico's lawless culture, along with their unprotected border with this nation, when a dirty bomb is detonated at a sporting event, or perhaps just outside of an elementary school.