Iranian training camps in Latin America
In an article titled Kuwaitis Among Trainees In â??Guardsâ?? Latin Camp the Arab Times reports:
Iranâ??s Revolutionary Guard is allegedly training a large number of Kuwaitis, Bahrainis and Saudis in a private training camp located in Waheera, a remote area near the borders of Venezuela and Columbia, and intends to use them to carry out terrorist activities within their respective countries and other areas across the world in case Iran is attacked militarily, Al-Seyassah daily quoted a reliable source as saying.
Since the reports come from Arab-language newspapers, I speculate that the location of Waheera is actually Guajira (whose phonetical pronunciation is the same as "Waheera") in this map:
The article continues:
The trainees are first sent to Venezuelan capital Caracas or Columbian capital Bogota via Damascus and from there, they are sent to the border region in cars, one of the militants who broke away from the Iranian group told the daily.
Reportedly, the training camp is run by some Iranian intelligence officers and others affiliated to the Revolutionary Guard in cooperation with Hezbollah and Hamas. The trainees were given courses in making bombs, carrying out assassinations, kidnapping people and transporting the hostages to other locations. [Emphasis added]
The operations are allegedly financed through the drug trade:
When asked about the financing of this militia, the source said the money Iran makes through drug trafficking and money laundering is equal to the budget of some countries. â??For example, Dutch police, in cooperation with security authorities of seven other countries, arrested 17 drug smugglers in 2009 in Korasu and confiscated 2,000 kilos of cocaine from them. The huge quantity was smuggled through tankers from Venezuela to West Africa and then to Holland, Lebanon and Spain. Smugglers also transported cocaine by air from Korasu to Holland, Belgium, Spain and Jordan. The Dutch authorities had then announced that the smuggling network was linked to Hezbollah and Iran,â? he added. [Emphasis added]
These reports have been surfacing recently (including Kuwaiti newspapers), but long-time readers of my blog know about the Iranian and Hezbollah presences in Latin America. Interestingly, now the reports are including Hamas.
Cross-posted at Fausta's blog.