Iran assassination plot: Terrorists join forces with Mexican drug cartels?
It's doubtful, experts say, despite reports that Iranian plotters tried to hire members of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US in Washington.
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That may be the takeaway for those in the US increasingly wary of the security threat posed by its southern neighbor, after news that the agents tied to Iran sought the help of a Mexican drug trafficking group to carry out a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US.
But are Mexican cartels really linking up with terrorists?
Mexicans, fiercely opposed to any type of US military intervention despite its growing violence, say the connection between terrorism and drug traffickers is already being overblown, and this will just add to the fodder.
“For a long time the US security apparatus … has been trying to see if there is any connection between organized crime in Mexico and terrorist organizations,” says Alejandro Schtulmann, head of research at the Emerging Markets Political Risk Analysis consulting firm in Mexico City. “Mexican criminal groups have no interest in upsetting the US.”
US officials say the two agents contacted the drug trafficker in northern Mexico, offering $1.5 million for the assassination. But that trafficker turned out to be an informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency, foiling a plot that FBI director Robert Mueller said today could have cost many lives.
One of the agents reportedly met twice with the trafficker during the summer in the violence-ridden northern city of Reynosa. The accused plotter was unaware that he was actually dealing with an informant.