Analysis

Venezuelan Drug Subs Could be Used to Get Terrorists to US
Colombian soldiers guard a homemade submarine in a rural area of Colombia on February 14, 2011. No submarine carrying drugs has ever been interdicted at sea, revealing the difficulty of detecting these small subs, which leave no heat trail. (LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)
September 20, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa, The Americas
Summary
The increased use of mini-submarines to transport cocaine to the United States and their appearance in Venezuela not only shows the determination of drug traffickers to evade U.S. drug interdiction, but reveals a serious threat to national security as these mini-subs could be used as a way for Venezuelan, Iranian, or Hezbollah terrorists to surreptitiously enter the United States.

There has been a noticeable shift in trafficking routes and tactics used by drug cartels in the Western Hemisphere over the past year. New submarine technology is being used to ferry drugs to North America, and Colombian officials have confirmed that FARC, a Marxist guerilla group, is getting outside assistance to construct these vessels. At the same time, advanced drug submarines are increasingly being built and operated out of Venezuela, raising security questions for the United States due to Venezuela’s close ties with Iran and the alleged presence in Venezuela of Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese terrorist proxy.

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