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Archive for April 4th, 2010

Ex-Homeland Chief Michael Chertoff Concerned Militias Could Copycat Terrorist Tactics

Michael Chertoff Sunday on Meet the Press

Michael Chertoff Sunday on Meet the Press

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Ex-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Sunday he has concerns that local terrorist groups or militias could pick up ideas from violent groups overseas.

“I agree with Sen. Lieberman, this is not of the order of magnitude of what we see global terrorists,” Chertoff said on Meet the Press. “But look,the fact that people can get on the Internet and they can see the tactics that are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan creates a risk that those will be copycatted here.”

“In fact we’ve see that … in northern Mexico, the criminal groups which are not politically motivated have adopted beheadings and other tactics of terrorism as part of pushing their agenda against President Calderon.”

His comments came in response to a discussion about militias like the  Michigan-based Christian militia which allegedly had plans to us IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device) — used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan —  to kill police officers at a funeral in Michigan.  Nine members of the group, the Hutaree, have been charged in Detroit in the plot.

Cross-Border Drug Gang Turns Into Sophisticated Paramilitary Killing Machine

The Barrio Azteca gained added notoriety when it was named as the culprit behind the recent killings of three people tied to the U.S. Consulate in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez. They’ve been going at it quite some time. With drug money behind them, the U.S. and Mexico have a very daunting task before them. Are both countries up to the task?

Barrio Azteca/doj photo

Barrio Azteca/doj photo

By William Booth
Washington Post Foreign Service

CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO — A cross-border drug gang born in the prison cells of Texas has evolved into a sophisticated paramilitary killing machine that U.S. and Mexican officials suspect is responsible for thousands of assassinations here, including the recent ambush and slaying of three people linked to the U.S. consulate.

The heavily tattooed Barrio Azteca gang members have long operated across the border in El Paso, dealing drugs and stealing cars. But in Ciudad Juarez, the organization now specializes in contract killing for the Juarez drug cartel. According to U.S. law enforcement officers, it may have been involved in as many as half of the 2,660 killings in the city in the past year.

El Paso/istock photo

El Paso/istock photo

Officials on both sides of the border have watched as the Aztecas honed their ability to locate targets, stalk them and finally strike in brazen ambushes involving multiple chase cars, coded radio communications, coordinated blocking maneuvers and disciplined firepower by masked gunmen in body armor. Afterward, the assassins vanish, back to safe houses in the Juarez barrios or across the bridge to El Paso.

To read full story click here.