Mexican cartel violence is at an all-time high along the increasingly porous southern border yet the Obama Administration has shut down a critical intelligence agency dedicated to identifying, tracking and severing the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism.
It’s a senseless move, which is why it was done very quietly. The only real way to discover that the Justice Department’s 19-year-old National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) has been closed is by trying to visit its website. It simply says that on June 15, 2012, the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) closed. The public is redirected to another website with “historical materials, an archived version of the NDIC.”
The move is baffling considering the agency’s crucial mission. Consider this; just a few years ago an NDIC task force uncovered that Mexican drug cartels are buying arms from radical Islamic terrorists and that they team up to distribute narcotics in Europe and the Middle East. The NDIC report that revealed this identifies terrorist groups such as Barrio Azteca gang as Arab associates of Mexican drug-trafficking cartels. All are officially designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. Department of State.
Other valuable NDIC probes have determined that Mexican drug trafficking organizations represent the greatest crime threat in the U.S. and that cartels have expanded into every region of the country, including idyllic rural areas. This was reiterated by federal authorities less than a year ago in a court case that outlined how Mexican drug cartels have teamed up with violent street gangs to operate in the United States.
The case involves dozens of members of the Barrio Azteca gang charged with operating a massive drug-trafficking and money-laundering enterprise. A handful of members have been convicted and sentenced in Texas while others still face trial for racketeering, murder, drug offenses, money laundering and obstruction of justice. The gang makes money importing heroin, cocaine and marijuana into the United States from Mexico, according to federal prosecutors who clearly relied on the now-defunct NDIC to build their case.
These sorts of illicit enterprises—and the crime that accompanies them—have taken over parts of the southern border and have spilled deep into the U.S., according to various Homeland Security assessments that cite NDIC reports. Why on earth would Obama kill the agency created in 1993 to provide crucial strategic intelligence on trafficking of illegal drugs and related crimes that pose a threat to the national security of the United States? Combined with the president’s backdoor amnesty plan and refusal to secure the border, this is extremely alarming.