Arizona Atty. Gen. Finds Money Trail Between Middle East, Mexican Smugglers

Months after six Middle Eastern men who entered the U.S. illegally through Mexico were arrested in Arizona state authorities have uncovered an extensive money trail between the Middle East and Mexico. This includes more than a dozen wire transfers sent from the Middle East to known Mexican smugglers in at least two different regions of the Latin American nation, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

A report issued by the AG exposes the disturbing money trail between Mexico and terrorist nations in the Middle East as well as evidence of smuggling routes tying the region to America’s southern border. An excerpt of the AG’s findings was obtained by a local media outlet that published it this week. It states that the Mexican city of Tapachula, a known human smuggling hub located near the Guatemalan border in the state of Chiapas, was the top destination of Middle Eastern money transfers. Nogales, which is situated adjacent to the Arizona border, is the second destination, the investigation found. “Agents conducted a comprehensive geographic analysis of possible terrorist related transactions and/or money transfers involving human smuggling networks,” the state report says.

Officials launched the probe shortly after six men—one from Afghanistan, five from Pakistan—were arrested in Patagonia, a quaint ranch town that sits 20 miles north of Nogales, on November 17. Judicial Watch investigated the matter as part of an ongoing probe on the dire national security issues created by the famously porous southern border. Special Agent Kurt Remus in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Phoenix headquarters told JW that the agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces vetted and interviewed the six men and determined that there were “no obvious signs of terrorism” so they were returned to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.

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