Hizbullah has significantly expanded and institutionalized its drug trafficking enterprises to the point where the group may soon raise more money through cross-border illicit narcotics activities than all its other funding streams combined.
- Hizbullah's venture into the global narcotics industry began in the Bekaa Valley in the 1970s. The group used well-established drug smuggling ratlines across the Israel-Lebanon border for operational purposes.
- Historical drug trading routes eventually grew and enabled Hizbullah to access Europe from South America via West Africa across the 10th parallel, known as "Highway 10."
- Hizbullah has significantly expanded and institutionalized its narcotics logistics and money laundering enterprises, to the point where narcotics proceeds are a major funding stream.
This article was originally published as part of a study released by IHS Defense, Risk, and Security Consulting in September 2012. Republished with permission. Copyright IHS Global Limited (2012). All rights reserved.