Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler Fellow and director of the Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute.
Articles & Testimony
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.