Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000 - Triborder (Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay)
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism|
|Publication Date||30 April 2001|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000 - Triborder (Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay), 30 April 2001, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/46810769c.html [accessed 25 July 2014]|
In 2000, the triborder region of South America – where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet – remained a focal point for Islamic extremism in Latin America, but no acts of international terrorism occurred in any of the three countries. The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay continued efforts to stem criminal activities of individuals linked to international Islamic terrorist groups, but limited resources, porous borders, and corruption remained obstacles.
Paraguayan authorities in February arrested Ali Khalil Mehri, a Lebanese businessman having financial links to Hizballah, for violating intellectual property rights laws and aiding a criminal enterprise involved in distributing CDs espousing Hizballah's extremist ideals. He fled the country in June after faulty judicial procedures allowed his release. In November, Paraguayan authorities arrested Salah Abdul Karim Yassine, a Palestinian who allegedly threatened to bomb the US and Israeli Embassies in Asuncion, and charged him with possession of false documents and entering the country illegally. Yassine remained in prison at year's end. Paraguayan counternarcotics police in October also arrested an individual believed to be representing the FARC for possible involvement in a guns-for-cocaine ring between Paraguay and the Colombian terrorist group. Despite these successes, an ineffective judicial system and pervasive corruption, which facilitate criminal activity supporting terrorist groups, hampered counterterrorism efforts in Paraguay.
Argentina continued investigations into the bombings of the Israeli Embassy in 1992 and the Argentine-Israeli Community Center (AMIA) in 1994, both in Buenos Aires. In early February, the magistrate in the AMIA case presented his conclusions, which included charges of complicity against numerous former police officials and local civilians and a determination that a car bomb loaded with 300 kilograms of explosives was used to execute the attack. In May, INTERPOL agents also arrested a Paraguayan businessman for suspected links to the AMIA bombing. Trials were set to begin in early 2001.