Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, December 6, 2005

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For IMMEDIATE Release

Hyde Hails Passage of Patriot Act
& New Criminal Offense of Narco-Terrorism
 

            (WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said Wednesday that a nexus between terrorist funding and the trafficking of illicit narcotics is growing, particularly in Afghanistan, and must be answered in law.

            In response, Hyde included a legislative provision designating narco-terrorism as a new federal crime as part of the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 which won final approval in the House today.

            “I welcome the renewal of the Patriot Act, especially the inclusion of this important proposal to deal with the growing links between illicit drugs and support for foreign terrorist organizations. It gives U.S. law enforcement agencies a powerful new tool to punish and deter the use of illicit drug proceeds to promote and finance foreign terrorist organizations, and or, acts of terror,” Hyde said.

            Hyde’s proposal eliminates the need to establish any link or nexus between the illicit drugs and trafficking to the United States, if these same illicit drugs aid, support or create any thing of pecuniary value that supports a foreign terrorist organization (FTO), or helps support the planning, preparation, or the carrying out of a terrorist attack.

            “Our Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conservatively estimates that nearly half (18 of 40) of the designated foreign terrorist organizations have links to illicit narcotics. There is growing evidence that the 2004 Madrid terrorist training bombing may have been financed in part with illicit hashish drug monies, and we clearly see the links with drugs and anti-coalition forces in Afghanistan,” Hyde said.

            “This vital provision gives U.S. federal law enforcement agencies a new and powerful tool to take on this emerging aspect of global terrorism.”

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