Nexus between Drug Trafficking and Terror Insurgency

February 6, 2016 | Brainwave Science


‘The influence of drugs on global security and sustainable development is high,’ said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in an address at the Anti-Drug Conference in 2015. The stakes have soared across recent years, with illicit drug trafficking generating some $320 billion annually – funds that ultimately fuel violence and terrorism. The involvement in drug trade by the Taliban and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is vital to the ability of these groups to fund terrorist activity. Hezbollah’s drug and criminal activities have risen. There are increased indication of links between the drug trade and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in the West African Sahel region, terrorist organizations who are responsible for the Mali and Burkina Faso attacks. The drug trafficking-terror insurgency nexus is critical because it involves the successful criminal transfer of weapons of mass destruction material to terrorists.

Just last week, members of Hezbollah’s European arm, the Lebanese militant group, were arrested by the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on suspicion of using millions of dollars from large quantities of cocaine sales to buy weapons in Syria. The scheme “spans the globe and involves numerous international law enforcement agencies in seven countries,” the DEA says in a press release. According to their reports, members of a Hezbollah branch, the External Security Organization Business Affairs Component (BAC), served as money launderers for at least one Colombian cartel, La Oficina de Envigado. Among those who were arrested was Mohamad Noureddine, who the US has labelled a specially designated global terrorist and a Lebanese money launderer for Hezbollah’s financial network.


To carry out these arrests, the DEA spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on agents and informants to lure the targets into staged narco-terrorism conspiracies. The investigation into Hezbollah’s international activities, dubbed Project Cassandra, began in February 2015 and involved seven countries including France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium. The time spent on the Project Cassandra case ought to have been significantly lower given the great costs and high-priority nature of the case. The protocol counterintelligence methods can be improved and evolved into a more multi-dimensional, advanced, scientific approach by incorporating innovative security technologies.


iCognative is one of the breakthrough technologies of the 21st century, designed to accurately distinguish innocent suspects from perpetrators. For Project Cassandra, the system would be able to identify money launderers and drug traffickers from innocent suspects. iCognative is a cognitive, psychophysiological-based forensic tool that can accurately detect privileged information in the suspect’s brain. It is developed to give security and investigative organizations the agency to reveal what information a suspect has chosen to conceal—a test that has eliminated all possible countermeasures, false positives, or false negatives.

What differentiates iCognative from all other existing biometric and forensic technology currently available on the security market is that results are consistently calibrated at an outstanding accuracy rate of 99%. In the Project Cassandra case where profits were reaped from drug cartels to fund Hezbollah’s terrorist activities, a iCognative test would have been instrumental to corroborate existing leads and evidence. Top leaders of the Hezbollah branch spearheading these criminal activities would be identified at a faster rate at significantly lower costs, with a guarantee of paramount accuracy.

Brainwave Science believes that it is important to recognize that the transnational organized crime poses a significant and growing threat to national and international security, with dire implications for public safety, public health, democratic institutions, and economic stability across the globe. As the world strives to forge a new set of sustainable development goals amid complex and interlinked threats to stability, it is our shared responsibility to meet these goals with practical solutions that will deliver cutting-edge results. One obvious apparatus to strengthen and empower is law enforcement and all its concomitant mechanisms and capabilities. iCognative is one of the revolutionary tools that will go above and beyond to support relevant personnel in dismantling networks who exploit the nexus between drugs and terror.