“In this region we have active terrorist plots, in this region, right now,” said Deputy Chief Michael Downing, commanding officer of the LAPD’s counter-terrorism unit.
The Department is currently tracking “government of Iran operatives, Hezbollah, sovereign citizen, homegrown violent extremists, animal rights groups” and others, Downing said.
There have already been law enforcement busts of Hezbollah operations in Los Angeles, but these have been the usual criminal schemes ranging from smuggling cigarettes to drugs and counterfeit products that the terrorist group uses to fund its operations.
A seemingly small-time drug ring busted this week in Los Angeles was actually targeted for funding the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Prosecutors left out the terror tie when they announced Tuesday that federal agents and local cops had arrested a dozen people for allegedly peddling cocaine and counterfeit clothing in Bell, Calif. But several sources familiar with the investigation said the predominantly Arab-American gang was believed to have smuggled its crime cash to the Iranian-backed terror group.
As we have already seen in Asia, Iran’s criminal empire can quickly be retrofitted to carry out terrorist attacks. The Iranian terrorist attacks in Asia were not very competent, but there is no doubt that its operatives in L.A. have been scoping out the Israeli consulate and its employees.
And some of them have probably been studying their bomb manuals in between smuggling their cigarettes and peddling their heroin.