President Trump has said efforts to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) are moving ahead – prompting both praise and criticism. But what impact would such a title have, and would it work in dismantling such networks who burn, behead, smuggle and instill fear?
“The Mexican Cartels certainly earned a designation of a Foreign Terrorist Organization which is authorized in the Immigration and Naturalization act. Under the ‘terrorist activity defined, they meet the criteria for being engaged in hijacking and sabotage conveyances, detaining/murder/ injuring an individual or a government organization to keep them from doing any act as a condition for the release of an individual,” Lenny DePaul, Chief Inspector/Commander of the U. S. Marshal Service, told Fox News. “As well as assassinations and use of explosives, firearms, or other weapons with the intent to endanger individuals, government agencies or damage to property, etc.”
In his view, “the impact that a designation would have is significant in a variety of ways. It heightens public awareness and knowledge of individuals or entities linked to terrorism.”
“It also sends a message to other Governments about the concerns the U. S. has about individuals or entities aiding terrorism, and promotes due diligence by such governments and private sector entities operating within their territories to avoid potential contact with terrorist,” DePaul continued.
Terrorist designations are handled by the U.S. State Department. Once a group has been slapped with such a designation, known members are prohibited from entering the country, and it is then illegal for those in the U.S. to intentionally provide support. Financial institutions are also barred from doing any type of business with the organization or its members.
“The FTO designation is an important step in a positive direction for US national security. Too many Americans have died as the ruthless cartels have made billions by terrorizing communities and killing at unprecedented levels. It’s clear President Trump always places the safety of Americans first,” noted Derek Maltz, former Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Special Operations Division in New York. “Designating the cartels as terrorists and implementing a focused operational plan will save a tremendous amount of lives.”
The FTO tag could also mean that an American in an inner-city gang selling street drugs that originated from south of the border could be prosecuted under anti-terrorism laws – possibly being given a life sentence. – READ MORE