Thursday, February 09, 2006

U.S. Seeks Eight Tied to Passport Ring

BOGOTA, Colombia -- The United States on Friday asked for the extradition of eight people arrested as part of a sting operation to dismantle a false-passport ring, although U.S. officials disputed Colombian suggestions the suspects were linked to Middle East terrorists.[snip]

The eight foreign nationals _ seven Colombians and one Palestinian native _ were among 19 people arrested in 32 simultaneous raids across the country. Authorities said they seized what they believe were fraudulent passports from Hong Kong, Canada, Jordan and other countries.

Four Jordanian nationals were among the 19 captured, Colombian officials said.

Contradicting the claims of U.S. officials, acting Colombian Attorney General Jorge Armando Otalora insisted that his country's detectives uncovered evidence that the criminal gang may have supplied false documents to members of al-Qaida and Hamas terrorists.

The Justice Department denied any links between the counterfeiters and foreign terrorist organizations other than outlawed armed groups in Colombia.

Well, it could be that everyone is claiming that everything is "terrorist" related these days just to get extra attention and maybe to swing some anti-terrorism funds towards the Colombian government who are still fighting their own version of "terrorists".

On the other hand, do you ever get the feeling that the government is sometimes denying these reports with their fingers crossed behind their backs?

Colombia: These are terrorists!
US: Nah-uh!
Colombia: Uh-huh!
US: I double dog dare you to prove that our security still sucks! And, I call no go on the Mexican military infiltration of our borders.
Colombia: You can't do that!
US: Yes I can! I have my fingers crossed, see?

I have my fingers crossed, too, that these are just a bunch of idiots helping drug runners (never thought I'd see the day when I thought "just drug runners") or that, if there are terrorists involved, we aren't saying anything because we don't want to give away what we know.

Considering the state of our "secret" intelligence agencies, I'll have to go with my first wish and hope like hell there aren't any terrorists involved.

U.S. Seeks Eight Tied to Passport Ring

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