Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Justice Dept. Reopens Hezbollah Drug Smuggling Probes

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is setting up a special task force on Hezbollah’s drug trade activities to revive investigations that languished during the Obama administration.

“The Justice Department will leave no stone unturned in order to eliminate threats to our citizens from terrorist organizations and to stem the tide of the devastating drug crisis,” Sessions said Thursday in announcing the establishment of the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team.

The announcement follows the publication by Politico last month of an article on Project Cassandra, a probe of Hezbollah drug trafficking led by the Drug Enforcement Agency that languished toward the end of the Obama administration. Politico quoted some of the former agents who ran the project as saying that the Obama administration’s eagerness to seal the nuclear deal led it to obstruct the program. Hezbollah is an ally of Iran.

Obama officials denied that claim, saying that interagency spats and broader concerns about U.S. interests caused the problems.

“In an effort to protect Americans from both threats, the Justice Department will assemble leading investigators and prosecutors to ensure that all Project Cassandra investigations as well as other related investigations, whether past or present, are given the needed resources and attention to come to their proper resolution,” Sessions said in a statement.

“The team will initiate prosecutions that will restrict the flow of money to foreign terrorist organizations as well as disrupt violent international drug trafficking operations,” Sessions said.

 

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.