US government confirms connection between Mexican drug cartels and ISIS

(PANAM POST) — By Elena Toledo

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Congress that a “very different approach” will be implemented for fighting Mexican drug cartels and other transnational criminal groups from now on.

Tillerson, who spoke of connections between Mexican crime groups and the Islamic State, told the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives that the United States and Mexico are now concentrating on the “supply chain of how drug trafficking, human trafficking and other criminal activities are conducted in a cross-border manner.”

“This is a comprehensive effort that we have been promoting, with the cooperation of our Mexican counterparts,” he said. “I think they will see a very different approach to how we attack the cartel problem.”

Tillerson was questioned by Texas State Rep. Michael McCaul about whether he shared concerns with National Security Secretary John Kelly regarding the connection between “criminal networks and terrorist networks.” Kelly had previously said “cartels share ties with terrorist networks, with the possibility of smuggling not just drugs or people, but dirty bombs.”

To this, Tillerson responded that the the connections are certainly there, including with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which, he said, “is part of our global effort to deny funding to terrorists.”

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