Hezbollah Busts in the US
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is assembling a legal team to hunt down Hezbollah financing and narco-terrorism trafficking in the United States including Project Cassandra. According to the POLITICO report, agents working for the DEA operated “out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations, and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.” The DEA Project Cassandra traced “…large sums of money were being laundered from the Americas, through Africa, and to Lebanon into Hezbollah’s coffers.”
Sessions and the DEA are concerned about previous Obama administration roadblocks into these investigations that date back to the nuclear negotiations with Iran. This concern partly stems from the Uranium One scandal that has been circulating about how Lockheed Martin was able to secure 17 no-bid contracts to sell Uranium to Russia through an Obama-Clinton collusion.
Russia Purchases Uranium from U.S., Nigeria, and Namibia
However, Russia around the same time was also securing large Uranium purchases in Nigeria and Namibia, and other countries. Following a Russian diplomatic tour of Africa in 2009, agreements for prospecting, mining, oil, construction, purchasing gas, oil, uranium, and bauxite assets were made with Angola, Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa, Namibia, and other countries.
It also agreed to construct power facilities—hydroelectric power plants on the River Congo, in Angola, Zambia, Namibia, and Equatorial Guinea, and nuclear power plants in South Africa and Nigeria. This includes the creation of a floating nuclear power plant, and South African participation in the international project to build a nuclear enrichment center in Russia, and the construction of railways in Nigeria, Guinea, and Angola with Russian trade houses for the promotion and maintenance of Russian engineering products.
Nigeria and Namibia have been increasing significant exports to Iran. Uranium ore accounts for 75% of Niger exports to the world, and Niger has significant exports to Iran including vaseline, paper, biscuit, tomato paste, syrup, chocolate, polyethylene, auto parts, floorings and construction material. According to Mahmoud Haji, secretary of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Nigeria registered a 55% increase from the previous year on exports from Nigeria to Iran.
Iran’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Morteza Rahimi Zarchi, has stated that “Iran plans to expand cooperation with Nigeria. Recently, there were numerous meetings headed by the Iranian vice president to expand cooperation with Africa, particularly Nigeria, the biggest economy in the continent. A number of decisions had been taken and this will soon translate from words to action.”
Hezbollah in Nigeria
Iran began operating Hezbollah cells in Nigeria following the 1979 Islamic Revolution through a young Nigerian named Ibrahim Zakzaky, who began training as a Shia cleric in Iran after being expelled from university for participating in the student protests there.
On his return to Nigeria, he became the founder and leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). Zakzaky began promoting Hezbollah and Islamic Republic propaganda in his Nigerian home exploiting the fifth largest Muslim population in the world at about 90 million Muslims. IMN constitutes the majority of the Shia Muslims estimated to be between 3 to 5 million.
Codenames, Aunt and Uncle for USA and Israel
In 2010,thirteen shipping containers with 240 tons of ammunition, rockets, mortar bombs, and grenades were seized uncovering a front company, Behineh Trading, for the IRGC, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, with Nigerian officials reporting that this shipment was preceded by two prior shipments in which Nigerians sentenced a member of Iranian Quds Force, Azim Aghajani to five years in prison for the illegal imports.
Over the next three years, Abdullah Mustapha Berende who went to Iran on a scholarship to Imam Khomeini University where he received training for AK-47s, pistols, and the production of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) was detained with two Nigerians for belonging to a terrorist cell in Nigeria. On his Berende was provided $24,000 and given the codename “Uncle” for Israel and “Aunt” for the USA by Iran on his deployment to Nigeria, according to Nigerian State Security which further provided that Berende was acting on instructions to gather intel on Americans and Israelis in Nigeria.
Sunni-Shia Turmoil in Nigeria
Also, three Lebanese nationals in Nigeria were arrested in the same year who had received training by Hezbollah after the discovery of an arms cache in Kano. The Nigerian government is now targeting Shia, IMN, in Northern Nigeria cracking down on “IMN property, religious schools and places of worship.” This has lead to the recent Sunni-Shia conflict opening up the potential for civil war in Nigeria. Boko Haram has an established oil militancy in Nigeria, and the Nigerian government has announced concern for clashes between IMN and Boko Haram.