The US is concerned that Hamas and Hizbullah agents may penetrate the porous US-Mexican border in order to carry out terrorist attacks, according to Robert Grenier, the former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency's counterterrorism center.
His comments were featured in a report published by the Mexican press on Thursday.
Speaking at an event in Mexico, Grenier—who now runs his own international security firm called Kroll—said that reports indicate the United States is fearful that Iran, Hamas, and/or Hizbullah may seek to set up operations in Mexico in order to carry out terrorist attacks in the US.
According to the US counterterrorism expert, American officials are concerned that terrorists will tap into illegal immigrant and/or drug trafficking networks in order to use them to bring people and equipment into the US.
The former CIA official added that the American government is also fearful that Hamas and Hizbullah sleeper cells are already operational in Mexico; and, that Hizbullah is funneling money from Mexico into to Lebanon to fund the organization's operations there.
Until now, the US has not given Hizbullah operations in Mexico much thought. However, in wake of the recent escalation of rhetoric between the US and Iran regarding the latter's nuclear program, American officials have become concerned that Iran will use Hizbullah to carry out terror attacks on US targets around the world, Grenier explained
According to this scenario, Iran could also use Hizbullah networks to hit the US on its own soil.
The terrorism expert noted that it was hard to say for certain that sleeper cells already exist in Mexico. However, according to Grenier, The Lebanese Shia community in Mexico supports Iran and Hizbullah and there is speculation that members of the community could be recruited to carry out acts of terrorism.