Sessions has ordered an investigation following a report that the Obama administration stymied an operation targeting Hezbollah’s global crime network in order to create a positive atmosphere around the Iran nuclear deal.
By: World Israel News Staff
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a probe into the Obama administration’s reported hindering of drug investigations involving the Hezbollah terror group that was intended to smooth the way for the Iran nuclear deal.
The Justice Department told Fox News that Sessions on Friday directed a review of prior Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations in order “to evaluate allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately handled.”
The investigation is being launched following a report by Politico that the Obama administration derailed a DEA campaign targeting drug trafficking operations by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah. The administration’s actions were allegedly designed to avoid antagonizing the Iranians.
The DEA campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, tracked Hezbollah’s vast global criminal network, which trafficked drugs around the globe, collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons sales, money laundering and other criminal activities.
“While I am hopeful that there were no barriers constructed by the last administration to allowing DEA agents to fully bring all appropriate cases under Project Cassandra, this is a significant issue for the protection of Americans,” Sessions said in a written statement. “We will review these matters and give full support to investigations of violent drug trafficking organizations.”
According to Politico interviews with dozens of participants in the campaign, and a review of government documents and court records, Obama administration officials threw more roadblocks in Project Cassandra’s way the closer the investigation got to Iran.
When Project Cassandra’s leaders sought approval for more significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at Obama’s Justice and Treasury Departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests, Politico reported.
As a consequence, the US government “lost insight” into Hezbollah’s drug trafficking operation as well as other aspects of its vast criminal operations worldwide, the report charged.
DOJ officials told Fox News the review could lead to new prosecutions of Hezbollah operatives and their affiliates. It could also lead to an Inspector General investigation of personnel matters relating to the project.
“I am committed to giving our hard-working and dedicated DEA agents all the tools that they need to allow them to shut down these drug rings,” Sessions said.
Former Obama administration officials have broadly dismissed the allegations as false.