Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Ironic

From the heroin addict to the casual cocaine snorter, American drug users are among the world's top cash suppliers for international terrorist organizations, the head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Tuesday. "The American drug consumer is the single largest funder of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere," DEA Administrator Karen Tandy said during the opening ceremony for a three-day international drug conference being held in Peru. "It is imperative that we end drugs as a funding source for terrorists and for those criminal organizations seeking to destabilize existing democratic governments," Tandy said. She said that Americans alone supply the international drugs trade with US$65 billion each year. "In the past, we have seized less than 1 percent of that drug money. Today the DEA has a new focus to follow drug money," she said. Tandy spoke at the 22nd annual International Drug Enforcement Conference, a mostly closed-door event drawing more than 200 law enforcement officials from more than 65 nations to trade ideas and discuss counter-drug tactics. (Sapa/AP)