Lebanese Islamist group Hezbollah has an active cell in La Guajira, the north Colombian department bordering Venezuela, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said.
In an interview with newspaper El Tiempo, Dorit Shavit, director of The Foreign Ministry’s Latin America office said Iran is trying to extend its influence in Latin America and is behind the creation of this particular cell.
The group, considered terrorists by Israel, the United States and Europe, has infiltrated mosques in the north of Colombia and is collecting money to be sent to the Middle East, Shavit said.
This money is then used to “buy weapons for terrorist organizations,” the diplomat assures.
In October last year, U.S. and Colombian security officials claimed they dismantled a cocaine smuggling and money laundering ring that was used to finance operations by Hezbollah.
Israel blames Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ friendly relations with Iran for the increase of influence of the Islamist group in the region.