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Foiled Iran assassination plot underlines US-Mexico cooperation

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2. In some ways, this plot is the worst case scenario some people have dreamed up over the past decade ("What if the Islamic terrorists teamed up with the Latin American criminal groups...?"). On the other hand, the clearly amateurish nature of Iran's involvement here shows that we have less to fear. The fact that an Iranian Qods-linked official is poking around the border looking for Zetas sicarios and ends up with the DEA informant suggests that Iran and Hezbollah have far fewer ties to the Mexican organized crime scene than some analysts would want you to believe. If they were as linked and conspiring as some analysts claim, they would have just picked up the phone and called their friends to either set up the operation or at least verify that the guy they are paying $1.5 million to is legit. Instead, they screwed up and got caught relatively easily.

3. In spite of all the controversy over the Fast and the Furious, where guns were lost while the government worked to trace the criminal groups trafficking them to Mexico, the details of this plot show a level of confidence by the US government. They let the defendant in this case travel back and forth to Mexico and to Iran while they collected evidence and unraveled this plot. Could you imagine the Republican anger at hearings if this guy had gotten suspicious and not returned from Iran during one of his trips? Yet, the success in breaking up this plot and waiting until the full links to Iran's Qods force were revealed shows why it is sometimes worth taking the risk to let someone walk while collecting additional evidence. Attorney General Eric Holder and the civilian government leadership running this operation deserve a lot of praise for successfully managing this operation and stopping this threat.

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