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Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) battle Drug Lords in the Beqa’

April 14, 2009

The National’s Mitch Prothero features an excellent article (in English) on the recent attack against the LAF by drug lords.  LAF efforts against drug production (primarily hashish) in the Beqa ebb and flow and are usually connected to larger Lebanese political trends.  In other words, the crackdown on drug traffickers in the Hezbollah controlled region may be related to the elections. 

However, the recent attack was in retaliation for the LAF’s killing of a member of the Jafar clan back in March.   This act of vegence is not at all surprising, though it is tragic nonetheless.  Also, Prothero deserves praise for trying to explain the real, but ambiguous link between Hezbullah and the drug traffickers of the Beqa’.  His information on the links between the Zaiter clan and the murder of Mugniyeh’s son is new to me.

Anyone interested in the hashish trade in the Beqa’ ought to check out this transcript from an interview al-Arabiya conducted with the infamous Nawah Zaiter last year.  Zaiter portrays himself as something of a Robin Hood and offers valuable insights into the mindset of hashish growers in the Beqa’.

I’ll have a big roundup of the Egypt-Hezbollah issue sometime tomorrow or Thursday.

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