The title of this post is probably truer than most of the other coverage of this bizarre incident that you’ll see elsewhere.
What you’re probably going to hear is that Iranian terrorists were paying a Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador, among other things.
The convoluted story is probably much different. As the New Yorker notes:
At least six countries are part of the story: allegedly, an American who also had an Iranian passport travelled to Mexico to meet with a member of a drug cartel (who turned out to be a confidential D.E.A. informant) to recruit a hitman to kill a Saudi Arabian and maybe also attack the Israeli embassy in Argentina. (A map with pins in it would help here.)
I sometimes wonder just how much crime we could eliminate if the DEA wasn’t so busy facilitating it.
Needless to say, some are always anxious to claim direct connections between drug trafficking and terrorism, and will imply that Mexican DTO’s are ready to participate in such activities.
Silvia Longmire is properly skeptical, noting somewhat tongue-in-cheek:
Maybe Los Zetas are crazy enough to do it, but for $1.5 million dollars? Add a couple of zeros to that figure, and maybe it’s a better possibility.
Update: Glenn Greenwald properly ridicules The “very scary” Iranian Terror plot
The most difficult challenge in writing about the Iranian Terror Plot unveiled yesterday is to take it seriously enough to analyze it. Iranian Muslims in the Quds Force sending marauding bands of Mexican drug cartel assassins onto sacred American soil to commit Terrorism — against Saudi Arabia and possibly Israel — is what Bill Kristol and John Bolton would feverishly dream up while dropping acid and madly cackling at the possibility that they could get someone to believe it. […]
To begin with, this episode continues the FBI’s record-setting undefeated streak of heroically saving us from the plots they enable. From all appearances, this is, at best, yet another spectacular “plot” hatched by some hapless loser with delusions of grandeur but without any means to put it into action except with the able assistance of the FBI, which yet again provided it through its own (paid, criminal) sources posing as Terrorist enablers. The Terrorist Mastermind at the center of the plot is a failed used car salesman in Texas with a history of pedestrian money problems. Dive under your bed. “For the entire operation, the government’s confidential sources were monitored and guided by federal law enforcement agents,” explained U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and “no explosives were actually ever placed anywhere and no one was actually ever in any danger.’”