The supposed Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the United States hoped to involve a Mexican drug cartel but thankfully the solicited man was a DEA informant which resulted in the terror bust. However, the case raises the question whether a narco organization would entertain dirty work for Muslim terrorists. Unfortunately, the answer is a likely yes.
Indeed, the Mexican drug cartels on their own behalf already have engaged in terrorist acts against American officials on both sides of the border: in March 2010 the Juarez cartel whacked U.S. consulate employee Lesley Ann Enriquez and her husband El Paso sheriff's deputy Arthur Redelfs as they were returning home from a child's birthday party in Ciudad Juarez; in December 2010 the Sinaloa cartel murdered U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry in southern Arizona; and in Feburary 2011 Los Zetas killed ICE agent Jaime Zapata and wounded his partner who were driving along a highway in the state of San Luis Potosi in a vehicle with U.S. diplomatic tags.
The drug cartels long ago diversified their rackets to pursue any illicit activity from which they can profit ranging from cargo theft to sex trafficking. Engaging in murder-for-hire or other atrocities acts on behalf of a terrorist group simply would be another revenue stream for the crime groups which already have demonstrated their cavalier willingness to target U.S. officials. Indeed, it's not simply the drug cartels themselves which are a threat but further include any splinter group or rogue member within the larger organization willing to engage in some freelance work with a side deal.
The Mexican drug cartels move $50 billion in bulk product and bundled cash across the border each year, and they have well-entrenched supply lines, distribution networks and operational cells in hundreds of cities across the United States. Law enforcement and security officials long have known that the porous border and the cartel network have been the weak links in U.S. security, and now it's time to stop denying the threat that the narco traffickers pose and start taking them down.