From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Mon Dec 22 1997 - 16:10:42 PST

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                   South American nations get help fighting terrorism
          Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1997 The Associated Press
       WASHINGTON (December 22, 1997 3:12 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) --
       Concerned about porous borders, the Clinton administration is helping
       Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay counter Islamic and other terrorist
       U.S.-assisted training was stepped up after terrorists killed 125 people
       in attacks on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1994, and
       at the Israeli Embassy in the city in 1992.
       Argentina blamed Iran, which denies involvement, for the 1994 car
       bombing, and Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas are blamed for the 1992
       attack at the embassy.
       State Department and Central Intelligence Agency officials visited the
       three countries earlier in the month to discuss counter-terrorism
       The Miami Herald reported Monday that they discussed training
       intelligence officials and border guards, and that Argentine
       intelligence chief Hugo Anzorregui had met earlier with top CIA and FBI
       officials in Washington to discuss cooperation.
       The training ranges from teaching dogs to detect explosive devices to
       coaching local officials on how to guard borders. The United States
       provides some equipment to the countries under a program established in
       Overall, training in one form or another has been given to 90 countries.
       Congress has approved $19 million for operations for the current fiscal
       One of the administration's biggest concerns is a flourishing black
       market operation in a "no-man's land" border area of Paraguay and its
       potential link to terrorism.
       President Clinton, on a visit to South America in October, considered
       spending some "down time" between official functions at Iguazu Falls
       near where the three countries' borders meet. Access for a presidential
       entourage would be difficult, and the idea was dropped.
       Clinton and his wife, Hillary, spent the weekend at a mountain resort in
       Argentina where security posed less of a problem.
       The borders are relatively easy to cross illegally, and criminals,
       especially those involved in narcotics, have been infiltrating for
       years. There are hidden air strips and other means to avoid detection.
       Thousands of Arab immigrants have settled in the area, most of them
       engaged in legal commerce. But authorities are suspicious that Hezbollah
       and other militant Islamic fundamentalist movements could be operating
       in the area, with local assistance.
       By BARRY SCHWEID, The Associated Press

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