"It has been well --reported that terrorist and criminal organizations are conducting illicit business operations within the United States, sending the profits overseas to finance domestic and international terrorist and criminal organizations. Recent law enforcement investigations have revealed that these profits, estimated to bin the millions of dollars annually in the United States alone, are generated in part by illicit cigarette trafficking. Historically, the low-risk, high profitability of the illicit cigarette trade served as a gateway for traditional criminal traffickers to move into lucrative and dangerous criminal enterprises such as money laundering, arms dealing, and drug trafficking. Recent law enforcement investigations, however, have directly linked those involved in illicit tobacco trade to infamous terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and al Qaeda. These startling discoveries led U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Peter T. King (R-NY) to launch an investigation of the issue. The following staff report-which will focus on the estimated millions of dollars in illicit tobacco profits being funneled to terrorist groups overseas as well as New York State's refusal to enforce tobacco laws-is the result of numerous interviews with law enforcement officials at the local, state and Federal level, as well as open-source research."
Committee on Homeland Security Republicans: http://chs-republicans.house.gov/