Sessions Orders Review of Obama-era Operation Investigating Hezbollah Crimes

A report in Politico last week asserted the Obama administration derailed the Drug Enforcement Administration's 'Project Cassandra' in order to protect then-fragile Iran nuclear deal

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions outside the White House on December 20, 2017.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Bloomberg

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review Friday of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) covert campaign known as "Project Cassandra" following a Politico report that the Obama administration actively prevented the DEA from battling Hezbollah drugs and weapons trafficking operations to protect a then-emerging nuclear agreement with Iran.

First reported on Fox News, the Sessions said in a statement that the review intends "to evaluate allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately handled."

"While I am hopeful that there were no barriers constructed by the last administration to allowing DEA agents to fully bring all appropirate cases under Project Cassandra, this is a significant issue for the protection of Americans," the statement reportedly went on to say.

"Protecting our citizens from terrorist organizations and combatting the devastating drug crisis gripping our nation are two of the Justice Department's top priorities."

The operation against Hezbollah dubbed "Project Cassandra," began in 2008 after the DEA received ample evidence of Hezbollah's evolution from a military and political organization in the Middle East into a full-fledged international crime organization that smuggles ammunitions and drugs, among other illegal activities.

The Politico report says the agency operatives tracked Hezbollah's criminal activity for eight years, witnessing the terror group laundering money and smuggling cocaine through regular shipments. Evidence attested to the fact that Hezbollah insiders as well as the group's supporters in Iran were in on the covert, criminal actions.

Project Cassandra, the report stated, was launched in 2008 to monitor Hezbollah's weapons and drug trafficking practices, including the smuggling of cocaine into the U.S.

Along with other Obama administration officials, former CIA adviser denied the Politico report in a series of tweets on Tuesday, calling it "a grand conspiracy led by Hezbollah."