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Global Alert  priority:  HIGH

HUMINT from inside Hezbollah Counterfeit Pharma Business

Terrorism Threat Scenario’s AQAP, Khorasan: "Ingenious explosives" and "tactic not detected by security measures"
    February 2010 August 26 2013


- Scope of the threat is global

Explosive is linked to a consumer product that is widely available. Its distribution, packaging or personal use is not actively prohibited and in some cases "specifically allowed" by international accepted security measures and tax regulations.

- Synergy between Crime and Ideology

The high profits and the low probability of detection associated with crime, implies non ideological but pragmatic reasons that support the plot. The international business infrastructure 'unwittingly' facilitates transnational crime and terrorist operations.

- Tactical Deployment

The "tactic is not detected by security measures" in modern airports and allows for simultaneous deployment. In recent years Al Qaeda, affiliates and offshoots have repeatedly threatened to eventually use undetectable bombs. Indicating a bluff or the time consuming planning and Preparation that Precedes High Profile Attacks.

- Ingenious Explosives

The threats emphasize Ingenious explosives and ineffective security measures. However the globally adopted assessment was, that Al Qaeda developed or acquired the expertise for a liquid explosive and hiding explosives in body cavities. It spurred a quest for solutions and the deployment of body scanners.

Chemical and Technical Assessment

Liquid explosives would have a vapor pressure such that it could not be carried on a plane at high altitude. The very reason that rocket launchers containing flammable hydrazine are ejected soon after lift off. Who would carry hydrazine or any liquid explosive on a plane, is it impossible?

Liquid explosives will be detected, it will leak on the individual, or it will spontaneously combust. Because of high vapor pressures it probably could not even withstand the wait in line to pass security, let alone survive (stability issue) at 35,000 feet.

Solid explosives are another matter. C-4 is illegally shipped and helicoptered all the time. No doubt C4 and cordite can be disguised and smuggled on a commercial flight. It will not spontaneously combust but can't be detonated easily in mid-flight without drawing unwanted attention.

White or even pigmented solid explosives can be hidden as prescription medicine. And extremely unstable organic compounds can be made in a lab, but most have a half-life of about several seconds.

Organic Explosives used in commercial consumer and industrial products can be obtained without attracting attention. For example, Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer is readily available and often used in IEDs (improvised explosive devices) but bags of fertilizer are easy to spot.


Benzoyl peroxide, is synthesized commercially. And has been used for over 50 years as an agent in food, pharmaceutical and beauty products. Especially in the dry form, is a dangerous, highly reactive, oxidizing material and has been known to explode spontaneously.


The white crystalline solid has a very low flash point. In gel or cream form, concentrated benzoyl peroxide is potentially explosive, and can cause fires. Even a spark from a laptop or cell phone battery would do it.


Threat Scenario one: Beauty Products, Prescribed Health Care Pharmaceuticals and Pharma-Terrorism

- Anti-Counterfeiting and AML investigations.

Anti-Counterfeit Investigations targeted the illegal on-line sale of health care and beauty products advertised with Romanian spam and sold to the public by illegal Russian Internet Pharmacies.

Anti-money laundering investigations focused on a number of Illegal Internet pharmacies selling counterfeit prescription medicine that are produced/packaged on sites in Lebanon and Syria operated by Lebanese businessmen connected to Hezbollah.

- Counterfeit Pharma Products a Transnational Crime.

Ultrascan Humint Fake Beauty Pharma Can Kill

Buying medicines from illegal unregulated (web) pharmacies poses significant risks, the buyer is putting their health in danger by using drugs which have no guarantee, quality or effect. The potentially high profits flow back to organised crime. But not in the least there is a risk that the global distribution network facilitates the distribution of other dangerous products under the cover of the well established brands of patented pharmaceuticals and health care products.

- Low Probability of Detection a Prerequisite for Successful Terrorist Attacks.

The low probability of detection associated with pharmaceutical crime in combination with “Ingenious Explosives” and a “Tactic Not Detected by Security Measures” Highlights the hallmarks of earlier (attempted) terror attacks with two components and liquid explosives. While recognizing that attacking the USA on its soil may be a difficult mission, the arrival of a combination of counterfeit beauty products, health care and injectable pharmaceuticals is a certainty.

- HUMINT from Inside Hezbollah Counterfeit Products Business

Iran and Syria are forced to rely more on underground financial streams. The financial strength and the Hezbollah money laundering service, are for Iran a vital part of its strategy to face any possible (perhaps imminent) USA attack due to Iran’s nuclear program.

The main sources of income for Hezbollah are drugs trafficking, money laundering and it maintains a network of front companies in its Diaspora for counterfeit products.

The group exploits the free trade zones in the Gulf and in Europe to run its counterfeit (pharmaceutical) business.  Sanctions enable disruption of this illegal trade.

Counterfeit Medicine Production sites in the Middle East manufacture pharmaceutical, beauty products, health care injectables. Projecting a threat that cannot be easily disrupted.

(Threat Scenario two: Ways to Avoid Detection of Nitrates in Fluids .....)


Ultrascan-HUMINT-services will continue to monitor 24/7; plans, operations and strategy changes from inside these organizatons

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