The aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11th spells an ominous tale for the streets of Europe, a surge in the supply of heroin, as suppliers free themselves of their stock before the impending air raids.
95% of the heroin on the streets of Europe comes from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, areas that favor the cultivation of the opium poppy. Since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the pentagon, the price of refined opium at source has decreased by almost seven times, from 2,000 USD for 4 packet of 4 kg. to around 300 USD.
Those who gain are the traffickers, who convert their vulnerable stocks into cash. The uncertainly reigning in the area regarding the end of the Taleban regime is the main reason for this. The Taliban condemn the use of drugs, but not the production or marketing of the crops.
Some even go further. One trafficker from Peshawar is reported to have said “High officials of the Taliban are involved in the business. We know who they are." It is the money from drugs that finances anti-Western terrorism, along with the personal fortune of Osama Bin Laden.
The drugs production centers will not be a military objective, but a consequence of any action that removes the Taliban will affect the business temporarily. One thing is certain: the question of heroin production and heroin users will not disappear.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON PORTUGAL