Elsner was part of this team and helped build a private intelligence agency with more than 50 agents on five continents, including former US and French agents. They met with arms dealers, obtained computer hard drives from Afghan warlords and hunted tips in Kabul, India and Sudan.
While the 9/11 case was on trial, Elsner’s law firm was prosecuting another US case on behalf of 6,000 foreign victims of terrorist attacks in the Middle East and 130 Americans, suing Arab Bank for keeping accounts and providing other forms of material assistance to leaders Hamas leaders, families of suicide bombers, and others. For US plaintiffs, Motley Rice reached a settlement with the bank for an undisclosed amount in 2015.
Given that much of the violence committed by La Línea looks more like indiscriminate acts of terrorism than the typical killings of drug wars, Elsner believes he can argue in a U.S. federal court that La Línea and the Juarez Cartel operate as terrorist organizations. If he succeeds, he can assert civil claims against those responsible for the killing of Adrian’s daughter and relatives.
According to a lawsuit filed in North Dakota federal court last July, the Juarez Cartel was found to be a foreign drug trafficker, and under the Kingpin Act, any U.S. property owned by the designated kingpin or someone else has been removed Anyone helping, heard or controlled by the kingpin can be frozen.
The complaint alleges that the Juarez cartel, through La Línea, uses methods designed not only to intimidate civilians but also to influence the policies of the Mexican government. They do this through grotesque acts of violence – beheadings posted online, bombs on police and military targets, and murder of journalists, politicians and anti-crime activists.
“This is not just about smuggling routes or arms and drug smuggling, but about fear and intimidation,” says Elsner. In large parts of Mexico, the cartels have become a shadow government that imposes taxes, extorts companies and basically acts with impunity. “According to the Anti-Terrorism Act, they take part in activities that would qualify them as a terrorist organization.”
It will not be easy to get money from the Juarez cartel. Some experts suggest that the nearly decade-long war with the Sinaloa cartel fragmented and severely fractured the cartel, which could make it difficult for Motley Rice’s army of agents to unite the loose factions that make up the cartel. In this light, it is possible that The Mute, the man who allegedly ordered the massacre, acted autonomously and has no real connection with other elements of the cartel.