Grenade attack at US Consulate in Mexico may have been cartel hit

Law enforcement authorities from both the United States and Mexico are investigating a grenade explosion targeting the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Friday evening.

It is believed two grenades were thrown, with one exploding on consular grounds around 7.30 Friday evening.

In a statement released Saturday, consular officials said they “were aware of a security incident that took place at the U.S. Consulate General” on Friday evening.

“The consulate was closed at the time and there were no injuries,” the statement continued. “U.S. and Mexican authorities are investigating. We will provide further information (including about consular operations) as it becomes available.”

While the investigation continues and there have been no culprits yet identified, the attack comes just a week after several videos were posted online showcasing an interrogation of a cartel “sicario”-- otherwise known as a hitman -- allegedly working for the dominant cartel in the area, Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). He claimed he had orders to attack U.S. embassies or consulates from its leader, Rubén Oseguera González, also known as "El Mencho.”

Derek Maltz, former special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Special Operations Division, told Fox News that there was some “unconfirmed information” circulating last week that El Mencho or members of the CJNG had threatened to bomb the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Mexico.

According to one Mexico-based law enforcement source, municipal police claimed Friday that there was a “false alarm” the previous day, and they found firecrackers.

“Sounds like a test run,” added the source, who was not authorized to speak in the record.

Maltz cautioned that Friday’s attack may have been carried out by a rival cartel as a means of further defaming the CJNG.

Nonetheless, El Mencho, as the leader of an up-and-coming cartel, is among the most wanted men in Mexico.

“CJNG is responsible for sending numerous tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl/heroin into the United States,” Maltz said. “Like the Sinaloa Cartel which was headed by Chapo Guzman, the CJNG operates around the world  and has expanded operations beyond the U.S. to Europe, Australia and Asia.”

Mencho has been designated a kingpin under the U.S.Treasury Department designation and is a top fugitive. There is a $10 million dollar reward.

“The latest information is that the CJNG is extremely violent and also concerned they have lost money on the human smuggling business in Mexico recently due to the caravans,” Maltz added. “When the migrants are moving in larger caravans being protected by government officials the cartels are losing money, which is causing some anxiety over lost revenue.”