Boston street gang M-13 cited as "true terror threat" - linked to Al Qaeda & Adnan Shukrijumah
Street gangs helping to smuggle terrorists from Mexico into the U.S.
MIM: The news that a Boston street gang of Salvadorians has been meeting with Al Qaeda members to help smuggle terrorists in the US is a sign of an escalating threat which emphasizes the urgency of cracking down on illegal immigration and the need for increased vigilance on the part of all Americans. According to the reports below Boston street gang MS-13 appears to have gone into business with Al Qaeda who is willing to pay millions of dollars to smuggle people into the US. A half year ago it was reported that Adnan Shukrijumah, the Saudi born fugitive from Miramar Florida, who was identified by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and is regarded as 'Mohammed Atta's sucessor' by law enforcement was attempting to reach the United States via Mexico, and had been spotted in Costa Rica. http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/249
The hunt for Shukrijumah took on added urgency last year when fellow Florida resident and 'dirty bomber' wanabee Jose Padilla revealed that he been training with explosives together with Shukrijumah in Pakistan . They had planned to return to Florida and rent several adjacent apartments in a high rise buildings, seal the windows and turn on the gas which would be ignited to cause a massive explosion. The plot was scrapped after Shukrijumah and Padilla parted ways due to 'personality conflicts'. Shukrijmah's family still lives in Miramar, next door to the Masjid Al Hijrah where his father was the Imam. After Adnan Shukrijumah was named an Al Qaeda fugitive, his father Gulshair was 'fired' from the mosque and made an assistent director of Shamshuddin Islamic Center in North Miami Beach, which was run by Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout of AMANA- the American Muslim Society of North America . http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/143
In addition to Florida, which was home to many of the 9/11 hijackers Boston has been a flourishing terrorist haven,(note the recent controversy over the plans for expanding the Hub mosque- the Islamic Society of Boston, and ties to Al Qaeda going back more then a decade), and it should be noted that another Al Qaeda fugitive, a woman called Aafia Siddiqui had been a student in Boston where she studied at M.I.T. Besides being sought for aiding and abetting Adnan Shukrijumah, Siddiqui was also linked to his recently deceased father, Gulshair, in a series of payments from the Saudi embassy.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4661093/
According to Newsweek investigative reporters Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball in "New Questions about Saudi Money and Bandar " ;
"...The federal commission investigating 9/11 was also recently briefed on developments, sources say. U.S. officials stress that they have identified no evidence of any knowing Saudi aid to terrorist groups. But they express frustration at their inability to penetrate a number of large and seemingly irregular transactions. "There's a lot of money moving in a lot of directions—maybe not all that carefully," said one senior law-enforcement official. "Everyone wants to get to the bottom of it."
Among the payments that have drawn scrutiny, documents show, were $19,200 in checks between December 2000 and January 2003 from the Saudi Embassy to an Islamic cleric, Gulshair Muhammad al-Shukrijumah. The Florida-based imam has been on the FBI's radar screen for some time: he once testified on behalf of convicted terrorist Clement Hampton-El. The imam's son, Adnan G. al-Shukrijumah, also known as "Jafar the Pilot," is a suspected Qaeda operative who is the subject of a worldwide FBI manhunt. A Saudi spokesman said Gulshair al-Shukrijumah was a Saudi-funded "missionary" whose payments were terminated last year.
Another area of FBI inquiry involves $70,000 in wire transfers on July 10, 2001, to two Saudis in Massachusetts. One of the Saudis wrote a $20,000 check that same day to a third Saudi who had listed the same address as Aafia Siddiqui, a microbiologist who is believed to have been a U.S. operative for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. A Saudi spokesman said the wire transfers had no connection to Siddiqui and were used to pay educational and medical expenses for Saudi families in the United States. But bureau officials say the matter remains under active investigation; a government document shows the bulk of the funds were wired to an account in Saudi Arabia.
Woman Suspected Of Al-Qaida Links Sought In Md.
FBI: Aafia Siddiqui In Area Recently
PIKESVILLE, Md. -- The FBI and Maryland State Police want to talk to a woman with a possible connection to a suspected al-Qaida member.
FBI Special Agent Gary Bald said Aafia Siddiqui apparently traveled through Gaithersburg in December or January.
The FBI said Siddiqui may have been providing logistical support to a man being sought by federal officials, Adnan El Shukrijumah (pictured right). Federal agents raided El Shukrijumah's Florida residence on Thursday. They issued a public request for information on Siddiqui Friday, but just announced the Maryland connection on Tuesday.
Siddiqui is a Pakistani national who has lived in Boston. She has a doctorate in neurological science and has studied at M.I.T., Brandeis University, and in Houston.
Authorities said she may be wearing either traditional Pakistani clothing or Western attire. And investigators said she may traveling with or without her three young children.
March 20, 2003: FBI Hunts For Al Qaida Suspect
For more details about Shukrijumah scroll to the bottom of the page.
Hub ˜should be worried"
U.S. rep: MS-13 gang is true terror threat
A Texas congressman said MS-13 gang members and Middle Eastern aliens are using the border in his district to sneak into the country - and Boston should be worried.
U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz (D-Texas), co-chairman of the House Border Caucus, told the Herald he is "very concerned" about al-Qaeda's link to Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, a gang he described as "extremely vicious."
The Herald reported this week that a chapter of MS-13 has taken control of a swath of East Boston, prompting Boston police to create a task force to take down the violent, drug-dealing thugs.
Last month, a Muslim man from Bangledesh, Fakhrul Islam, was arrested alongside a reputed MS-13 gang member and 11 others after the group waded across the Rio Grande into Brownsville, Texas.
The alleged MS-13 member, Francky Sanchez-Solorzano, 21, was arrested and deported back to his native Honduras within days of the Dec. 4 bust, Ortiz said. Islam's status in the country remained unclear.
Attorney General John Ashcroft has publicly said a high-ranking al-Qaeda leader, Adnan El-Shukrijumah, has offered top dollar to infiltrate the United States via the Mexican border.
"Boston should be worried, said Ortiz's spokeswoman, Cathy Travis. "These terrorists and gang members are getting on a bus here in Texas and heading to the East Coast."
FBI officials steadfastly deny any connection between MS-13 - a brutal, international criminal organization that has thousands of members across the country - and the terrorist al-Qaeda network.
"The FBI has not established a link between MS-13 and al-Qaeda," said Joe Parris, supervisory special agent in the FBI national press office. "There is no link established."
But Ortiz said the Bush administration is "in denial" and should tell the American people the truth.
"It's established that Mara Salvatrucha and al-Qaeda have had meetings. Middle Eastern people are willing to pay millions to get into this country," Ortiz said yesterday.
Two MS-13 members have been arrested by local cops this week - including a criminal who had been deported by the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, but snuck back into the country.
Elmer "Tiger" Tejada, 24, was arrested New Year's Day in Lynn - a year after he was deported as a criminal. Another gang member who had been deported remains at large.
Yesterday, a member of the East Boston Loco Salvadorans, a sect of MS-13 that congregates in Maverick Square, was arraigned on fugitive from justice charges stemming from the 2002 killing of a Washington, D.C., man.
Melquis Alvarez-Garcia, 21, wearing the gang's trademark blue and white colors in the form of a Yankees pinstripe baseball jersey, is accused of stabbing his alleged victim through the heart on April 6, 2002, prosecutors said.
Eastie gang linked to al-Qaeda
A burgeoning East Boston-based street gang made up of alleged rapists and machete-wielding robbers has been linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, prompting Boston police to "turn up the heat" on its members, the Herald has learned.
MS-13, which stands for La Mara Salvatrucha, is an extremely violent organization with roots in El Salvador, and boasts more than 100 "hardcore members" in East Boston who are suspected of brutal machete attacks, rapes and home invasions. There are hundreds more MS-13 gangsters in towns along the North Shore, said Boston police Sgt. Detective Joseph Fiandaca, who has investigated the gang since it began tagging buildings in Maverick Square in 1995.
In recent months, intelligence officials in Washington have warned national law enforcement agencies that al-Qaeda terrorists have been spotted with members of MS-13 in El Salvador, prompting concerns the gang may be smuggling Islamic fundamentalist terrorists into the country. Law enforcement officials have long believed that MS-13 controls alien smuggling routes along Mexico.
The warning is being taken seriously in East Boston, where Raed Hijazi, an al-Qaeda operative charged with training the suicide bombers in the attack on the USS Cole, lived and worked, prosecutors have charged.
Also, the commercial jets that hurtled into the World Trade Center towers in New York City were hijacked from Logan International Airport.
"The terrorist aspect, especially when you think in terms of 9/11 and how intent these terrorists are, will turn the heat up on our efforts with MS-13," Fiandaca said.
MS-13 members congregate near the Maverick Square train station sporting white and blue bandannas, their skin inked with spider webs and "laugh now, cry later" clown faces.
"MS-13 is the most dangerous gang in the area," Fiandaca said. "They are big. They are mobile. Now they have a terrorist connection."
The theory that Salvadoran criminals manage to smuggle people over the border was bolstered this month when two Boston men described as MS-13 leaders were spotted on the North Shore days before Christmas - a year after they were deported by Boston Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators for gang-related crimes.
One of the two men, Elmer "Tiger" Tejada, 24, who had been deported after being convicted of a slew of crimes, including attempted murder charges for hurling a machete at Chelsea cops, was busted in Lynn on New Year's Day. Tejada is described as "an original MS-13 member" from East Boston, sources said.
A manhunt has been launched for the second fugitive, who is in the country illegally, Boston police said.
The growing number of MS-13 members, and the degree of violence the gang engages in, prompted investigators from 14 local and national agencies to form the North Shore Gang Intelligence task force in 2000, Fiandaca said.
Among the most notorious local crimes attributed to MS-13 was the gang rape of two deaf girls, one 14, the other 17, in a Somerville park in 2002. Three MS-13 gang members were charged in the brutal rapes, during which one victim was knocked from her wheelchair before the assault.
Cops: We nabbed killer terror gangster
Melquis Alvarez-Garcia, 21, was busted by Somerville detectives Tuesday night, just hours after Boston police circulated a wanted poster with the North Shore Gang Intelligence Unit, a task force made up of investigators from 14 agencies that track MS-13 exclusively.
Yesterday the Herald reported MS-13 has been linked to al-Qaeda, prompting Boston police to accelerate their efforts to quash the gang's criminal activities, especially in East Boston, the organization's stronghold.
East Boston was also the home of al-Qaeda terrorist Raed Hijazi, charged with training the suicide bombers in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole; he lived on Shelby Street and drove a cab around Maverick Square. And the two planes used to take down the World Trade Center towers on 9/11 were hijacked from East Boston's Logan International Airport.
Alvarez-Garcia is a reputed member of the East Boston Loco Salvadorans (EBLS) sect of MS-13, sources said. He was arrested about 7 p.m. after Somerville gang unit Sgt. Steven Carabino spotted a crew of 10 MS-13 members - garbed in their white and blue gang colors - congregating on the corner of McGrath Highway and Broadway.
Washington, D.C., police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said Alvarez-Garcia is wanted for allegedly stabbing 38-year-old Jose Lazo to death April 6, 2002. Alvarez-Garcia was identified as a suspect in the killing a year later, and has been on the run, Gentile said. The motive for the murder was unknown yesterday.
Alvarez-Garcia is expected to be arraigned this morning on a fugitive from justice charge before he is extradicted to the nation's capital to face a murder rap, prosecutors said.
Alverez-Garcia's arrest marks the second bust of an East Boston MS-13 member by local investigators this week. On New Year's Day, Lynn cops arrested Elmer "Tiger" Tejada, 24, after a violent struggle.
Tejada was deported by Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials a year ago after his conviction on a slew of crimes, including hurling a machete at Chelsea cops, but managed to sneak back into the United States. Tejada and another man cops describe as an MS-13 leader who had been deported were spotted on the North Shore days before Christmas.
The second suspect remains at large, officials said yesterday.
MS-13 made mark with blood
MS-13, or La Mara Salvatrucha, originated in El Salvador during the bloody internicene wars that ripped the country apart in the 1980s, according to Boston police intelligence on the gang.
Feds: Tanker attack would destroy Hub
A new government report commissioned to allay fears about LNG shipments confirms the nightmare scenario that a terrorist attack against a tanker in Boston Harbor could ignite an inferno that would scorch humans and damage buildings for nearly a mile around.
The study by the Sandia National Laboratory, a government nuclear weapons lab, was commissioned a year ago by the Department of Energy in reaction to a Herald report about yet another study that said an LNG tanker mishap could devastate neighborhoods in Boston, Charlestown and Everett with pulsating heat waves shot from a damaged tanker.
The Associated Press yesterday said it had obtained a 160-page unclassified version of the Sandia report. The AP said the study concludes that the probability of a terrorist attack on an LNG ship remains low, due to tight security.
But if a successful attack were to occur, it would be a "high consequence event" that could produce massive injuries and property damage, the AP reported.
That's all local officials had to hear.
"It reinforces what I have been saying over the years about what a terrorist attack in Boston Harbor could mean to the safety of our citizens," said U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Malden), who authored legislation to limit future LNG facility construction.
A spokesman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, a longtime critic of LNG shipments through the harbor to a Distrigas facility in Everett, said the new study shows a terrorist attack could have a "catastrophic" impact on Boston.
Seth Gitell said the mayor is adamant that a way should be found to offload liquefied natural gas without huge tankers going through Boston Harbor.
A spokesman for Distrigas could not be reached for comment last night.
But an Energy Department official said there should not be some sort of "no ship zone."
"What we've learned is that we can significantly reduce the likelihood of a terrorist attack occurring with security planning and mitigation," Mark Maddox, a deputy assistant secretary at the Energy Department, told AP.
The Sandia study is yet the latest report that debunks official explanations for reopening Boston Harbor to LNG shipments after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Using what many critics consider now discredited reports, federal officials minimized the potential impact of an LNG incident in Boston Harbor to justify renewed LNG shipments.
Explosive-detection booth to be deployed at Logan
Federal security officials plan to install a high-tech explosives detection machine at Logan International Airport in the coming months to screen passengers' bodies for evidence of bomb-making materials.
FBI Hunts For Al Qaida Suspect
Man May Be Hiding In U.S.