Gang With Ties to Al Qaeda?
Salvatrucha 13 has purported ties Al Qaeda
Tue Jun 6, 2006 03:35

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Gang With Ties to Al Qaeda?

Mara Salvatrucha 13 has purported ties Al Qaeda

The thirteen is part of its fear factor. Investigators saying gang members try to commit much of their signature violence on the 13th of the month. They usually mark their territory with blue spray paint. But local officers and federal agents say the gang goes far beyond graffiti.

They are bold, brash, and very dangerous. Beatings are used as rituals to see if the kid getting pummeled is tough enough to be a member of Mara Salvatrucha. They traffic drugs, guns, illegal aliens and they protect their industry with the power of violence. The crime scenes they leave behind are said to be worst than most.
A Bristol County House of Corrections inmate was a soldier in the gangs. The weapon of choice in several cases is the machete. At one crime scene, a victim was missing three fingers.

In rapes, robberies, they killed three federal agents.
One local concern is recruitment within the prison. He would only shake his head about whether that's going on here where he was put for stabbing someone bad enough to leave them in a wheelchair.

With evidence MS 13 is growing and with four known members in his jail the sheriff says his officers focus on pulling the gangs roots before they grow.
The inmate tells officials he wants out of the gang that he believes they set him up and then deserted him. But he implies getting out alive may be next to impossible.
The sheriff says the gang's violent nature and ability to smuggle guns is attracting an alliance with al Qaeda. A Texas congressman criticized the feds for not doing enough. A FBI spokesman says a clear link between the gang and the terrorists is not established.


Hub ‘should be worried’: U.S. rep: MS-13 gang is true terror threat
By Michele McPhee
Friday, January 7, 2005

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.

Unholy Border Alliance
By Erick Stakelbeck | January 3, 2005

The new intelligence reform bill signed into law by President Bush on December 17 may ultimately end up being remembered more for the provisions it didn't contain rather than those it did.

After much heated debate, House and Senate negotiators ultimately threw out proposed provisions to the bill that would have tightened immigration laws. Although House Speaker Dennis Hastert has promised to bring drivers' license standards, asylum procedures and other border security provisions back to the House floor by early 2005, in the meantime, the very real danger that Islamist terrorists will infiltrate America's porous southern border persists.

Roughly 60,000 illegal immigrants designated as 'other-than-Mexican,' or OTMs, were detained last year along the U.S.-Mexico border, including a sizable number from Arab and Muslim countries. And if recent reports are any indication, they may be getting some troubling new help in their efforts to enter the United States.

In a December 4 incident that received scant media attention, a Bangladeshi Muslim man named Fakhrul Islam was among a group of 13 illegal aliens arrested near Brownsville, Texas, just across the border from Mexico. Border Patrol agents have said that one of the men detained along with Islam was a member of Mara Salvatrucha, a violent Salvadoran criminal gang with more than 300,000 members across Central and North America, including powerful enterprises in several major U.S. cities.

Mara Salvatrucha, also commonly known as 'MS-13' due to its members' proclivity for sporting tattoos of the number 13, is involved in a smorgasbord of illegal activity, including the smuggling of drugs, weapons and people across the Mexican border. The gang controls many of the smuggling routes from Mexico into the U.S., a fact that has not escaped Al-Qaeda operatives eager to carry out attacks on American soil.

In July, Adnan El-Shukrijumah, a high-ranking Al-Qaeda leader and one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, was spotted in Honduras meeting with members of MS-13. Attorney General John Ashcroft has said that El-Shukrijumah, who he has described as a 'clear and present danger to America,' is seeking ways to infiltrate the U.S. via the Mexican border, and is willing to pay top dollar in order to do so.

El-Shukrijumah, reportedly last seen in August in northern Mexico knows that the potential killing of innocent American civilians would certainly not deter MS-13 from working with Al-Qaeda: the gang is thought to be responsible for thousands of murders and maimings throughout the Western Hemisphere; and, like Islamist terrorists, decapitations and home-made bombs are part of its grisly arsenal.

With a ruthless, money-driven cabal like MS-13 controlling much of the illegal traffic between the U.S. and Mexico, there's no telling how many Islamist terrorists have already taken advantage. That someone of Middle Eastern descent could blend in with a large group of Mexicans with similarly dark complexions -- thereby escaping closer scrutiny from border patrols -- is all too feasible.

Then again, an October intelligence report supplied to the Department of Homeland Security by Russian security services said that a group of 25 backpack-carrying Chechen terrorists -- all white -- illegally entered Arizona by way of Mexico last summer. Furthermore, in September, Farida Ahmed, a South African Muslim woman, pleaded guilty in a Texas court to illegal entry, lying to a federal agent and using an altered passport. Ahmed had been detained by Border Patrol officers in July as she tried to board a plane for New York out of Texas.

At the time of her arrest, Ahmed was carrying $7,300 in various currencies as well as a fake South African passport that was missing pages. She admitted to entering the U.S. illegally by wading across the Rio Grande, and her travel itinerary showed that on her way to America, she had stopped in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, just as several of the 9/11 hijackers had done.

It was announced last week that Ahmed is due to be deported. But many non-Mexican illegal aliens like Ahmed are invariably released by immigration officials who simply don't have the detention space to hold them. Worse, up to 85 percent of them skip their scheduled immigration hearings, only to disappear into American society.

While entry into the U.S. is their primary goal in establishing a base in Latin America, Islamist terrorists -- well-aware of the allure Marxism once held for many south of the border -- also see the region as a potential breeding ground for Islamic converts due to its poor economic and social conditions and corrupt governments.

For instance, the Shia terrorist group Hezbollah wields a strong presence in the tri-border region, a lawless, crime-ridden area where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay intersect. Both Osama bin Laden and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are also said to have spent time there, during the 1990's.

It was Mohammed who in 2002 encouraged alleged dirty bomber Jose Padilla to 'enter the United States by way of Mexico' in order to carry out attacks on U.S. targets, according to Deputy Attorney General James Comey.

Ironically, before converting to Islam and volunteering his services to Al-Qaeda, Padilla belonged to the Chicago chapter of the Latin Kings -- like MS-13, a violent Hispanic criminal gang.

Although U.S. agents were able to collar Padilla before he could carry out a terrorist attack, the U.S. border strategy, as presently construed, may one day soon yield a much less savory result. Come January, lawmakers should take notice.

Erick Stakelbeck is senior writer at the Investigative Project, a Washington, D.C.-based counter-terrorism research institute.


America's Southern Border -- Terror War's Maginot Line?
By Peter Benesh, Investor's Business, June 17, 2002
This article examines the possibility that terrorists will use the services of criminal smuggling groups to enter the United States via its southern border with Mexico.
Arnaud De Borchgrave of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is quoted as saying that organized crime and terrorism are merging.
"Mexico is a transit point for major international smuggling organizations," Adele Fasano, director for the Immigration and Naturalization Service in San Diego, is quoted as saying. According to Border Patrol officer Ron Hunter: "Anyone can connect with a smuggler over there (in Mexico)."
For example, San Ysidro, located at the south end of San Diego, is "the world's busiest border point," Benesh writes. In May this year, 120,000 people used San Ysidro each day to enter the United States by vehicle or on foot. In 2001, the INS there stopped people from 73 countries trying to enter the United States illegally.
Although U.S. security measures have been strengthened, smugglers are adapting. Since February, U.S. authorities have found three tunnels in the wilderness areas east of San Diego. "One was 1,200-feet long. It had a railway, electricity and ventilation," writes Benesh. "It was built by the Arellano Felix drug cartel to smuggle drugs and people into the U.S."

U.S. Customs Announces Container Security Initiative
U.S. Customs Fact Sheet, February 22, 2002 See full text.
The U.S. Customs Service released a fact sheet on February 22 describing an initiative that would tighten security on oceangoing sea containers.
The goal of the Container Security Initiative (CSI) is to pre-screen cargo containers at ports of origin and transit rather than waiting for them to arrive at U.S. ports for inspection.
The CSI also calls for using technology to pre-screen high-risk containers and develop "smart and secure containers."

Created: 19 Jul 2004 Updated: 11 Jan 2005

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