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
Unholy Border Alliance
By Erick Stakelbeck
FrontPageMagazine.com | 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
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
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
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."