An eye-opening piece from the Arizona Monthly, with thanks to Bob Owens:
There are 59 references to Arizona in the 9/11 Commission Report. But it tells only a fragment of the story when it comes to terrorists in the Grand Canyon State. A joint FBI-CIA analysis titled Arizona: Long Range Nexus for Islamic Extremists remains classified. Its existence was revealed for the first time when the 9/11 Commission released its final report this summer. But the long-standing link between Islamic terrorists and the Arizona desert has been in the public record for years–and it’s centered dead on Tucson, and in particular, the Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT).
For nearly two decades, the most important nexus for international jihad outside of Pakistan and the Middle East has been Arizona.
It’s not clear quite how or why the state has attracted what seems to be more than its fair share of individuals linked to terrorist organizations over the years. Experts have posited that the familiar desert climate; the anonymity provided by life in cities outside New York, California, and D.C.; and the easy access to a wealth of flight-training schools all played a role. But the most ominous explanation came from FBI agent Kenneth Williams, the author of the now infamous “Phoenix Memo.” In his testimony to a congressional committee in 2003, he said, “These people don’t continue to come back to Arizona because they like the sunshine or they like the state. I believe that something was established there, and I think it’s been there for a long time.”
Read it all.