“Eastie gang linked to al-Qaeda,” from the Boston Herald, with thanks to Kemaste:
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.