Marlowe's Shade

Friday, January 07, 2005

More on Salvadorean Gang

From the Boston Herald

I posted the other day on the al Qaida-linked Salvadorean gang La Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 that has a strong presence in East Boston and other local communities. Here's another warning from a Texas congressman.

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.

The partisan-sounding jab at Bush aside, I hope the FBI isn't asleep at the switch on this. The other possibility is that they are doing something, and all this attention may be making their job harder.
papijoe 6:42 AM