for Organizational Base
Washington Free Beacon
Muslim extremists with ties to al Qaeda have been using Massachusetts and the city of Boston as a jihadi headquarters since at least 1993, according to a recent report by a top terrorism analyst.
At least 26 residents were found to have ties to al Qaeda, according to the report by the Henry Jackson Society. The activity dates from before the Tsarnaev brothers, radical Muslim immigrants to the United States, were identified as the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Jihadist activity has taken place in Massachusetts since at least 1993 and includes in-state fundraising for terrorism, "those convicted of planning jihad, and even those who have been killed while fighting abroad," according to the report by terrorism analyst Robin Simcox.
"The city [of Boston] and state of Massachusetts has a long history of ties to AQ [al Qaeda] and AQ-inspired militancy," the report states.
"Even prior to last week's Boston bombing, there had been twenty six individuals with links to Massachusetts connected to AQ [al Qaeda] and AQ-inspired terrorism," the report states. "Fifteen had lived in Massachusetts, with eleven 9/11 hijackers using the Boston area as a temporary base from which to launch their attacks."
The report provides a window into Massachusetts' struggles with terrorists as the city of Boston grapples with the Tsarvaev brothers' deadly acts.
"While the motivations of the Tsarnaev brothers are still partially unclear, the tragic events in Boston last week should still be viewed in the context of the ongoing threat that Massachusetts has faced from AQ and AQ-inspired militancy," the report states.
Boston's proximity to New York City and other sites seen as prime targets for attack make it attractive to terrorists, according to the report's author.
"Part of Boston's connection to terrorism is due to a geographical quirk--the fact that it was a convenient base from which the 9/11 operatives could launch their attack on New York," Simcox said in an interview. "However, there is no one specific reason that so many examples of jihadist activity have occurred in and around the Boston area"...
As the investigation into the bombers continues, there is increasing evidence that both Chechen brothers were motivated by al Qaeda's radical ideology...
Boston itself has become home to several extremist groups and individuals who have either plotted attacks against the United States or funneled money to terrorist enterprises, according to the report.
One such group, Care International, was engaged in "fundraising, recruiting, and providing other forms of logistical support for violent jihad."
Care was founded in 1993 in Boston and "solicited funds and support for mujahideen fighters and jihadist causes, including Bosnia and Chechnya," according to the report.
Care was found to have direct ties to the Al Kifah Refugee Center, the US branch of Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK), an organization founded in part by Osama bin Laden to combat Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
"Prior to 9/11, the fact that Care International was based in Boston is significant," Simcox noted in a subsequent interview.
At least three individuals were later convicted for having ties to Care and its radical activities, the report found...
Another Boston transplant who became enmeshed in a terrorist plot to kill Americans is Abdel Ghani Meskini, who pleaded guilty in March 2001 to charges stemming from a plot to attack Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve 1999...
Aafia Siddiqui was a Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) student who lived in Cambridge, Mass. She was convicted in 2010 of having ties to al Qaeda, as well as "for attempting to murder US officers and employees in Afghanistan, and for assaulting the FBI agent, US Army officer, and interpreter who tried to stop her," according to the report...
Al Qaeda's extremist materials have circulated so widely that the group no longer needs to manage potential terrorists, analyst Simcox said.
"The Boston bombings are further proof that radicalized individuals don't need oversight from senior al Qaeda planners in order to carry out terrorist attacks," Simcox said. "These attacks will be smaller in scale and less deadly than something like 9/11, but also harder to stop."
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 04/30/2013
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