Saturday, January 08, 2005

East Boston gang linked to al-Qaida
East Boston gang linked to al-Qaida

Boston, MA, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Boston police are "turning up the heat" on a violent East Boston gang recently linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network, the Boston Herald said Wednesday.

The gang, La Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13, has roots in El Salvador and been tied to machete attacks, rapes and home invasions. It allegedly has 100 "hard-core members" in East Boston with hundreds more in towns along the North Shore, the Herald reported.

But intelligence officials in Washington have warned in recent weeks that al-Qaida members have been seen in El Salvador with MS-13 members, raising concerns the gang may be smuggling terrorists into the United States.

"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," said Boston police Sgt. Detective Joseph Fiandaca.

"MS-13 is the most dangerous gang in the area," he said. "They are big. They are mobile. Now they have a terrorist connection."