Sunday, May 01, 2011

Tucson, Al Qaeda and Connections - Real and Imagined

Tucson has connections to too many weirdos.  Tonight while zipping through Bin Laden references, I found this reference that reminded me of the whole unfortunate connection between Al Qaeda and Tucson.  Some folks don't know, but I can't imagine how they have missed it.  The Islamic Center of Tucson was an Al Qaeda HQ if not THE Al Qaeda HQ in the U.S. in the early 1990s. 

Jihad Watch references a reprint of Arizona Was Home to bin Laden ''Sleeper Cell'' by Dennis Wagner and Tom Zoellner.  The Arizona Republic.  September 28, 2001.
* Wadih El-Hage, a former Tucson resident and bin Laden lieutenant, was imprisoned in connection with the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Tanzania. Years earlier, he engineered the purchase of a military surplus jet from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and may have had a role in the assassination of the leader of a controversial Islamic sect in Tucson in 1990.
* Unnamed "henchmen" to bin Laden, who reportedly attempted to buy a Boeing 727 jetliner in Arizona just six months before the Sept. 11 hijackings. A law enforcement official told the New York Post the men had "kicked the tires" of some used airplanes in Denver and Tucson, but ultimately did not make a purchase.
Other sources write about Fort Huachuca as a 2007 target of joint jihadi and cartel operations.
Fort Huachuca, the nation’s largest intelligence training center, changed security measures in May after being warned that Islamist terrorists, with the aid of Mexican drug cartels, were planning an attack on the facility.

They were here.  The air bases and training programs attracted Al Qaeda extremists.  The problem I have with reporting on this is that many other factors, including the U of A, as well as climate similarities, attracted lots of non-extremist, regular old people and families who happen to be Muslim.

The ICT is being focused on by the creeping sharia wing nuts.  This is hate speech pure and simple.  Tucson is better than this.  Just because a small group of people did something in Tucson does not mean that we are filled with terrorist sleeper cells.  Maybe we have some,  but they would surely be smarter than to associate themselves with ICT. 

I hope we can be bigger than the small minds that want to blame the wrong people.  Let's be civil and also aware of how we can promote sanity and safety.  

In the days while the country focuses on the fatal completion of  a 10 year hunt for bin Laden, please remember that while Tucson is forever linked to a national tragedy at the beginning of this century,  Tucson has shown itself to be better than to hate the "other"as so many neighboring areas pride themselves for doing. 

No comments: