The federal government is targeting Boston and two other American cities to shut down what they are calling the U.S.-jihad pipeline to ISIS in an attempt to stop Americans from joining the terrorist organization, ABC News reported Monday.
But local officials said they have no reason to believe Boston is part of a Jihad pipeline.
Gov. Deval Patrick said he didn’t believe Boston was a terrorist breeding ground, saying, “It’s not fact yet.”
“We get regular confidential and classified briefings on the intelligence that’s available to all the intelligence forces, and there isn’t any reason to for me to believe, or for the experts to believe, that Boston is a terrorist breeding ground,” he said.
Efforts to shut down the pipeline will focus on Boston, Minneapolis and Los Angeles; cities where a number of young recruits for ISIS training originated.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told Team 5’s Karen Anderson that Boston’s involvement in the program has been in the works for months and there is no increased threat.
“Boston was chosen because of our ability to build partnerships in the community. That’s why we were selected. We have a long history of community policing and the federal government recognizes that,” Evans said.
Ahmad Abousamra, a dual American-Syrian citizen, was born in France but grew up in Stoughton and attended Xaverian Brothers Catholic High School in Westwood before transferring to Stoughton High School during his senior year.
Abousamra has been on the run from the FBI for years, and is suspected of joining ISIS and using his computer skills to spread ISIS’ messages on social media, according to ABC News.
ISIS released new videos in which they are calling on Muslims to kill people in countries that belong to the anti-ISIS, United States-led coalition.
“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European, especially the spiteful and filthy French, or an Australian, or Canadian or any other disbeliever, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be,’ an ISIS spokesman said.
U.S. officials said Monday that confronting the threat from ISIS is now of the highest urgency, ABC News’s Brian Ross reported.
“We are working very closely with our international partners to try and mitigate this threat,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “And to try and keep eyes on individuals and to monitor their movements.”