The PTech connection?

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 24, 2008

PTech board member Suliman Buheiri was convicted in 2005 in Virginia federal court, and served 13 months, in relation with business he did with HAMAS leader Mousa Abu Marzook.

PTech employee Muhamed Mubayyid was convicted this year in Boston federal court, and is currently in federal custody, for charges relating to his role with Care International, a Brighton-based organization (not affiliated with the larger, better-known charity CARE International).

Federal prosecutors claim that the nonprofit solicited and distributed money "supporting and promoting Islamic holy war" across the globe from 1999 to 2003. Laher also worked at Care, but was never implicated in any wrongdoing.

Yakub Mirza, a PTech investor and advisory board member, has been accused in a 2003 FBI affidavit of leading a network funneling money to Islamic terrorist groups.

Neither collectively nor individually do these cases suggest a vast conspiracy. What they do suggest is something that was going on in Boston, unbeknownst to most of us, in late 2002 — which was, after all, a year after terrorists flew airplanes out of Logan Airport and into the World Trade Center.

Fleet Bank was tracking accounts of suspected terrorist funders. Federal agents were preparing to raid PTech, and were building a case against Care International. Nets were closing around others suspected of terrorist links, who had passed through or had connections with Boston.

And, at the same time, the Roxbury mosque was heading toward final city approval. In fact, the groundbreaking with Mayor Thomas Menino took place just weeks before the PTech raid.

It is perhaps not surprising, in the relatively small Muslim population of Boston, that some of these circles overlapped, and in some cases continue to overlap. Critics have pointed to this overlap with suspicion, suggesting that extremists are infiltrating the mosque leadership. Mosque supporters have warned against assigning guilt by association.

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