by PAUL L. WILLIAMS, PHD
The Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania has become a staging area for terrorism and the establishment of a universal caliphate. The latest evidence supporting this claim comes from Faisal Shahzad’s trip to Matamoras, at the foothills of the Poconos, where he purchased boxes of M-88s from a fireworks store.
The high powered firecrackers, which sell for $10 a box, ended up as detonators for a crude bomb that Shahzad tried to set off in Times Square last weekend.
Matamoras is less than an hour’s drive from the George Washington Bridge.
Fifteen miles from Matamoras is Saylorsburg, a sleepy rural Pocono community, where powerful Turkish pasha Fethullah Gulen has established a 45 acre mountain fortress. The fortress remains protected by 100 Turkish guards and a sentry post. Local residents have complained of automatic gunfire coming from the complex and of a low flying helicopter that surveys the area for would-be intruders.
Gulen, who has been labeled “the most dangerous Islamist in the world,” has amassed a fortune in excess of $25 billion for use in the restoration of the Ottoman Empire and the established of a New Islamic World Order. In 1998, Gulen fled to the United States from his native Turkey to avoid prosecution on charges that he was attempting to undermine Turkey’s secular government in order to establish an Islamic republic. With his vast fortune, Gulen established the Justice and Democratic Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma or AKP) which gained control of Turkey in 2002.
Under the AKP, Turkey has transformed from a secular state into an Islamic country with 85,000 active mosques – one for every 350- citizens – the highest number per capita in the world, 90,000 imams, more imams than teachers and physicians – and thousands of state-run Islamic schools.
The tentacles of Gulen’s movement now stretch throughout central Asia, including the newly formed Russian republics of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmernistan which are becoming increasingly Islamic and radicalized.
Gulen has also established thousands of madrassahs (Islamic religious schools) throughout the world, including 85 in the United States.
The Poconos have lured other radical Muslims, including the six terrorists who sought to inflict mass casualties at Fort Dix, a military base in New Jersey.
In February 2007, the would-be terrorists rented a place in Big Bass Lake, a gated community of 1,400 homes in the tiny Pocono town of Gouldsboro.
During their month-long stay at Big Bass Lake, the six radical Muslims – all foreign-born and in their 20s – rented a public firing range to practice attacks on the military base.
Because of its close proximity to New York and other major metropolitan areas, the Poconos appears an ideal place to launch terror attacks on U.S. soil. “We still have very remote areas. These people can come and get lost,” says Robert G. Werts, program manager for the Northeast Pennsylvania Terrorism Task Force.
John Horgan, director of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at Penn State University, maintains that it’s not unusual for terrorists and radical Islamists to seek out areas that lie beneath the radar screen. “It’s precisely because they’re overlooked that they’re attractive,” Mr. Horgan says. “In these rural areas, you’re not subject to the intense surveillance.”
Source: Family Security Matters