Al-Qaida in Texas border town?


Sylvilagus Aquaticus
September 13, 2004, 12:55 AM
I just ran across this next door at TFL. Don't think it's been cross-posted yet.


Government alerted to teen's weapons arrest
Ethnicity is cited in McAllen police notification to federal officials
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle Rio Grande Valley Bureau

McAllen police notified the Department of Homeland Security after arresting a teenager of Middle Eastern origin on charges of stealing seven handguns and boxes of ammunition during an early-morning burglary at a local pawnshop.

"This is still under investigation. Homeland Security has been notified of this man's arrest," Sgt. Joel Morales said. "From what I'm told, he's of Middle Eastern descent, but I don't know his national origin. He's telling us he's a U.S. citizen from Canton, Massachusetts."

Morales said charges have been filed against Atbin Hoshang Forghan, 18, of Canton, Mass., after his arrest early Wednesday in downtown McAllen.

Morales said police officers responding to an alarm at 2:15 a.m. saw a man wearing dark clothing and carrying a heavy travel bag outside Danny's Pawn Shop, 300 South Broadway.

Police arrested Forghan, who was carrying the travel bag in one hand and a bulletproof vest in the other. He has been charged with burglary and possession of a switchblade knife, which is a prohibited weapon, Morales said.

The burglar entered the store by breaking the glass front door, and removed the handguns after breaking a locked gun-display case, Morales said.

The man was transferred to the Hidalgo County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail on the burglary charge and $50,000 bail on the weapons charge ordered by Municipal Court Judge Kathleen Henley, Morales said.

The man came to this border city after boarding a bus in Boston, Morales said.

He added that investigators learned Forghan had visited the pawn shop before the burglary and tried on a police belt.

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September 13, 2004, 01:25 AM
This sounds like a burglar kid who got stupid, not a terrorist. If it IS terrorist linked, then HOO-BLEEPIN-RAY, they're incredibly incompetant and it's something to give us extra hope.

Except they're not that incompetant.

But WAIT. Because he's of arabic DESCENT, possibly not even an immigrant, he's a terrorist. :rolleyes:

The posts on the TFL forum are beyond disgusting. I have a permenantly shorter pinkie knuckle on my right hand from losing my temper at someone talking like that to a friend of mine.

Get yer shoot'n irons out boys, time to do some hunt'n....


lock and load boys, don't forget the hot loads :d

And what wouldn't be complete without some general racial distrust and an unverifiable third party story!

They caught a Somali in Ohio[big Somali territory] planning to bomb a shopping mall.The biggest center of muslims is in the Detroit area.Terrorists have been found in Buffalo NY.Albany NY. Large populations of muslims in NJ etc etc.A big shocker came to a friend in NJ. He had muslim neighbors who dissappeared the day before 9/11 !!

Please tell me the people I quoted aren't breeding, or won't be belching out their budweiser and coors scented 'opinions' anywhere near me? :scrutiny:

September 13, 2004, 10:38 AM
Some of the initial reports stated that he was carrying a large sum of cash that was not taken during the burglary.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
September 13, 2004, 11:42 AM
Other reports indicated he was also in posession of a laptop computer, also not reported as stolen in the burglary, and he is believed to be an Iranian national. I'm not going moonbat over this, but it does raise some questions. I only share information I read and verify.

Odd, that an 18 year old travels by bus from Massachusetts to the Texas border carrying what passes for a substantial amount of money and a laptop, yet dresses like a bum and hangs out in alleys, later to burglarize a store he was browsing earlier that day. Possible mental illness or deeper ulterior motives?


September 13, 2004, 12:21 PM
Well, I don't think this quite compares to the Reichstag fire but does anyone think its normal for someone to jump on a bus, travel 3,000 miles to a border town in Texas to break into a pawn shop???

Not sure whats goin on, but it would not surprise me at all to find out we had some over the border hanky-panky...............

September 13, 2004, 12:44 PM
Frankly, it sounds more drug-related than terrorism related.

September 13, 2004, 12:47 PM
Come on guys, everyone knows that an 18 yr. old could not be a combatant. Especially an honorable Muslim.

September 18, 2004, 02:33 AM
BTW, there were 9 handguns stolen, not 7 according to a poster on another forum who went and talked with the shop employees.

September 18, 2004, 03:48 AM
It seems that everything is terrorism related now. Every crime seems to be reported in the media as possible terrorism. I am not old enough to know what the media reported during WW2, but for some reason it seems like we have the terrorism boogyman around every corner.

There are terrorists out there. There is terrorism out there. But there are also regular criminals out there committing typical crimes.

To be honest, the terrorism card has been played so hard for so long now, I have a hard time being concerned about real, credible threats.

That is also dangerous to our society at large, as we are so burned out about terrorism that if something really were a threat, we wouldn't think it was real.

September 18, 2004, 08:32 AM
Just because we are paranoid does not mean that there are not hordes of tangos out there plotting out our demise.

Double Naught Spy
September 18, 2004, 08:52 AM
Let's see, first there is no connection to Al-Quaida that is even remotely known. That just seems to be a way of sensationalizing the headlines because the gun is arabic.

Second, the title seems to make a big deal out of this since it happened on a border town, almost as if the guy came across the border illegally, but the guy was here legally and came from Boston. If anything, it sounded like he could be mounting an invasion of Mexico, not the other way around.

Sensationalized news accounts and thread titles do nothing for our benefit.

And yep, the terrorism card has been played to hell and back. Heck, some people think that any crime that is frightening is somehow a terrorism crime. A lot of crime frightens people, but it isn't terrorism. Specifically, terrorism encompasses acts of violence or threats of violence against non-military targets for reasons of social, religious, or political reasons. Violent acts against military targets are not terroristic acts, but acts of war. Similar acts against civilians not for the reasons given are crimes of a different nature. For example,

Attack on the USS Cole - act of war
World Trace Center - terrorism
DC snipers and Ted Bundy - serial killers, not terrorists as they had no social agenda
Columbine - suicidal mass murders, not terrorists
OKC bombimg - terrorism
Abortion clinic bombings - terrorism
Attack on Marine barracks in Beruit - act of war

September 18, 2004, 01:42 PM
If anything, it sounded like he could be mounting an invasion of Mexico

Last I checked, all the traffic was moving north.

As your post so correctly points out, it need not be Al Quida to be terrorism. We grow some of those dirtbags right here at home. Some even work for the government;)

Not saying it could never happen-only in America could be our motto, but hopping a bus and taking a 3K mile trip to hold up a pawn shop is a bit out of the ordinary.

September 18, 2004, 07:34 PM
He's Iranian or of Iranian parentage and arrives here by bus from Boston with $3000 in his pocket and a laptop computer. It's fairly anonymous to travel by bus and no security checks. This is a dead end, last stop, nowhere to go from here. People don't come here without a purpose and those with some sense soon leave.

He stakes out Danny's Pawn and Guns for about 3 days and the staff see him but figure he's another homeless vagrant. Actually, Danny gives him $20 for chow. He has money to stay in a motel, and there are several within a few blocks, but he sleeps in the back alley. You're not anonymous when you register in a motel.

He breaks in during the late hours and trips a silent alarm but he is unaware, so he loads up a good number (8 or 9?) of handguns and appropriate ammunition into his duffel bag and leaves. Police spot him within a short distance of the burglary and arrest him. Body armor is mentioned but it is not clear to me whether he is wearing it or he has stolen it.

He has disappeared from radar. Since his arrest, and mention that the FBI was interrogating him, he has gone unmentioned. Nada, nothing, zip. He has not been released and no further details have been released..

Not what I would consider normal. Very much like the "South African" woman with the altered passport that was arrested here recently. No further news, they just quietly disappear into the justice system.

I'm sure they're just small time, ordinary crooks.

September 19, 2004, 04:14 PM
The local paper has had nothing on this issue for a number of days but Brownsville's paper (70 miles from here) has the following in todays (9/19/04) paper.

McALLEN, September 19, 2004 — The Massachusetts teenager arrested for breaking into a local pawnshop and taking a small arsenal has told police he was planning to kill a former classmate, according to The Associated Press.

Atbin Hoshang Forghan, 18, remains in police custody on a combined $550,000 bail for burglary and weapons charges. McAllen police arrested the Swampscott, Mass., native Sept. 8 when an officer came across the man near Danny’s Pawn Shop after a smashed window set off the store alarm.

Forghan had seven semi-automatic handguns, several boxes of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, a switchblade knife and approximately $3000 in cash.

He told investigators he is of Iranian descent and had been in the Rio Grande Valley for a couple days. The reason for his visit was unknown at the time, but now — according to his statements to police — it appears that Forghan had traveled cross-country to obtain weapons for a premeditated murder.

Police contacted the Joint Terrorism Task Force at the time of the arrest, but no immediate connections were made between Forghan and known terrorist organizations.

Brownsville Herald (

I don't want to be accused of perpetuating the old Chicken Little Theory but I'm having a hard time believing that this guy travelled 2500 miles to get a handgun to kill a "former classmate" unless the classmate just happens to live here. Supposing this is true, why did he need to rip off 7 handguns?

September 19, 2004, 04:27 PM
Where's the posts by people talking about 'lockin 'n loadin'?

I expected something like on TFL.

buy guns
September 19, 2004, 04:30 PM
I don't want to be accused of perpetuating the old Chicken Little Theory but I'm having a hard time believing that this guy travelled 2500 miles to get a handgun to kill a "former classmate" unless the classmate just happens to live here. Supposing this is true, why did he need to rip off 7 handguns?

i agree, this story is BS. he obviously has money so just buying an illegal gun isnt a problem and you dont need to go to texas to do that.

September 19, 2004, 05:14 PM
Seems to me there are plenty of loose ends, whys on earth, and coincidences that the McAllen police made the right call contacting the Department of Homeland Security!

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