If there was any sense that Boston was an unlikely terrorism target, the marathon bombings shattered that notion. So, when the New York Post reported that a Cambridge mosque attended by Tamerlan Tsarnaev also had ties to ISIS supporters, that caused new alarm, even while the Post report was criticized for being thin on evidence. Then earlier this week, Brian Ross of ABC News reported that U.S. officials are concerned about so-called “jihadi pipelines” in three U.S. cities, including Boston. 

Whether our area is a breeding ground for Islamic extremism is in dispute. Still, Boston has seen several high-profile terrorism cases, including the 2012 conviction of Tarek Mahanna, a native of Sudbury who was charged with spreading Al Qaeda propaganda online.

​Mahanna’s supporters have long maintained that he was subjected to a witch-hunt, and that fears of Islamic extremism have been overblown.