Patterico's Pontifications

5/3/2010

Car Bomb Suspect Arrested (Updated)

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 10:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AP reports a suspect in the New York car bombing has been arrested trying to leave the country:

“A suspect in last weekend’s failed car bomb attack on Times Square was taken into custody late Monday while trying to leave the country, a law enforcement official said.

The suspect, a Pakistani, was identified at midnight Monday at John F. Kennedy International Airport and was stopped, said the official, who spoke to The Associated Press early Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

The suspect has not been named. He was being held in New York.”

The suspect has not been named. So where was he going?

– DRJ

MORE: Shahzad Faisal?

UPDATE: NBC News reports the suspect was arrested at JFK Airport trying to board a flight to Dubai. And it sounds like he used his own name to buy the SUV.

Attorney General Eric Holder is heading the investigation, which suggests this is being treated as a criminal matter and not terrorism.

The “Racist” E-Mail That Wasn’t

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:15 pm

For a few days now, I have been wanting to write a post about how wrong the entire approach of this Feministe post is — essentially trying to make it off-limits to have a discussion about possible genetic differences among races, even one that is purely fact-based. But I haven’t had the necessary time.

Eugene Volokh posts what I would have wanted to say, so I don’t have to.

Two States and Federal Immigration Law

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 8:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Which State is subverting American federal immigration law — Arizona or New York? William A. Jacobson has the answer.

– DRJ

NY Car Bomb Videos

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 7:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Huffington Post has two videos of the car bomb.

– DRJ

Car Bomb Person of Interest (Updated)

Filed under: Government,Terrorism — DRJ @ 5:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

CBS reports the NYPD has a person of interest in yesterday’s car bomb:

“A source told CBS News that investigators are looking at a possible suspect, a Pakistani American, in the botched car bombing incident near Times Square. The source said forensic evidence uncovered in the vehicle led them to a Middle Eastern man’s name that was familiar to counter terrorism investigators.

Sources say the last registered owner of the 1993 Nissan Pathfinder sold the SUV on the Internet site Craigslist in the last month for $1,300 dollars in cash – all in one hundred dollar bills. The seller described the buyer only as a young man who was “Hispanic or Middle Eastern looking.” The owner did not provide a name.

But, investigators, using the communications surrounding the car sale, are now focusing on that buyer. They won’t call him a suspect, but investigators culling through phone records and e-mails have discovered some contacts overseas, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Orr.”

I have several questions if this report is true. Here’s a start:

  • The person of interest is from Pakistan or of Pakistani heritage. Was he born here, is he a naturalized citizen or was he here on a special visa?
  • If counterterrorism officials were already familiar with this person, was he on a government watch list and, if so, what kind and for how long?
  • If his email and/or telephone records reveal overseas contacts, were these records just discovered or were they previously known to officials pursuant to FISA surveillance or another counterterrorism program?
  • What nations are these contacts from?
  • Was this person currently being investigated or under surveillance by any counterterrorism agency, either now or at any prior time?
  • – DRJ

    UPDATE: ABC News and the New York Post have more. H/T elissa.

    NY Bomb: Terrorism With International Ties (Updated)

    Filed under: Government,Terrorism — DRJ @ 11:45 am

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    The Washington Post is running the following banner:

    “Failed car bomb in Times Square increasingly appears to have been coordinated by several people in a plot with international ties, Obama administration officials said Tuesday.

    White House officials also characterize the incident as attempted terrorism for the first time, dramatically stepping up their description of the intended attack.”

    [EDIT: The Post's website now includes this longer report.]

    This follows an earlier AP report that the NYPD has interviewed the owner of the SUV:

    Investigators have spoken to the registered owner of a sport utility vehicle that contained a homemade bomb in the failed Times Square terrorist attack, but he is not considered a suspect, officials said Monday.

    The car was registered in Connecticut, where the owner on record was questioned Sunday night about what happened to the SUV since it was in his possession, according to law enforcement officials, who both spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is at a sensitive stage.
    ***
    The vehicle identification number on the 1993 dark-colored Nissan Pathfinder had been removed from the dashboard, but it was stamped on the engine and axle. Its license plates came from a car found in a Connecticut repair shop.”

    The article states that the SUV’s license plates came from a Connecticut repair shop, which probably makes Connecticut the current focus of the investigation.

    Unlike yesterday, when she said this looked like the act of a “one-off” perpetrator, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said today (on Monday’s NBC’s “Today” show) that no suspects or theories had been ruled out: “Right now, every lead has to be pursued.”

    – DRJ

    UPDATE — The SUV was purchased through Craigslist:

    “The vehicle was sold for cash about three weeks ago at a Connecticut shopping mall in a sale arranged through Craigslist, CNN reported, citing an unidentified person in law enforcement with knowledge of the investigation.

    The seller, a Connecticut resident who has been questioned by officers, didn’t exchange paperwork with the buyer, a man who took possession of the vehicle and drove away, CNN reported.

    The FBI has identified a “person of interest” in the incident, ABC News reported, without saying where it got the information.”

    Times Square Car Bomb: Could Los Angeles Be Next?

    Filed under: General,Terrorism — Jack Dunphy @ 9:16 am

    [Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

    An editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) calls for more aggressive tactics in interdicting terrorists plots, the most recent of which came up short of its lethal aims when the Times Square car bomb failed to explode:

    After a succession of recent terrorist incidents inside the U.S., often involving so-called home-grown jihadists, it is evident that we should be willing to err on the side of being aggressive in surveilling and catching such people before their bombs begin to smolder. It is not possible to catch all of them. It should be possible to ensure that the odds of protecting the American public are as strong as we are able to make them. Lady Luck is a nice colleague, but she won’t protect us from all the terrorism coming our way.

    It is reasonable to assume that some sites in Los Angeles are every bit as tempting to terrorists as Times Square, which would seem to call for added vigilance on the part of the Los Angeles Police Department. Incredibly, the very unit within the LAPD responsible for such vigilance was quietly disbanded not long ago, with its personnel reassigned to more mundane duties.

    Given this close brush with disaster in New York, perhaps some in the LAPD are having second thoughts about where those officers would be best utilized.

    –Jack Dunphy


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