Fearful of a Madrid-style subway train bombing, authorities are poised to make more raids to seize bomb-making materials at locations in Queens, sources said Wednesday.So, the earlier raids didn't exactly come away empty handed. Also, claims that the FBI and NYPD weren't on the same page appears to have been exaggerated as well. That's good to know. The suspects are alleged to have trained with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and want to use Afghans to strike at the US as a symbol.
The FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Squad arrived in New York in anticipation of the offensive to thwart a Denver-based terror cell with ties to Al Qaeda, police sources told the Daily News.
Another source said an earlier raid uncovered nine backpacks and cell phones, raising memories of the March 2004 bombings in Madrid.
It appears that the FBI is focusing on a terror plot involving the subways and mass transit once again. That's always been a big target, and the NYC mass transit system is one of the largest in the world. It's got hundreds of subway stations and hundreds more rail stations feeding into New York City from surrounding communities. Then, there's the PATH system operated by the Port Authority (whose facilities have been successfully hit twice, and plots thwarted on at least two other occasions).
Something seriously spooked the FBI and NYPD into action:
Multiple sources told The News the FBI believes it had uncovered an Al Qaeda cell for the first time since 9/11, prompting the unprecedented response.
"The FBI is seriously spooked about these guys," a former senior counterterrorism official told The News. "This is not some ... FBI informant-driven case. This is the real thing."
Zazi, seen last week praying and chatting with other worshipers at the Masjid Hazart Abubakr Islamic Center in Queens, was one of the quintet under intense scrutiny, sources said.
Known around the mosque as "Naji," he ran a coffee and doughnut cart in Manhattan before moving to Colorado earlier this year.