Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Queens FBI Raid Part of Larger Investigation Focusing on Colorado

Yesterday's news of a major FBI and NYPD raid on locations in Queens turns out to be the tip of a much larger investigation focusing on Colorado and the threat of a 9/11 sized event.
Hundreds of FBI agents are on the ground in Colorado, conducting round-the-clock surveillance on five suspects - including a man who recently visited Queens, sources told The News.

New York authorities searched three Flushing apartments and detained several men - later released - after getting a warrant to look for bomb-making components, explosive powders and fuses.

"The FBI is seriously spooked about these guys planning another 9/11," a former senior counterterrorism official told the News. "This is not some ... FBI informant-driven case. This is the real thing."

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters it's an ongoing investigation with plenty of "substance."

The 24-7 counterterror operation included Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants used to intercept calls and e-mails, as well as overseas-linked wiretaps to eavesdrop on Arabic and Pashto-speaking targets.
The FISA warrants would explain why Congress was consulted with yesterday and explains the seriousness of the issues involved. Thus far, no arrests have been made and no explosives or other related materials were taken into possession by the FBI in the Queens raids.

The Daily News also reports that the FBI and NYPD aren't playing from the same playbook. The FBI wanted to grab the entire cell, while the NYPD wanted to scare off the terrorists.

These two organizations have got to get on the same page because our security depends on it. Part of the problem is philosophy. The FBI wanted to catch them in the act, while the NYPD wanted to stop them before they got too far along in the plot. There are dangers with both approaches.

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