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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Al Qaeda Terror Plot Busted In New York ?

Al Qaeda Terror Plot Busted In New York ?

September 15, 2009

Al-Qaeda Terror Plot Busted In New York?

September 14, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - A terror plot was apparently busted today in Queens, just days after the eighth anniversary of 911.

The New York Times Cityroom blog, quoting unnamed sources, is reporting that there is a link between the alleged terror cell and al-Qaeda. [see, http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/fbi-raids-homes-in-queens/?hp]

Witnesses to the raids are claiming they saw FBI special agents approaching the apartment heavily armed, some with sub-machine guns.

So far, at least two separate apartments have been searched, one of which was occupied by five Afghani men, one of whom was questioned by authorities but not held.

Justice Dept. lawyers obtained an emergency search warrant to authorize the action last night.

http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=ny9.14.09%2Ehtm

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New York homes raided over suspected al Qaeda link
Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:07pm EDT
By Edith Honan
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE58D54720090915
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City police and the FBI raided homes in the borough of Queens early on Monday as part of an investigation that has tracked a man suspected of sympathizing with al Qaeda, officials said.
NYPD and FBI officials provided few details, calling it part of an ongoing investigation by a joint terrorism task force, but members of U.S. Congress briefed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation said there was no imminent danger.
Authorities raided the apartment when a suspect they had under surveillance met with people in Queens, the ethnically diverse borough across the East River from Manhattan.
Neighbors described an operation in which heavily armed FBI agents arrived in a phalanx of unmarked vehicles and stormed at least two apartment buildings in the early morning hours.
Four Bosnians -- a couple and their two adult children -- were arrested at an apartment they have shared for three years, said John Choe, an aide to City Councilman John Liu and a candidate for the seat in Queens that Liu is vacating.
Authorities also searched an apartment shared by five Afghan men, taking some of them in for questioning, said one man who was questioned.
"There was nothing imminent, and they are very good now at tracking potentially dangerous actions and this was preventive," said Charles Schumer, a U.S. Senator from New York who was among those briefed by FBI officials.
A man who identified himself as Amanullah Akbar, a 30-year-old taxi driver, said the FBI raided the apartment he shares with four other Afghan men at 2:30 a.m. (1630 GMT)
He was brought in for questioning and released and said he had no idea why his home was targeted, adding that he believed one of his roommates was arrested.
A neighbor said she saw FBI agents armed with what she called machine guns storm the apartment building, and that one of them emerged carrying a box.
"It was scary. I wasn't going to stop the FBI and ask them what was going on," said Melissa Khan, 28.
AL QAEDA IDEOLOGY SUSPECTED
Peter King, a Republican congressman from New York who was also briefed on the case, told ABC News: "He (the main suspect) was being watched and concern grew as he met with a group of individuals in Queens over the weekend."
"The FBI went to court late last night for an emergency warrant to conduct the raids this morning," ABC quoted King as saying.
"There is very good reason to believe that there is a connection to al Qaeda or to al Qaeda supports. ... (They) would not have moved as quickly as they did if they did not believe there was real potential," King said.
The New York Times, citing an unnamed senior law enforcement official, said authorities had uncovered a small group of people who espoused a militant ideology aligned with al Qaeda.
Neither a specific plot nor a target of any planned attack had been detected, but their activities had aroused enough suspicion to obtain search warrants, the Times said.
New York City has been on high alert since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the recent anniversary has reminded many that the city was targeted in the suicide hijackings that destroyed the World Trade Center eight years ago.
The Twin Towers were also hit by a truck bomb attack in 1993 that killed six people and wounded more than 1,000.
(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols in New York and Thomas Ferraro in Washington; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Philip Barbara)

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FBI warns police depts after NYC terror raid

By TOM HAYS and DEVLIN BARRETT (AP) 1 hour ago

NEW YORK Counterterrorism officials are warning police departments around the country to be on the lookout for evidence of homemade bombs following raids on several New York City apartments in a hunt for explosives and possible links to al-Qaida operatives.

Investigators issued warrants to search the residences early Monday for explosives material but did not find any, according to a person briefed on the matter who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity.

The searches came after the man, who was under surveillance for possible links to the terrorism network, visited New York City over the weekend and then left the area, said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

The joint FBI and Homeland Security intelligence warning, issued Monday, lists indicators that could tip off police to homemade hydrogen peroxide-based explosives, such as people with burn marks on their hands, face or arms; foul odors coming from a room or building; and large industrial fans or multiple window fans. The warning, obtained by The Associated Press, also said that these homemade explosive materials can be hidden in backpacks, suitcases or plastic containers.

Sen. Charles Schumer said the law enforcement action Monday was unrelated to President Barack Obama's visit to the city the same day.

"There was nothing imminent, and they are very good now at tracking potentially dangerous actions, and this was preventive," said Schumer, D-N.Y.

Both lawmakers were briefed by law enforcement officials.

Two U.S. intelligence officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly, said the target of any purported attack or who would carry it out remained unclear.

Authorities have not found any weapons ready for use that would indicate an attack was imminent, they said. Nevertheless, one of the officials called the threat very real and emphasized the urgency of it.

New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne confirmed that searches were conducted in the borough of Queens by agents of a joint terrorism task force.

Residents in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens on Monday described officers armed with search warrants swarming their immigrant neighborhood at about 2:30 a.m.

Akbari Amanullah, a cab driver who lived in an apartment with four other natives of Afghanistan, said when he arrived home from work afterward, he was told that one of his roommates had been taken away.

No arrests were announced. Neither the FBI nor the NYPD would discuss the whereabouts of the al-Qaida suspect or whether anyone was being held for questioning in New York.

A White House spokesman said Obama, who spoke on Wall Street on Monday, had been briefed on the investigation.

The person familiar with the case said the raids were the result of previous law enforcement surveillance of people.

The investigation was continuing.

One man at a three-story brick apartment building in the neighborhood confirmed Monday that authorities had been at his apartment, but he wouldn't identify himself or comment further. Nearby resident Kabir Islam said he saw FBI agents and police officers surrounding the apartment when he arrived home after 3 a.m.

Amanullah said about a dozen FBI agents went to his nearby fifth-floor apartment at about 2:30 a.m.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gT-Kwm3eHQPp5qw5B5yzpuy07XuwD9ANQSC00

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