Patriot Act Spares New York Terror Attack
September 28, 2009
While serving up caf and decaf, the java guy was secretly working to commit mass murder.
Cream and sugar with your terrorist attack, madam? Glazed or jelly donut with your bomb blast, sir?
The recent arrest of suspected terrorist Najibullah Zazi reminds us all of the important role surveillance plays in safeguarding our people and our nation.
Zazi is in custody on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. He was accused last week of conspiring to launch a bombing attack in America with the help of some common beauty supplies and insidious training from al-Qaida in Pakistan.
The terrorism suspect maintains that he was not part of a terrorist cell, according to his attorney, Arthur Folsom.
The 24-year-old Afghan immigrant worked as a vendor-cart operator in Lower Manhattan. He sold coffee and donuts.
Raised in Queens, N.Y., he was known for his fondness for basketball. He struggled in high school and dropped out to help his father make money, eventually taking the Lower Manhattan job.
“He always said good morning to everyone. He used to memorize what everyone needed in the morning,” a relative said.
Apparently, even those with terrorist proclivities still recognize the importance of having good manners and knowing how to put on a smile.
Intensive investigative work by FBI specialists working with the local police reveals a bone-chilling intercontinental path.
Zazi was born in Afghanistan in 1985. His family relocated to Pakistan when he was 7. In 1999 the 14-year-old moved to the U.S. and lived in Queens.
In 2008 Zazi piled up thousands of dollars in credit card debt. He filed for bankruptcy in March 2009, owing more than $50,000. He moved again, this time to Colorado.
According to documents filed in New York federal court, Zazi and others had taken a Qatar Airlines flight to Pakistan in August 2008. While there, he allegedly e-mailed himself notes on how to make and handle bombs.
Zazi purportedly told the FBI in Colorado that instead of spending time with family, he went to a training camp to learn about explosives, the kind of homemade explosives used on the 2005 mass transit attack in London.
Two key ingredients were required, acetone and hydrogen peroxide, which could be found in nail polish remover and hair salon products.
Zazi allegedly bookmarked a Web site on his computer for “lab safety for hydrochloric acid.” Hydrochloric acid was one of the ingredients that was used in the London bombing. He also searched a beauty salon Internet site looking for hydrogen peroxide.
During the summer, Zazi and others purchased an unusually high number of peroxide and acetone products in Aurora, Colo., where he had relocated.
In early September, Zazi took his ingredients into a Colorado hotel room that was equipped with a stove and sought assistance in cooking up a bomb. Acetone residue was left on the stove.
Because the FBI were watching and listening to Zazi, they were able to discern greater danger as the 9/11 anniversary drew nearer.
Court papers claim that on Sept. 8, Zazi logged onto a Web site for a home improvement store in Queens and appeared to be seeking a form of hydrochloric acid.
Agents tracked him in a rented car as he drove toward New York City. Still under surveillance, Zazi was stopped on the George Washington Bridge, and he was searched. Officials seized a laptop hard drive and bomb making notes, which led to his arrest.
But for the much-maligned Patriot Act provisions that equip authorities with warrants to wiretap and seize records of terror suspects, the unthinkable would have happened.
As Charlie Daniels would say, God bless America again.
Reproduced with the permission of
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