Category Archives: NYPD

A Year of Jihad in America: 2011

There is mounting evidence that the global Jihadist insurgency is fully entrenched in the USA.

Note that it makes little difference if the perpetrators are members of a previously known terrorist organization (such as Al Qaeda or Hezbollah) or are lone actors. Actually, it DOES make a difference. It is difficult to combat a shadowy organization like Al Qaeda, but it is far more difficult to combat lone wolf actors. Al Qaeda may be difficult to infiltrate and gather intelligence on, but how do we “infiltrate” a lone Jihadist?

This is symptomatic of a revolutionary Jihadist subculture metastasizing within the American Muslim community, especially within some of its mosques and organizations. This revolutionary subculture has produced an atmosphere in which Jihadis are inspired to act violently on their own, as well as part of organizations.

This is a very dangerous and volatile situation.

Over the last 12 months alone, we have been provided with a stack of evidence of the Jihadist insurgency inside America. Americans have largely ignored this evidence, or at least failed to “connect the dots.” Seemingly completely unrelated cases do in fact have common threads: they are acts of Jihad. And these are not in actuality isolated incidents, but rather are linked by a common ideology that animates and motivates Jihadis everywhere….it’s only some that respond with actual, overt violent action, but many others are inspired to support passively, with words only, or financially. This is a global movement with a unified core ideology and doctrine rooted in Islam.

It is not difficult to go back and research examples of Jihad in America over the course of a calendar year, such as 2011. What follows is a list of incidents, cases, actions, statements and plots which point to a Jihadist insurgency in our midst: (Keep in mind that insurgencies are 80% civilizational/political and 20% violent/militant.):

JANUARY 2011

Embassy Bomber Sentenced to Life in Prison

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/nyregion/26ghailani.html?

Charlotte, North Carolina Hezbollah Financier Has Prison Sentence
Reduced By Federal Judge

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/01/30/charlotte-north-carolina-hezbollah-financier-has-prison-sentence-reduce-by-federal-judge/

Florida Professor And Mosque Leader Pleads Guilty To Tallahassee Attacks

http://www.americansagainsthate.org/press_releases/PR-Bassem_Alhalabi_4.php

FEBRUARY 2011

Muslim-American Sentenced to Life in Prison for JFK Bomb Plot

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/queens/life_for_jfk_terror_plot_8Qo7Akikhv2XkLtxWDb3qL

Virginia Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Providing Material Support and Encouraging Violent Jihadists to Kill U.S. Citizens

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/February/11-nsd-238.html

Saudi Student in Texas Arrested on Charge of Attempted Use of Weapon of Mass Destruction

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/February/11-nsd-235.html

Former southern New Jersey resident to be tried for funding Hezbollah

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/02/28/former-southern-new-jersey-resident-to-be-tried-for-funding-hezbollah/

MARCH 2011

Two New Jersey Men Plead Guilty to Trying to Join Al Qaeda Group

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/03/new-jersey-men-plead-guilty-trying-join-al-qaeda-group/#ixzz1i51iB5Hk

Colorado Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorists

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/March/11-nsd-291.html

Bridges TV Co-Founder, Muzammil Hassan, Receives Maximum Sentence For Beheading Of Wife

http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=hassan392011101%2Ehtm

APRIL 2011

Virginia Man Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison for Plotting Attacks on D.C.-Area Metro Stations with People He Believed to Be Al Qaeda Members

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/April/11-nsd-456.html

MAY 2011

Two Muslims arrested in NY synagogue bomb plot

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g5P4lhEsaRQSTg8X6CDiihZDysEw?docId=CNG.3477ce51a5c996948ebd68c917bb5a08.b1

Six Muslims, Including Two Imams, Charged in Miami for Providing Material Support to the Pakistani Taliban

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/May/11-nsd-621.html

Court Filing Alleges “Clear And Convincing ” Evidence Of Iran’s “Direct Involvement” In 9/11 Attack

http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=sept115202011101%2Ehtm

JUNE 2011

Two Iraqi Nationals Indicted on Federal Terrorism Charges in Kentucky

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/May/11-nsd-701.html

Iranian Defector Reza Kahlili – Iran Runs “Large Network” Through U.S. Mosques And Islamic Organizations

http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=kahili672011101%2Ehtm

Muslim Man Charged With Shooting at Military Buildings in Northern Virginia

http://www.fbi.gov/washingtondc/press-releases/2011/alexandria-man-charged-with-shooting-at-military-buildings-in-northern-virginia

Two Muslim Men Charged in Plot to Attack Seattle Military Processing Center

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/June/11-nsd-832.html

3 Muslims convicted in plot to bomb NY synagogues, shoot down military planes sentenced to 25 years

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/06/29/sentencing-awaits-men-convicted-in-nyc-temple-plot/

Ohio Woman Sentenced to Just 3 Years in Plot to Fund Hezbollah

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/06/23/ohio-woman-sentenced-to-just-3-years-in-plot-to-fund-hezbollah/

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/05/24/ohio-lebanese-american-couple-pleads-guilty-in-hezbollah-terror-funding-case/

JULY 2011

Obama Administration Moves To Release Convicted Al-Qaeda Financier Aldurahman M. Alamoudi From Prison

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/07/16/obama-justice-department-seeks-to-free-convicted-al-qaeda-financier-abdurahman-alamoudi/

Muslim Soldier Arrested In New Plot To Attack Ft. Hood

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/07/28/exclusive-us-military-serviceman-arrested-in-second-alleged-attack-on-ft-hood/

AUGUST 2011

4 Narco-Terrorists Indicted for Attempting to Fund the Taliban and Hezbollah

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/08/08/4-narco-terrorists-indicted-for-attempting-to-fund-the-taliban-and-hezbollah/

Muslims Riot At Playland Amusement Park, NY – 15 Arrested

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/disturbance-at-rye-playland-20110830-LGF

SEPTEMBER 2011

U.S. Citizen Rezwan Ferdaus Arrested In Plot to Attack Capitol, Pentagon

http://www.boston.com/Boston/metrodesk/2011/09/alleged-terror-plotter-indicted-federal-grand-jury/OevOhHc4o1VwcQABMplHIN/index.html

Insurance Giant Lloyd’s Sues Saudi Arabia for $215M Over 9/11 Claims; World’s 4th and 15th Largest Shariah Banks Named in Suit

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/09/19/insurance-giant-lloyd’s-sues-saudi-arabia-for-215m-over-911-claims-worlds-4th-and-15th-largest-shariah-banks-named-in-suit/

3 Boston Islamic charity leaders convicted for support of jihad

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/09/06/3-boston-islamic-charity-leaders-convicted-for-support-of-jihad/

OCTOBER 2011

Plot By Iranian American To Assassinate Saudi Ambassador Foiled By Feds

http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/ag/speeches/2011/ag-speech-111011.html

Kent State Professor Shouts “Death to Israel” at Israeli Bedouin’s Speech

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/149268#.Tv6Lt5gW_jo

Two Minnesota Women Convicted of Providing Material Support to al Shabaab

http://www.fbi.gov/minneapolis/press-releases/2011/two-minnesota-women-convicted-of-providing-material-support-to-al-shabaab

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/10/14/minnesota-terrorism-financiers-talked-of-jihad-on-recorded-phone-calls-jihad-is-your-duty-brother/

NOVEMBER 2011

Muslim Convert Muhammad Yusuf [aka Jose Pimentel] Arrested In Al-Qaeda Terror Plot

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/21/nyregion/jose-pimentel-is-charged-in-new-york-city-bomb-plot.html?pagewanted=all

Missouri man pleads guilty to attempting to finance Al Shabaab

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/11/07/missouri-man-pleads-guilty-to-attempting-to-finance-al-shabaab/

Man Convicted in US of drug-running for Al Qaeda

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/11/28/man-convicted-in-us-of-drug-running-for-al-qaeda/

Texas man caught on boat bound for Middle East stands trial for trying to smuggle money, GPS receivers and Army manuals to Al Qaeda

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/11/07/texas-man-caught-on-boat-bound-for-middle-east-stands-trial-for-trying-to-smuggle-money-gps-receivers-and-army-manuals-to-al-qaeda/

DECEMBER 2011

Study Shows U.S. Mosques Are Repositories Of Muslim Brotherhood Literature And Preachers

http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/p18887.xml

Georgia Muslim Woman Killed in Attack on Police Officer, Had Sent Threats to Congressman

http://www.mdjonline.com/view/full_story/16898599/article-Woman-killed-amid-attack-on-police-officer?instance=home_news_bullets

http://abcnews.go.com/US/georgia-woman-shot-police-sending-fake-wmd-package/story?id=15240887#.Tv6WnJgW_jp

Christmas Day Massacre in Texas Was Islamic Honor Killing Carried Out By Muslim Dressed as Santa Claus

http://www.therightscoop.com/texas-christmas-day-slaughter-was-islamic-honor-killing/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheRightScoop+%28The+Right+Scoop%29

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/12/islamic-honor-killing-in-texas-man-who-murdered-family-on-christmas-morning-was-muslim-who-disliked.html

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/12/27/3619671/dads-text-message-referred-to.html

DEA News: Civil Suit Exposes Lebanese Money Laundering Scheme For Hizballah

http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/pressrel/pr121511.html

Oh The Irony: UAE Media Runs AP Story Critical of NYPD Intelligence Ops

Gulf News is a UAE-based media outlet and, before we delve into the article they ran today, we simply must point out that the UAE is not a free country, a free society or a nation in which the media enjoys freedom. In fact, just the opposite. The UAE is essentially a monarchy. So Gulf News cannot be regarded as independent to begin with.

Gulf News ran a story today that was published by the Associated Press which was critical of efforts by the NYPD to gather intelligence on Jihadist terror plots and groups by “spying” on Muslims.

The article is perfectly ridiculous for a variety of reasons, but the fact that Gulf News picked it up is doubly so, because if a non-Muslim gets caught kissing his girlfriend in public even in Dubai, he’s looking at jail time.

Then there’s some pesky facts as to why the NYPD might need to keep an eye on Muslims and mosques in particular. We have a breaking news bulletin for the folks at Gulf News: the overwhelming majority of terrorist plots and attacks in the US seem to involve Muslims. This is particularly true in New York, where, to name a few, we’ve seen the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the September 11th attacks and the attempted bombing in Times Square, all perpetrated by Muslims.

This doesn’t make all Muslims bad people or terrorists. But in the intelligence world, you need to gather your intelligence from locations and sources that make sense. And watching Methodist churches in the Catskills or Catholic school girls in Schenectady isn’t likely to produce any actionable intelligence to head off a terrorist attack.

Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that mosques and the Imams who oversee them have been involved in material support for terrorism, so it makes sense for the NYPD to attempt to save lives of all kinds of people by gathering intelligence on Muslims in mosques.

It’s as simple as that.

After all, it’s not like it is highly unusual for Muslims in America to be involved in Jihadi plots:

http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/18-american-jihadist-terrorists/

http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/a-year-of-jihad-in-america-december-2008-to-december-2009/

 

But now we come to the real irony when it comes to a UAE-based media outlet whining about intelligence gathering involving surveillance of Muslims.

Back when the 9/11 Commission was interviewing witnesses and officials, they received testimony from former CIA director George Tenet, who had been CIA director under both Clinton and Bush. In sworn testimony before the commission, Tenet revealed that the US missed an opportunity to kill Osama Bin Laden in an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan because the raid had to be called off due to the presence of members of the UAE royal family in the camp. It seems that the UAE royals were great friends with Bin Laden and shared his love of falconry. So, periodically, they’d load up a bunch of SUVs in a C-130 (bought from US manufacturer Lockheed) and fly out to go falconing with Bin Laden. They’d leave the SUVs behind for their good buddy when they scampered back in to the Hercules for the trip back home.

So, excuse us if we remain unimpressed by Gulf News’s whining about intelligence gathering targeting Muslims. In fact, we hope someone in the CIA has the good sense to keep a close eye on the UAE, given their past.

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/usa/call-to-end-police-spying-on-muslims-1.884899?


 

Terror Alert issued for 9/11 anniversary

We don’t have the color-coded alert system any more, but that hasn’t stopped the Department of Homeland Security from issuing vague alerts about the possibility of terrorist attacks.

Astonishingly enough, the alert this weekend, the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, has nothing to do with the Iraq war veterans and angry white men that Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security have been insisting are the major terrorist threat to America. The alert is about Jihadists targeting New York City and Washington, D.C.

Who would have thunk it!? Jihadists targeting New York and Washington! How novel!

Pardon us for this bit of sarcasm, but we are more than a little disgusted by Ms. Napolitano’s incompetence and political correctness. In fact, Napolitano was apparently caught flatfooted yet again by this latest threat. Just days ago she publicly proclaimed that there were no threats associated with the anniversary of 9/11 and it took reporters asking her at a news conference if that was still true for the truth to slip out. True to form, Napolitano gave a halting, cryptic reply. Later that night (Thursday), the Feds issued an advisory.

Unconfirmed reports are that the advisory came from a tip from an intelligence asset in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/08/authorities-find-possible-credible-threat-to-us-homeland-around-11-anniversary/

The NYPD, which is more respected in law enforcement circles than the federal Department of Homeland Security, issued its own advisory, which was much clearer than Napolitano’s utterance. Jim Kouri over at the Law Enforcement Examiner has an article on that…

http://www.examiner.com/law-enforcement-in-national/breaking-nypd-terror-alert-claims-threat-is-credible-and-specific

Speaking of New York, here is an interesting article on the extensive measures that the Big Apple has taken to safeguard its people and vital infrastructure. An attack on New York is an attack on the entire USA and there is no target more important, both in the minds of the Jihadists and from America’s perspective.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/09/08/exclusive-elaborate-new-york-city-post-911-security/

Finally, here is an article from the New York Daily News with further unconfirmed details about the threat. The main worry, according to this report anyway, seems to be 3 Al Qaeda terrorists who were dispatched by Ayman al-Zawahiri to set off car bombs near transit points on Sunday, September 11th…Frankly, this seems odd to us because, even with the commemoration on Sunday, the transit assets would still be much more crowded on a normal business day…

Zawahiri

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/09/08/2011-09-08_911_anniversary_terror_plot_federal_officials_receive_credible_threat_aimed_at_n.html

LATE ADDITION: A new report just came out from The Daily with additional details on the threat. According to this report, Zawahiri planned the alleged 9/11 anniversary operation himself. Two of the three terrorists are said to be U.S. citizens. They are said to have traveled to Pakistan through Iran. (It is worth remembering that several of the 9/11 hijackers also transited through Iran, which will often not stamp passports, thus concealing the travel of terrorists.) The Daily article is not entirely clear, but the terrorists are then said to have traveled back to the USA through Saudi Arabia or Dubai.

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/09/09/090911-news-zawahiri-intraday/

Let’s all hope and pray that this is nothing but chatter and no incident occurs…

Andrew McCarthy on the New York Police Department’s Superb Counterterrorism Efforts

Three years go I was fortunate enough to spend some time with a couple of police officers from the New York Police Department who were part of that department’s counterterrorism apparatus. The things I learned about the NYPD left me extremely impressed. A few of the things I learned:

• The NYPD has officers attached to police departments in major cities around the world to both observe their foreign counterparts’ counterterror efforts and to ensure sharing of intelligence directly between police departments, without the information being delayed and filtered by national intelligence agencies.

• The NYPD has more personnel than the entire FBI.

• The NYPD has a linguistic capability exceeding that of any other US police department and probably exceeding the linguistic capabilities of the FBI. Here is an example of how important this capability is:

Several years ago, members of the security detail of Iran’s UN mission were observed by NYPD uniformed patrolmen videotaping and photographing New York City landmarks, as well as rail and subway facilities. The New York cops detained the Iranians, who, of course, claimed not to speak English (no doubt a lie). This was not a problem for the NYPD. Within an hour, a NYPD officer fluent in Farsi was on the scene to question the detainees (who, unfortunately, were diplomatically immune).

Also a few years ago, the NYPD counterterrorism unit published a report on Islamic “radicalization” in the West called Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat. (http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/public_information/NYPD_Report-Radicalization_in_the_West.pdf)

That report was good enough for Muslim Brotherhood front groups to demand that it be redacted in its entirety, a sure sign that it hit too close to home.

One man who has seen the effectiveness of NYPD’s counterterrorism unit is former Assistant US Attorney Andrew McCarthy, who now writes for National Review. McCarthy convicted Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as the “Blind Sheikh,” for his leading role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

In the article linked below, he details how the NYPD did much of the work–overcoming federal incompetence and politics–to lay the groundwork for the Blind Sheikh to be sent to jail…

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/276181/how-nypd-gets-jihad-right-andrew-c-mccarthy?page=1

Lebanese News Website: Hezbollah intends to attack Western targets

According to the Lebanese news website, the Beirut Observer, the Jihadist terrorist organization Hezbollah is planning to attack Western targets. The site based  its report on information obtained by a “Western intelligence agency” that intercepted message traffic to that effect.

The Observer reported that unnamed Western intelligence officials think that Hezbollah plans to attack Western targets, based  on unusual movement of suspected Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards operatives.

The article claimed that the goal of the attack would be to distract global public opinion from indictments expected to be handed down by a special UN tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Rafik Hariri

It has been widely speculated that the UN tribunal will accuse Hezbollah members of involvement in the huge bomb attack on Hariri’s motorcade.

According to the Israeli news site Haaretz, earlier this week Israel’s counter terrorism bureau issued a warning that terrorists intended to carry out attacks against Israelis and Jewish targets abroad, specifying India, Thailand, Greece and Turkey as areas where an attack could take place. It is not known if the Israeli bulletin is related to the report on Hezbollah from the Beirut Observer.

Al Qaeda is known to be active in Turkey, where anti-Israeli sentiment has been on the rise for some time as Islamists expand and consolidate their political power. In addition to Hezbollah, Al Qaeda or other Turkish Jihadist groups could be motivated to attack Israeli or Jewish targets in Turkey.

Of course, India has been inflicted with a virtual menagerie of Jihadist terrorist groups, both domestic and from neighboring Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Taiba pulled off the spectacular Mumbai attacks targeting Jewish targets, but it is far from the only group operating in India, any of which could be prompted to attack Israeli or Jewish targets in India, either of their own volition or in the service of allied organizations.

Thailand has been wracked by a Jihadist insurgency for years in its southern regions. The Thai Jihadists are somewhat of an enigma and their ties to other Jihadist groups are unclear, but Thailand is an enormously popular tourist destination for Israeli and European tourists.

There is known to be Al Qaeda activity in Greece and Al Qaeda operatives have been apprehended there.

What all this adds up to is we could be talking about one threat or two distinct threats, one reported by the Beirut Observer from Hezbollah and another from Israeli authorities from unnamed terrorists in the four nations mentioned.

The possibility of Hezbollah launching attacks against the West in either Europe or the US has long been a deep concern for national security and counterterrorism practitioners. Hezbollah has been in existence for a decade longer than Al Qaeda and has been amply funded and equipped by Iran. Hezbollah is a much larger organization than Al Qaeda and is known to have cells, operatives and sympathizers spread throughout the world, including Asia, Europe and North and South America. Hezbollah has been referred to as the “A” team of Jihadist terrorism and Al Qaeda the “B” team. In fact Hezbollah trained Al Qaeda terrorists in Sudan during the 1990s.

Hezbollah is uniquely qualified to carry out terrorist attacks in the West. Such an attack would certainly not be unprecedented.

Hezbollah is believed to have carried out two bomb attacks in Argentina against the Israeli embassy in 1992 and at a Jewish Community Center in 1994. More than 120 innocent civilians were killed in those attacks. The attacks are also believed to have been carried out with Iranian support.

This makes sense since Hezbollah receives funding, arms and training from Iran, especially through Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

An example of suspicious Iranian activity in support of possible terrorist strikes occurred in New York back from 2002 to 2006 when members of the Iranian UN mission were repeatedly caught by the NYPD for conducting obvious reconnaissance of New York landmarks and subways.

We can be sure that, when and if Hezbollah or Iran decide to strike in the West, the targets were already selected and prepped by operatives in place long before the attack occurs.

New York Times Square Car Bomb Bulletin

By now, most readers of Terror Trends Bulletin know that a car bomb was discovered in New York’s Times Square last night. It was discovered just as it was fizzling out after failing to detonate.

Just as was the case with the “Fruit of the Boom Underwear Bomber” over the skies of Detroit on Christmas Day, America was saved from a terrible attack only by the incompetence of its enemies. This illustrates the inadequacy of emphasizing security measures as the chief means of defending ourselves against Jihad. He who tries to defend everything defends nothing. Sooner or later, we will be forced to confront our enemies’ threat doctrine and take a much wider and more comprehensive approach to defending ourselves.

Unfortunately, I feel that things will have to get much worse before America confronts the ongoing and longstanding threat from Jihad.

The bomb in Times Square was located inside a Nissan Pathfinder SUV and was made up of two 5-gallon gasoline containers, M-88 firecrackers, three propane tanks and a metal box which contained what appeared to be fertilizer. Press reports make no mention of shrapnel or other explosives. This appears to be a bomb that was designed to create a fireball. But it also was a bomb that seems to have had some missing components.

For instance, the fertilizer was either not of a type that could be made to explode or else it was not soaked in kerosene or diesel fuel to prepare it for ignition. It is difficult to perceive how this device was supposed to work, though we are certain that NYPD is not releasing all details of its make up, so it is impossible to know.

Unfortunately, press reports are repeatedly quoting New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who referred to the device as “amateurish.” This is a classic case of a politician with no real knowledge making a statement that was certainly not helpful. The reason why this label is unhelpful is because it tends to downplay the seriousness of this attempt. Moreover, the use of propane (or butane or acetylene) tanks in conjunction with conventional explosives is a common and very lethal methodology for VBIEDs (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices). A large version of this was used in the October 23rd, 1983, bomb which killed 241 US servicemen in Beirut, Lebanon.

Propane tanks have also been used in IEDs in Iraq. Moreover, the use of household goods, such as those used in this device, is a method used by Jihadists in London previously. Except for the M-88 firecrackers, everything mentioned in the NYPD press conference is available at WalMart.

Had this bomb detonated, no one would have been referring to it as “amateurish.” We were very fortunate that something went awry in the detonation process because, given the crowded streets in Times Square at the time, there is every possibility that this bomb could have caused a lot of casualties, including horrific burns on victims in the area.

We should not assume that just because this bomb fizzled and appeared to be assembled incorrectly that it was not the work of Jihadists. Jihadists planted two bombs very similar to this one in the UK in 2007. The bombs were placed in parked cars near areas with high pedestrian traffic and included petrol cans and propane tanks. Just as in Times Square last night, passer-bys noticed smoke and fumes coming from one of the vehicles and called authorities in to take care of the matter. So just because the bomb failed does not mean that it wasn’t planted by a “real terrorist.” All it means is that it was planted by a terrorist who wasn’t up to speed on demolitions.

Keep in mind that this bomb contained three propane tanks. Here is an indication of the fire created by a single propane tank exploding (in this case, the handiwork of some really incredibly moronic individuals):

http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/stunts/5_Gallon_Propane_Tank_Explosion/

In his press conference on Sunday afternoon, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly indicated that they may have video footage from surveillance cameras of an individual associated with the Nissan Pathfinder. There are also reports that police were able to collect fingerprints at the scene. Why would a bomber leave fingerprints?

Remember, the guy who planted that bomb figured on it blowing up and burning. He wasn’t worried about fingerprints on the Nissan or any of the component parts. Fortunately, he screwed up and pedestrians in Times Square were spared from incineration.

As for the Nissan Pathfinder, the Connecticut license plates mounted on it were not registered to it, but to a Ford truck. There are conflicting stories about the Ford truck. Press reports indicated that the owner of the Ford claimed that he sent it to a junkyard for disposal long ago. But Commissioner Kelly stated in his press conference that the Ford truck was in for “repairs.” There may be further developments associated with this aspect of the investigation.

At this point there is no way to determine conclusively who planted this bomb. The Pakistan Taliban released a video claiming responsibility in retaliation for the recent killing of Al Qaeda leaders in Iraq, but the Pakistan Taliban have claimed responsibility for incidents in the past that they were clearly not associated with. It should be noted, however, that Jihadist groups are different from the terrorist groups of the 1970s and 1980s, like Baader-Meinhoff, the Provo IRA and the Red Brigades, in that they don’t necessarily feel compelled to lay claim to their work, at least not immediately on the heels of an attack. Their outlook is different in that they are not doing this to “terrorize” us, they are doing it because they are at war with us and this is but one operation in a long, civilizational, global war.

One thing that makes us feel that there may be some credence to the Taliban’s claim of responsibility was the promptness of that claim. Using the news aggregator NewsNow.co.uk, we determined that the first NEWS report of the Taliban claim was by the British Channel 4 at 0341hrs Central Daylight Time. This means that the Taliban would have had to released that video just a few hours after the incident. It seems unlikely that they would have been able to do so in such a short time frame without prior knowledge of the incident. So, even though there is no “evidence” of Taliban involvement, that doesn’t mean that the Taliban weren’t involved in some way.

There are also reports of video surveillance indicating that a possible suspect seen nearby was identified as “white.” Again, this does not mean that this wasn’t a Jihadist operation. The leader of the Jihadi cell in North Carolina that was plotting to infiltrate and attack Marine Corps Base Quantico was blonde-haired and blue-eyed. John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, was white as well.

For his part, Senator Charles Schumer of New York has already declared that this was almost surely the work of a “lone wolf.” Once again, we have a case of an ignorant politician opening his mouth in a vacuum of knowledge. What Schumer based his statement on is unclear, but no one else in New York or Washington DC is saying anything like that about a motive or suspect in this case.

There are many obvious reasons why a Jihadist group might want to target Times Square on a Saturday night, but none more significant than the fact that the area is teaming with people on a spring night. The fact that Viacom’s headquarters is nearby may or may not be a motive (Viacom is the owner of South Park, the cartoon which did a spoof on Mohammed recently). One would think that, had the terrorists been targeting Viacom, they would have done so during normal business hours. The same goes for the big armed forces recruiting center nearby.

We will continue to track developments as they occur.

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