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Archive for September 26th, 2009

NYPD vs FBI: The Hatfield and McCoys of Counterterrorism

Under the category of “can’t we all get along”, comes the ungoing saga of the FBI and the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism unit. The bottom line is: both need to work together. Ex-NYPD official Michael Sheehan offers his view of it all.

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By MICHAEL A. SHEEHAN
NYPD Former Deputy Commissioner of Counterterrorism
New York Times Op-Ed

THE recent arrest of Najibullah Zazi, the suspected terrorist in Denver, highlights several important aspects of our domestic counterterrorism programs. First, even as the memory of 9/11 fades, there are terrorists in this country intent on attacking us again. Second, the F.B.I. and New York Police Department remain engaged in a counterproductive bureaucratic struggle.

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Eight years ago, shortly after the attack on the twin towers, the police commissioner, Ray Kelly, with the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, assigned more than 100 detectives to the F.B.I.’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. The bureau warmly welcomed this commitment.

However, Commissioner Kelly also built a unilateral N.Y.P.D. counterterrorism unit and hired David Cohen, the former head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, to run it. The F.B.I. was in fierce opposition to New York’s having unilateral capacity, and some people there still are.

I know all about the tension between the F.B.I. and the Police Department. During my tenure at the department, I had bruising battles with the bureau. In one case, the F.B.I. and the department had different informants covering the same suspect. Each agency fought for control of the case and questioned the validity of the other’s information. At times, I worried that this internecine feuding might jeopardize the case, but we worked it out.

To Read More

Dallas Morning News Editorial Praises FBI in Texas Terror Plot

Fountain Place Skyscraper
Fountain Place Skyscraper

By Dallas Morning News
Editorial Page
DALLAS — The FBI depicts Hosam Maher Husein Smadi as a blustering big talker who espoused anti-American jihadist sentiments over the Internet. But the 19-year-old Jordanian became more than an angry loudmouth, the FBI says, when he tried to detonate what he thought was a car bomb in the parking garage beneath the 60-story Fountain Place skyscraper in downtown Dallas on Thursday.

The bomb was a fake – thanks to a sting operation by the FBI, which locked onto his online boastings and painstakingly monitored him. In fact, the agency apparently was so deeply involved that it provided the SUV the bomb was in, too.

It’s unclear this early in the investigation whether Smadi – had he not been intercepted by undercover Arabic-speaking FBI agents – might have been able to hook up on the Internet with a sleeper jihadist cell with the resources to create mayhem.

To Read More

FBI Probing American Youth Involvement in U.N. Bombing in Somalia

somalia-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities in the Post 9/11 era have long worried about people training in al Qaeda camps and coming to the U.S.

But the Associated Press reports a disturbing trend of Somalian American youth returning home to fight for an Islamist militia linked to al Qaeda.

The latest, the wire service says, comes with news of the FBI focusing on an American teen in the bombing of one of two stolen U.N. vehicles that killed 21 in Somalia at a peacekeeping base.

Agents have apparently visited the Seattle home of the youth to check into the matter.