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Archive for May 5th, 2010

NYPD Tries to Distance Itself From FBI Surveillance Lapse in Bombing Case

nypd badgeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The talk among law enforcement on Wednesday was that the New York police were trying to distance themselves and blame the FBI for losing the surveillance of  car bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad.

The media was also pointing to it as a flaw in what still remains a remarkable case for the short time it took to arrest the suspect.

Still,  some current and former law enforcement members pointed out that it is not uncommon to lose a surveillance target. And they said it was often better to lose someone temporarily than to blow the surveillance and get spotted.

Newsweek reported that Shahzad was at JFK airport on Monday for more than three hours without FBI surveillance, and that agents had apparently lost track of him. Shahzad had gone to the airport to catch a flight to Dubai. He was arrested after he had already boarded the plane, but it had not yet taken off.

One law enforcement source on Wednesday defended the FBI’s work.

“This situation was extremely fast-moving, involving multiple locations. The FBI identified him and within a few hours had already located him and begun surveillance, which, by its nature, involves risk-benefit considerations with respect to potential effects on the course of the investigation if the surveillance is detected,” the source said, commenting on the condition that he not be named.

“Risks can be mitigated by building in layers of redundancy, especially in a situation such as this where the subject was aware of the numerous media reports which alerted him to the fact he was being pursued by law enforcement. In this case, he was added to appropriate watch lists and was caught as he tried to escape.”

N.Y. Bomb Suspect Triggers Tougher “No Fly” Rule

plane window2By Allan Lengel
For AOL NEWS

WASHINGTON — From an evil deed comes some good.

By slipping onto a Dubai-bound plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Monday night despite landing on the “no-fly” list, suspected would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad highlighted a major gap in airline security — one that federal officials vowed today to close.

The Transportation Security Administration announced it will require airlines to check no-fly lists within two hours of being electronically notified of an urgent or “special circumstance expedited no-fly name,” as was the case Monday. The previous policy called for airlines to check the list within 24 hours of getting such a notice.

“As we saw with Faisal Shahzad, in an expedited no-fly nomination the airline is responsible for manually checking the name against the no-fly list within 24 hours,” an administration official said.

“In his case, the airline seemingly didn’t check the name, and the suspect was allowed to purchase a ticket and obtain a boarding pass.”

To read more click here.

White House Begins Search For New FBI Director to Replace Mueller

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo

Robert Mueller III / file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The White House has started interviewing candidates to succeed the stoic FBI Robert S. Mueller III, who is set to step down next year, the website Main Justice reported.

The website reported that it was uncertain who was being considered but it mentioned possible candidates: Ronald Noble, the head of Interpol; Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald; James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General; New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and ex-LA police chief William Bratton.

NYPD Commissioner Kelly/nypd photo

NYPD Commissioner Kelly/nypd photo

Mueller, 65, a former U.S. Attorney, took over the FBI Sept. 4, 2001, just before the Sept. 11 attacks that forced the agency to reorganize and commit far more resources to counterterrorism.

New Orleans Mayor Asks Justice Dept. to Help Reform Troubled Police Dept.

Mayor Landrieu/city photo

Mayor Landrieu/city photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Newly minted New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is asking the Justice Department to step in and help reform the troubled police department that has been plagued by scandal, including the cover up of police shootings right after Katrina in 2005.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Landrieu on Wednesday asked Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. to to do an assessment of the police department and the criminal justice system.

“It is clear that nothing short of a complete transformation is necessary and essential to ensure safety for the citizens of New Orleans,” Landrieu wrote in a letter to Holder that was published in the Times-Picayune.

The paper reported that the Justice Department has eight open civil rights investigations into the conduct of New Orlean police officers.

The Justice Department issued a statement Wednesday saying it will ” consider these requests to determine what action, if any, is appropriate,” said DOJ spokesman Alejandro Miyar, according to the paper.

To read more click here.

FBI Surveillance of NY Bomb Suspect Broke Down

jfk airport

jfk airport

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI surveillance of the Times Square car bomber broke down, allowing the suspect to spend more than three hours at JFK airport unwatched Monday while he waited to board a plane to Dubai, with the ultimate destination being Pakistan, Newsweek is reporting.

Newsweek reported that Faisal Shahzad arrived at JFK at at 7:30 p.m. Earlier in the day, authorities placed Shahzad on the “no fly list”. But Newsweek reported that because the name did not quickly appear on the reservation computer lists, he was able to board the plane.

Authorities said Tuesday that Homeland Security Department’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Bureau officers caught the oversight and the plane was called back to the gate before it could take off.

To Read More click here.