Sep 20 2009
Major Update - At the end of this post (way down below!) I noted how weak the charges are against these alleged terrorists Â – basically low level perjury. I wondered what else was known, and now that the media is finally getting on this story,Â we learn the possible targets are disturbing, at least:
Several reports in recent days, all sourced to anonymous officials, say Zazi admitted to contact of an unclear nature with Al Qaeda in Pakistan, and may have been involved in a plot involving an explosives-laden U-Haul truck and targets in and around New York City.
The New York Daily News reported that the younger Zazi hadÂ cellphone video of Grand Central Terminal, and had researched football stadiums and Fashion Week event venues in New York City.
If this reporting is true, and these people keep trying to hide their plans, will President Obama be willing to utilize enhanced interrogation techniques to save innocent American lives? The president and his radical AG are going after the very people who may have stopped another 9-11. What would a truck full of explosive do to a NFL football crowd? It would be a nightmare of course. - end update
The good news out this weekend is that our vigilant and unsung defenders in the NSA, CIA, FBI and FIS Court have been able to detect and stop a serious attack on America. The men and women who work tirelessly to legally detect and prevent attacks on this nation have another win under the belts. And the timing could not be more painful for the flailing Obama administration and the personal agenda of AG Eric Holder.
Eric Holder is on a witch hunt against the very defenders of this nation that just saved the lives of hundreds of innocent Americans. The bizarre left has been attacking the professionalism and motives of these defenders since 9-11, through all those years of successfully protecting the nation. Before I get into the details of the foiled attack, one has to wonder who will be backing Mad Eric when the details of the attack dribble out over the following months? Obama has decided to go all in, but Holder will be attacking the defenders of this nation, while details come out on why these people should be considered s heros and getting this nation’s top medals and awards, not subpoenas.
It has even come to the point 7 previous CIA Directors have asked the administration to end the witch hunt. And it is a witch hunt, because the incidents in question came to light BECAUSE of the checks and oversights built into the system of interrogating our murderous enemies, and BECAUSE they were investigated and it was determined the acts were (a) not against the law and (b) not systemic.
The ‘system’ worked. It provided an avenue for concerns to be raised to independent oversight, and that independent oversight investigated the charges. You can read it all for yourself in the Inspector General’s Report.Â Here are some key items to note:
- On Page 14, Item 13: the report notes “there were instances of improvisation and other undocumented interrogation techniques”. In other words, it was individuals going outside the proscribed processes, and these excursions were noted, but not violations.
- Page 14, Item 15: there were start up problems in the program in terms of guidelines and training. That always happens not matter what. And that is not illegal or unethical.
- Page 15, Item 16: “The Agency’s detention and interrogation of terrorists has provided intelligence that has enabled the identification and apprehension of other terrorists and warned of terrorist plots planned for the United States and around the world.“
That last line is the real kicker here. There may be some nuts on the left who want to defend killers to the point of allowing mass murder of innocents, but they are the ‘Mad Hatter’ few. Rule of law is not meant to allow the killing innocents, just so the law can be deemed unassailable. If Â we allow nuts to force us to die so their laws cannot be challenged, then we become slaves.
The interrogation of those planning to kill Americans by the thousands produced amazing results, as chronicled recently in the Washington Post:
Speaking in English, Mohammed “seemed to relish the opportunity, sometimes for hours on end, to discuss the inner workings of al-Qaeda and the group’s plans, ideology and operatives,” said one of two sources who described the sessions, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much information about detainee confinement remains classified. “He’d even use a chalkboard at times.”
These scenes provide previously unpublicized details about the transformation of the man known to U.S. officials as KSM from an avowed and truculent enemy of the United States into what the CIA called its “preeminent source” on al-Qaeda. This reversal occurred after Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning and prolonged sleep deprivation, among other harsh interrogation techniques.
“KSM, an accomplished resistor, provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard, and analysis of that information revealed that much of it was outdated, inaccurate or incomplete,”…
The fact is the water boarding turned an evil enemy, with the blood of 3 thousand Americans on his hands, into someone teaching our defenders how to beat al Qaeda. KSM is training our people to understand our enemies, a necessity if we are to detect and stop attacks. Is this what Holder is going to attack and question? Only if he wants to go down in history as the dumbest AG ever seated. And he will take Obama’s presidency with him.
Now look at the details of the terrorist attack just foiled in Colorado and New York. Don’t go to the news media to filter out the key facts for you, go to the source and read it for yourself (note the documents at the bottom laying out the charges).
Here are the key elements of the FBI announcement today, and I am going to discuss what I can determine from reading between the lines, and also how these legal proceedings give al Qaeda a wealth of knowledge to use on the next attack to make it harder for us to stop them in the future. This is why we cannot sit back and deal with these threats in our courts, but must be taking this to our enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
FBI agents in Colorado arrested Najibullah Zazi, 24, a resident of Aurora, Colo., and legal permanent resident from Afghanistan, and his father Mohammed Wali Zazi, 53, a resident of Aurora and a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan. In addition, FBI agents in New York arrested Ahmad Wais Afzali, 37, a resident of Flushing, N.Y., and a legal permanent resident from Afghanistan.
First off, this terrorist ‘cell’ is straight out of the area we and the Pakistanis are trying to cleanse of terrorists. All of these folks seem to hold dual citizenship – which is why the NSA needs to know when someone in the US makes contact with known terrorists outside the US. If not for this trip wire, sleeper cells here in the US could run rampant under the protections of our own laws, meant to defend freedom, not kill Americans. We cannot run from Afghanistan now – we need to finish the job.
Records from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reflect that, on Aug. 28, 2008, Najibullah Zazi flew to Peshawar, Pakistan from Newark International Airport via Geneva, Switzerland and Doha, Qatar. CBP records further reflect that Najibullah Zazi traveled from Peshawar to John F. Kennedy International Airport on or about Jan. 15, 2009.
On Sept. 17 and 18, 2009, Najibullah Zazi was further interviewed by the FBI in Denver. According to affidavits, Najibullah Zazi admitted in the interviews that during his 2008 trip to Pakistan, he attended courses and received instruction on weapons and explosives at an al-Qaeda training facility in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan.
We now know that training for terrorist wannabes from the West is still occurring in the FATA region of Pakistan, which is being surrounded by Pak forces to the south and US/NATO/Afghan forces to the north. This is also the region which the US Predator drones have been decimating by taking out al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. Â If we pull back now, the murderers now hold up and surrounded in FATA will be able to break free to kill again. And since al Qaeda now knows we have confirmation of their infrastructure and processes, they will need to move from the killing zone we have set up in the lawless areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is what happens when we expose what we know, they can adapt.
What is really disconcerting is the evidence that the NYPD tipped the hand of the FBI’s investigation by accidentally alerting a potential double agent, who was a paid informant for the NYPD counter terrorism units:
On Sept. 10, 2009, New York City Police Department (NYPD) detectives met with defendant Afzali, whom the NYPD had utilized as a source in the past. According to the affidavits, the detectives questioned Afzali about Najibullah Zazi and others and showed him photographs of Najibullah Zazi and others. Afzali allegedly told the detectives he recognized Najibullah Zazi and several of the men in the photographs
According to affidavits, on Sept. 11, 2009, defendant Mohammed Zazi placed a call to Afzali which lasted approximately 20 minutes. That same day, the FBI lawfully intercepted a phone conversation between Mohammed Zazi and his son, Najibullah Zazi. An affidavit alleges that, during the conversation, Mohammed Zazi told his son that he had spoken to Afzali who had informed him about being visited by law enforcement and shown photographs. Mohammed Zazi told his son that Afzali would call him and he advised his son to speak with Afzali “before anything else,â€ according to affidavits.
Note the date : the anniversary of 9-11. The reason Afzali is under custody is because he tipped off Zazi. Worse still, it seems Afzali was well aware of the potential danger they were in relative to US law enforcement:
In the midst of this phone call, Najibullah Zazi allegedly received a call from Afzali, who discussed his meeting with law enforcement the day before. According to a draft summary of the transcription, Afzali allegedly stated: â€œI was exposed to something yesterday from law enforcement. And they came to ask me about your characters.â€ Afzali also allegedly asked Najibullah Zazi about his last trip to Pakistan and added, â€œListen, our phone call is being monitored.â€
According to the affidavits, in another legally intercepted phone conversation on Sept. 11, 2009, Najibullah Zazi told Afzali that his car had been stolen and that he feared he was being â€œwatched.â€ Afzali allegedly asked if there was any â€œevidence in his car,â€ and Najibullah Zazi said no.
The evidence ended up being in Zazi’s rental car, where bomb making notes written by Zazi were found in scanned images on his computer. Note the ‘legally intercepted phone conversations’. It seems Afzali was authorized by the FIS Court on 9-11, once Zazi blurted out to his father about Afzali tipping him off. That is quick action and good to see.
Sadly, exposing this good news has also helped al Qaeda make adjustments to make the next attack harder to stop. Clearly no one should be scanning written notes onto hard drives. I can think of a dozen ways to have the information at hand and not have it traced to the computer owner. And no, I will not share these. But even computer technicians can think of ways around that.
And of course al Qaeda is getting a better understanding of our ability to monitor and react to communications. They also have learned how double agents should not react in tipping off their terrorists allies in the US. Again, I can think of a dozen, untraceable ways to avoid this misstep, which was key to dismantling this attack, and may lead to other cells. I would suggest we all refrain from using our imaginations to help al Qaeda figure out ways to avoid this mistake in the future.
Right now, looking at the news release, these people have been arrested for trying to cover up their interactions with each other. We have no idea what they were doing that required covering up, but if we look at the affidavits we can get some clues.
First, the charges on the younger Zazis:
- Interestingly, the charges were filed by an FBI Agent who is a bomb expert and the chrages are clearly related to bomb threats (possibly similar to the Madrid Bomb attacks of 2004)
- Afzali, “Individual B” in the document, is an Imam in New York who heads Â mosque – which means the terrorists are still trying to use religion to cover their bloody plans.
- It seems to me Afzali was trying to tell his Zazi to stay away from terrorism, it seemed he believed Zazi was innocent. But who knows, he knew his call was being monitored and could be acting.
- Folks, you need to read section 19 starting on page 12. There is a trail of emails and those handwritten notes that trace back to Peshwar, Paksitan. It seems Zazi has an email account in Peshewar – for what purpose we can only guess. Of course this detail on the emails also helps al Qaeda understand how well we can trace and connect email accounts – not good.
Now, the charges against the elder Zazi is basically the same complaint, with the names changed around. There are indications that the elder Zazi asked his son what had he gotten himself into and to look into getting a lawyer.
So, is this a major threat? Hard to tell. I do not think the authorities would arrest these people for these minor charges of what is perjury. Therefore, I would suspect there is a lot more evidence behind the scenes. There has to be. For the FIS Court was going to issue wire tap warrants it would have to be for more than this low level perjury. The did not lie about a crime, they lied about discussions, knowing each other, knowing about files on computers. On the face this looks weak, behind the scenes it should look strong.
Only time will tell.