Monday, September 14, 2009

New York terrorism raid


Authorities raided properties in New York City today in an effort that was intended to disrupt the plans of a terror suspect whose travels had been tracked by the FBI, according to an official briefed on the raids.

"He was being watched and concern grew as he met with a group of individuals in Queens over the weekend," said Congressman Pete King (R-NY). "The FBI went to court late last night for an emergency warrant to conduct the raids this morning." A resident in the neighborhood said there was police activity around 2 a.m. Monday.

New York City police and the FBI searched a home in the borough of Queens early as part of an investigation into suspected terrorism, focusing on one man who has been under surveillance, officials said.

Members of US Congress briefed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation said there was no imminent danger.

"There was nothing imminent, and they are very good now at tracking potentially dangerous actions and this was preventive," said Charles Schumer, a US Senator from New York who was among those briefed by FBI officials.

"He was being watched and concern grew as he met a group of individuals in Queens over the weekend," said Peter King, a Republican congressman from New York who was also briefed on the case, according to ABC News.

"The FBI went to court late last night for an emergency warrant to conduct the raids this morning," ABC quoted King as saying.

NYPD and FBI officials provided few details, calling it part of an ongoing investigation.

"There was activity in Queens last night by the NYPD and the FBI that was part of an ongoing joint terrorism taskforce investigation," New York Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly declined to say more, telling reporters only that it was part of an ongoing investigation and "normal procedure."

A congressional aide said members of the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee were given a classified briefing on the raid.

New York City has been on high alert since the attacks of Sept 11, 2001, and the recent anniversary has reminded many that the city was targeted in the suicide hijackings that destroyed the World Trade Centre eight years ago.

The Twin Towers were also hit by a truck bomb attack in 1993 that killed six people and wounded more than 1000.


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Federal agents raided residences in New York City early Monday as part of a terrorism investigation, law enforcement sources said.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, confirmed the raids in an interview with CNN affiliate WABC.

"There was nothing imminent, and our law enforcement officials are very good now at tracking potentially dangerous actions," Schumer said, speaking from Washington. "This was preventive."

Schumer said the raids were unrelated to President Obama's visit to New York on Monday for a speech.

A source at the New York Police Department confirmed to CNN that the Joint Terrorism Task Force executed multiple search warrants early Monday at more than one building in Flushing, Queens, a borough of New York City. The source said the search warrants were part of an ongoing investigation, but provided no further information on the number executed.

A federal law enforcement source confirmed the Joint Terrorism Task Force's involvement in the raids, adding that agents were searching for a particular individual who wasn't at the raided buildings.

In Washington, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, was briefed Monday on the situation, a congressional source told CNN. A spokesman for Thompson declined to comment further, saying the briefing was classified.

Schumer told WABC he was unable to provide further information due to the classified nature of the case. He said the FBI and New York City Police Department told him they would provide further information when appropriate.

The raid happened in the early morning and involved dozens of agents, some wearing FBI jackets, some wearing suits, and many carrying weapons, according to an eyewitness who lives in one of the raided buildings.

The witness said agents emerged from one building carrying a black document box.

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