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Monday, September 14, 2009 

NYPD raid suspected terrorist apartment

This just in: the NYPD has conducted a raid on terror suspects apartments (via Hot Air):
WASHINGTON – Law enforcement agents raided residences in New York City on Monday as part of a terrorism investigation, and began briefing Congress about the probe.

New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne confirmed that searches were conducted in the borough of Queens by agents of a joint terrorism task force. He would not discuss the matter further.

Separately, federal authorities started briefing a series of senior lawmakers in Congress about the case.

Two U.S. intelligence officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly, said the target of any purported attack — or who would carry it out — remained unclear.

Authorities have not found any weapons ready for use — such as a bomb — that would indicate an attack was imminent, they said. Nevertheless, one of the officials called the threat very real and emphasized the urgency of the threat.

Another person briefed on the matter, who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity, said the raids were the result of previous law enforcement surveillance of individuals.

The investigation was continuing.
This report on CBS gives more details:
WCBS TV's John Slattery reports the federal search warrant spelled out all manner of possible bomb-making components, including powders, gels, TNT, and fuses.

[...]

Building resident Assad Niazi told WCBS, "I don't know [the other residents]. They are roommates - they go to work in the morning, and at night they come back."
And just who's "they"? I hope more details will be revealed, and that this won't be obscured as quickly as it came.

Update: there is a possible al Qaeda connection here:
A senior law enforcement official said authorities had not detected a specific plot or target of any planned attack, but had uncovered a small group of people who espoused a militant ideology aligned with Al Qaeda and whose activities had aroused enough suspicion to obtain warrants for the searches and arrests, which began late Sunday night.

The official said authorities had only a hazy view of the group, its operations and goals, but decided to act fearing that undercover surveillance had failed to detect plans that might be developing.
A little more here, and there is an individual suspect who is the primary focus of this investigation:
FBI agents have been monitoring a man from the western part of the U.S. who had recently driven to New York, federal sources said. The man met with several people in Queens, and the activities aroused enough suspicion to obtain warrants for the searches, the sources said.

The man the FBI had been watching has since flown home and is not in custody, the sources said.
They acted too late then. Here's why Congress was briefed on this case:
[A senior official] said some counterterrorism officials were concerned that the individual at the center of the investigation may have had access to, or an interest in acquiring, materials that could be used for a chemical, biological or radiological device. One aspect of the probe involves whether the person had some contact or connections with suspicious individuals overseas, the official said. He stressed that the investigation was still at its earliest stages.

Law-enforcement officials are aware of the person’s whereabouts, but the individual isn’t in custody, according to the senior official. Items taken in the searches were still being processed and sorted through early Monday afternoon, the official said.
Are they going to search for said person and track him to his lair? Let's hope so, because he could be very dangerous.

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