Ernest Luning at The Colorado Independent:
Fox News and ABC are reporting the Aurora shuttle bus driver at the center of an FBI investigation into a suspected bombing plot has admitted to ties with the al Qaeda terrorist network and is negotiating a plea to terrorism charges. The lawyer representing the 24-year-old Najibullah Zazi called the reports “completely unfounded.”
The reports came Friday afternoon during Zazi’s third day of questioning at the Federal Building in Denver. Earlier this week, FBI and other law enforcement officials searched Zazi’s Aurora apartment and a nearby home belonging to family members but haven’t revealed what, if anything, was found in the raids. Officials have linked the investigation to a search for bomb-making materials earlier this week in Queens, N.Y., where Zazi reportedly visited his old neighborhood after a cross-country drive.
ABC News reported authorities seized a dozen “new black backpacks they suspect were going to be used to carry homemade bombs,” and a laptop computer with instructions for making bombs similar to those used in a series of explosions in London in 2005. This week, officials have questioned 12 New York residents in connection with a suspected terror plot to attack New York subways, The New York Daily News reported.
The FBI wants to talk to his dad too, although it’s unclear if he’s suspected of being part of the cell. Er, if Zazi’s the ringleader, how likely is it that pop’s a mere henchman? Wouldn’t/shouldn’t it be the other way around? Maybe they only want to know from the elder Zazi who his son’s acquaintances are.
The Daily News claims that cops found cell-phone footage Zazi had taken of Grand Central Station — although it appeared tourist-y — and notes that the number of suspects, which had been five, has now risen to 12. If you believe the Post, seven of them were rounded up in Queens yesterday and are still in custody, although no one’s been arrested yet. Those new numbers make sense: Remember, police allegedly discovered as many as 14 brand new backpacks when they were gathering evidence. What’s worrisome here is that there’s no sense in any of these stories that the feds think they know who all the plotters are; on the contrary, one police source flatly told the Daily News, “The question is, ‘Do we have everyone in the cell?’” I wonder how much of the deal they’re cutting with Zazi is motivated by weak evidence against him — sure sounds like they have plenty — and how much is motivated by simple urgency in getting him to roll over on the rest of the plotters ASAP. Stay tuned.
This story comes from Karl Denninger at Market Ticker. It seems the admitted Afghan Al-Qaeda operative currently being questioned by the FBI for a possible attack against NY targets, Najibullah Zazi, had obtained unsecured credit cards amounting to $50,000 by the time he declared bankruptcy this past March. As the NY Daily News reported yesterday:
Between 2005 and 2008, he opened credit card accounts with Bank of America, Chase, Capital One, Discover and Citibank and ran up a debt of more than $50,000.When he filed for bankruptcy, Zazi said he hadn’t worked in two months.
How many of those banks received bailout money? Sadly, all of these banks happily loaned mountains of money to immigrants – legal and illegal alike – and all other manner of individuals who had no possibility of repaying. Bills your children and grandchildren will be paying for many years to come.
Driving out to pick up milk this morning, I heard on the radio a report that an Afghan-born suspect arrested in Denver by the FBI in connection with a major terrorist plot has confessed to having received training by al-Qaeda, and is cutting a plea deal with the government. ABC News is reporting this morning that maps to sports stadiums and other prominent targets have been found on the suspect’s computer, and that he had recently sent out a message saying “the wedding cake is ready” — which is suspected of being a signal to kick the plot into gear.
I clicked over just now to The New York Times’ site for more information, and do you know what’s leading the page about this plot? Headline: “Muslims in Colorado Uneasy Over Terror Inquiry”.
Good grief! We’re just learning that this Denver guy has confessed to being an al-Qaeda affiliate, and that authorities have confiscated material evidence of a massive plot to kill and maim Americans … and a) the New York Times, by its placement on its website of this story, is more worried about how this investigation is upsetting Muslims in Colorado, and b) some (but not all!) Muslims in Colorado are more concerned about how this frightening event is going to affect them than about how the terror plot, had it gone off, would have affected their country and their countrymen.
UPDATE: Michael Crowley at TNR
Steve Benen on Crowley
Digby on Crowley
UPDATE #2: Daniel Foster at NRO