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Cops Let Zazi Into NYC With Explosives

From the Wall Street Journal:

Police Let Terrorist Slip Through

By SEAN GARDINER

APRIL 26, 2010

Port Authority police were told to stop and search would-be subway bomber Najibullah Zazi’s car last September as he drove up to the George Washington Bridge—but waved him across without finding two pounds of explosives hidden inside.

The failure to uncover the explosives after an alert about Mr. Zazi from the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been widely discussed among police but never publicly disclosed. It stoked longstanding tensions between the Port Authority Police and the New York Police Department, which are more pronounced since the 9/11 attacks. The Port Authority is tasked with protecting the bridges, tunnels and major airports between New York and New Jersey.

The Zazi case is especially sensitive for New York police, who privately argue that letting Mr. Zazi continue into the city was a potentially catastrophic gaffe by the Port Authority Police

Spokesmen for the Port Authority and the FBI declined comment.

But Port Authority and FBI officials with knowledge of the investigation said there were factors that made the search of Mr. Zazi’s car a touchy proposition. The Port Authority stopped Mr. Zazi at the behest of the FBI, which had tracked him nearly 1,800 miles from Colorado. To avoid tipping him off, they pretended the stop was a random drug checkpoint.

A Port Authority officer said police didn’t have a warrant. That prevented them from conducting a thorough search of the vehicle without making Mr. Zazi suspicious. Anything seized from the car in such a search would have been inadmissible in court, he said.

"It was a cursory stop," the officer said. "We didn’t have a search warrant, no permission to go into the car."

Mr. Zazi, an Afghan native who grew up in Queens, got rid of the explosives soon after the Sept. 10, 2009, search of his rental car, fearing he was under surveillance.

He flew back to his home in Colorado and was arrested there after admitting he trained with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and planned to use the explosive—triacetone triperoxide, or TATP—for a subway attack based on the deadly 2005 London bombings. He later called it a "martyrdom operation."

So the Port Authority Police decided it would be better to risk having a known terrorist take explosives into New York City, rather than to search his car without a search warrant?

Sometimes the crime isn’t what is done illegally, but what is done under the cover of an idiotic law.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 26th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Cops Let Zazi Into NYC With Explosives”

  1. MinnesotaRush says:

    Whatha!?!?!?

    In too big of a hurry to get back to the porn site viewing?

    I wonder what the % of government workers that actually DO THEIR JOBS is?

  2. Right of the People says:

    Sounds like they need a bomb-sniffing dog on duty at all times. If the dog senses explosives, drugs or some other illegal substance, that is grounds for a search without a warrant. Drug sniffing dogs can also be trained to sense explosives so the cost is less.

  3. confucius says:

    Note that Zazi was still allowed to fly.

  4. platypus says:

    And he couldn’t have been searched, the explosives found, and the NYPD put him on one of their harbor patrol boats?

    And that boat taken him straight to Gitmo?

    Somebody tell me why this could not have happened.


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