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FBI: Three held in plot to blow up three NY tunnels

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by poindexter, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member


    NEW YORK (CNN) -- Three of eight "principal players" in an alleged plot to blow up a tunnel between New York City and New Jersey are in custody, the FBI said Friday.

    FBI Assistant Director Mark Mershon said the plan was "what we believe was the real deal," a scheme involving al Qaeda members on three continents.

    "They are largely identified, some of them only partially identified," Mershon said. None are in the United States or have ever been in the country, he said.

    The only suspect formally charged is a 31-year-old Lebanese man who has confessed to being the ringleader and has claimed to be an al Qaeda member loyal to Osama bin Laden, Mershon said.

    The scheme was in the planning stages but was about to move into the execution phase with an attack set for October or November, Mershon said.

    Without naming a tunnel, the FBI official said the target was one of the tubes under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey and Manhattan.

    Nearly 2 million vehicles pass through New York's tunnels and bridges daily, according to a 2002 estimate by the city's Department of Transportation.

    The New York Daily News first reported on the allegations Friday, saying the FBI had revealed a plot to bomb the Holland Tunnel -- the southernmost link between New Jersey and Manhattan -- and flood the financial district.

    Mershon expressed anger about the leak to the Daily News, saying whoever did so exhibited "unprofessional behavior" and was "clearly someone who doesn't understand the fragility of international relations."

    U.S. officials worked closely with Lebanese authorities and other foreign law enforcement and intelligence partners to uncover the terror network, according to a joint statement from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

    "We've had a number of uncomfortable questions and some upsetment with these foreign intelligence services that had been working with us," Mershon said. FBI officials have been "working to shore up those relationships" in the wake of the premature disclosure, he said.

    Investigators began moving in on the plotters because they were suspected of starting to act, including the surveillance of the target and the collection of materials for the attack, Mershon said.

    Mershon said details of the investigation remain classified, limiting what he can reveal.

    Earlier, Achraf Rifi, general director of Lebanon's internal security forces, identified the suspect held in his country as Assam Hamoud.

    Rifi said the man was arrested more than a month ago in his Beirut apartment in an operation conducted in coordination with the FBI. The suspect is a professor of computer studies at a private university in Lebanon, and was born in 1975, according to Rifi.

    The man was not arrested with anyone else and will be tried in Lebanon on terrorist charges, Rifi said, adding that the suspect cannot be extradited to United States.

    U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said no evidence existed that "in any way anything was done, either purchase of explosives or sending of money" and it "was caught" when investigators discovered "terrorists talking to one another."

    "This is one instance where intelligence was on the ball," the New York Democrat said.


    This'll be Bush's fault within four posts.
  2. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    On the radio this morning, I heard that the tunnel was the Holland Tunnel. Additionally, I heard that part of the plot was to flood part of downtown NYC, which would be somewhat impossible since it isn't below sea level.
  3. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    A complete coincidence, I'm sure, news of this is released on the first anniversary of the London terrorist attack.

    Complete coincidence.
  4. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    I was off by two.
  5. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Where'd I blame Bush, Poin?

    I just said it was really neat timing.
  6. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    Well, there goes that. The MSNBC.com article says, "A U.S. counterterrorism official said Friday that investigators had found no evidence that the Holland Tunnel was part of the plot."

    Instead the target was the PATH train.
  7. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    I blame soccer.
  8. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Let's keep Gavin Rossdale out of this, if you please.
  9. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Were they going to use nitro GLYCERINE?
  10. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    It's a long way till November, folks. Get ready for a whole slew of "terror alerts."
  11. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    "They are largely identified, some of them only partially identified," Mershon said. None are in the United States or have ever been in the country, he said.

    Investigators began moving in on the plotters because they were suspected of starting to act, including the surveillance of the target

    So, they have never been in the US but they were beginning surveillance of the target. Wow, I never realized you could case the Holland Tunnel or the PATH tubes from Lebanon.

    Also coincidentally, in his "interview" with Larry King last night the Idiot in Chief said he is confident the Republicans would hold the House and Senate in November because "We are winning the war on terror. Everyday we're taking steps to prevent al-Qaeda from being effective."

    This must have been one of those steps...with another 20 or 30 to come in the months ahead.
  12. D-Backs Hack

    D-Backs Hack Guest

    Whoa? Where's all the piss-and-vinegar outrage from conservatives about a newspaper reporting leaked classified information about terrorism? When are the Daily News editors going to be charged with treason?

    I guess if the administration comes out looking somewhat good, leaks are OK.
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