How Shahzad was found

An article at the New York Times follows step by step the investigation that led in 53 hours to the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani Muslim who was allowed to immigrate into this country and acquire U.S. citizenship, and then immediately proceeded to attempt to mass murder Americans. Notwithstanding the good police work by New York City police detectives and the FBI, there was one near-disastrous error, which the FBI has so far declined to discuss: Shahzad had been identified at his Connecticut home and was being watched, but then the FBI lost track of him, allowing him to drive to Kennedy Airport and board a plane to Dubai. If the FBI had caught up with him at the airport only a few minutes later than they did, he would have escaped the U.S. Though perhaps it would not have been catastrophic, since I imagine that Dubai would have turned him over to the American authorities. Still, the fact that after the FBI already had the suspect under surveillance he managed to get on board an airplane headed to a Muslim country does not cover the FBI with glory. Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama were pressuring the FBI not to watch Shahzad too closely, as that would amount to racial profiling of Muslims.

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Evan H. writes:

The New York Times doesn’t give many details about Shahzad’s escape attempt. According to this AP article he “reserved a ticket on the way to John F. Kennedy International Airport, paid cash on arrival and walked through security without being stopped.” I wonder why that didn’t set off any flags? I know that if I reserve a ticket less than three days before a flight I get flagged for extra security checks.

LA replies:

Not only that, but his name was already on a no-fly list at that point.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 05, 2010 10:15 AM | Send

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