Obama was briefed on Zazi’s NYC plot

An interesting piece in TIME that indicates President Obama was aware of the Zazi terror plot and received daily briefings and apparently wanted an arrest before the requisite evidence was available. Interesting – the excerpts below.

Intelligence sources are mum on exactly when the White House got involved, but a senior Administration official tells TIME that President Obama was briefed within 24 hours of the moment officials realized that Zazi could be a “red blinking light.” The unfolding investigation became a part of Obama’s daily briefing, and he returned to the subject in meetings with his intelligence and Homeland Security briefers. Agents were watching Zazi as he and his accomplices assembled the pieces of their alleged plot. Intelligence officials wanted to know who was running the show, the extent of the conspiracy, what the targets might be. But while Obama understood the need for more information, sources tell TIME, he quizzed advisers about their decision to initially hold off on arrests. “He would ask, understandably, ‘O.K., when are you going to arrest these guys? Are we confident that there is not something out there that may in fact go boom?’ ” the senior Administration official recalls. (Read “NYPD Denies It Botched a Terrorism Probe.”)

On Sept. 6, Zazi returned to the kitchenette for another night over the stove, punctuated by frantic calls to still unknown accomplices seeking bombmaking advice. On Sept. 8, he rented a car, arranging to drop it off in New York City. At that point, the investigation “amped up” again, the intelligence official says, as agents asked themselves the obvious question, “What does he have in his car that he can’t put in an airplane? And who’s waiting on the other end?” The timing was alarming: the eighth anniversary of 9/11 loomed, and Obama was due in Manhattan days later. Still, the feds didn’t move to arrest Zazi: “We saw him as a possible plotter, a possible actor and a possible intelligence-collecting platform — someone who could lead us to a picture or a wider network.”

As the alleged bomber set out for New York City on Sept. 9, the FBI drew the New York Police Department into the investigation, and NYPD detectives showed pictures of Zazi and three suspected accomplices to an imam they had developed as a possible informant. Sure enough, the imam, Ahmad Afzali, recognized Zazi. But according to the FBI, he called Zazi and his father to tell them of the NYPD’s inquiries. And that was that.

Read it all via Najibullah Zazi: His Denver, New York, Pakistan Roots.

We’ve read a lot about how the plot was taken down too early, how it is possibly the largest terror plot since 9/11, and we know when the NYPD turned to a local Muslim imam for help – he helped the Muslim terror suspect and not law enforcement. Meanwhile, Muslims – possibly equally as sympathetic as imam Afzali – are enjoying access to the White House at levels never before seen in history. Not to mention setting policy at DHS. Feel safe.

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del.icio.us Tags: al qaeda,Alerts,Creeping Sharia,jihad,Legal,Media,New York,News,Obama,Politics,Religion,Sharia


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