Posts Tagged ‘New York’

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Not A Trial, But A Terrorist Soapbox

November 24, 2009

Not A Trial, But A Terrorist Soapbox

IBD: 24 Nov. 2009

Justice: Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try five 9/11 plotters by a civilian court in New York rather than a military tribunal at Gitmo is already paying dividends — for the terrorists.

The five terror suspects want to use their “not guilty” pleas as a chance to voice their hate-filled beliefs and grievances against the West. In short, we’re giving them a prime-time soapbox in the most important city on Earth from which to spout their hate and recruit new adherents to their murderous cause.

We know this because Scott Fenstermaker, the attorney for terrorist suspect Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, nephew of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, says his client plans to “explain what happened and why they did it.”

That is, they’ll admit to doing it even while pleading not guilty, just so they can propagandize on behalf of their cause. In doing so, they not only will torture the families of the 3,000 people murdered on 9/11 with their lack of remorse. They will also get to make the case for jihad to a lot of sick minds around the world.

As Fenstermaker put it, the five will give “their assessment of American foreign policy.” And, he adds helpfully: “Their assessment is negative.” No kidding.

So while the judge may well exclude all sorts of evidence from the trial for procedural reasons, we’ll no doubt be treated to the inflammatory rantings of the terrorists themselves.

Of all the actions of the U.S. Justice Department since its inception, this may be the worst. Holder’s decision to hold the trial within blocks of 9/11’s Ground Zero is a bizarre affront to New Yorkers, reopening old wounds and making them targets for future attacks.

Wasn’t it just last week that Holder appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee with reassurances the terrorists wouldn’t be able to use their trial for propaganda purposes?

“I’m not scared of what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has to say at trial,” he said then, “and no one else needs to, either.”

Another question: Can a sitting attorney general really be so naive? On Monday, former Vice President Dick Cheney said it appears Holder is seeking a “show trial” for the terrorists — one the terrorists will exploit to their advantage.

“They’ll simply use it as a platform to argue their case — they don’t have a defense to speak of,” Cheney said. “It’ll be a place for them to stand up and spread the terrible ideology that they adhere to.”a

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NEWS ALERT: Keep an eye out

September 22, 2009

Authorities Eye Stadiums, Hotels, Storage Centers in Colorado Terror Plot Probe

Tuesday , September 22, 2009

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Sept. 19: Terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi is arrested by FBI agents in Aurora, Colo.

Federal counterterrorism officials warned local police to patrol stadiums, hotels and entertainment complexes for suspicious activity after the arrest of a Colorado man suspected of a far-reaching terror plot.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security also issued joint alerts to police around the country to watch storage centers and public transportation systems for any unusual behavior.

The FBI and DHS sent two bulletins Monday to local authorities nationwide, saying they know of no specific plots against such sites. The bulletins say those sites remain attractive targets to groups like Al Qaeda.

The memos do not mention the ongoing high-profile investigation of a possible terrorist plot involving a Colorado man and associates in New York City. Instead, they describe the long-standing interest of terrorists to use homemade backpack bombs, car bombs or even airplanes to attack such crowded public places.

A source told FOX News that one of the federal alerts asks local law enforcement to keep an eye out for “suspicious behavior with regard to storage facilities” where people can rent space to keep their belongings.

The warning comes after news emerged that a Colorado airport shuttle driver now in custody may have been planning with others to detonate backpack bombs on New York City trains in a terrorism plot similar to past attacks on London’s and Madrid’s mass-transit systems, officials said.

The FBI/DHS bulletins were issued in part because the London bomb plot was carried out by terrorists who hid their materials in small public storage spaces, the source told FOX.

Authorities are trying to determine whether there are any more explosive-making substances that still haven’t been tracked down.

The investigation into the possible Colorado-based terror plot has prompted counterterrorism officials to warn mass-transit systems around the nation to step up patrols.

Two law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the investigation told The Associated Press late Monday that more than a half-dozen individuals were being scrutinized in the alleged plot.

In a statement, the FBI says that “several individuals in the United States, Pakistan and elsewhere” are being investigated.

Investigators say Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old Afghanistan-born immigrant who is a shuttle van driver at the Denver airport, played a direct role in the terror plot that unraveled after an overnight 1,600-mile trip from Denver to New York City around the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. He made his first court appearance Monday and remained behind bars.

Zazi and two other defendants have not been charged with any terrorism counts, only the relatively minor offense of lying to the government. But the case could grow to include more serious charges as the investigation proceeds.

Backpacks and cell phones were seized last week from apartments in Queens where Zazi visited.

Zazi has publicly denied being involved in a terror plot, and defense lawyer Arthur Folsom dismissed as “rumor” any notion that his client played a crucial role.

Publicly, law enforcement officials have repeatedly said they are unaware of a specific time or target for any attacks. Privately, officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case said investigators have worried most about the possible use of backpack bombs on New York City trains, similar to attacks carried out in London in 2005 and Madrid in 2004.

Backpack bombs ripped apart four commuter trains and killed 191 people in Madrid on March 11, 2004. On July 7 the next year, bombing attacks in London killed 52 subway and bus commuters.

In a bulletin issued Friday, the FBI and Homeland Security Department warned that improvised explosive devices are the most common tactic to blow up railroads and other mass transit systems overseas. And they noted incidents in which bombs were made with peroxide.

In the bulletin, obtained by The Associated Press, officials recommended that transit systems conduct random sweeps at terminals and stations and that law enforcement make random patrols and board some trains and buses.

The effects of the warning were not immediately clear Monday. New York’s transit agency said it was in touch with an FBI-NYPD task force but wouldn’t comment further.

The task force feared Zazi may have been involved in a potential plot involving hydrogen peroxide-based explosives, according to two law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

Investigators said they found notes on bomb-making instructions that appear to match Zazi’s handwriting, and discovered his fingerprints on materials — batteries and a scale — that could be used to make explosives. He also made a trip to Pakistan last year in which he received Al Qaeda explosives and weapons training, the government said.

Zazi, a legal resident of the U.S. who immigrated in 1999, told the FBI that he must have unintentionally downloaded the notes on bomb-making as part of a religious book and that he deleted the book “after realizing that its contents discussed jihad.”

A strange sequence of events began to unfold nearly two weeks ago when Zazi — already under surveillance by federal agents — rented a car in Colorado and made the 1,600-mile trek across the heartland to New York. He told reporters that he went to New York to resolve an issue with a coffee cart he owned.

He was briefly stopped entering the city as part of what was believed to be a routine drug check, and proceeded to his friend’s place in Queens. Once there, his car was towed and authorities confiscated his computer. He was told by an NYPD informant that detectives were asking about him, and decided to cut the trip short and fly back to Colorado, authorities said.

Their surveillance blown and their main suspect flying back to Colorado, officials speeded up the investigation and launched raids on several Queens apartments in a search for evidence of explosives.

Since 2001, counterterrorism officials have shifted their approach and made the disruption of plots in their early stages a top priority, ahead of amassing incriminating evidence of more serious crimes. The exceptions to the rule are plots infiltrated by informants who are being directed by the FBI every step of the way.

“In the current environment when plotters are disrupted before their plot becomes concrete, you may end up with something that looks relatively trivial to the legal system, but the truth is you can’t judge their efforts by the legal charges they’re able to bring,” said Pat Rowan, the former head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

Zazi and his 53-year-old father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, were arrested Saturday in Denver. Ahmad Wais Afzali, 37, was arrested in New York, where he is an imam at a mosque in Queens. The three are accused of making false statements to the government. If convicted, they face eight years in prison.

On Monday, Najibullah Zazi answered the judge’s questions politely with a “Yes, honor” or “No, honor.”

Afzali was ordered held without bail after prosecutors said they believed he might flee if released. He smiled and blew kisses to his wife and other relatives before deputy marshals led him out of the courtroom.

His attorney, Ron Kuby, accused authorities of trying to make Afzali a scapegoat for a botched investigation. Kuby told reporters outside court that before Afzali’s arrest, authorities had begged him to help them in the Zazi investigation. He said his client knew he was being recorded, and never tried to mislead the FBI.

“They blew their own investigation and now they’re trying to blame my client,” he said.

Zazi’s father could be released Thursday and placed under electronic monitoring at home and have his passport confiscated.

Zazi’s father is accused of lying when he told authorities he didn’t know anyone by the name of Afzali. The FBI said it recorded a conversation between Mohammed Zazi and Afzali.

FOX News’ Catherine Herridge, Mike Levine, David Lee Miller and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Car and Driver: David E. Davis (Ann Arbor)

July 16, 2009

David E. Davis Jr. is an automotive icon – a genius – an old friend – and a long time tenant of Hogback Officenter.  I loved the many times that I had the opportunity to talk with him.

He and his staff were our first tenants at Hogback Officenter (www.hogbackofficenter.com) our little office park here in Ann Arbor – shown below.

HogbackAerial

David came to Ann Arbor from New York City – and he loved the ‘Hogback’ name – originally a road only a quarter of a mile long – (from the name of it’s one time shape) .  He got a kick out of moving Car and Driver’s magazine from it’s New York City address on Broadway to Car and Driver’s Ann Arbor address on Hogback Road.

[After 30+ years the new parent company (Hachette Filipacchi) of the magazine moved the local offices to Eisenhower Parkway, Ann Arbor.  David would have said no ‘class’ at all.]

David founded Automobile Magazine and moved the staff and operation to another building we owned in downtown Ann Arbor – which had been for many years the famous Pretzel Bell (often called The P Bell).

I still make a point to read everything that David writes.  So we are including one of his latest articles.

Don

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CLICK ARTICLE TO VIEW FULL SIZE:

DavidDavisArticle

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Video: New York – AirForce One

April 29, 2009

In New York, 9/11 Isn’t Over Yet

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Homeland Security: A White House jet buzzes lower Manhattan, bringing back memories of 9/11 and drawing an apology from President Obama. Firings are now urged, but what needs changing is attitude.

The White House and Federal Aviation Administration seemed to think it would be business as usual to fly a 747 government jetliner and an F-16 escort along the flight path of 9/11 near New York skyscrapers to update publicity file photos.

Wrong. The entire move created an unexpected panic among New Yorkers, who weren’t in on the plan until the planes whooshed by. The FAA had insisted the mission be “classified” — as if it were possible to conceal a jetliner going past skyscraper windows. So New Yorkers were left with just one conclusion when the jets roared overhead at low altitude, and they fled for their lives.

New Yorkers fled by the thousands at the sight of a low-flying presidential jet buzzing around Manhattan Monday in an image reminiscent of the 9/11 terror attack. Some citizens took cell phone photos, such as this one by Jason McLane, to record the event.

New Yorkers fled by the thousands at the sight of a low-flying presidential jet buzzing around Manhattan Monday in an image reminiscent of the 9/11 terror attack. Some citizens took cell phone photos, such as this one by Jason McLane, to record the event.

They responded the way they did because they’d been changed after the September morning that left thousands dead and their World Trade Center in ruins. The Obama administration, unfortunately, hadn’t. The prospect of triggering panic by flying jets at low altitude above skyscrapers simply didn’t exist on their radar.

Nothing showed it better than in the initial response of White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. He first dismissed a reporter’s question about the incident with no answer, but then promptly switched course once the news rolled in and the YouTubes went up about the panic the White House inflicted on victims of history’s worst terror strike.

Maybe the internal poll numbers came in, or maybe the White House switchboard was flooded. Sounding like a customer service rep, President Obama then apologized, “for any distress that flight caused.”

But it wasn’t as good as it could have been. The names of low-level officials involved got out, followed by recriminations from pundits calling for the head of Louis Caldera, the military director who’d been involved in the planning. Somehow, we doubt the criticism would have reached as low as aides if the “mistake” had been made by, say, President Bush.

Firing underlings won’t do any good, though. This is happening not because of Caldera, but because of a certain indifference at the top. Obama and his party have wrapped the war on terror around the persona of George W. Bush instead of the security of the U.S.

To them, fighting terror is fighting Bush’s war, not stopping the terrorists still trying to kill us. This wasn’t the only event that shows it.

On his first full day in office, Obama outraged 9/11 victims’ families by drafting an order to suspend war crimes trials of prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay.

After that, he issued an order to close the Cuban prison, raising the prospects of 9/11-linked terrorists possibly walking free to do more harm.

He also ordered the release of CIA memos demonstrating tough interrogation tactics, showing that unlike the public with the airline flyover in Manhattan, terrorists had a right to know.

Now he’s opened the door to prosecutions of Bush administration officials who fought the 9/11 terrorists, as if this were a matter of law and order, and not a real war that could still hit Manhattan.

One can argue that these decisions have a political merit, but in all cases they diminish the importance of ensuring another 9/11 never happens again.

The worst act of war on American soil becomes secondary to what lawyers and special interests want, or what Europe thinks. The quest for imagery over public terror is merely icing on the cake of how many things take precedence over the tough presidential decisions needed to ensure there isn’t another attack.

Instead of Obama apologizing, firing Caldera or saying the airline photo op will never happen again, it would be more encouraging to learn that Obama is thinking about the implications of this PR fiasco and taking the war on terror as seriously as New Yorkers do.

This war requires tough decisions, like those Bush made, to dismantle terror organizations from top to bottom. Obama has criticized his predecessor for using “terrorism as a club to make the American people afraid.”

Well, as the Manhattan fiasco showed, Americans are afraid, but not because of Bush. Our new president should re-examine his attitude about 9/11 and realize that now, it’s his war as much as it was Bush’s.