Close, But No Cigar: NYPD within 3 Miles of Faisal Shahzad’s Hawala, Missed It

On April 10, 2010, Mohammad Younis, of Centereach, NY, met with Faisal Shahzad at the Ronkonkoma train station and gave him $7,000 in cash. That money went to buy fertilizer, propane, and gasoline that Shahzad used to build a bomb he tried to set off in Times Square three weeks later–the last real Islamic terrorist attack launched on New York City.

I was particularly interested to see the NYPD’s intelligence profile of Suffolk County released by the AP this morning. As I noted last year, the NYPD’s extensive intelligence programs failed to identify the two most significant attacks on NY in recent history: those attempted by Najibullah Zazi and Shahzad.

With Zazi, that failure was epic; the NYPD used his imam as an informant, and actually tipped Zazi off to the investigation.

But Shahzad’s attack would have been harder to find. He plotted the attack from Connecticut–outside the city, though well within the range of the NYPD’s intelligence efforts. The one lead squarely within the NYPD’s profiling activities, though, would have been the hawala Shahzad used–Younis’ hawala–to get money from Pakistan.

It turns out the NYPD’s profiling efforts got within 3 miles of Younis’ house. They profiled his house of worship, the Islamic Association of Long Island. They profiled about 10 businesses in his community–though they focused on the halal restaurants, not the 7-11 where Younis used to work or the Lowes where he worked at the time he met with Shahzad. They also profiled a mosque and an auto repair shop in Ronkonkoma, the town where Shahzad met with Younis.

They never found Younis or his hawala activities, which he did not operate for profit.

Mind you, even if they had profiled the 7-11 or the Lowes, they still wouldn’t have found anything. Younis himself had no knowledge of Shahzad’s plot (Younis plead guilty to one count of unlicensed money remitting and was sentenced to three years of probation in December).

Which all goes to show that even profiling the precise neighborhoods through which terrorist money flows will not–did not–serve to discover or prevent attacks.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

5 Responses to Close, But No Cigar: NYPD within 3 Miles of Faisal Shahzad’s Hawala, Missed It

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @mcbridetd: Wrong! #WS14 announcers: "Never seen anything like it" (Bumgarner).. NOT! 1967:Gibson 3-0,3CG,27 IP,1.00ERA, 26 K's http://t…
3mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @CharlieCrist: Yesterday's great visit to @UF reminded me of this, from back in February: https://t.co/lZQXLjzkvF #TBT
5mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz "Fear the death of rights" - both civil and human rights http://t.co/uas1o80Lk7 via @gideonstrumpet @APubDef
10mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @CharlesMBlow: When you voluntarily risk your life to save someone else's, then you can talk to me about quarantines. #CalmDown
11mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @robertcaruso Yeah, right.
12mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Which will win out? Banksters' fears of @SenSherrodBrown or Defense Contractors' fear of @clairecmc? http://t.co/NKUm1X5zMB
20mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @armandodkos @dandrezner Quite true.
21mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @JimWhiteGNV: Now that Afghan troops will be on their own, US classifies readiness assessment. https://t.co/0t7nmhzUsQ
25mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Now that Afghan troops will be on their own, US classifies readiness assessment. https://t.co/0t7nmhzUsQ
27mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @dandrezner: That moment when you process the fact that Rick Perry has handled the Ebola issue far more soberly and prudently than other…
28mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @needsfixed You, I think.
30mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Ellison and Grijalva ask for copies of Dhiab force feeding videos. http://t.co/TeehMqILxW How many colleagues will have courage to watch?
31mreplyretweetfavorite
February 2012
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829