Mohammad Younis

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.

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Rem: 5 yrs ago, Saudis assured us they wouldn't incur so many wanton CIVCAS bombing Houthis if we gave them drones. https://t.co/4gvUFjMuQA
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Turns out if you recruit cyber agents promising they'll be able to do things that'd be illegal if anyone else did em, they do illegal things
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @AllThingsHLS Joking. Look forward to what you end up focusing on.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @AllThingsHLS How to steal Bitcoin while investigating Bitcoin crime has already been taken. Didn't end well.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV And it's getting front page treatment, sadly. RT @TylerCullis: Disinfo on US-Iran talks at a peak. I wouldn't expect let-up anytime soon.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @emptywheel: .@JimWhiteGNV NSA should have hacked Target's database to find out if they had ever been pregnant.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel Whadda ya want from an NSC lawyer!
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 Lawyers are kind of like tourists, aren't they?
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel @drfarls I sense stern letters!
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @emptywheel: If you bet Bitcoin on DEA & USSS Agents stealing Bitcoin while investigating Silk Road, submit for your winnings. http://t.…
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 It IS? I thought it was for tourists.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel If you bet Bitcoin on DEA & USSS Agents stealing Bitcoin while investigating Silk Road, submit for your winnings. http://t.co/4Mcc9WDlFO
2hreplyretweetfavorite
March 2015
S M T W T F S
« Feb    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031