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The Bloomie and Kelly Show … with Fake Video Props!

Just three days after NYPD’s cops overreacted to First Amendment protests, and two days after NY’s Muslim community protested NYPD’s heavy handed spying, Mike Bloomberg and Ray Kelly decided to roll out a big press conference to announce …

A pipe bomb.

The person who intended to use the pipe bomb is a “lone wolf” al Qaeda sympathizer  named Jose Pimental who lives with his mother.

Authorities have been tracking Pimental since May 2009 and reports are an informant was involved, which might explain why he moved from strictly talking about violence to actually going to Home Depot to buy a few pipes and (as bmaz describes it) some Christmas lights to make his bomb.

Now, Bloomie and Kelly tried to make this look spectacular. They went to the effort of blowing up a car and videotaping it to show what the bomb could have done–though there’s no indication that his pipe bombs were ever operational. (No, no journalists asked who paid for the car the NYPD destroyed so they could have a nice video prop.)

They also made a nice model of Pimental’s Christmas lights bomb.

Kelly tried to suggest that Pimental aspired to hit the same targets that Occupy Wall Street protestors were targeting. “We remain the nation’s financial capital,” he said, suggesting that’s why Pimental targeted NY. Except that Pimental’s planned targets–like the post office in Washington Heights or soldiers returning from deployments–have nothing to do with the finance industry or even anything unique to NY.

None of Bloomie and Kelly’s efforts to put on a good show prevented the journalists present from asking, repeatedly, “Did the FBI decline to take this case?” Given the way Bloomie refused to look at the camera the third time a variant of the question was asked, I’m guessing the answer is “yes.” {Update: Ryan Reilly confirms that is in fact the case.]

The lesson to take from this terrorism porn is actually that the NYPD counterterrorism effort is useless in hunting down threats like this. Pimental was first identified in Schenectady. The Albany PD referred him to the NYPD. The NYPD didn’t find this guy, they just … nurtured him.

And Pimental was, as Bloomie repeated, a “lone wolf.” Which means no amount of infiltrating mosques and Moroccan restaurants would have found him, because he had no associations that would have revealed him (unlike Najibullah Zazi, whom the NYPD missed, even though his Imam was one of their informants).

The big questions coming out of this presser–aside from who paid to blow up a car and why Bloomie wore an ugly orange sweater to a press conference–has to do with the timing. Kelly seemed to suggest the NYPD was orchestrating this somewhat when he said, “We had always intended to take him in custody before he detonated a bomb.” In addition, he said Pimental had decided to make a bomb back in August.

So why is it that their closely watched terrorist decided to actually build a bomb at the precise moment when Bloomie’s and Kelly’s heavy handed policing, including their abusive counterterrorism spying, have lost all credibility?

Update: Here’s the complaint. You’ll like how the Officer doesn’t mention they’ve been tracking this guy since May 2010, and instead says it all started in October 2010. You’ll also enjoy how Pimental handed the informant every bit of his bomb, as if he were playing a role.

Mayor Mike: NYPD Can Handle the 9/11 Trial

Mike Bloomberg’s as confident as Jerry Nadler that NY can manage a trial of the alleged 9/11 plotters:

I support the Obama Administration’s decision to prosecute 9/11 terrorists here in New York. It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered. We have hosted terrorism trials before, including the trial of Omar Abdel-Rahman, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. When I spoke to Attorney General Holder earlier today, I told him New York City stands ready to assist the federal court in the administration of justice in any way necessary. I have great confidence that the NYPD, with federal authorities, will handle security expertly. The NYPD is the best police department in the world and it has experience dealing with high-profile terrorism suspects and any logistical issues that may come up during the trials.

Why does Joe Lieberman doubt the ability of the NYPD?