View Full Version : NYC Threat Complete Fabrication

10-11-2005, 12:28 PM
Fabricated fear
Subway bomb threat apparently was based on misinformation from informant; city to scale back security

http://www.newsday.com/news/printedition/newyork/nyc-nyterr114464928oct11,0,5715719,print.story?coll=ny c-nynews-print

October 11, 2005

Sources confirmed yesterday that the train-bomb threat that prompted days of precautions appeared fabricated, while authorities announced they'll soon scale back subway security measures.

A counterterrorism source and two Bush administration officials said interrogators in Iraq determined over the weekend that an informant, previously deemed reliable, apparently misled them this time.

The scaling back follows nearly four days of confusion and mixed messages, with the NYPD flooding the subway system with thousands of extra officers while federal officials questioned the tip.

Both Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday stood by security measures put in place beginning Thursday, stressing that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security never said the tip was wrong.

"What they said is they have been unable to verify this particular threat," Bloomberg said. "And since the period of the threat now seems to be passing, I think over the immediate future, we'll slowly be winding down the enhanced security."

Police sources said straphangers can expect to see as many extra cops in the subway system today as they saw for the evening rush hour Thursday and throughout the weekend.

By tomorrow, however, the NYPD is likely to have fewer cops, both in uniform and plainclothes, on counterterrorism duty.

Still, police will conduct random bag searches and take other precautions launched after the summer bombing in the London transit system.

The warning was announced Thursday after two operatives were questioned in Iraq based on a tip from an informant described by a city official as someone who has provided useful information.

The tip, spelled out in a Department of Homeland Security memo, was as specific as any the city had seen following the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

A cell of terrorists, the memo said, might try to bomb the subway, using baby strollers or briefcases to conceal explosives, "on or about Oct. 9."

In response, the NYPD flooded the subway system with thousands of extra officers. But even as Kelly and Bloomberg were announcing the threat, the Department of Homeland Security was casting doubt on the information, saying it lacked credibility.

On Friday came word that the third operative had been arrested in Iraq and that the NYPD was looking for one terror operative who may be in New York.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), the chairman of the House subcommittee on homeland security, said the easing of worries hasn't changed his opinion that the Department of Homeland Security mishandled the threat.

King, who has said he'll convene hearings to grill agency officials for declaring the threat of "doubtful credibility," accused the Homeland Security Department yesterday of possibly discouraging other localities into keeping such threats quiet to avoid being shamed.

"I'm not worried about New York - they'll do what they need to - but are other local governments going to be willing to do the right thing when they are publicly undermined by Homeland Security?" he asked. "There are a lot of local governments who aren't going to be willing to be responsible, for fear of being undermined by Washington."

Over the weekend, one television news report said a probe showed that the men had not made any calls to the United States. Two law enforcement sources said yesterday that the same men had passed their polygraph tests, though another source, who is an official familiar with the probe, said only two men had actually been polygraphed and both had passed.

FBI spokesman John Miller said the agency agrees with the NYPD's assessment that any potential risk had subsided.

It was not clear, however, if the mystery man who may be in New York was still being sought or if authorities had determined he doesn't exist.

Kelly, however, said that regardless of how the probe concludes, he has no doubts he made the right move in stepping up security.

"We did precisely the right thing," Kelly said. "We had no choice but to respond the way we did."

The Department of Homeland Security had no comment.

Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

10-11-2005, 06:53 PM
And who had the most to gain from these false threats? Didn't Bush make a speach the other night about staying the course in Iraq?

10-11-2005, 06:54 PM
I think it was Homeland Security that gave them the threat to begin with... I'll have to verify that.

10-11-2005, 07:58 PM
NYC Officials Question Subway Hoax Reports

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051011/ap_on_re_us/nyc_subway;_ylt=AgFooNOnKSjOMw2wbi9jnXKs0NUE;_ylu= X3oDMTA3b2NibDltBHNlYwM3MTY-

9 minutes ago

NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police officials questioned reports on Tuesday that an alleged subway bomb plot that spread fear through the city was a hoax.

"I don't know that it was confirmed that it was a hoax at all," Bloomberg said when asked about the reports by CNN and the New York Post.

The reports, citing unnamed sources, claimed an informant in Iraq who had told U.S. authorities about the possible threat by al-Qaida later admitted he made it up.

The informant's allegation prompted city and FBI officials last week to issue a dire public warning and to flood the subway system with thousands of extra police officers.

After four days of high alert, the officials announced Monday there was no clear evidence an attack would be carried out and scaled back the protection.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, appearing with Bloomberg at a hospital groundbreaking in Harlem, said the informant could not have recanted because U.S. authorities in Iraq had lost track of him.

"As far as we know right now, the source is not in custody," he said.

Bloomberg said the informant had passed a lie detector test at the time he identified three suspects in Iraq, and alleged they were plotting to use other operatives in New York to attack the subway with briefcases and baby carriages packed with explosives. Officials have also said the informant had provided reliable information in the past.

Kelly said he participated in an interagency conference call on Thursday before issuing the public warning, and during the meeting he learned that one of the alleged plotters had indicated it was "too late" to prevent the attack.

"Certainly it was a factor," Kelly said. "We had to make a decision quickly."

The mayor continued to insist the city didn't overreact.

"When somebody makes an allegation, and it looks like there is some credibility — and clearly there was credibility here — you go and you act on it," he said.

A call to the FBI's New York office was not immediately returned.

10-11-2005, 08:11 PM
I think plenty of us were suspicious of this warning.

10-11-2005, 08:12 PM
We always are... fyi... for those that are interested....