The Sestak Affair

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

Members of congress demand criminal probe

“This is punishable by prison. This is a felony.” – Rep. Darrell Issa

Joe Sestak

29 May 2010: Due to the recent equivocations from the Obama White House and the apparent unwillingness by the mainstream media to investigate this matter, the majority of Americans are unaware of the seriousness of the Obama administration’s alleged actions involving Joseph Sestak.  If proven, the reported actions of the Obama administration are clear violations of three federal laws[i].  The impact and fallout from documented violations, as well as the refusal of the Holder Justice Department to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate this matter, have the potential to eclipse the Watergate scandal of the early 1970’s – it is that serious.

The crime

In an attempt to retain as much political control over Congress during the 2010 midterm elections, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel dispatched William Clinton and lawyer Doug Band to meet with senatorial candidate Joseph Sestak who was running against Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania. In exchange for dropping out of the race, Sestak was offered a position with the administration. It was reasoned that should Sestak accept, Specter would be unopposed in the primary and have a much better chance of retaining his senatorial seat. The meetings reportedly took place in June and July of last year.

Based on open source reports stemming back to February, it is apparent that Sestak had no idea that such overtures are illegal as he readily admitted the meeting and job offer in a February 18, 2010 interview with Philadelphia TV newscaster Larry Kane (documented here).

The overture made to Joseph Sestak is not the first time the Obama administration attempted to alter this year’s Senate races by promising employment to opponents posing serious challenges to Obama allies. It is, however, garnering the most attention. The first known incident involves Andrew Romanoff, a Democratic challenger from Colorado running against Senator Michael Bennet. The Obama administration offered Romanoff a position in the administration if he canceled plans to run for the Democratic nomination against incumbent Senator Bennet as detailed in this Denver Post article dated September 27, 2009. As in all cases involving possible criminal activity, such documented multiple instances show a continuing course of conduct and intent.

The cover-up

Recalling the days of Watergate, it is important to understand that it was obstruction of justice charges that ultimately brought down the Nixon administration. Obstruction of justice can take on different forms, including but not limited to obfuscations, equivocations, denials, as well as lack of cooperation with investigative bodies. So far, the White House has failed to cooperate or provide any specific answers to questions posed by lawmakers. The Holder Justice Department has also declined to investigate.

The Timeline

June/July 2009: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel dispatched William Clinton and lawyer Doug Band to meet with senatorial candidate Joseph Sestak who was running against Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania. In exchange for dropping out of the race, Sestak was offered a position with the administration. It was reasoned that should Sestak accept, Specter would be unopposed in the primary and have a much better chance of retaining his senatorial seat.

February 18, 2010: Sestak interviewed by Philadelphia, PA TV newscaster Larry Kane, admits job offer by White House in exchange for dropping out of Senate race.

March 10, 2010: Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sends letter to White House Counsel Robert Bauer to inquire about the details of the Sestak matter. Specific questions included:  (1) who on the White House staff communicated with Sestak about the 2010 race for the Senate; (2) what position, if any, was offered in exchange for the commitment to not run; (3) what, if any investigation did your office undertake to determine whether the criminal activity described by Rep. Sestak occurred?; and (4) Do you expect to make a referral to the United States Department of Justice in this matter? Rep. Issa issued a March 18, 2010 deadline for a reply.

March 16, 2010: Under pressure from reporters, White House Press Secretary issues the following statement during a press conference: “I’ve talked to several people in the White House. I’ve talked to people who have talked to others in the White House.”  I’m told that whatever conversations have been had, are not problematic. I think Congressman Sestak has discussed that this is – whatever happened is in the past and he is focused on this primary.”

March 18, 2010: No response from the White House counsel.

March 22, 2010: Second request sent, with advisory that that if no satisfactory answers from the White House were forthcoming, Rep. Issa would ask Holder to appoint a special prosecutor; Bauer was also asked for more information about who Gibbs spoke with in the White House about this matter. A deadline set for April 5, 2010

April 5, 2010: No response from White House. It was during a press conference that CNS News asked Gibbs if the White House would support a special prosecutor investigating the issue, citing the deadline of April 5.  Gibbs did not answer the question, instead referred to his March 16, 2010 comment.

May 18, 2010: Pennsylvania primary; Specter defeated.

May 26, 2010: Seven republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee requested the Holder Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to probe the allegations (Letter – PDF format).

May 28, 2010: Letter from 14 Congressmen to FBI Director Robert Mueller requesting FBI probe of criminal conduct. Official White House memo released.

[i] 18 U.S.C. § 600: Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

18 U.S.C. § 211: Whoever solicits or receives, either as a political contribution, or for personal emolument, any money or thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Whoever solicits or receives anything of value in consideration of aiding a person to obtain employment under the United States either by referring his name to an executive department or agency of the United States or by requiring the payment of a fee because such person has secured such employment shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. This section shall not apply to such services rendered by an employment agency pursuant to the written request of an executive department or agency of the United States.

18 U.S.C. § 595: Whoever, being a person employed in any administrative position by the United States, or by any department or agency thereof, or by the District of Columbia or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or by any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States, or any political subdivision, municipality, or agency thereof, or agency of such political subdivision or municipality (including any corporation owned or controlled by any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States or by any such political subdivision, municipality, or agency), in connection with any activity which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States, or any department or agency thereof, uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Obama advisor in his own [Arabic] words…

27 May 2010: In case you missed it, here is counter-terrorism and homeland security adviser John Brennan pandering to Islamic interests while insulting our friends in Israel by his remarks. Last week, Brennan called Hezbollah a “very interesting organization” and suggested that the U.S. “build up the more moderate elements” of Hezbollah, the same Muslim terrorist group that the State Department has designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Yet another example of the Obama administration’s pro-Muslim posture… in their own Arabic words, too.

Drawing a line in the dust at Ground Zero

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

26 May 2010: Shortly after efforts turned from rescue to recovery at Ground Zero, I walked amid the rubble with a New York City police officer named “Mark.” It was just after daybreak over lower Manhattan, and the noxious odors of death, jet fuel and oppressive toxic dust still filled the air. We said nothing to each other as we stopped at the edge of a darkly stained area on the ground where bodies had fallen or people had jumped to their deaths. Debris and dust covered over portions of the grotesque paisley patterns that extended beyond yellow police tape that flapped in the morning breeze.

The NYPD officer was first to break the silence. “I remember the first one,” he said, referring to the February 26, 1993 bombing that killed 6 people and injured over a thousand more. “This time it’s going be a whole lot different,” he added.  As we walked away from the area, he said that our response was going to be decisive. America was deeply wounded, but Americans were angry. And it seemed like we were united in our anger.

We were going to fight, prevail, rebuild and grow stronger. Standing there that morning, neither of us had any doubt that our leaders would not just avenge the deaths of 9/11, but take steps to make sure that such an attack would never happen again. We would emerge stronger and smarter.

That was 8 ½ years ago. Earlier this month, I stood with Mark at the outer perimeter of what once was the World Trade Center, reflecting back on that day. “We were wrong,” said Mark, gesturing to the fenced void where the North Tower once stood. For the next few hours, we talked about just how wrong we were, and how wrong things are. We talked about some of the heroes that died that day, and their families.

I left Ground Zero that day angry. And if you are not angry, you’ve simply not been paying attention, or worse, you are part of the problem. In either case, it’s time for a dose of intellectual honesty without fear or the constraint of political correctness. Americans deserve it. The victims of Islamic terrorism demand it, and the very future and salvation of our country depends on it.

Think back for a moment to those sad and mournful days in the wake of 9/11, when the images of death were being replayed over all the news channels. Think back to the occasional clips of our Muslim enemies dancing in the streets of their countries, celebrating the death and destruction on American soil. Think back to the unity and resolve of Americans in the heartland, and the selflessness of those who prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Now consider being given a glimpse into the future, and answer the following honestly:

Had you been told that in seven years, a little-known man of questionable background named Barack Hussein Obama, a man considered by many Muslims to be a Muslim himself, a man who proudly admits to being accomplished at reciting the adhan (the Islamic call to prayer) would occupy the White House, would you have believed it? Or would you have scoffed, or at least wondered how we lost the war or permitted our country to be overtaken?

If you were told that in 2010, the construction of a 13-story mosque just two blocks from Ground Zero would be unanimously approved by New York City planners, and just a few hundred yards from where you stood, where bodies fell and others jumped to their deaths, would you have believed it?  What if you were told that the funding source for that mosque originated from the same blood money declined by then Mayor Rudy Giuliani when it was offered to him on October 11, 2001 by Saudi Prince al Waleed bin Talal. You probably would have asked how any American, let alone any New Yorker, would allow that to happen. Is it a case of their unbridled stupidity, naiveté, or perhaps something more nefarious?

If you were told that a memorial planned and approved for the heroes and victims of Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA would contain Islamic symbolism, you probably would have laughed, as many still do in their attempts to marginalize those who point out the obvious. I wonder if those who called such claims conspiratorial nonsense might reconsider, in light of the planned construction of the ultimate Islamic symbol of victory – a mosque – at Ground Zero.

If you were told that in the ensuing years fighting domestic threats posed by Islamic terrorism that our Justice Department, policymakers and leaders in law enforcement would succumb to the pressure of Muslim advocacy groups, and permit co-conspirators to influence and actually help create counter-terrorism policies to their current absurd levels, would you have believed it?

If you were told that a man named al-Awlaki (a/k/a Anwar Nasser Abdulla Aulaqi), identified as a Muslim cleric who assisted at least two of the 9/11 hijackers was in federal custody after the attacks but was ordered released? Of course, if you’ve been paying attention, you would know that al-Awlaki was the inspiration behind the mass murder of our soldiers at Fort Hood in November 2009 and involved in numerous other post-9/11 plots. Looking across the debris field at Ground Zero, would you not demand answers and accountability for those who let al-Awlaki go?

If you were told that you faced the threat of being sued for reporting suspicious activity, even if your observations were accurate and your concerns legitimate, would you have believed it?

If you were told that in the process of holding those responsible for the atrocities on 9/11 and those harboring or aiding them, our justice department under new leadership would revert back to 1993 standards to deal with the perpetrators by handling these acts of terrorism as criminal acts, and not acts of war?

Standing amid the rubble as victims were still being identified, would you not have been offended at the instruction of having to carefully avoid using Islam and terrorism in the same sentence, or having to refer to the scene before you as a “man-caused disaster?” Is there no one left in authority with the guts or integrity to point out just how preposterous and self-destructive this game of semantics is?

Had you been told that you, as a proud American and not simply the Muslim terrorists, would be placed on a watch list of potential threats to our country within the next five years, would you have not asked how that could possibly happen?

Even before the dust began to settle over New York, Americans were being sold a bill of goods about the agenda of Islamists. The fact that Islam is much more than a religion is carefully omitted from academic discussion. The fact that Islamists, having found common ground with progressives, are deliberately infiltrating all aspects of our government, our military and our law enforcement and adversely affecting our policies is being hidden from the public or mocked by the media.

Hardworking and patriotic Americans have been duped by our elected officials, our corporate media, many of our religious leaders, pundits, commentators, anchors, and others over the last 8 ½ years. Many have stood by and allowed our country to be psychologically raped to the point of perverse acquiescence to the agenda of the global elite, who are teamed with the progressive left and the current incarnation of the Muslim Brotherhood in a fight for control over our country.

What hijacked airplanes and bombs have yet to accomplish, the policies of our leaders and the politics of the progressive movement are working toward completion. Failing to recognize that political correctness is nothing more than a perversion of truth and a strategic smokescreen for the common goals of Islamists and the progressives is to be blissfully ignorant, or willfully complicit in the destruction of our country.

If you are not angry, I would like to know why.

Obama administration officials to speak at Hamas support group’s convention

By Lee Kaplan, Communications Director

26 May 2010: Mainstream media has completely overlooked a national conference that will be held June 4-10, 2010 in Washington D.C., where officials of the Obama administration will speak and rub elbows with Arab-Americans who openly support and work for the goals of Hamas, and who encourage the violation of US laws.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) presents itself as a civil rights group protecting Muslims and Arab-Americans from discrimination. However, the group is a front for supporting Hamas and promotes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel, and through its associations, supports the same enemies our troops are fighting against in Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to the website Militant Islam Monitor, “The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is known for openly supporting Hezbollah, and Hamas. One of its members, Souheil Elia of the Florida chapter, has supported suicide bombings in it forums and in interviews, stating that …”their bodies are the only weapons they have…” In 2004 Elia spoke at an ADC event called Palestine- Perception and Reality- which was an Israel and American bashing fest.

This week, the ADC sent out e-mail announcements for the convention and is promoting featured guests that include Rick Wade, Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff for Barack Hussein Obama’s Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The ADC openly works with anti-Israel organizations such as Al Awda and the Students for Justice in Palestine as well as the Muslim Student Union chapters on US college campuses to promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. In addition, the ADC serves as a support mechanism for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) by providing facilities and funding to send activists to the Middle East to support Hamas and act as human shields for the terrorist organization. Jess Ghannam, head of the ADC is San Francisco and a co-founder of Al Awda and ISM organizer was recently part of the Viva Palestina Tour that illegally entered Gaza last year to bring funding and supplies to Hamas.

The Secretary of Commerce has an Office of Anti-Boycott Compliance that is responsible for enforcing US trade laws passed by congress making it illegal for American companies to discriminate and boycott Israel. Obviously, both the Bush and Obama administrations have chosen to ignore and violate the rule of law. The BDS Movement as encouraged and supported by Al Awda and the ADC also encourages the boycotting of American businesses that are either owned by Jews or have Jewish management, a clear violation of U.S. Civil Rights Laws.

Oddly enough, Wade’s appearance is supposed to “… highlight the economic viability of minority-owned businesses and the opportunities for collaboration in areas of commerce, both domestically and internationally,” according to the announcement sent out by the ADC.

Apparently, the Commerce Secretary’s Office sees nothing wrong with encouraging business among an Arab advocacy group that discriminates against American and Israeli companies and Jews. Oddly enough, the ADC announcement also cites as the theme of the conference as being “Thirty Years of Advocacy and Achievement: Strengthening the Voice for Equality and Justice.” The ADC has always supported the boycotting and divestment of Jewish and Israeli businesses in the US and abroad.

The conference also includes as guest speakers Clovis Maksoud, the diplomatic head of the Arab League that created the Boycott against Israel originating in 1949, as well as Azmi Bishara, a former Arab-Israeli member of Israel’s parliament who fled the country after it was revealed he had been spying for Hezbollah. Hezbollah is on the US State Department’s list of illegal terrorist groups and was responsible for murdering 241 US marines in Beirut in 1983.

Even more disturbing is another high-level guest from the Obama Administration—Attorney General Eric Holder who is scheduled to speak to “A Keynote Civil Rights Luncheon” at the Conference on June 4th.

So here we have the highest law enforcement officer in the US speaking as a guest at an event given by an organization that discriminates against Jewish Americans in violation of US Trade Laws and that hosts as an honored guest someone who has worked as a spy for a known terrorist organization that has murdered US servicemen.

The Obama administration should be ashamed and cancel these scheduled appearances immediately. There is no excuse for this as it shows support for an organization that is the complete antithesis of American values and honesty.

Muslim terrorist arrested in attempted Times Square bombing

Others being sought

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

4 May 2010: Faisal SHAHZAD, 30, a Muslim from Pakistan who was recently naturalized as a U.S. citizen, was arrested late Monday night by Customs and Border Protection agents at JFK airport as he attempted to flee the U.S. to his native Pakistan via Dubai. SHAHZAD was placed on the “do-not-fly” list earlier Monday based on information developed during the course of the investigation into the attempted vehicle bombing in Time Square. He was identified as the individual who drove the vehicle into Times Square. Authorities are currently investigating SHAHZAD’s U.S. support network in the New York area, including other possible suspects who have not yet been publicly identified.

According to information provided to this author by New York authorities, SHAZAD lives in Shelton, Connecticut. He became naturalized in April 2009 shortly before traveling back to Pakistan for a five-month period. SHAHZAD is married and reportedly maintains a wife in Pakistan. His activities while in Pakistan allegedly include meetings with at least one Pakistani based Muslim terrorist organization and time spent at terror training camps, based on information provided to this author.

Also according to information provided by a New York official, investigators are looking into SHAHZAD’s U.S. contacts as the probe into Saturday’s bombing attempt widens. “There is no doubt that this was an Islamic inspired, sanctioned and funded attempted terror attack against the citizens of the U.S.,” stated the New York official on the strict condition of anonymity. “There is a concern that more attacks are being planned by individuals in the well as in other countries, especially Pakistan,” added this source.

Investigators initially identified SHAHZAD through the purchase of the Nissan Pathfinder used in the bombing attempt. Investigators also gathered information about SHAHZAD and other likely suspects from a video message uploaded 24 hours before the attempted attack by a group known as Tehreek-e-Taliban, different from the Pakistani group who originally claimed responsibility for the act.  The video featured Qari Hussein MEHSUD, the Pakistani Taliban leader and bomb trainer referencing the Times Square attack and promises for additional terrorist attacks inside the U.S.

That video was then followed by the release of two additional video messages from Hakeemullah MEHSUD, the head of the Taliban in Pakistan believed to have been killed in a U.S. missile strike in North Waziristan last January. Although it is important to note the distinction between the messages and the groups, it is interesting to note that all of the videos were posted on the Internet by the Tehreek-e-Taliban, also known as the “Pakistan News Channel.” Additionally, investigation revealed that the messages were recorded sometime in early April.

SHAHZAD will be brought to the Manhattan Federal Courthouse today to be formally charged.

International ties to Times Square bombing attempt

Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

3 May 2010: Law enforcement sources close to the Northeast Intelligence Network are privately confirming that the investigation into failed car bombing attempt in New York City is expanding to other states, and that the bombing attempt indeed “has ties to foreign elements.”  According to information obtained from law enforcement sources, there are at least three individuals who appear to be “directly involved” in the terrorist act, and that the suspects are Islamic terrorists.

“In addition to the forensic evidence found within the vehicle, the vehicle itself has provided us with some critical evidence,” stated a New York detective speaking to this author on the condition of anonymity. “There is a trail being followed, and it not only points out of New York, but out of the U.S. Departing U.S. flights on the East Coast have been monitored since the incident happened, and are still being heavily scrutinized,” added this source.

This information comes at the same time as an article in The Washington Post today that indicates international ties in the failed bombing attempt, and the surfacing of two new videos from the Pakistani Taliban that suggest that Hakimullah Mehsud was not killed in a U.S. missile strike as originally stated by U.S. and Pakistani officials.

Analysis of the Times Square bombing attempt

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

3 May 2010: During interviews yesterday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano described the failed vehicle bomb in Times Square as “one off,” suggesting, by definition that the event appears to be a one-time occurrence.  Other counter-terrorism officials and commentators have further depicted the bomb assembly as “amateurish.” Meanwhile, political agendas appear to be overruling logical analysis and common sense. Liberals and progressives are speculating that the person or persons behind the failed attack are likely to be angry right-wing “tea-baggers,” while the right wing conservatives are suggesting possibilities that range from Islamic terrorists to a possible false flag operation intent on curtailing more of our liberties.

Let’s look at the facts outside of the influence of politics and political correctness:

Bomb composition: The bomb was composed of three filled propane tanks, two 5-gallon containers of gasoline, an ammunition locker type of box filled with inert fertilizer. The triggering mechanism was identified as a can filled with about 2 dozen M-88 type commercial firecrackers hooked to at least one alarm clock. A second alarm clock inside the vehicle was destroyed by fire.

The construction of the bomb is very similar in design to the vehicle bombs used in the attempted attack in London in 2007. The vehicle bomb in London failed to detonate due to an incorrect fuel-air mixture. The Times Square bomb failed, perhaps, due to design flaws, although further investigation will bear that out. In both cases, however, the bombs were noticed when smoke began coming from each vehicle.

As detailed in our report on 2 May 2010, the currently incarcerated Islamic terrorist Dhiren BAROT conducted surveillance of various potential targets in New York City in 2000 and 2001. Included in his surveillance were targets where vehicle bombs would cause the most death and destruction, including areas at and around Times Square. Based on his research, BAROT authored a detailed instruction manual that included targets of dense population, and further included bomb designs very similar to the construction of the Times Square bomb. That manual has reached a wide audience via the Internet, including Islamists in the U.S.

Bomb location: The vehicle was parked at the southwest corner of 45th and Broadway, arriving at that location at approximately 6:30 p.m. It was “parked” at one of the most densely populated pedestrian areas in the U.S., at a time when a successful detonation would have caused a significant number of casualties. The same process of “target selection” was employed in the failed London bombing attempt. While its proximity to the Viacom office might be relevant considering the recent threats made against the animated television series South Park, the close proximity to an army recruiting station can also be considered. Its exact location, however, more likely appears to be a result of simple logistics, as anyone who has driven through Times Square can attest. The most logical conclusion for its placement is based on opportunity, or where it could quickly be parked in order to cause the maximum number of deaths and human suffering.

History: In recent history, there have been over 1500 incidents involving the implementation of vehicle borne improved explosive devices. Although those statistics include the activities of the IRA and other “separatist groups,” it is important to consider that we are a nation at war with the terrorist element of Islam. Islamic terrorists have repeatedly warned us of their intention of bringing the war to the United States. Unfortunately, pressure from activists groups and the irrationality of American adherence to politically correct speech has forced many to deny this war.  Although there has not yet been any identification of a suspect or suspects in this case, it is only due to the irrational influence of political correctness that we have not publicly placed Islamic terrorists as number-one on the list of prime suspects given the facts we have.

To characterize the bomb composition as amateurish is an attempt to psychologically minimize its potential to kill. It’s important to remember that the 9/11 hijackers were armed simply with box cutters. By the logic being employed today, the events of 9/11 might well be described as amateurish in design and operation had the hijackings failed to succeed.

The vehicle at Times Square was loaded with items readily available, although when properly combined and constructed, can be as lethal as military bombs. Many Americans appear to have this notion inspired by Hollywood movies that if the bomb is not sophisticated in design, contain fancy military ordinance or any other level of sophistication, it is not that dangerous. The numerous deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel by crudely designed bombs constructed of easily obtained materials should provide a much different perception.

Lastly, the reference by Napolitano as the incident being a “one off” also presents a false or incorrect characterization of the war being waged against us.  It is important that we recall that the day after the failed London bombing, the perpetrators drove their SUV, containing propane cylinders into the Glasgow Airport in the first terror attack in that country since Lockerbie. It is certainly premature to suggest that this incident is an isolated attempt, and equally dangerous.

NYC SUV bomb construction patterned after AQ manual

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director & Sean Osborne, Assistant Director

2 May 2010: If the configuration of the propane gas cylinders and gasoline containers in the back of a SUV sounds familiar, it should. In an article that was published on this web site on 29 June 2007, we warned that the operational tactics of Islamic terrorists of the London attempted bombings outside of a night club would be used on U.S. soil, and identified the crowded streets of New York as a prime target.

Excerpted from that article:  “There is a deep concern among counter-terrorism officials that such bombs will be eventually used in the United States, especially in areas of high pedestrian traffic, such as in New York City.”

A six-part law enforcement sensitive investigative analysis published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in April 2009 also warned of the increasing likelihood of a bomb of this type (propane tanks and fuel canisters) being used in against civilian targets to cause significant casualties. Buildings with glass windows, underground parking garages, and areas crowded with pedestrians (such as Times Square) were identified or suggested as prime target areas.

The operational tactics studied by U.S. DHS officials of al Qaeda’s tactics, specifically those written by now-jailed Islamic terrorist Dhiren BAROT (depicted in image at left), served as the basis for this study. Officials found that BAROT spent a great deal of time in New York City in 2000 and 2001, engaging in surveillance of target selection. As a result, BAROT compiled a 39-page “instruction manual” that outlined the selection of targets, how to create bombs using propane tanks and fuel containers,   and the use of  SUVs and vans. BAROT also gave instructions on when to use such bombs to cause the maximum number of casualties.

2009 U.S. Department of Homeland Security analysis

His manual and other documents were wisely published on the Internet following the 2001 attacks, and are considered to have been the blueprints for the failed London car bombings in 2007.

Background: Article published 29 June 2007

NYC Times Square car bombing attempt

by Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

2 May 2010: NYPD, members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies remain on the scene of a nearly successful vehicle bombing attempt at Times Square in New York City. The incident is being described as an “attempted terrorist attack” in the heart of New York City that if successful, could have resulted in the numerous fatalities.

According to initial reports, a street vendor observed smoke coming from the interior of a dark green Nissan SUV that was parked but left running on the southwest corner of 45th Street and Broadway at approximately 7:00 p.m. Saturday. The vendor immediately flagged down police. Among the first on the scene was NYPD Officer Wayne Rhatigan, who observed the smoke and smelled the distinctive odor of gunpowder coming from the vehicle during his closer inspection. Determining it to be a live bomb that could detonate at any time, the officer summoned assistance and officers began clearing the area. The bomb failed to detonate.

What was found inside the vehicle stunned police officials: they included three propane tanks, two red 5-gallon plastic containers filled with gasoline, consumer grade fireworks, a locked, black metal ammunition storage type box, a clock, various other electrical components, and other items apparently intended to be used as shrapnel in the explosion. Had the vehicle been detonated, it would have created a large fireball, spewing metal and deadly shrapnel across a large area that was filled with thousands of passersby.

It was also initially reported that two female police officers patrolling the area noticed an unidentified male fumbling with something in the back of the Nissan SUV. When the man spotted the two officers, he immediately fled the scene, and was ultimately lost in the crowd of people. New York City police and federal officials are reviewing a number of videos captured by street level cameras and building surveillance cameras in the vicinity of Broadway and 45th Street.

Additionally, investigators are processing a large amount of significant forensic evidence from the vehicle, which one New York City police investigator described as “being consistent with vehicle bombs [he has seen used during his tour of duty] in Iraq.” Speaking to this author on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak about the incident, he stated that the bomb would have undoubted caused a significant loss of life and many serious injuries.

A Connecticut license plate was attached to the vehicle, but police determined that the plate did not match the Nissan. Investigators contacted the owner of the license plate, who told them that he discarded the plate at a local junkyard. Police have identified the owner of the vehicle through the vehicle identification (VIN) number, but have yet to release any details to the public.

So far, police have not publicly addressed the possibility that the vehicle bomb could have been intended to send a message to Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central and distributor of the animated television series “South Park.” The show was at the center of recent controversy over their depiction of Islam’s Mohammed. According to the investigator interviewed early this morning, however, they are not ruling out any possibility.

As of 4:00 a.m. ET, no physical description of the unidentified male observed parking the vehicle has been released to the public. Investigators with the Northeast Intelligence Network remain in close contact with NYPD officers, and will provide additional information as it is developed.

UPDATE 5:10 a.m. ET: It has been confirmed that a small fire inside of the Nissan Pathfinder was extinguished, which caused some “popping sounds” or “mini-explosions” heard by people in the area of the SUV.