Thursday, May 21, 2009



The Newburgh Four

(May 21, Bronx, NYC) After an 11 month long investigation by the FBI - NYPD Joint Counter Terrorism Task Force (JCTTF), four arrests were made last evening ago when the alleged terrorists attempted to plant 34 pounds of fake explosives in front of the Riverdale Jewish Center here. The phony explosives were sold to the terror suspects by a confidential FBI informant who had posed as a kindred spirit in their “Jihad” as well as an arms dealer. He ultimately gained the trust of the group thus allowing his FBI handlers to install sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment in the house they appear to have shared in Newburgh, New York, approximately 60 minutes north of the Bronx.

According to NYPD and FBI sources as well as court documents, this group of four all had prior criminal records, some had spent time in prison but seemed to have met under other circumstances, not in prison. As individuals they were all half-assed petty criminals, one a crack addict, and generally “small timers” until they came together and began to hatch their plan. Allegedly, according to unsealed court documents, they had been planning to blow up several synagogues in New York City and had attempted to purchase a shoulder fired missile with which to bring down a military aircraft based at the Newburgh Military Base.

As the details emerge and both NYPD and FBI sources provided greater details, the story, from a law enforcement perspective is one of good old fashioned police work; an informant on the inside, actionable intelligence he provided, video and audio surveillance. While the investigation began in June 2008, it was run on a strictly local level by the FBI-NYPD JCTTF. At no time was the Bush Administration aware of this particular case according to insiders close to the investigation.

The actual arrests of the four were conducted by officers from NYPD as well as the FBI agents assigned to the lengthy case.

What the interruption of this terrorist plot illustrates is the danger from within is as serious as it is from external sources. Homegrown terrorists such as these four misfits are capable of acquiring weaponry, finding like minded individuals as accomplices, and can operate under anyone’s “radar screen” undetected for an indefinite period of time.

After the attack on The World Trade Centers in 2001, NYPD began an ambitious initiative to establish its own internal Intelligence Unit. “Face it, every branch of the federal government, all the countless “intelligence“ agencies, the FBI, CIA and every other do-nothing alphabet agency in Washington basically hung us out to dry. They had no clue about what was coming? Were they all that stupid?”, commented one of the highest ranking members of the NYPD Intelligence Unit who, for security purposes, spoke to us anonymously. Others echoed his sentiments including the NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelley. “We knew we were on our own. We took the steps necessary to develop our own (Intelligence) unit to provide our people with the information we need to make a difference, to keep our people, New York City, safe”, said Commissioner Kelley.

The NYPD Intelligence Unit (NYPDIU) often coordinates their investigative and tactical efforts with the NYPD Operations Unit. “Between Intelligence and Ops, we feel we have a good handle on security. It is our combined mission 24 - 7”, offered another of the NYPD brass commanding a specific detail.

The challenge faced by NYPD and the JCTTF is enormous given the openness of our society, the racial, religious and ethnic diversity of NYC and the size of the population. The fact that this group of four where planning their operations from Newburgh, New York, further illustrates the needle-in-a-haystack type of asymmetrical warfare engaged in on our own soil. Only by developing new and novel approaches to homegrown terrorism of any kind can this cat and mouse game of dire consequences be waged.

While our entire country is open, our infrastructure, ports, power grids, transportation networks and borders are virtually unprotected, NYPD has taken the forefront in fighting terrorism at home, in a densely populated urban landscape. The federal government during the 8 years of the Bush Administration, for all their talk about “keeping us safe” and “interrupting terrorist plots to kill Americans”, they did next to nothing to improve our domestic security at our most vulnerable and potentially crippling targets.

BronxWest Consulting Domestic Terrorism Section Chief, Patrick Murphy noted, “Bush and his bunch of moronic zealots ignored the ports and power grid and so much of our most valuable infrastructure that it is pathetic. They can brag and boast about all sorts of mysterious “victories” in their “War on Terror” overseas but, frankly, we are little more secure today, as a nation, than we were on September 10, 2001. That is their sickening legacy.”

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The Brooding Cynyx are grateful to BronxWest Consulting for providing this post.

BronxWest Consulting wishes to acknowledge their confidential sources within the NYPD and FBI for providing some of the information used in this post.

We also thank them for their tireless service to NYC.

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