Washington, Sept 21 (ANI): A Colorado-based terror suspect, Najibullah Zazi, was according to court papers released Sunday, trained to make and handle bombs.
During a search in New York, agents found a laptop computer containing an image of the notes, which, according to an affidavit, "contain formulations and instructions regarding the manufacture and handling of initiating explosives, main explosives charges, explosives detonators and components of a fusing system."
The affidavits also show that in interviews with the F.B.I., twenty-four-year-old Zazi, told agents that during a 2008 trip to Pakistan, he attended courses and received instruction on weapons and explosives at a Qaeda training camp in a tribal area.
Veteran counter-terrorism officials in Washington, New York and Denver said they are convinced the latest terror plot in the United States was potentially serious, based largely on their emerging suspicions about Zazi, his training in explosives, his travel to Pakistan tribal areas where Al Qaeda is influential and the apparent ease of his movements within the United States.
But these officials also acknowledged that they could be overstating Zazi's significance because they knew little about his precise intentions and may never know completely what he might have been planning.
What has consumed federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. is the belief that Mr. Zazi embodies what concerns them most: a Westernized militant, trained by Al Qaeda in Pakistan, whose experience and legal resident status in the United States give him the freedom to operate freely, yet attract little attention.
In a sense, according to The Telegraph, the case reflects the tension that has grown since the September 2001 attacks between intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
Some intelligence officials are prepared to disrupt a group as soon as its activities are discovered, while more case-oriented law enforcement agencies seek to surreptitiously track or infiltrate a suspect group until there is compelling evidence to charge the plotters with a crime.
In this case, Zazi and his confederates were deterred before any plot had a chance to take shape and before investigators were able to clearly understand or describe what the men were planning. That left prosecutors to charge the three men with proxy offenses of making false statements rather than crimes directly involving terrorism.
In part, it appears that authorities lost their ability to conduct covert surveillance of Zazi because he and others learned of the inquiry from their associates. (ANI)