NM Tragedy: Could the FBI Have Saved the Boy?

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, August 8, 2018:

The New Mexico authorities have announced heart-breaking news: The remains of a boy have been found at the Islamist compound that was raided on Friday.

It is almost certainly the body of disabled toddler Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, who has been missing for nine months after being abducted by his father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, and brought to the compound with 11 other malnourished children.

The day the remains were found would have been his fourth birthday.

The pain one experiences from reading the story is increased exponentially by a reality that is difficult to accept: The boy might have been saved if the FBI had acted, instead of stalling until the New Mexico police finally went in on their own.

The Beginning

Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj went missing on December 1, 2017, abducted by his father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj. The boy’s mother, Hakeemah Ramzi, went to the police. The boy’s parents had been married for 15 years, according to press reports. It is unclear what sparked the sudden rift within the Wahhaj family.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj attributed his son’s disabilities to demonic beings and believed that only an Islamic exorcism would expel the demons, a fact reported by the Clarion Intelligence Network’s sources before it was confirmed publicly in a search warrant.

The boy’s medication was left behind, putting him in peril. Sources say the rejection of medical treatment points to the fact that the ideology held by Wahhaj and his co-conspirators stems not from traditional Islamism but to a cultish fringe.

The kidnapper is the son of radical Imam Siraj Wahhaj in Brooklyn, one of the most powerful Islamic leaders in the country. He heads the Masjid at-Tawa mosque and the Muslim Alliance in North America, both of which have a long history of extremism and ties to terrorism, including weapons training and acquirement.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and his co-conspirators likely learned their skills in this regard through this Islamist network even if they later had a falling out with Imam Wahhaj and joined a more fringe cult-like movement. Clarion Intelligence Network has been providing information to the necessary authorities in this regard.

He had also set up a security-related company as a front.

The boy was seen with his father and other adults and children in Alabama on December 13 at the scene of a car accident. They told the police officer on the scene they were going to New Mexico to go camping.

The Compound is Discovered

Press reports indicate the compound was first set up in late December. It is still unknown exactly why and when the spot was chosen. Our law enforcement sources are certain there is a bigger story behind it.

Neighbors saw Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj at the compound in January and February.

A couple, Jason and Tanya Badger, went to the police in late April or early May once they did an internet search of Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and discovered he was a wanted a fugitive and the boy was missing.

Furthermore, the Badgers were involved in a property dispute with Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and his co-conspirators. According to the search warrant, Lucas “Luqman” Morton had purchased land nearby but accidentally built the compound on the Badgers’ land. The Badgers were trying to negotiate a land deal to settle the issue.

The Badgers gave permission to the FBI to search the compound, as it was on their own private property.

How the FBI Dropped the Ball

By early May, the FBI had strong evidence the fugitive believed to have the missing boy in custody was at the New Mexico compound. The legal owners of at least part of the land that the property was on had given permission for a search, making a “probable cause” standard for a search warrant unnecessary.

The FBI also knew this compound was inhabited by Islamist extremists and they were probably acquiring weapons. Our sources say there are indications they engaged in identity fraud and, most likely, other forms of fraud.

The FBI did not act decisively, even as the compound prepared for war and the children were in peril, especially the missing boy who was almost certainly there and whom the FBI knew was in desperate need of medication.

Yet instead of searching the property themselves, what did the FBI do?

They asked the neighbor, Jason Badger, to wear a hidden camera and risk his life by approaching an armed, Islamic extremist compound.

The FBI placed the compound under surveillance for at least two months before the raid, hoping to get a positive identification of the boy’s presence there—even though the extremists at the compound knew identification had to be prevented and had taken visible measures to make sure it didn’t happen.

The Badgers didn’t like the idea of having Islamist extremist neighbors who illegally squatted on their property. They filed a petition to have them evicted.

Their request for eviction—a very brazen move on the part of the Badgers—was rejected by a judge in June.

During an August 7 news conference, a reporter asked why that wasn’t enough for the authorities to go in. The police spokesperson said it was a civil matter and not grounds for a search warrant. The extremists and starving children got to stay.

The trigger for the raid was when the New Mexico police were provided a message by the authorities in Georgia.

A message had come out of the compound. It said the children were starving and they needed food and water.

The New Mexico authorities decided to go in on their own search warrant.

The Raid

The bravery shown by the New Mexico police — who were moved to save the children – can only be imaged.

The compound is on 10 acres of land in the middle of nowhere, making impossible any element of surprise. The police involved in the raid knew there was an enormous chance of a deadly shootout which could have incurred multiple casualties on the part of the police officers.

Sources aware of the investigation described the property as essentially a “training camp” with a shooting range. Neighbors had reported hearing gunfire consistently over the months. The camp looked like it was a compilation of trash, but close observation showed that it was not the handiwork of amateurs.

Tires formed a defensive perimeter. A trailer was half-buried and covered in plastic to stop outsiders from seeing what was going on inside. Various measures had been taken to detect “visitors” and impede an expected raid — wood with nails sticking out it and shattered glass were scattered on the property to alert residents of any intruders.

“It had to be a search warrant and a tactical approach to our own security, because we had learned that the inmates were most likely heavily armed and regarded as extremist of the Muslim faith,” an official from the Taos County Sheriff’s Office explained.

The two men, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Lucas Morten, initially did not comply with police orders.

Somehow, they were compelled—or forced—to surrender.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj had a loaded firearm on him when he was “taken down.”

Between the two of them, they had an AR-15 rifle, four loaded pistols and five loaded 30-round magazines, at the very least. They were obviously preparing to violently resist.

Footage of a walk through the compound shows the Islamist extremists were gearing up for a protracted battle.

Authorities found a 150-foot tunnel with cutouts where sleeping bags were stored so they could hide underground. There was a ladder and a hidden exit outside of Morton’s property for escape.

All told, it was a miracle that a Waco-like shootout did not commence during the raid which occurred on Friday, August 3, 2018.

In sum, five people were arrested and 11 children were rescued. Their condition was likened to that of refugees from a Third World country. Their ribs could be seen because they hadn’t eaten. The police gave them whatever water and snacks they had on them at the time.

The children reportedly appeared “brainwashed” and in great fear.

One boy remained still missing. On Monday, during a follow-up search, a corpse, likely that of the boy, was found.

Shocking Discovery of the Neighbors Post-Raid

The New Mexico police said they searched the compound as best they could with their limited resources.

On Sunday, about two days after the raid on Friday, the Badgers went into the compound to look around. They were shocked by what they found left behind.

The police had failed to seize guns, video cameras, a laptop computer and a tactical vest.

These are key items for prosecution and intelligence; ones that an unidentified co-conspirator would love to have retrieved after the ending of a search. Yet, they were left behind.

Conclusion

While the ultimate responsibility for the death and any injuries lies with the adults responsible, with a look at the information that is currently being reported, it is hard not to wonder what the FBI was waiting for.

We do not know when the boy died, assuming the body that was found was his. Yet, whether quicker, more decisive action could have saved his life is a question that must be answered.

And if the FBI felt it couldn’t act in this situation, then what other dangerous situations with even less evidence aren’t being handled decisively?

What would have stopped the compound leaders from carrying out an attack, abusing the children even more seriously, or deciding to end their lives in a manner reminiscent of Jim Jones or the Branch Davidians at Waco?

If the FBI’s standard for action requires evidence and danger even greater than what was known about the New Mexico compound, then its standard must change.

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Clarion’s Shillman Fellow and Clarion Intelligence Network Director Ryan Mauro explains how we worked hand in hand with authorities investigating a New Mexico Islamist compound.

Reports suggest children kept in the compound were being trained to stage school shootings.

Here’s more from Ryan:

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Also see:

UTT Throwback Thursday: US Government’s Failure to Address Domestic Threat

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Aug.24, 2017:

Summary

The attacks of 9/11 were conducted against the U.S. homeland with support from the Islamic Movement inside the United States.  The U.S. government’s response to fight on battlefields overseas, while leaders of the U.S. Islamic Movement exclusively provided “advice” to our leaders, led to strategic defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq despite the fact the U.S. military crushed the enemy on the battlefield.

Why?  How did this happen?

The United States lost and is losing this war today because, contrary to U.S. warfighting doctrine, the United States government has failed to identify the enemy we face and the doctrine they use as the basis for why they are fighting.

The enemy clearly articulates that sharia (Islamic Law) is the basis for everything they do.

Now the United States is re-engaging in Afghanistan using some of the same leaders who crafted the losing war strategy in the first place, who still have not defined the enemy, using the same allies who are still our enemies (eg Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, et al), while ignoring the massive jihadi network in the United States, which is the primary front for our enemy in this war.

Then (Post 9/11)

After 9/11, President Bush stated the purpose for our operations in Afghanistan was to “make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans,” and that U.S. military actions are “designed to clear the way for sustained, comprehensive and relentless operations to drive them out and bring them to justice.”

During the entire Bush administration the United States never defined the enemy.  Yet, the administration and all key government agencies were primarily advised by Muslim Brotherhood leaders which led to the United States writing constitutions for Afghanistan and Iraq (2005) creating Islamic Republics under sharia (Islamic Law), thus achieving Al Qaeda’s objectives in those two countries.

That is when we lost the war.

Now (August 2017)

In announcing renewed military operations in Afghanistan, President Trump stated the objectives of this endeavor include:  “Attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing Al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terrorist attacks against America before they emerge.”

First, if we kill all ISIS fighters, the Global Islamic Movement will roll on.  This is bigger than merely ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

As UTT reported on Monday in its article “US Islamic Movement Enters Final Stage” the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and its allies INSIDE the United States are experiencing the culmination of six decades of work domestically to overthrow our nation.  At the same time, the State Department is meeting with representatives of Hamas doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) which raises grave concerns.

Mr. Trump’s original instincts were correct.  He should stick with his gut.  We should not engage in Afghanistan as his National Security Advisor and others recommend.

This is a strategic distraction from the real war here at home.

The pattern we see between the U.S. government response after 9/11 and today are very similar:

9/11:  Jihadis attack the homeland using airliners killing nearly 3,000 Americans.

Response:  U.S. fails to define the enemy in any of its national security documents. U.S. military attacks targets in Afghanistan, while using U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders as primary advisors on how to fight the war.

Result:  Strategic loses in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Significant gains for Islamic Movement inside the U.S.

Today: U.S. Islamic Movement in “Final Stage” of its Civilization Jihad using hard-left Marxists as leading edge of their violent actions.

Response:  U.S. fails to define the enemy in any of its national security documents.  National Security Advisor Herbert McMaster demonstrates no knowledge of enemy doctrine (sharia).  U.S. Launches renewed military operations in Afghanistan, while failing to pursue the MB and designate it a terrorist organization.  The U.S. government continues to allow the MB to operate in the open in the United States.

Result:  While the U.S. puts its strategic focus on Afghanistan, the cooperating Islamic and hard-left/Marxist Movements will achieve the intentional outcome of their campaign – increased civil disorder, chaos, and a high likelihood of open civil war.

The Islamic Movement in the United States includes over 3000 Islamic centers/mosques, over 800 Muslim Student Associations (MSA) on every major college/university campus, over 255 Islamic Societies, and many others as has been detailed in previous UTT reports.  Nearly all of the jihadi attacks on the United States in the last 16 years, including the attacks of 9/11, had direct support from this network.

The 9/11 attacks had direct support from Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar.

Yet, this network remains untouched by the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security.

If the United States government wants to thin the jihadi herd, as the President states is his desire, he can begin with dealing with the mothership of their Movement – the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) – and jihadi leaders inside America like Nihad Awad, Ibrahim Hooper, Oussama Jamal, Salam al Marayati, Mohamed Magid, Azhar Azeez, Javaid Siddiqi, Sayyid Syeed, Muzammil Siddiqi, and so many others, as well as those aiding and abetting them like the President of the Southern Poverty Law Center Richard Cohen and the entire SPLC, and Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson.

Clarion: Jihadi Cult Associate Arrested in NY With Firearms Stockpile

WICZ-TV 40

Breitbart, July 3, 2017:

A long-time associate of a U.S.-based Islamist terrorist organization, Muslims of America (MOA), has been arrested in Johnson City, NY. Authorities discovered that he had a large cache of weapons inside a storage locker. A source inside MOA says the weapons were intended for the group’s “Islamberg” headquarters in Hancock, NY.

The suspect, 64-year old Ramadan Abdullah, was previously arrested in 1977 when he and another man tried to rob a candy store in Brooklyn and someone was murdered in the process. When police searched his home, they found enough material to build 50 bombs. In the end, the charges against Abdullah were strangely reduced (see below).

On May 31, Abdullah was arrested after trying to steal four boxes of ammunition from a local Gander Mountain store. When police questioned him about the purpose of the ammo, his answers made them suspicious, and they obtained a search warrant for a storage locker he was renting in the town of Union.

During that search, police found a large assortment of weaponry including:

  • 8 assault weapons
  • 4 loaded handguns
  • 1 loaded shotgun
  • 2 rifles
  • 64 high-capacity ammunition feeding devices
  • flak jackets
  • 1,000s of rounds of ammunition, including .50-caliber armor-piercing rounds

Searches of other residences linked to Abdullah turned up another loaded handgun, more high-capacity ammunition feeding devices and ammunition, including .38-caliber rounds.

New York State Police Major Jim Barnes would not say whether Abdullah was connected to terrorist groups or any organizations, but confirmed that police believe Abdullah had made trips overseas.

“There’s no indications there was a plan in place to commit an act of violence. However, it begs the question, what was he doing with all this and what were his intentions down the road?” said New York State Police Maj. Jim Barnes.

“It’s just a tremendous blessing to be able to take all these high power weapons and high power ammunition off the streets, and who knows what kind of large scale tragedy that this investigation may have prevented later down the road,” said Johnson City Police Chief Brent Dodge.

Abdullah is currently being held in the Broome County Jail without bail.

Abdullah is a longtime associate of the U.S.-based Islamist cult Muslims of America.

Read the full story at Clarion.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Anyone Surprised by Weekend’s Islamic Terror Attack ‘Has Been Asleep for the Last Two Years’

Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images

Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images

Breitbart, by John  Hayward, Sept. 19, 2016:

On Monday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow, Dr. Sebastian Gorka said, “All of the attacks over the weekend, all three of them, and the detonation of a backpack that we had just now, is part and parcel of the new jihadi tactic that we’ve seen in the last two years.”

Gorka added:

ISIS has encouraged, since it declared the Caliphate, the use of classic guerilla warfare. It’s not like al-Qaeda. It’s not about giant spectacle. It’s not 9/11-style attacks. It’s cheap, low-investment, high-yield return.

We have seen, literally, scores of knife attacks in Israel since September. They’ve taken a leaf out of the Palestinian playbook. We’ve seen the attack, the murder of the French priest. We’ve seen the lorry attack, the truck attack in Nice, France.

These are all very, very simple to do, and the ISIS mantra, from their magazine Dabiq, has been clear: look for high concentrations of unarmed civilians. What did we see? We see a food court in St. Cloud. We see in New Jersey a Marine Corps five-mile run. If those pipe bombs had detonated when the runners were going past – by the grace of God, the runners had been delayed at the registration desk – it would have made the weekend’s events much worse.

Another bit of “connective tissue” between these terror attacks highlighted by Gorka was the use of pressure-cooker bombs, similar to those favored by the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston. “A lot of people miss the fact that when they were being chased by the police, after the marathon attack, they also used pipe bombs,” he added. “They threw pipe bombs at the police officers that were trying to neutralize them.”

“Anybody who says they’re surprised by what happened over the weekend has been asleep for the last two years,” he declared.

Marlow trenchantly noted that Hillary Clinton seemed to have literally been asleep during the latest round of terror attacks: “sleepwalking through it, she can barely keep her eyes open as she first declares it a bombing and then condemns Donald Trump for using the word ‘bomb.’”

Gorka addressed Marlow’s point about the danger of Americans growing accustomed to terrorist atrocities:

Let’s just look at the numbers. Three attacks, okay? Eleven devices. There were five that were found in a backpack just last night. There were four; only one detonated in New Jersey. Then we have the two pressure-cooker bombs, and on top of that, we have the knife attack. This is the kind of density of attack and devices that we recall from the Cold War. This is like the IRA period.

The war is real, and the war has arrived at America’s shores, and I think it makes the November decision all the more a decision about which candidate you think is going to be the more effective commander-in-chief, who takes this war seriously, and who doesn’t have just incredible gaffes, like Johnson, or just complete non-sequitur oxymoronic statements, such as Secretary Clinton?

Gorka said there are two big reasons the Left is more obsessed with policing language than stopping terrorism:

Number one, if they admit this is a jihadi threat coming from Arab or Muslim communities or Egypt, then the whole multicultural narrative is proven to be bankrupt. Number one is this huge failure, for the last 30 years, of politically correct multicultural narratives.

And secondly, the other reason the administration, and people like Secretary Clinton,have to deny the reality of the escalating threat is the natural conclusion everybody will draw. So what does that mean about the last seven-and-a-half years of your counterterrorism policy? It means it is an utter, abject failure.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is the National Security Editor for Breitbart News, and the author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

LISTEN:

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Chelsea bomb suspect caught after shootout with cops

Images of Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, who is wanted for questioning by the FBI Photo: NJ State Police

Images of Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, who is wanted for questioning by the FBI Photo: NJ State Policedail

New York Post, By Jamie Schram, Reuven Fenton and Yaron Steinbuch, Sept. 19, 2016:

A 28-year-old Afghani native wanted in connection with blasts in Manhattan and New Jersey that left 29 wounded has been caught after shooting at a police officer in New Jersey, according to a report.

Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested after firing at the cop in Linden, WNBC reported.

Rahami, whose fingerprint was found on an unexploded device, was hunted in connection with the explosions that sparked fears of a local terror cell, according to federal officials.

Earlier Monday, FBI agents raided the Elizabeth, New Jersey, home of Rahami, a naturalized US citizen who was deemed armed and dangerous, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

“We need to get this guy in right away,” de Blasio said on CNN. “My experience is once the FBI zeroes in on someone, they will get them.”

The apartment search began after one of five devices found in a backpack at a nearby Elizabeth train station exploded while a bomb squad robot tried to disarm it. No one was injured.

Authorities have evidence that Rahami also was connected to an unexploded device on 27th Street and a blast Saturday morning at Seaside Heights, New Jersey, ahead of a race for Marines and sailors, The New York Times reported.

A key piece of evidence to Rahami was a fingerprint found on an unexploded device, a law enforcement official told The Post.

Authorities also were able to identify the suspect with the help of a cell phone left behind with a pressure cooker found on West 27th Street — blocks away from the explosion on West 23rd Street, a source told ABC News.

A law enforcement official told The Times there was no direct evidence yet linking Rahami to ISIS or Al Qaeda.

“We don’t know his particular ideology or what his inspiration was or whether he was directed or whether he was inspired,” the official said. “We don’t have any of that.

“So, the ideology, the connection to international terrorism, we might flesh that out as we go through the results of search warrants, looking for computers, discs, things like this. Search warrants that we did Sunday night at the residence in Elizabeth,” the official added.

“Here’s a guy who has been involved in what appears to be four bombings in rapid succession in recent days in crowded places,” the official said. “So we need to get him.”

A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that officials believe Rahami is the man seen in surveillance video taken Saturday night in Chelsea.

Rahami is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He has brown hair, brown eyes and brown facial hair.

FBI agents and members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided an apartment where Rahami lives above the family’s restaurant — First American Fried Chicken — on Elmora Avenue.

Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said at a press conference that Rahami’s father, Muhammad, opened the 24-hour-a-day eatery about 10 years ago and employed his sons,

Neighbors complained about the restaurant, which attracted noisy crowds – some of whom urinated on people’s properties.

The City Council voted to shut it down by 10 p.m., but neighbors said the Rahamis ignored the directive and sued the mayor, the city and about 20 cops – claiming ethnic and racial discrimination.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo now believes there may be a “foreign connection” with the explosion Saturday night in Chelsea.

“I suspect there may be a foreign connection,” Cuomo told CBS News. “That’s what we are hearing today, as the investigation goes on.”

Cuomo hedged, however, suggesting that it is still unknown where the investigation will end up.

“But, again, I was the former attorney general in New York and I did many — I participated in many of these investigations. They take different twists and turns. So you want to be careful what you say early on because you want to protect the information, but that would be my guess,” he said.

Cuomo refused to say whether he believed ISIS was directly behind this attack –and the possibly related attacks in New Jersey.

Read more

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NY, NJ bombings: Suspect wounded, arrested after shootout; 2 officers hit

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Also see:

Dozens Hurt in NYC Blast Hours After Pipe Bomb Goes Off at N.J. Race

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016:

Explosions in New Jersey and New York on Saturday quickly drew the involvement of FBI terrorism investigators, as the latter blast injured dozens and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted there was no terror threat against the Big Apple.

The first blast occurred at the start of the Seaside Semper Fi Marine Corps charity 5K in Seaside Park, N.J., as a pipe bomb detonated in a garbage can. No one was injured at this incident, but the race was canceled.

“Race officials working closely with local authorities made the decision to cancel the race and evacuate the area,” race organizers said in a statement, thanking “all those who showed up today in support of our military for their patience and understanding.”

The race was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. at Ocean Avenue and D Street, but was delayed due to snafus with runners’ registration, the Asbury Park Press reported. Thus, the start line area was largely empty when the device detonated at 9:35 a.m. About 3,000 people were gathered around the registration area.

Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, said three pipe bombs were inside the trash can but only one detonated. “If it was just a matter of minutes, in terms of difference, there would have been a good number of people running past that explosive device,” he said.

Citing federal law enforcement officials, CNN reported that the bombs were “rudimentary” and set on a timer.

At about 8:30 p.m., an outdoor explosion was witnessed by officers on patrol in front of 131 West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a statement.

“As of this time, there is no evidence to indicate that this explosion is a result of any natural gas cause. Again, the exact nature and cause of this explosion has not yet been determined,” O’Neill said Saturday night. “As of the most recent information, there have been 27 injuries reported. One of these injuries may be considered serious. The Fire Department is currently assessing the extent of any possible structural damage resulting from this explosion.”

Most of those injured were hospitalized, the NYFD said. The number of wounded was later updated to 29.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted after the explosion: “Investigation is ongoing. Though we believe this was an intentional act, there is no credible terror threat against NYC at this moment.”

De Blasio told reporters there was “no specific evidence” of links between the NYC attack and New Jersey bomb.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state officials are “coordinating our response with federal and New York City authorities, and full state resources have been made available for this investigation.”

“We are closely monitoring the situation and urge New Yorkers to, as always, remain calm and vigilant,” Cuomo said. “Those traveling in or through the area should be advised of closed sidewalks and roadway, and check MTA.info for subway and bus service alerts. As a reminder, the PATH station at 23rd Street is closed for previously-announced weekend closures.”

“We are in close contact with health providers to monitor the extent of the injuries and will provide information as it becomes available.”

A White House official said President Obama “has been apprised of the explosion in New York City, the cause of which remains under investigation.”

“The president will be updated as additional information becomes available,” the official added.

Then news broke that another device had been found just four blocks from the crime scene: a pressure cooker with wiring and an apparent cell phone detonator, the Associated Press reported, in a plastic bag on West 27th Street between 6th and 7th avenues.

The NYPD said the area was not being evacuated, but the department tweeted a message asking residents on the block to “stay away from windows facing 27th Street until we clear the area of a suspicious package.” The police called it “a precautionary measure only.”

The May issue of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine, which gave the Boston Bombers their pressure cooker recipe, featured step-by-step new recipes on how to build a parcel bomb, a magnetic car bomb, and a door-trap bomb. It also contained what could be an Election Day reference: “Hidden bomb, car bomb, pressure cooker, assassinations,” read a checklist, followed by “make your vote count.”

An ISIS video released in June ripped off mock-up footage from an Al-Jazeera segment on terrorism to portray a man getting ready for a suicide bombing in Times Square. The video then showed news footage of the ABC News building banner in New York scrolling a headline about the November Paris attacks.

Also that month, when the terror group was taking a victory lap over Omar Mateen’s attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the ISIS-linked Al-Battar Media Foundation suggested jihadists target movie theaters, hospitals, airports, trains, amusement parks and restaurants. Lone jihadists shouldn’t “shy away from targeting the so-called civilians… the so-called innocent people,” the statement said.

A new English-language ISIS magazine this month said “the blood of the disbelievers is halal, and killing them is a form of worship to Allah,” thus jihadists should expand their targets to include “the businessman riding to work in a taxicab, the young adults (post-pubescent ‘children’) engaged in sports activities in the park, and the old man waiting in line to buy a sandwich.”

UPDATE 3:30 a.m.: CNN reported that a third suspicious device was being investigated at West 28th Street and 5th Avenue. Police investigated and determined it to be a false alarm.

NYPD shut down traffic eastbound and westbound from West 14th Street to West 32nd Street and from 5th Avenue to 8th Avenue. “The closures are in effect until further notice,” the department said.

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U.S. Terrorism Sentencing Needs to be Overhauled

Scales-of-Justice-01Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton, Aug. 15, 2016:

Embedded in a story in The Philadelphia Tribune touting 15-year sentences for some Jihadis convicted on terrorism charges is the revelation that U.S. terrorism sentencing is ridiculously lightweight.

Consider this quotes from the article:

The majority of terrorism defendants in the United States who have been sentenced for supporting the Islamic State group received the maximum 15 years in prison, according to a summary filed Friday by federal prosecutors in Minnesota.

The report looked at sentencing data of Islamic State-related cases over the last two years and focused on material support convictions, not sentences for convictions such as lying during a terror investigation.

Some of the cases cited in the report are similar to the Minnesota cases: In two separate cases, a Texas man got nearly seven years and a Georgia man got 15 years after they were arrested while trying to leave the U.S. A New Jersey man received 15 years after planning to join the Islamic State group himself and helping his brother successfully make the trip abroad.

Davis has been open-minded when it comes to sentencing terror defendants in Minnesota, and has pioneered a program that’s designed to assess a defendant’s prospects for de-radicalization and risk of re-offense. He has said he plans to use that information in sentencing.

What all this means is that, short of being convicted on conspiracy to commit murder overseas, the MAXIMUM sentence that someone convicted on terrorism-related charges can expect to serve is 15 years. In some cases, a felon convicted on terrorism-related charges will serve just a few years in prison.

Note that the judge mentioned in the article linked below is going to depend on a so-called “deradicalization” program to help him with determining sentencing.

http://www.phillytrib.com/ap/u-s-dishes-out-years-to-terrorism-plotters/article_b3146326-e751-5653-a31e-5a6e9d1d758a.html

15 years in prison is ridiculously light for anyone associated with supporting violent Jihad, especially the Islamic State. The even shorter sentences are obviously much too light. Our experience has shown that there is an even chance that a prisoner will be exposed to MORE Jihadi doctrine in prison, rather than being “rehabilitated.”

The first thing that needs to happen is that sentencing for terrorism charges, especially material support for terrorism, need to be lengthened, perhaps doubled.

But there is another measure that needs to be taken to account for all the Jihadis who are in prison who have already received light sentencing: New York State Senator Thomas D. Croci has introduced a bill that would establish the New York State Terrorist Registry:

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2015/s3464/amendment/original

The registry would work similar to the current sex offender registry. Right now, when a convicted sex offender moves into a jurisdiction he must register with the local sheriff.

The terror registry would work the same way. Those convicted on terror related charges would have to register with local law enforcement in the same manner.

The bill hasn’t passed in New York and may not, but other states need to pick up this idea and make it happen.

State and local law enforcement need to know if a terrorist is living in their midst.