Officials Arrest Pakistani-American In Times Square Bomb Attempt
Authorities arrested a suspect in the attempted weekend car bombing in Times Square, NBC News’ justice correspondent Pete Williams reported early Tuesday morning.
A U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, Shahzad Faisal, was arrested Monday night in Long Island, Williams reported.
Earlier, an official told The Associated Press that the potential suspect recently traveled to Pakistan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the case was at a sensitive stage.
Earlier today, Mayor Bloomberg was fretting with Katie Couric that the terrorist was likely "Home-grown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything."
And so naturally, at a stage when the motive for the attack "could be anything," Bloomberg the former RINO speculates that it must be someone on the right. Perhaps, like Peter Bull's Soviet ambassador character in Dr. Strangelove, his source was also the New York Times.
A couple of points are worth noting. First, if accurate, this is the fourth significant jihadist attack since Obama took office. (In case you’ve lost track, there was the Little Rock recruiting shooting, the Fort Hood massacre, and the Christmas bombing — all before this latest event.) If Obama’s array of not-Bush national-security policies were supposed to make us safer, they haven’t.
Second, at least the administration managed to get out the word “terrorist” within a reasonable period of time, and we are told that the president, not on vacation this time, was informed Saturday night. White House message: he’s not out to lunch this time. Finally, I think we can consider the notion of a public trial for KSM in New York or any major city — hopefully any Article III trial — to be finally kaput. The reality — we are a nation at war — at some point overwhelms even the most ideologically driven administration.
Charles Krauthammer also postulated the theory today that KSM likely wouldn't be coming to NYC. On the flip slide, Allahpundit postulates that this weekend's incident in Times Square could have one possible negative repercussion for America:
A minor point at the moment given the gravity of the threat posed on Saturday, but a good one nonetheless. Where I think CK might be wrong is his theory that this’ll lead to Gitmo staying open an extra year or two as well. After they back down on a civilian trial for KSM, Team Barry will need some sort of political victory in this area to atone to its base. Not that they’re getting any heat about it — you’re more likely to see lefty protesters heckling Obama over “don’t ask, don’t tell” these days than the supposed atrocity that is Guantanamo — but as Ben Smith recently noted, Obama’s a guy who likes to double down when challenged. In fact, given the certainty of big GOP gains in the fall, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the White House start a new push to close Gitmo and transfer the prisoners to a mainland facility this summer. Sure, the politics will be dicey, but the bigger the looming Republican tidal wave, the less congressional Democrats have to lose by playing ball. Their huge majority will be gone in six months; why not put it to use? Worst-case scenario, I think there’ll be some sort of deal after the midterms but before the new Congress is seated, when all the lame-duck Blue Dogs can “vote their conscience” or whatever.
Of course, it's seems a fairly safe bet that the lame duck post-election, pre-Christmas holiday session of Congress is bound to have some nasty surprises in store, even if Gitmo isn't mentioned.
Update: "Times Square: It’s the jihad, stupid," Roger L. Simon writes. And shortly before Faisal's arrest, Jim Geraghty while "Awaiting Janet Napolitano’s Latest ‘The System Worked’ Statement," quoted Hugh Hewitt, who had "a pretty dark sense of foreboding" as a result of the Times Square incident:
In hindsight, the run-up to 9/11 looks like an obvious buildup to a massive attack: -- the 1993 effort to bring down the Towers, the Bojinka plot, the 1998 Embassy bombings, the Millennium bombing attempt, the U.S.S. Cole, etc. Lately we’re seeing a lot of awful deeds in the works: the attempt to bomb a Detroit plane on Christmas Day, Fort Hood, several plots in motion disrupted in September 2009, etc. What’s next?
As Geraghty writes, "It’s way too early to say whether the war on terror will be a big issue on Election Day 2010. But it’s easy to imagine it being a big deal, no?"