Zazi Drove Explosives Into NYC—Right Past Police

Port Authority stopped him, on FBI orders, but then waved him on
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2010 9:23 AM CDT
Zazi Drove Explosives Into NYC—Right Past Police
Najibullah Zazi, center, is escorted off an NYPD helicopter by U.S Marshals after being extradited from Denver, Colo.   (AP Photo/New York City Police Department, File)

Would-be subway bomber Najibullah Zazi drove across the George Washington Bridge into New York City in September with two pounds of explosives in his car—explosives that the Port Authority Police didn't find though they stopped his vehicle. The oversight, which hadn't been publicly disclosed, has caused friction between Port Authority and NYPD police, who say the abortive stop tipped off Zazi, reports the Wall Street Journal in the headlining piece for its first New York section.

But Port Authority officials say they were asked to stop Zazi by the FBI, who had been tracking him since he left Colorado. To avoid arousing suspicion, they treated the stop as a random drug check, and didn't have a warrant that would have allowed them to thoroughly search his rental car, which contained the triacetone triperoxide he planned to use in the attack. "It was a cursory stop," said a Port Authority officer. "We didn't have permission to go into the car." (More Najibullah Zazi stories.)

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