We're finally starting to learn what was behind the FBI raid of a couple of Queens, NY apartments early Monday morning. Little information was released about the raids, but officials briefed members of Congress almost immediately.
The New York Post reports authorities believe there was a plot to detonate nine backpack bombs. The paper quotes a law enforcement source saying "They were going to blow up several places simultaneously and take out as many people as possible."
Agents found empty backpacks in one of the apartments searched, but reportedly have not yet found explosives.
Reportedly, agents felt the need to step in when a suspect from Colorado, Najibullah Zazi, drove across the country and showed up in New York. Zazi spoke with reporters Tuesday, saying he's not tied to al Qaeda and loves America. He told the Denver Post:
"I live here, I work here. Why would I have an issue with America? This is the only country that gives you freedom — freedom of religion, freedom of choice. You don't get that elsewhere. Nobody wants to leave America. People die to come here."
But the New York Daily News reports Zazi's car was stopped and searched in New York, revealing "documents and papers about bomb-making and bombs" were found inside. The newspaper reported "scores of FBI agents inundated Denver" in the belief that the Bureau "had uncovered an Al Qaeda cell for the first time since 9/11, prompting the unprecedented response."
According to the Post, Zazi learned how to make bombs in a Pakistani terrorist camp and other military tactics. The newspaper also reports the case has sparked tension between the FBI and the New York Police Department, with the FBI accusing the NYPD of going too strong into the Flushing neighborhood where Zazi visited, exposing their surveillance of him. Officials denied this.
*Updated 12:05 pm
The Daily News reports FBI teams are poised to launch new raids and that the target of the alleged plot would have been New York's subway system. See their report here.