More Terror Raids in Queens Expected to Avert ‘Madrid-Style’ Bombings

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The memorial in Madrid for the victims of the 11-M train bombing.
Photo: Getty Images

Even though yesterday we were assured that the raids on three Queens homes by federal officials wasn't as scary as it sounded, it turns out more raids are being planned in order to avert an attack that the FBI still deems threatening. While FBI director Robert Mueller said today that the plot posed "no imminent danger," his elite Hostage Rescue Team arrived in New York this week to address it. The raid earlier this week turned up nine backpacks and cell phones, according to the Daily News, which has caused investigators to look to New York's subway (which carries 5.2 million riders every day) as a potential target, reminiscent of the commuter-rail bombings in Madrid in March of 2004.

The man whose movements triggered all of these raids, Najibullah Zazi, is still free, and spoke with the News. Though wiretaps indicated he was part of the plot, and though he fled back to his home in Denver when federal officials began to home in on the house where he was staying in Queens, the 25-year-old Afghan national said he is "not a terrorist." A source for the News begs to differ, saying that counterterrorism agents have been eyeing him as "part of the first suspected Al Qaeda cell they've uncovered in the U.S. since 9/11."

FBI unit set for more anti-terror raids in Queens; Fears of Madrid-style subway bombings - sources [NYDN]