Child Porn Twist to Federal Reserve Bomb Case

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At first, it looked like Quazi Nafis, the man accused of plotting to blow up the Federal Reserve in New York, had only the help of the FBI in allegedly delivering a van full of what he thought were explosives to the door of the downtown building. But on Thursday authorities said he had an accomplice, who also just happens to be an alleged child pornography fan. There are some legitimate questions to ask about the ethics of helping someone hatch a terrorist plot just to bust him for it, as apparently happened with Nafis. But the whole child porn thing is more cut and dry, although it's basically a side effect of the terrorism investigation.

Agents were investigating the alleged accomplice, Howard Willie Carter II, of San Diego, when they stumbled onto a computer and hard drive in the trash near his apartment, the New York Times reported. On the hardware, they found 1,000 child porn photographs and three videos. "The computer also contained e-mails addressed to 'Yaqeen,' a name that Brooklyn prosecutors said Mr. Carter had used in the plot to bomb the Federal Reserve building."

But Carter's role as an accomplice in the alleged plot is a lot less clear than his alleged role as a child porn collector. He hasn't been charged with anything directly related to an attempt on the Federal Reserve, and the New York Post reported the extent of his involvement, per the criminal complaint, was that he "wanted to help in the attack." Still, if investigators hadn't had him under investigation for his tenuous involvement in a questionable plot, they never would have found the apparently solid evidence that he collected kiddie porn.