NY Daily News: “Feds unsure if arrest of Najibullah Zazi and two others has foiled al-Qaeda terror plot”

Hi Gang:

The news report that appears on the Daily News website today raises the disturbing possibility that while the FBI has arrested three alleged coconspirators in a plot to conduct what would appear to be coordinated terrorist attacks, the “MO” generally employed by Al Qaeda, the plot may still be able to be carried out by other terrorists who have embedded themselves in our country.

According to the news report, an FBI informant, an imam by the name of Ahmad Wais Afzali apparently tipped off Najibullah Zazi and his father about inquiries being made by FBI special agents.

In my career I have always found that informants represent a veritable “double edge sword.” Informants can be instrumental in identifying criminals and crimes they have committed or were planning to commit, but there were times when the informant or “CI” (Confidential Informant) would “play both ends against the middle!”

There have been occasions when I was assigned to DEA when we would be surprised to hear an informant on a wiretap having a conversation with a target of an investigation arranging to do a drug transaction that had nothing to do with that CI working in conjunction with law enforcement. There were also times when an informant would be eager to identify a criminal who, it turned out, was a competitor or someone the CI had a grudge against.

Informants have different motivations for cooperating with law enforcement authorities. Sometimes we would convince an individual to become a cooperator when we arrested him (her) for committing a felony and provided that person with an opportunity to have some criminal charges dropped or potential jail sentenced reduced in consideration for assistance that the individual provided us. Sometimes I used my particular authority as an INS special agent to help the informant avoid deportation in consideration for significant assistance in a major investigation.

Some people cooperate out of a sense of patriotism or because they were seeking to be paid for their services.

Often the challenge was to not let the informant know anything beyond that which was absolutely essential to enable the informant do what was operationally necessary for the successful conclusion of the investigation. Clearly, however, sometimes all the informant needed to know was the identity of a potential target of an investigation to enable the informant to provide that information to the target of the investigation.

Obviously I have no way of knowing what motivated Ahmad Wais Afzali to cooperate with the FBI nor do I know how the FBI came to work with him in this case.

What is quite obvious is that there are “sleeper” agents living somewhere in our country who have been waiting their call to action.

Although I have no idea as to the identities of the other individuals being sought by the FBI this evening, and I do not even know what their nationalities are, I am willing to bet that at least a few of them managed to enter our country by gaming the visa process and/or the immigration bureaucracy.

The issue of sleeper agents is one that Robert Mueller, the Director of the FBI has raised at a number of hearings on Capitol Hill and is an issue I have often raised when I have shared my concerns about the many failings of the bureaucrats at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) when they fail to act to stem the massive levels of immigration fraud that enable terrorists and criminals to enter our country and then embed themselves in communities around the United States as they wait for that phone call, or e-mail or other form of communication notifying them that they have an assignment to be carried out in our country.

This is why I wrote a commentary in 2007 for the Washington Times in which I stated that the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act” should have more accurately been named the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act.” I wrote this article as the Senate was once again, attempting to jam that legislative nightmare through the legislative process.

Here is a link to that commentary:


Incredibly the administration and members of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate are again arguing for passage of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”

Perhaps it should be called the “Freddy Krueger Bill” since it seems impossible to kill it!

I have also attached a copy of that commentary below the Daily News article below. I ask that you read both the Daily News article and my Op-Ed piece.

I want to make this as clear as I know how- I am opposed to “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” for a number of reasons, but first and foremost is my concerns about the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens.

Members of the 9/11 Commission wrote a followup report entitled, “The 9/11 and Terrorist Travel: Staff Report of the National Commission of the Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.”

Here is the link to that report, in its entirety:

The preface of that report begins with a statement of what should be considered “commonsense:”

“It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United
States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were
efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border
security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers
demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the
United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security
policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made

Here is another quote from that report I want you to consider:

The September 11 Travel Operation
“The success of the September 11 plot depended on the ability of the hijackers to obtain
visas and pass an immigration and customs inspection in order to enter the United States.
It also depended on their ability to remain here undetected while they worked out the
operational details of the attack. If they had failed on either count—entering and
becoming embedded—the plot could not have been executed.

Here we present the facts and circumstances of the hijackers’ travel operation, including
their 25 contacts with consular officers and their 43 contacts with immigration and
customs authorities. We also discuss the 12 contacts with border authorities by other
September 11 conspirators who applied for a visa. The narrative is chronological,
retracing the hijackers’ steps from their initial applications for U.S. visas, through their
entry into the United States, to their applications for immigration benefits, and up through
their acquisition of state identifications that helped them board the planes. Along the way,
we note relevant actions by U.S. government authorities to combat terrorism. There were
a few lucky breaks for U.S. border authorities in this story. Mostly, though, it is a story of
how 19 hijackers easily penetrated U.S. border security.”

The purpose to the convening of the 9/11 Commission was to enable our nation’s leaders and policy makers to understand the vulnerabilities so that strategies could be devised to prevent our nation from being attacked again. When our political “leaders” stood before the reports and the cameras and the microphones and thumped the podium demanding to know why no one had “connected the dots” it was the apparent intent of the 9/11 Commission to identify the proverbial dots and connect them.

I was one of ever so many experts who provided the 9/11 Commission with testimony based on years of first hand experience.

Yet, as you read those few paragraphs above I ask that you consider how our nation is conducting “business as usual” in this perilous age.

The visa process was called into question by the Commission, yet our nation has actually expanded the Visa Waiver Program because the travel industry has developed a program known as “Discover America” and hired none other than Tom Ridge, the first secretary of Homeland Security to hawk their program at the expense of God knows how many millions of dollars to make certain that they do everything they can to entice and attract visitors to come to easily come to our country.

The critical issue they refuse to consider is that Al Qaeda has already discovered America!

What is absolutely outrageous is that our nation’s leaders have also, apparently forgotten this critical fact!

We have heard President Bush and other politicians make the point, in one way or another, that “We are fighting them (the terrorists) over there so that we will not have to fight them over here!”

Words to that effect are still being spouted by our “leaders” today!

This evening as we prepare to go to sleep FBI special agents along with my former colleagues at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) along with police officers are, no doubt, fanning out across our country seeking those who would participate in another terrorist attack. Not an attack to be committed on foreign soil, but an attack they very much want to commit here, inside the borders of our nation.

Our lives and the lives of our loved ones along with the lives of our fellow Americans depend on the success of these valiant Americans who are fighting terrorism here!

We should all wish them “good hunting” and pray for their safety!

Al Gore wrote a book entitled, “An Inconvenient Truth” about global warming. I like the title of his book but I would use it to describe the immigration crisis that Al Gore and all too many of our nation’s leaders are refusing to confront in an effective manner, thereby jeopardizing national security and creating a host of other serious challenges to our nation and our citizens.

In less than two years each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. In less than two years more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.
I implore you to get involved!
If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! You need to politely but pointedly, demand to know what they are doing to protect our nation. You need to ask them how they are protecting you and your families. You can also forward this commentary to them.
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler-


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