After the failed attempt to bomb Times Square, New York police are dispatching more officers to be seen on the streets, around landmarks and on subways.
But there’s one tactic they hope won’t get noticed at all: getting inside the bands of terrorists-in-the-making.
That’s why a young Bangladeshi immigrant working undercover found himself among a dozen men at an Islamic bookstore in Brooklyn one day in 2004 to watch videos of U.S. soldiers being slain.
“That made these guys pumped up and happy,” the officer said. “It’s like a party at a club. They were hitting the walls with excitement. One guy even broke a chair.”
Among the revelers: Shahawar Matin Siraj, who would be sentenced in January 2007 to 30 years in prison for an August 2004 plot to blow up Herald Square. “He loved talking about doing jihad,” said the officer.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the undercover officer described four years embedded with Brooklyn radicals, a stint which began a few months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks and ended with his testimony at Mr. Siraj’s trial in mid-2006.