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Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Everybody Who Had ‘Domestic Militia’ in the Pool, Pay Up



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In today’s Jolt, a look at the late-breaking news of the Times Square arrest . . .

Manhunt

This is how I like my counter-terrorism: No casualties and the good guys seem to be hot on the trail of the bad guys. As of this writing, we don’t know precisely who placed that car with various sundry incendiaries Saturday night, and the first 48 hours offered everyone a chance to suspect their favorite foe – Islamists, South Park critics, militia members, lone nuts, and in the case of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, health care bill critics.  

But now, a few details are starting to come to light. Fox News informs us: “Federal authorities have identified a person of interest in Saturday night’s Times Square bomb attempt — a naturalized American citizen who was in Pakistan for several months and returned to the United States recently, investigative sources told Fox News. The latest developments seem to support investigators’ suspicions that there was a foreign connection behind the failed car bomb attempt in New York City, senior Obama administration officials told Fox News, shedding light on the growing body of evidence.”

Late-breaking update: “Authorities arrested a suspect in the attempted weekend car bombing in Times Square, NBC News’ justice correspondent Pete Williams reported early Tuesday morning. A U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, Shahzad Faisal, was arrested Monday night on Long Island, Williams reported.”

Robert Stacy McCain: “When someone pointed out that the bomb was parked near the New York headquarters of Viacom (i.e., Comedy Central), I figured the perp might be a Muslim trying to avenge the “South Park” Mohammed episode, but I didn’t blog that hunch – or anything else about the Times Square bomb attempt – because I didn’t want to jump to a conclusion in the absence of evidence. And I still don’t want to jump all the way to a conclusion. Ace of Spades notes that NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg guessed “somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something.” And who knows? Maybe there are lots of Pakistani-Americans upset about the health care bill. “Or something,” as Mayor Bloomberg said.”

More from Fox News: “Sources say that evidence includes international phone calls made by the person of interest, who has not been identified publicly. The Associated Press identified the person as a man of Pakistani descent, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.”

Somehow I can’t picture your typical militia member, if there is such a thing, making a lot of international calls. “Hey, McVeigh, I’m all ready to blow up the theater showing ‘The Lion King,’ but I’ve got to call Buddy first; you know he’s still wintering on the Riviera.”

At Hot Air, they offer video of Charles Krauthammer making an obvious point that many of us probably hadn’t thought of yet: Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s trial in New York City looks pretty darn unlikely now, huh?

It’s tough to begrudge lawmakers who know very little and who want to sound reassuring, but in retrospect, these early assessments look a little foolhardy: “On Sunday morning, less than 15 hours after a car bomb had been found in a sport utility vehicle in Times Square, the homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano, appeared on the NBC News program “Meet the Press” and said, “You know, at this point I have no information that it’s anything other than a one-off.”  Ms. Napolitano said almost the same thing on the ABC News program “This Week.”  A couple of hours later, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, stood in front of a CNN camera in Times Square and said, “The odds are quite high that this was a lone wolf.”

I suppose we should be thankful that we were spared any declarations that ‘the system worked.’


Tags: Janet Napolitano , Mike Bloomberg


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