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FBI Didn't Tell NYPD About Al Qaeda Underwear Terror Plot

Posted: Updated: 05/17/2012 11:31 am

Robert Mueller Fbi Nypd Terror

FBI chief Robert Mueller was grilled during a senate panel Wednesday by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) over the bureau's failure to communicate the details of a terror plot to the NYPD.

Earlier this month, a plot by Yemeni affiliates of Al Qaeda to blow up a US-bound airliner using an updated version of the underwear bomb was foiled by the CIA and FBI.

And although the FBI said, "The device never presented a threat to public safety," New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was still concerned that he and his department had been kept in the dark.

The FBI, it turns out, hadn't even bothered to call.

Kelly told NBC Friday he wanted to know the details of the plot and of the explosive device. "This is the type of information quite frankly, that we need, we deserve, in the nation's biggest target," he said.

Even if Mueller never did talk to Kelly directly, the FBI did eventually brief NYPD cops on the plot Monday, but that didn't satisfy Schumer. From The New York Daily News:

“Just a suggestion for the continued good operation, give him a call on this,” [Schumer] said. “He didn’t ask me to ask you to, I am. Do that. Thanks.”

Mueller said he’d be happy to take Kelly’s call.

“I know,” Schumer quickly replied. “Let’s not get into who calls whom. I am asking you to call.”

Finally, a light bulb went on. “I’m happy to do it,” Mueller replied.

Mueller also emphatically denied that the lack of communication was the result of a worsening relationship between the FBI and NYPD.

"No, no, no, no,” Mueller said, according to The News. “There are always bumps in the road. And every six months or so, Ray Kelly and I get together and discuss those bumps in the road and move on.”

The "bigger than the FBI" NYPD recently bumped heads with the bureau over its own controversial muslim surveillance program. FBI head Michael Ward said the surveillance actually hindered the FBI's counter-terror efforts, creating "additional risks."

Earlier, the two departments also clashed over coordinating terror raids in Queens.


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Filed by Christopher Mathias  |