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Feds: Long Island man gave Al-Qaeda info on city subways, LIRR


Harry

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An American man charged with giving al-Qaida information on the New York transit system and attacking a U.S. military base in Afghanistan has been a secret witness in the fight against terror both here and overseas, authorities revealed Wednesday.

 

Court papers unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn identified the defendant as Bryant Neal Vinas, nicknamed “Ibrahim” or “Bashir al-Ameriki,” who grew up on Long Island.

 

His identity had been kept secret since his indictment late last year. Court papers show he pleaded guilty in January in a sealed courtroom in Brooklyn and remains in U.S. custody in New York.

 

Federal prosecutors refused to discuss Vinas’ background Wednesday, and no court appearances were scheduled. But a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the case, said Vinas provided critical information that led to a security alert about the New York City subway system last year.

 

Authorities issued an alert around Thanksgiving last year saying the FBI had received a “plausible but unsubstantiated” report that al-Qaida terrorists in late September may have discussed attacking the subway system around the holidays. The origin of that report, the official said, was Vinas.

 

Full story: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/07/22/2009-07-22_feds_long_island_man_gave_alqaeda_info_on_city_subways.html#ixzz0M2c9czT0

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Its not going to affect anyone taking pictures in the subways, I wouldnt worry about it. They cant make it illegal to take pics because of some guy selling them to al-quaeda, all anyone needs to do is go to a token booth and get a free map or buy a book or download pics of the subways online. Thats like saying they are going to make tomato fertilizer illegal now because people can make bombs with it.

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Its not going to affect anyone taking pictures in the subways, I wouldnt worry about it. They cant make it illegal to take pics because of some guy selling them to al-quaeda, all anyone needs to do is go to a token booth and get a free map or buy a book or download pics of the subways online. Thats like saying they are going to make tomatoe fertilizer illegal now because people can make bombs with it.

 

While I also agree with your statement, I do have a feeling that this may cause some problems. However since the feds knew this info for sometime, I don't see why we can't Keep doing what we are doing. Just be safe out there and if a cop asks you what your doing be polite and give him/her no trouble.

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What kind of "critical information" exactly are we talking about here?

 

Dammit, they must have figured out the distance between the running rails!

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I doubt this would be an issue for rail fanners. Of course all ove rthe internet there is photography and videos of Rail/Bus Transport for (MTA) and all others. But of course more people will fell suspicious about us taking pictures and videos..

 

___________

 

VIDEO from WABC 7: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=6927646

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Dammit, they must have figured out the distance between the running rails!

 

Standard gauge...4 feet 8 and a half inches...

 

...oh god im going to jail...

 

...i know too much...

 

:(:cry:B):confused::mad::tdown:

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Standard gauge...4 feet 8 and a half inches...

 

...oh god im going to jail...

 

...i know too much...

 

:(:cry:B):confused::mad::tdown:

 

This man knows TOO MUCH! BURN HIM!

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Update to the story:

 

A Long Island man confessed to feeding Al Qaeda information about New York's subways and LIRR trains, triggering last year's Thanksgiving Eve terror alert, the feds say.

 

Bryant Neal Vinas, 26, the son of South American immigrants and a convert to Islam, was captured in November in Pakistan after he joined in a rocket attack on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to court papers unsealed Wednesday.

 

He confessed his treason almost immediately and began cooperating, offering information of potentially great value because he had met with high-level operational leaders, sources said.

 

Vinas is one of a handful of Americans charged with joining the terror network that took down the World Trade Center and has sworn to destroy America. A former truck driver who grew up Catholic in Patchogue, he converted to radical Islam and became a fighter known variously as "Ibrahim" or "Bashir el Ameriki" - Bashir the American.

 

He appears to fit the pattern of other troubled misfits who reject their family and American culture in favor of jihad, among them California's John Walker Lindh, Baton Rouge-born Yaser Hamdi and Brooklyn's Jose Padilla.

 

His capture - and the information he spilled - prompted Homeland Security Department officials to issue an urgent Nov. 25 alert about a "plausible but unsubstantiated" threat of a suicide attack on Long Island Rail Road trains in Penn Station. Cops flooded the busy transit hub during the Thanksgiving exodus, which proved uneventful.

 

Vinas pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court in January to participating in a rocket attack against U.S. troops in Afghanistan last year; providing details of New York's transit system to Al Qaeda, and receiving five months of military training at an Al Qaeda terrorist camp.

 

His identity and his very existence had been kept secret as he helps build cases against extremists here and overseas. Vinas, who is in custody in New York, is set to testify soon in a terror case in Belgium.

 

The court papers unsealed Wednesday said Vinas provided "expert advice and assistance" derived from his "specialized knowledge" of New York's subways and the Long Island Rail Road. But several law enforcement sources told the Daily News that Vinas never worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and had no more knowledge of commuter trains than the average passenger.

 

"I ask that judgment be withheld until all the facts are known," said federal defender Len Kamdang, declining to comment further about his client.

 

Vinas' hometown of Patchogue is the same middle-class community that produced Lt. Michael Murphy, the Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

 

Vinas began attending a mosque in Selden, L.I., and dressing in Islamic garb, but never explained his conversion to his Peruvian-born father, the Los Angeles Times reported. Juan Vinas, a retired engineer, told the paper his son abruptly took off in 2007 and he has no idea what happened to him.

 

"The FBI asked me all kinds of questions about him, but they don't tell me nothing," he said at his modest brick house near the Long Island Expressway in Patchogue.

 

A woman believed to be his estranged Argentinian-born mom, Maria Luisa Uraga, told The Associated Press she had not seen her son since he was 18.

 

"He's a stranger to me," she said in a call to her Medford, L.I., home.

 

Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), who sits on the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committee, said Vinas "demonstrates the real threat from homegrown terrorists."

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Crazy, but i don't think it will affect railfanning at all. We have the right to document our public transportation systems. PATH is not public.

 

- A

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We have the right to document our public transportation systems. PATH is not public.

 

How is PATH not public? It's owned and operated by a bi-state governmental agency created by an interstate compact between the states of New York and New Jersey, which by definition is a public entity.

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Charge this man with treason and shock him till he explodes.

No, extract as much information from this guy as possible, then, charge him with treason.

 

And guys, railfanning is one thing, trading secrets with a terrorist organisation is another thing. The two don't go together. Railfanning is a hobby, and it simply involves taking pictures at OUR OWN LEISURE. If we post our photos online and they get misused for whatever reason, that is not our problem. And if that happens, they just found the pictures, we didn't provide them with it. We uploaded them simply because everyone can enjoy them. That is the nature of the railfanning community.

We did this in a peaceful nature, our business should not be meant as a threat to the local community. We will not and must not be viewed as terrorists, simply because we are practising our hobby, that is, railfanning.

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A picture of a R68A is more dangerous than I thought... B)

Hey look, we should send a rollsign picture to Al-Qaeda just to raise the terror alert. ;)

 

But honestly, what information did that guy give? I mean, a lot of the stuff that is supposed to be "confidential" is up online. For example, track maps. Should Nycsubway.org be closed down just because vulnerable information is up online??? :sighs:

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Update to the story:

 

A Long Island man confessed to feeding Al Qaeda information about New York's subways and LIRR trains, triggering last year's Thanksgiving Eve terror alert, the feds say.

 

Bryant Neal Vinas, 26, the son of South American immigrants and a convert to Islam, was captured in November in Pakistan after he joined in a rocket attack on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to court papers unsealed Wednesday.

 

He confessed his treason almost immediately and began cooperating, offering information of potentially great value because he had met with high-level operational leaders, sources said.

 

Vinas is one of a handful of Americans charged with joining the terror network that took down the World Trade Center and has sworn to destroy America. A former truck driver who grew up Catholic in Patchogue, he converted to radical Islam and became a fighter known variously as "Ibrahim" or "Bashir el Ameriki" - Bashir the American.

 

He appears to fit the pattern of other troubled misfits who reject their family and American culture in favor of jihad, among them California's John Walker Lindh, Baton Rouge-born Yaser Hamdi and Brooklyn's Jose Padilla.

 

His capture - and the information he spilled - prompted Homeland Security Department officials to issue an urgent Nov. 25 alert about a "plausible but unsubstantiated" threat of a suicide attack on Long Island Rail Road trains in Penn Station. Cops flooded the busy transit hub during the Thanksgiving exodus, which proved uneventful.

 

Vinas pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court in January to participating in a rocket attack against U.S. troops in Afghanistan last year; providing details of New York's transit system to Al Qaeda, and receiving five months of military training at an Al Qaeda terrorist camp.

 

His identity and his very existence had been kept secret as he helps build cases against extremists here and overseas. Vinas, who is in custody in New York, is set to testify soon in a terror case in Belgium.

 

The court papers unsealed Wednesday said Vinas provided "expert advice and assistance" derived from his "specialized knowledge" of New York's subways and the Long Island Rail Road. But several law enforcement sources told the Daily News that Vinas never worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and had no more knowledge of commuter trains than the average passenger.

 

"I ask that judgment be withheld until all the facts are known," said federal defender Len Kamdang, declining to comment further about his client.

 

Vinas' hometown of Patchogue is the same middle-class community that produced Lt. Michael Murphy, the Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

 

Vinas began attending a mosque in Selden, L.I., and dressing in Islamic garb, but never explained his conversion to his Peruvian-born father, the Los Angeles Times reported. Juan Vinas, a retired engineer, told the paper his son abruptly took off in 2007 and he has no idea what happened to him.

 

"The FBI asked me all kinds of questions about him, but they don't tell me nothing," he said at his modest brick house near the Long Island Expressway in Patchogue.

 

A woman believed to be his estranged Argentinian-born mom, Maria Luisa Uraga, told The Associated Press she had not seen her son since he was 18.

 

"He's a stranger to me," she said in a call to her Medford, L.I., home.

 

Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), who sits on the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committee, said Vinas "demonstrates the real threat from homegrown terrorists."

 

I think that the suspect and the agency have puffed up parts of this story. What "specialized knowledge" could this person have that any railfan, employee, or long-time commuter doesn't have. I've been observing subways, buses, and the LIRR for almost sixty years but the only "specialized knowledge" I've picked up is from school-car or retired people. I'm not discounting the severity of what this person was charged with but there's something missing from this story.

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If this guy can give Al-Qaeda all this info,then theres probally other people that are in this city doing the same,and probally in other citys to,and it dont just have to be Al-Qaeda,they can give it to other terrorists who are most likely already in this country.

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If this guy can give Al-Qaeda all this info,then theres probally other people that are in this city doing the same,and probally in other citys to,and it dont just have to be Al-Qaeda,they can give it to other terrorists who are most likely already in this country.

The thing is, what information did this guy give?

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Pfft...please...I think if a major attack was going to be made on the subway system it would have happened already. 9/11...how much more damage could have been done if buildings collapsed in times square for example from plane crashes?

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