A young Bangladeshi immigrant working undercover found himself among a dozen men at an Islamic bookstore in Brooklyn [New York City] 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."
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.
The officer fit the profile of the young men he sought to meet: middle-class, first- or second-generation Americans. He said he watched the radicalization process of dozens.
David Cohen, deputy commissioner for intelligence of the New York Police Department, said such undercover operations have become the city's main defense amid the escalation of threats and plots since the attack on the World Trade Center nearly a decade ago.
(Wall Street Journal)