NEW YORK — At the Missouri college where Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis enrolled, a classmate said he often remarked that true Muslims don’t believe in violence.
That image seemed startlingly at odds with the Bangladesh native’s arrest in an FBI sting this week on charges of trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York with what he thought was a 1,000-pound car bomb.
NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved new guidelines for advertisements on Thursday, prohibiting those that it “reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”
Under a policy adopted Thursday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board, ads expressing political, religious or moral viewpoints will have to include legends cautioning that the views being expressed aren’t necessarily endorsed by the MTA. The disclaimers also will carry the names of the people or groups sponsoring the advertisements.
The ad, which began running in the nation’s biggest transit system this month as a result of the court order, says, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
This week, an Egyptian-born U.S. columnist was arrested for spray-painting one of the advertisements in a Manhattan subway station. The columnist, Mona Eltahawy, who calls herself a liberal Muslim who’s spoken publicly against violent Islamic groups, said as police officers were arresting her, “I’m an Egyptian-American, and I refuse hate.”
In a statement, the MTA said it had considered banning political speech and restricting ads to only those with commercial messages.
NEW YORK — A message of hate was spray-painted on a Suffolk County mosque and now police are searching for the vandals.
The angry words on the Bay Shore mosque threatened a rising war. It’s believed that someone came over the fence and vandalized the building, police said.
The imam at Masjid Darul Quran Mosque showed CBS 2′s Lou Young the now white-washed spots where the messages were found.
A pair of spray-painted statements that were written apparently referred to the overseas violence against U.S. embassies and consulates by Muslim extremists. They appeared along with an ominous reference to rising war, but the messages were directed against neighbors worshiping peacefully.
Police called it a hate crime.
“This is an attack on the community here in Suffolk County. It tears at the fabric of our community,” said Suffolk County Police Lt. Stephen Hernandez
The overseas violence was condemned repeatedly from the pulpit at the Long Island mosque and the U.S. Libyan ambassador was mourned the very day he died.
So the words especially hurt and the worshipers said they are worried it might not be an isolated incident.
NEW YORK — Provocative advertisements equating Muslim radicals with savages appeared in New York City subways on Monday, drawing immediate criticism from some riders.
“It’s a terrible idea,” said Colby Richardson at a subway station in midtown Manhattan. “It’s going to spark controversy obviously when you deem one side savages and the other side civilized. “
The ads — reading, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” — went up in 10 stations across Manhattan after a court victory by a conservative commentator who once headed a campaign against an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site.
Many commuters in New York City were uncomfortable with a new series of subway ads that equate Muslim radicals with savages. The MTA was forced to put up the ads in the subway system after a lawsuit by anti-Islamic blogger Pamela Geller. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York initially refused to run blogger Pamela Geller’s ad, saying it was “demeaning.” But a federal judge ruled in July that it is protected speech under the First Amendment.
NEW YORK — A New York City newspaper says it received an anonymous call from a person claiming to have discarded spoiled bacon in a park where Muslims had scheduled Ramadan prayers.
The caller said he was putting it out for seagulls and raccoons to eat, not as an anti-Muslim statement.
The Staten Island Advance (http://bit.ly/O3kqjw ) said the message was left Tuesday on a reporter’s voicemail.
The caller said “It was not any … anti-Muslim act, and I did not want to offend anybody.”
The NYPD is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. It was informed of the call but declined to discuss it.
NEW YORK — Muslims gathering to celebrate the end of Ramadan at a New York City park found uncooked bacon scattered around, and police are investigating it as a possible bias crime.
Organizers say the bacon pieces were found in a small section of the New Dorp Beach park Sunday morning.
Muslims are prohibited from eating pork products. The New York chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations says pork is often used to offend or taunt Muslims. It says there have been similar taunts around the country.
NEW YORK — A prosecutor told jurors Thursday that a U.S. citizen went to Pakistan in 2008 with two others determined to kill American troops in Afghanistan, but a defense lawyer said the men were “immature, naïve and clueless” and easily manipulated by both al-Qaida and U.S. investigators.
Both versions of Adis Medunjanin’s trip abroad were offered during closing arguments before a federal jury in Brooklyn begins deliberating the fate of the Bosnian-born Muslim who became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Medunjanin is charged with nine crimes, including conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaida by prosecutors who say he returned to New York weeks after he left to begin planning a martyrdom operation to set off explosives in the city’s subway.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger said Medunjanin and the other two men quickly ditched their original plan to fight for the Taliban against Americans in Afghanistan when they connected with al-Qaida operatives in Pakistan who wanted them to return to America on a terrorism mission.
“This is Terrorism 101,” she said. “The goal of this conspiracy was to kill as many people as possible.”
Medunjanin has pleaded not guilty to charges he became an al-Qaida operative who discussed bombing movie theaters, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square and the New York Stock Exchange before settling on the city’s subways.
NEW YORK — An admitted al-Qaida recruit testified Wednesday that he and two friends were determined to “weaken America” by strapping on suicide bombs and attacking New York City subways around the eighth anniversary of 9/11, but now hopes for redemption.
“I believe my crimes are very bad,” Najibullah Zazi said on cross-examination. “If God gave me a second chance, I would appreciate it and will be a very good human being.”
Earlier, Zazi told a federal jury at his alleged accomplice’s trial that he slipped detonator ingredients into the city on Sept. 10, 2009, after the chemicals extracted from beauty supplies passed a test run.
Using code words, he then frantically emailed one of his al-Qaida handlers to get the exact formula for building homemade bombs to go with detonators.
“The marriage is ready,” Zazi wrote — signaling that he and two of his radicalized former high school classmates from Queens were ready to die as martyrs.
Zazi said the plot _ financed in part by $50,000 in credit card charges he never intended by to pay back — was abandoned after he noticed that everywhere he drove in New York, a car followed.
The 26-year-old Zazi testified for a second day at the trial of Medunjanin in federal court in Brooklyn. He was to return to the witness stand on Thursday for more cross-examination.
Prosecutors say that Zazi, Medunjanin and Ahmedzay — after growing upset over the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and receiving terror training at an al-Qaida compound in Pakistan — together hatched what authorities have described as one of the most serious terror plots since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
NEW YORK — Undercover NYPD officers attended meetings of liberal political organizations and kept intelligence files on activists who planned protests around the country, according to interviews and documents that show how police have used counterterrorism tactics to monitor even lawful activities.
The infiltration echoes the tactics the NYPD used in the run-up to New York’s 2004 Republican National Convention, when police monitored church groups, anti-war organizations and environmental advocates nationwide. That effort was revealed by The New York Times in 2007 and in an ongoing federal civil rights lawsuit over how the NYPD treated convention protesters.
NEW YORK — New York Congressman Peter King says New Jersey’s governor should show more gratitude toward the New York City Police Department for its counterterrorism work.
King told Fox Business Network on Wednesday that Gov. Chris Christie is letting emotions get in the way of preventing attacks.
Christie has criticized the NYPD for doing surveillance of Muslim communities in New Jersey without notifying local police or the FBI.
“I think, in this case, Governor Christie was letting his personal feelings get in the way of protecting us against terrorism,” King told Fox host Don Imus. “He should be welcoming New York City and anyone else who wants to come in or out of his state, work with them and cooperate with them because terrorists go back and forth across city and state lines all the time.”