Around the town
Newsweek’s new post-Tina Brown IBT-mandated dress code sounds pretty rough. According to the new guide, “Denim jeans, sweat suits, low-rise pants, sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, halter tops, camisoles, baseball caps, sweat suits, T-shirts, tank tops, micro mini-skirts [and] shorts” are all banned, and “inappropriately dressed employees will be asked to return home to change into suitable clothing.” (Politico)
Occupy Wall Street
The Federal Bureau of Investigation held a press briefing today in which they released photo and video footage of two individuals suspected of being involved in Monday’s deadly bombing of the Boston Marathon.
“Today we are enlisting the public’s help to identify the two suspects,” F.B.I. Special Agent Richard DesLauriers said at the conference.
“After a very detailed analysis of photo, video and other evidence, we are releasing photos of these two suspects. They are identified as ‘Suspect 1′ and ‘Suspect 2.’ They appear to be associated.”
It turns out that all you crazy, post-hippy Occupy Wall Streeters were right: the government does not have your best interest at hearts. In fact, the FBI just released a heavily redacted memo that details some of the ways that it used its anti-terrorism surveillance power to keep last year’s OWS campaign heavily guarded.
Released by the Partnership for Civil Justice after it pursued the documents under the Freedom of Information Act, the items included will just serve to (depending on your worldview) reinforce your paranoia American security bureaus having the carte blanche to become Big Brother, or terrify you into validating the belief that those kids with the drums and the dreadlocks were planning another 9/11.
Bangladeshi national Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, age 21, pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges today in a Brooklyn federal court. Mr. Nafis is facing allegations he attempted to use a weapon of mass destruction and offered support to a terrorist organization.
The N.Y.P.D. and the F.B.I. arrested Mr. Nafis on October 17 after he allegedly tried to detonate a van he thought was loaded with a half-ton of explosives. The car-bomb was a dud; Mr. Nafis was targeted in a sting planned after authorities say they were made aware Mr. Nafis was planning a terrorist act.
If you’ve heard a series of loud explosions over the last hour, don’t panic. Twitter users initially worried that the electric grid may have blown in lower Manhattan again, but the loud noises are actually due to a series of controlled detonations reportedly orchestrated by the FBI.
According to NBC News, the “FBI says they will help US Parks police safely explode damaged explosions after #Sandy 6X over next 30 minutes on Ellis Island.” ABC and MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer also reported the incident.
The New York Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation have arrested 21-year-old Bangladeshi Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis for an alleged plot to bomb the New York Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan.
Mr. Nafis was taken into custody Wednesday morning after authorities say he used a cell phone to try and detonate what he thought was a van filled with a thousand pounds of explosives. The van was a dud. Mr. Nafis was the target of a joint F.B.I./N.Y.P.D. sting that began months ago, after authorities became aware he was planning something:
DIMON IN THE ROUGH
Oleg Kalugin, a man some credit with helping to foil the hard-line coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991—and others, including Vladimir Putin, have dubbed a traitor—did not appear to partake of the catered spread on Wednesday afternoon in the basement meeting room at the Discovery Times Square exhibit space. The occasion was a press luncheon pegged to the launch of SPY: The Secret World of Espionage, a traveling exhibition of Cold War memorabilia, and Major General Kalugin, now a professor with the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies in Alexandria, Virginia, was there to offer support—and perhaps to serve as something of a living relic himself.
Actually, maybe he wolfed down a turkey sandwich when we turned away. We can’t be sure, which is why we are not in the espionage game. But Maj. Gen. Kalugin has good reason to be careful. The former head of foreign counterintelligence for the KGB, he publicly denounced the agency, spoke up against corruption and vilified Mr. Putin as a war criminal over the war in Chechnya.
We had an interesting conversation yesterday about the timing of JPMorgan’s disclosure of $2.3 billion trading losses, after the tallies were counted in a shareholder proposal to replace Mr. Dimon as chairman of the bank’s board of directors. Mr. Dimon is currently chairman and chief executive officer, and while the attempt to strip him of the board role failed, the proposal received 41 percent of the vote, an improved result for investors like AFSCME’s Lisa Lindsley*, who see a conflict of interest when the two roles are shared.
“That was a strong vote,” said our friend, who thinks about these things. “What would have happened if Dimon had disclosed the losses two days earlier? Would there have been more time to build support for the proposal?”
FBI and NYPD investigators shut a two-block stretch of Prince Street in SoHo today to dig for remains in the case of a young boy who went missing nearly 33 years ago. Etan Patz, 6, disappeared on May 25, 1979 after leaving his home for a two-block walk to his school bus stop. Despite worldwide attention, the case has never been solved. NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne told The Observer that police and FBI investigators are “executing a search warrant this morning for human remains, clothing or other personal effects that may help us lead to the location of Etan Patz” in the basement of 127B Prince Street. Etan went missing about a half block away from the basement.
“It’s about a 15-by-30 basement space,” Mr. Browne said. “It’s currently unoccupied, we’ll be taking down the drywall and excavating the basement.”
It is a sad but unavoidable reality of life in the early 21st century: The New York Police Department has become more than the enforcer of law and order in the city’s streets. It has become—and not for the first time—part of a broader effort to protect Americans from the nation’s enemies.
That assignment requires—yes, requires—the surveillance of organizations and individuals suspected of inciting or of plotting attacks on the streets of New York. This is hardly an abstract threat, as any glance at the downtown skyline will confirm. But 9/11 was hardly the last plot against New York. Several other planned attacks have been thwarted; one, a car bomb in Times Square, came dangerously close to success. And surely there were other threats dismantled quietly but effectively, without public disclosure.