The man accused of plotting to bomb the Washington D.C. Metro is the second terrorist suspect to emerge from the fertile loins of Staten Island this week. Farooque Ahmed, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, currently claims residence in Northern Virginia, but he lived on Staten Island for many years, and studied for two years at the College of Staten Island (ultimately graduating from the City University of New York). He also took his oath of allegiance (HA!) in New York.
One of Ahmed's former neighbors, Joseph Compagno, tells PIX 11 News, "What better place than a quiet family community to just blend in, unfortunately." Right, because Staten Island residents are famous for warmly embracing the Muslim community. Earlier this week the feds arrested another Staten Island man and accused him of trying to join the Taliban.
Ahmed is accused of conducting a surveillance operation on the Metro under the belief that he would be handing over the footage to al-Qaeda operatives. In fact, the undercover agents had commissioned Farooque Ahmed to provide the information as part of a sting operation. The news has unsettled Metro commuters in DC, and even Metro officials say there's only so much they can do to stop a terrorist attack. "Metro, like any other transit system in the world, has a high level of vulnerability," Jim Graham, a board member, tells the Post. "There is no getting around that. You do your best with dogs, police and cameras."
At one time, Metro police experimented with searching all bags, but Graham says that in itself became a security risk, because "the entire system was jammed. People just could not move, because of the necessary slow pace of checking everybody,"