JIHAD IN BROOKLYN: The NYPD Raid That Stopped America's First Suicide Bombers

Sam Katz, Author, Samuel M. Katz, Author . New American Library $13.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-451-21443-0

Had the New York Police Department's Emergency Service Unit (ESU) not done its job on July 31, 1997, the subway tunnels in New York City would have been ground zero. The would-be suicide bombers—two young Palestinians with homegrown rage but no ties to al-Qaeda—lived in Brooklyn, near a radical mosque; a nearby tenant, an Egyptian immigrant, in fear himself of authorities, revealed the plot to law enforcement. Veteran security affairs author Katz provides a cops'-eye view of the case, with affectionate, detailed profiles of the men and processes involved, and a moment-by-moment account of the planning and execution of an elaborate raid. A large bomb was found and detonated safely; one plotter was shot at close range (and police wondered if they themselves would be prosecuted) but survived. Katz's attempts to get inside the bombers' heads miss (he didn't interview them), but he provides important details of a case that police considered a tragically ignored wake-up call. One of the men got two life sentences, the other spent 36 months in prison and was then deported to the Palestinian territories. Photos not seen by PW . (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/03/2005
Release date: 01/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-451-41157-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7865-5499-7
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