FBI no-show in NYC terror probe raises questions

May 13, 2011 - 6:15 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The glaring absence of federal authorities at this week's announcement of the arrests of two men accused of plotting to attack a New York City synagogue is raising questions about the strength of the case against them and how severe the threat was.

The terrorism arrests were announced with fanfare in City Hall and a dramatic photo of a daylight takedown by the New York Police Department. Only one thing was missing: the FBI.

A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press the FBI backed away from the investigation because it concluded it wasn't a legitimate terrorism case. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the case and spoke Friday on condition of anonymity.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says the doubts are unwarranted. He says the terrorism suspects had acquired weapons and planned to bomb a large Manhattan synagogue.

Federal authorities won't comment.

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Associated Press writers Colleen Long and Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.