Khalid Sheikh Mohammed seen March 31, 2003. Chip East/Reuters| Silence. That’s been the reaction to news that alleged al Qaeda kingpin Abu Anas al-Libi was on his way to New York to stand trial. And it’s quite a different story than four years ago when, after President Obama said he would transfer 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to the Big Apple for his own trial, everyone from local business people to Mayor Mike Bloomberg had a public fit. News this weekend that al-Libi — accused of plotting the twin 1998 attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa — would eventually land in Manhattan was notable for the utter lack of controversy it has generated. It’s also a reminder that in the legal war on terror, Ground Zero is not the prison camps and military courtrooms of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The battle — with lawyers, judges and witness — is being waged in the stately courtrooms of Manhattan and Brooklyn, an easy walk to the real “Ground Zero,” the World Trade Center, where al Qaeda first struck on 9/11 in New York City. With little attention and few headlines, the U.S. government has made New York the focal point of its efforts to investigate terrorism, detaining and trying high-value targets in the maze of federal facilities that dot the nation’s largest city. It’s not a new phenomenon. For 20 years, the FBI and federal prosecutors in the Big Apple have led the charge against international terrorism. That’s why it was a squad of FBI agents from New York who were dispatched last month to Kenya to probe the al Shabab attack on the Westgate mall. And it’s why a grand jury in New York is the one that indicted al Qaeda leader al-Libi for his role in bombing the buildings in Kenya and Tanzania 15 years ago.
Rapid Reaction: New York Jets
Night of the Tight End: The Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez , a future Hall of Famer, was virtually unstoppable — 10 catches for 97 yards. Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Winslow are not going to Canton, but they came up huge for the Jets. Cumberland and Winslow each scored a touchdown, compensating for a banged-up receiving corps. Cumberland (three catches for 79 yards) killed the Falcons with deep seams in the first half. Winslow, who almost did not play because of chronic knee pain, was targeted only once, but it was a one-yard touchdown reception on a play-action bootleg. Winslow did a toe-tap to keep both feet in the end zone, a wily veteran delivering a clutch play in the fourth quarter. America, meet Mo: Folks in New York know all about defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson ; now the entire country does, too. Wilkerson, exploiting a suspect offensive line, staged a dominating performance. The Falcons, with a new starter at left tackle, could not block Wilkerson, who created the Jets’ first takeaway since Week 1 — a strip sack in the third quarter that set up a field goal. He felt he deserved Pro Bowl recognition last season. He may have earned a trip to Hawaii on the Monday night stage, spearheading a defensive effort that included a goal-line stand at the end of the first half. Defensive wrinkle: Ryan changed his approach, using more two-high safety looks than usual. That’s not a staple of the Ryan playbook, but he took the conservative approach on the back end with the hope of eliminating big plays.
New York AG subpoenas Airbnb in ‘bad actors’ battle
(Credit: CBS) Airbnb, the social service that provides an in-home alternative to hotels, is under fire from the New York Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has subpoenaed data on all Airbnb users in New York who have offered to rent out their homes to customers. According to a person familiar with the investigation, Schneiderman’s effort stems from a New York state law signed in 2010 that places limits on residents’ ability to rent out their homes to others. Airbnb, which helps people rent out their houses or apartments for a period of time, said last week that it has 225,000 community members in New York. The Attorney General’s office has been investigating Airbnb for more than a month, a person familiar with the investigation told CNET. The investigation stemmed from complaints by lawmakers and housing advocates. Related stories Tampa is the nicest city in America, says Airbnb The crux of the issue appears to be so-called “bad actors” who find short-term rentals and run amok, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Some of those renters could be sidestepping paying taxes, the person indicated. In addition, the attorney general’s office wants to target those who are renting out multiple units in violation of state law or who are renting out their properties for longer than expressly allowed under the state’s tax laws, a person familiar with the investigation said. A person who is simply trying to rent out their units every now and then — a so-called “casual user” — will not be targeted in the investigation, according to the person. In its statement on the matter, Airbnb said that it agrees that “bad actors” are an issue, and indicated that it believes the attorney general’s office “is only seeking to target an incredibly small number of bad actors who abuse the Airbnb platform.” Despite that cooperation, Airbnb bristled a bit at the subpoena, indicating that the attorney general’s office wants access to all New York-based short-term renters on the company’s service, despite plans to go after those bad actors.