Yes, siree, the Times Square bomber who was pulled out of the plane that would have taken him out of the country after his terror attack had been on the Homeland Security list since before the second WTC attack:
Faisal Shahzad on Homeland Security List Since 1999
Sources tell CBS News that would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad appeared on a Department of Homeland Security travel lookout list – Traveler Enforcement Compliance System (TECS) – between 1999 and 2008 because he brought approximately $80,000 cash or cash instruments into the United States.
TECS is a major law enforcement computer system that allows its approximately 120,000 users from 20 federal agencies to share information. The database is designed to identify individuals suspected of or involved in violation of federal law.
He could buy a one-way airline ticket for cash and get on the plane to Dubai but you and I can’t even wear a belt through the metal detector at the gate.
And… the anything-but-a-radical-Islamist-terrorist dude was Taliban-trained:
Suspect’s Ties to Pakistan Taliban Probed
Islamabad Official Claims Shahzad Received Instructions From Suicide-Bomber Trainer; Group Has Been Targeted by CIA Drones
Pakistani investigators also are probing Mr. Shahzad’s possible connections with Jaish-e-Muhammad, an outlawed Islamist militant group, after the arrest Tuesday of Tohaid Ahmed and Mohammed Rehan in Karachi. A senior Pakistani government official said the two men were believed to have links to Jaish. Mr. Ahmed had been in email contact with Mr. Shahzad; Mr. Rehan took Mr. Shahzad to South Waziristan, the official said.
There, Mr. Shahzad received training in explosives in a camp run by Qari Hussain, the official said. Mr. Hussain is a senior commander with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistan Taliban’s formal name, and trains suicide bombers, the official said. Mr. Hussain is also a cousin of Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistan Taliban’s chief. The 30-year-old Mr. Shahzad has admitted to investigators that he received training from militants in Waziristan, U.S. officials said.
Jawa has the video of Faisal on Times Square during a prior visit,
In lighter news, maybe the authorities were following him on Twitter!
James Joyner doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry,
The interesting question to me is: Which would be worse?
That is, would it be better if our ridiculously expensive and cumbersome Homeland Security apparatus wasn’t monitoring Shahzad, despite his being a Pakistani national or the right age set constantly traveling back to his homeland? Or that they’d been following him for eleven years but didn’t catch him until well after he finished his plot, avoiding disaster only through his incompetence?