And that doesn’t mean directions to Coney Island. But the good news is that he has now been acting as a secret witness.
“Feds: US man gave al-Qaida NYC subway information,” by Tom Hays and Devlin Barrett for Associated Press, July 22 (thanks to Rajesh):
NEW YORK — Authorities revealed Wednesday that an American “” charged with providing information to al-Qaida on the New York transit system and attacking a U.S. military base in Afghanistan “” has been a secret witness in the fight against terror both here and overseas.
Court papers unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn identified the defendant as Bryant Neal Vinas, also known as “Ibrahim.”
His identity had been kept secret since his indictment late last year, and federal prosecutors refused to discuss his background Wednesday.
But a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the case, said Vinas provided critical information that led to a security alert about the New York City subway system last year.
Federal authorities issued an alert around Thanksgiving last year saying the FBI had received a “plausible but unsubstantiated” report that al-Qaida terrorists in late September may have discussed attacking the subway system around the holidays. The origin of that report, the source said, was Vinas.
Prosecutors charged Vinas in a rocket attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan in September 2008. Court papers allege he also gave “expert advice and assistance … on the New York transit system and Long Island Railroad.”
For five months last year, Vinas received “military-style training” from al-Qaida, according to court papers….
UPDATE: Pamela has more information on this case.