America’s first line of defense: the homeless urban Dumpster-diver … and Egyptian tourists.
Lee Parker and Ivan White were out buying beer after watching Sunday football games on television. Parker, a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, wanted to celebrate his team’s 2-0 start to the NFL season. He thought he was just extra lucky when he spotted a backpack on top of a garbage can, steps away from the Elizabeth train station. “It was a nice one,” he said.
Parker is a 50-year-old lifetime resident of Elizabeth who spends his days not knowing where he’ll sleep at night, and as he emptied the contents of the 30-pound backpack, he knew something wasn’t right. “It seemed odd,” Parker said. “At first I thought they were decorated candles, but no decorated candles have wires. When we figured out what it was, Ivan made me aware of what’s been going on in different places,” Parker said. “So right there I knew that this was one of those incidents not to take lightly at all.”
Next stop, Elizabeth Po-leece Department.
Surveillance video in New York City showed Ahmad Khan Rahami rolling a suitcase down a Manhattan street, then abandoning it on the sidewalk where an unexploded device was later found. A few minutes later, two men passed by the luggage and appeared to admire it, police said. They then removed a pressure cooker from the suitcase, left it on the sidewalk and walked away with their new roller-bag. “They were more interested in the bag, not what they were taking out,” NYPD counterterrorism chief Jim Watters said, adding that they were “very, very lucky” the bomb didn’t explode.
Maybe not quite so lucky after all:
The two men have been identified as Egyptian tourists who have since returned home to Egypt. U.S. investigators have notified Egyptian authorities they want to question the men [as witnesses rather than suspects]. “They’re not in any jeopardy of being arrested,” Watters said last week, “We have no reason to believe they’re connected.”
Yeaaaaah, I have every confidence that NYPD is being totally forthcoming in this matter. By the time the Egyptian police are done with these poor guys, they’ll be cursing that suitcase as an infernal lure of Satan, fiendishly disguised as a heaven-sent gift from Allah. On the bright side, at least they’re not Saudis. But then again, neither was Mohamed Atta.
Worst case scenario: In Cairo, they run the video … in reverse. It shows the two men place a pressure cooker device into the suitcase, close it, and push it against a wall. Then they slowly back away, gesturing and admiring their handiwork. Cut! We’ve seen enough: guilty as charged. Off with their heads! Pharaonic justice, al-Sissi style.
Life as a homeless guy in Jersey suddenly looks a whole lot better. Can I get an “Amen?”