Officials were seeking information on an alleged Al Qaeda associate in their ‘preventative’ operation early Monday.
No arrests were made, and officials played down the raids later Monday, saying there was no immediate terror threat. But a resident of one of the apartments described a dramatic, middle-of-the-night operation, and local media quoted jittery neighbors.
"He was being watched and concern grew as he met with a group of individuals in Queens over the weekend," said Congressman Pete King (R-NY). "The FBI went to court late last night for an emergency warrant to conduct the raids this morning." A resident in the neighborhood said there was police activity around 2 a.m. Monday.
Officials said the execution of search warrants came after days of surveillance, and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly characterized it as part of an "ongoing investigation."
The New York Times quoted New York Senator Charles Schumer, who was briefed on the operation, describing the raids as "preventative." Schumer denied rumors that there were concerns of an "imminent" attack or that the raid related to President Obama's visit to New York City on Monday.