New York – The number from a disposable cellphone led FBI agents to the suspect arrested Monday night for allegedly driving a car bomb into Times Square on Saturday evening, according to a senior official.
“They were able to basically get one phone number and by running it through a number of databases, figure out who they thought the guy was,” the official said.
A huge law-enforcement force tracked the suspect through the afternoon and evening. He was arrested at 11:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
President Barack Obama was briefed six times on Monday and was notified of the arrest at 12:05 a.m., all by John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the White House said.
Around 2:30 p.m. Monday, Holder had been pulled out of a meeting to take a call from David S. Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. Kris said the FBI thought it had identified the suspect, and knew his rough location.
“There was a huge fog-of-war element, where you think you have him, but you’re not sure,” the official said. “Everyone’s telephoning headquarters.”
The attorney general ordered up substantial resources to track and capture the suspect. Holder stayed at Justice until 9:30 p.m., then went home, had dinner and put his kids to bed.
At 11:30 p.m., Holder was called about the arrest. He was rushed back to DOJ, complete with flashing lights. He didn’t go to his office but straight to the National Security Division’s 7th-floor SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) for real-time updates.
Officials worked until 1:10 to nail everything down. Assured it was the guy, DOJ issued a news advisory. Holder walked in front of the camera at 1:30 a.m.