Sunday, September 18, 2016





(Sunday September 18, 2016 NYPD Ops Center) An explosive device detonates along the route of a marathon benefiting the families of injured and killed-in-actions members of the US Marine Corps in Seaside Park, New Jersey close to 11 o’clock yesterday morning.  Approximately 12 hours later an explosive device exploded sending 29 injured people to hospitals.  This second blast occurred on West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.  Another suspicious device, what appears to be a “pressure cooker” type bomb was located on west 27th Street. The NYPD removed this unexploded device to the Rodman’s Neck Bomb Squad HQ for analysis as hundreds of Police Officers and MOS of the FDNY scoured the neighborhood for additional devices. The commonalities between these three apparently “homemade” bombs are not simply in their construct and placement; they were all placed in public areas within a 35-mile (as the crow flies) radius from the Jersey Shore to Lower Manhattan. All three devices were placed in trash receptacles of one kind or another likely with the intention of turning the garbage can and dumpsters into flying shrapnel.  Such a primitive, essentially crude improvised explosive device (IED) is not necessarily about a “body count” although any death resultant of the explosions bolsters the perpetrators cause in fomenting terror in the purest sense.  The primary goal is the incitement of terror itself; planting the notion via bloody example that certain operatives are among us and can reach out and do harm at any place or time of their choosing.  That is the essence of a terror campaign.

We who inhabit the environs that constitute the New York City Metro Area are acutely aware that we live in a “target rich environment” as far as terrorist groups and lone wolf actors are concerned; the most densely populated and world renowned City in the United States.  We are no strangers to living with a bullseye hovering above our towering skyline.  Our landmarks and neighborhoods inspire a degree of coveting that terrorist are intent on attacking in any fashion or form possible.  Despite the protection and other services provided by the 34,000 MOS of the premier Law Enforcement Agency in the world, NYPD, complimented by an Intelligence/Counter-terrorism Bureau that surpasses the capabilities and resources of some countries Intelligence operations, this war is characterized by asymmetry; small cadres of terrorist and “lone wolf non-state actors” present an exceptionally difficult challenge.  The cat and mouse game, the hunt for the proverbial needle in the haystack oddly tilts the playing field drastically in favor of the terrorists; we, NYPD, have to be right 100% of the time while a single, isolated jihadi only needs to be right – effective – once to make his point and cause the ripple effect of fear and doubt throughout Our City.

Adding a level of depth and intensity to this environment, NYC will once again play host to the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).  This large international meeting brings the heads of state from virtually every member nation of the UN to NYC.  The robust visible and invisible layers of security provided since 9/11 for such major world events will be further enhanced as a precaution in the wake of these three explosions. The timing of these IED’s has not escaped the attention of the NYPD and other federal LEA including the State Department Personnel Protection Service.  “We pray that no other incidents will occur today and everyday going forward but we must be aware of the significance of the General Assembly”, noted an NYPD Lieutenant just moments ago.  “but, you know, we do all we can to mitigate the possibilities.


Over the last 15 years and one week, we have all learned a great deal about terrorism, the firebrand extremists of the radical Islamic jihadi movement.  After years of blue-ribbon commissions, empaneled to analyze the intelligence and failures across the entire apparatus of our federal intelligence community, a host of Congressional hearings, countless well sourced and researched books, scholarly papers, journalistic investigations and more, our vulnerabilities, ineptitude, inefficiency; the gross lack of appreciating unconnected “dots”, the shameful lack of intelligence sharing between the CIA and FBI, for example, as well as myriad other glaring, fatal blunders, clearly demonstrate how the 9/11 hijackers were able to perpetrate their lethally brilliant heinous acts of mass murder on our soil.  Some of that sacred soil exists a few short blocks away from this hi-tech facility. As former NYPD Commissioner used to say with no small trace of irony, “This is the Ops Center that al Qaeda built”.

It is beyond comprehension that even before all available physical evidence, reviews of closed circuit cameras video, interviews with victims and others in the areas at the times of the blasts, that NYC Mayor DeBlasio has already said “it was too soon to say if the bombings were a terrorist act”.  The Mayor continued, “It was intentional, it was a violent act, it was certainly a criminal act, it was a bombing. That’s what we know,” he said, adding, “Was it a political act ... we don't know yet. …We will keep the public informed as we get real factual information”.  These statements are not only extremely irresponsible and grossly premature but fly in the face of some of the basic tenets of criminal investigations.  Just as physicians take the approach of “ruling out” the presence of various diseases in a patient who present with ill-defined symptoms, Detectives are taught to rule out various theories of mode and method of death in a Homicide investigation going so far as treating virtually every unwitnessed “suicide” initially as a Homicide until the evidence rules murder out of the realm of possibilities in any such individual case.

Given the inherent disadvantages of waging asymmetrical war there is no logical reason to justify not classifying, at least for investigational purposes, these three IED’s as deliberate acts of terror.  Three IED’s are discovered within a short radius of NYC within a 12-hour period of time is thought by some, including the buffoonish NYC Mayor as some sort of fantastical coincidence is simply ludicrous.  Downplaying the suspected nature of these devices and whose handiwork they might be in the press to “prevent public panic” might have some efficacy elsewhere but certainly not here among New Yorker’s.  We know the nature of the beast; we have looked him in the eye on February 26, 1993, September 11, 2001, and in many smaller-scale acts of terror.  We are largely adapted and learned to live with the ever-present threats just as we have mastered the art of “See Something, Say Something”. It was the practice of that simple principle, of enlisting the eyes and ears of each and every New Yorker that has been directly responsible for thwarting what were potentially disastrous terrorist events including a car bomb that was discovered in Times Square on May 1st, 2010.


In meteorological forecasting designations matter.  What may begin as a “disorganized tropical depression” far from the Gulf of Mexico may pick steam as it approaches landfall in the form of a hurricane.  Hurricanes are ‘organized” weather events with very clear and concise criteria.  Perhaps some measure of similar classification would make it easier for our spineless politicians including Mayor DeBlasio and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, to call a spade a spade. 

It is the height negligence employed by half-assed political hacks like DeBlsio and Christie to foment a line of deceit meant to shift the public perceptions from what they largely believe to the version of events the politicians want the public to believe. Speaking what they insist are the facts before all the facts have yet to be collected and analyzed may be motivated by some self-serving political purpose.  Some of the hacks claim that by NOT designating these events as deliberate acts of extremists’ terrorism somehow diminishes them in the minds of the perpetrators; that if they were to call them by their actual nature they would be providing “credit and advertising” for any like-minded actor or actors. In essence that argument is childishly inappropriate.  While the investigating Agencies already have as yet to be disclosed to the public solid information regarding the three IED’s, it is information that should be reported to the media in an objective and timely manner. Our security posture should be that we allow the terrorists to know that we know (or at least have a growing body of evidence) who they are and that we are on their trail.  Political correctness and the usual blather from our politicos serves no real purpose; certainly no beneficial purpose to us.

Here in the Ops Center the investigation is being directed and monitored on all fronts.  But, as usual since 9/11/01, “constant vigilance” is the operation, tactical and strategic imperative.  While there is already an impressive show of force out on the streets and at high-profile landmarks, and the UNGA will have a significantly “beefed up” security presence, there are far more extensive efforts engaged in beyond the view from the streets.  As one veteran Detective commented, “Sure, this could be the start of a larger effort but it certainly does have the potential to “inspire”, if you will, other like-minded zealots.  That is troubling but it has been a fact of our lives for 15 years now”.

That is a large component of Intel efforts today – mitigation.  Since prediction is nearly impossible we have to be finely tuned to mitigate.  And that we are.”

Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2016 © All Rights Reserved
Copyright Brooding Cynyc 2016 © All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 11, 2016



(Sunday September 11, 2016 Battery Park) There are tugboats plying their trade out in the harbor tonight, or more accurately, this small hour of the early morning.  Green and red lights fore and aft drift slowly by in the darkness marking their  progress.  Some are pushing barges from up state, others assisting the huge ocean-going freighters and tankers in docking along Staten Island and Port Elizabeth.  Funny how sounds travel; distinct sounds like the wail of a tug’s foghorn or the two-toned whistle of an LIRR local heading east.  In the background typically not registered in the ears of a native hums the din of an early Sunday morning; the omnipresent sirens in the night, the low grade snarl of 8.5 million people plus going about their business and pleasure on what began on Saturday night.

This perspective at Battery Park is as old as this island itself.  Adjacent to the Park is Battery Park City; a manmade 18 acres of high rise luxury housing, condos, and co-ops built on the very same soil that was removed from the site that ultimately became the “bathtub” foundation of the Twin Towers known by all as the World Trade Center.  It had been a “win-win” situation; NYC would have the tallest twin towers in the world and the earth removed to make them possible added 18 acres to the southwest front of Manhattan.

To the immediate west lights from New Jersey seem to twinkle while the views over each shoulder never cease to amaze.  This is a City, Our City, of magnificent skyscraping structures and at night a light show like no other. Our rivers and harbor are bejeweled by powerful yet elegant spans that serve as some of the major arteries to our City’ physiology. In the small hours of the morning the George Washington and Verrazano Narrows Bridges hang like enormous sets of Christmas lights seemingly floating in the dark. Its beauty is subtle and likely lost on tourists but for those of us who grew up in the “outer” Boroughs; those of us who measured the progress of the Twin Towers as those mighty structures were topped out from The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and much of the Metropolitan area, in the time of that incredible development upwards, Our Town remains an intriguing nexus of light and energy; a worldwide international City that we are fortunate to be able to call home.

Today, on this particular Sunday morning we still see the void, we feel the absence of our proud WTC and we recall the events from this date 15 years ago.  Yes, there is a magnificent structure occupying a place adjacent to the same footprints of our old Towers and it is a grand sight to see.  But it is a replacement, it will always be a replacement, the “what came after” soaring single shard of steel, glass, immensely fortified concrete and light erected since our Towers were attacked and toppled by acts of evil that still make our blood boil.  But Manhattan, New York City, could not tolerate nor accept the void left after 9-11-01 for too long.  It was imperative on so many levels to rebuild, not duplicates nor replicas of what had stood; but some other bold soaring edifice determined to stand as proof positive that we’d not be cowed. 

In a few hours’ people will begin to assemble just a few blocks from here.  The Twin Memorial Pools etched with the names of our deceased, all those who perished in our Towers 15 years ago will be the focal points for the ceremonial Remembrance and Memorial service.  There will be the now routine rituals commenced and observed; the same displays of Sacrament and Sanctity that have come to define this date in our City’s history and so many of our personal lives. Probably, it will always be this way on this day as well it should be. 

There are times and places in our City that can make us feel dwarfed by the landscape.  We are, after all, the most densely populated 326 square miles in the United States that just about 9 million diverse and disparate people call home.  We can walk through our famous, infamous and nondescript avenues and streets, made small by the soaring buildings as well as the five-story walk-ups that comprise the rich neighborhood topology of the “City that never sleeps” cognizant that we live in the literal and virtual center of the universe as we understand such a dimension. And, as such, from a distance, the rest of the country and world bore witness to our greatest moments of terror and triumph, of sacrifice and salvation; of tragic, inexplicable death ameliorated by selfless sacrifice, virtue and valor.

Turning away from the inky night time river walking north towards what is truly “Hallowed Ground”, one cannot but ponder over the vicissitudes of life; the circumstance and happenstance that are carried along on small gusts of unknown winds. The very nature of our mortality, the “human condition” hang in the background, the sub- and unconscious and, if we permit it entry to our consciousness, we come face to face with that as a linear border, the virtual chronology of our lives thus far.

One of our most problematic conditions is the irrefutability of randomness in all our lives; it is randomness that we most often seek to control by planning, saving money, all the activities that are predicated on a continuing supply of tomorrows.  Certain scientists contend that order can emerge from chaos; that complex systems of every type are actually by their very nature machinating towards equilibrium.  The Law of Thermodynamics is the final arbiter in this particular equation and will remain so until their veracity is proven otherwise.

For now, the fact that dawn will break over the eastern horizon in a matter of hours seems a sure bet.  It likely will.  The uncertainty is will we all be able to see it, to experience another day.  Among all the why’s and what-ifs that still smolder in some hearts about the shear callous uncertainty of that sunny Tuesday morning exactly 15 years ago today, today will always be a time to stop, become still, catch your breath, and realize the concave fragility juxtaposed with the convex resilience of life that ought never be taken for granted or squandered.  Yes, these are hard concepts to hold close to the bone as we go about the routines of daily life.  But we are neurologically and emotionally wired to keep randomness and chaos at bay.

We offer our sincerest prayers for all the deceased, their families and friends as we honor them in a formal regimented manner that has become an annual rite of passage.  From the Roman Catholic catechism regarding Extreme Unction it is written:

"Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins he will be forgiven."

James 5:14-16

Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2016 © All Rights Reserved

Copyright Brooding Cynyc 2016 © All Rights Reserved