A New York taxi-driver student was arrested with the help of one of the most controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act: the section giving authorities new powers to obtain records of public-library users, reports Newsweek. Al Qaeda sympathizer Mohammed Junaid Babar, 29, was tracked last winter flying Pakistan, where he attended what some analysts believe was a terror summit. Federal learned of his activities by monitoring his Internet use at a New York City public library.
Arrested in Long Island City last April, Babar , pleaded guilty and told U.S. agents about an ongoing plot to blow up London pubs and train stations. Attorney General John Ashcroft told Newsweek that Babar’s cooperation shows how the threat of lengthy prison terms produces valuable intel about terror plots–a tool he warned could be jeopardized by the Supreme Court ruling overturning federal sentencing guidelines.