The U.S. Homeland Security Department has launched internal probes into whether its officials tipped off friends and relatives to a possible subway terror plot days before most New Yorkers were alerted, reports the New York Daily News. The investigations came after the Daily News reported that two E-mails describing the purported bombing plot had been sent early last week to a select crowd of business and arts executives by New Yorkers who claimed close connections to Homeland Security. “It’s disturbing. It’s just not right,” said Gov. George Pataki. “The public should know at the same time.” One possible culprit is an unidentified former high-ranking Coast Guard official who still has access to confidential intelligence.
The E-mails came to the attention of the New York Police Department on Oct. 3 – three days before Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the FBI went public with the threat. One of the messages was sent about 90 minutes before Bloomberg was fully briefed on the bombing plot. After the city and the FBI went public on Oct. 6, Homeland Security officials quickly called the threat “of doubtful credibility.” “We can’t have Homeland Security publicly downplaying the danger of the threat while privately tipping off their friends,” said Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said.