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New York-Denver Terror Probe Remains Murky To Those Inside And Out

Najibullah Zazi leaves his Aurora, Colo. apartment on Wednesday John Prieto/The Denver Post hide caption

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John Prieto/The Denver Post

Najibullah Zazi leaves his Aurora, Colo. apartment on Wednesday

John Prieto/The Denver Post

If it's hard to know what to make of the investigation into the group of Afghan men being investigated by the counterterrorism agents in Queens, New York, you're not alone.

Evidently, law-enforcement officials are also trying to sort matters out, according to NPR's Dina Temple-Raston who's been following the case since a joint terrorism task force raided apartments in New York Monday.

Dina confirmed that latest development in the case, that law enforcement agents on Wednesday were searching the Aurora, Colo.-home of Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan man who seems to be officials' main focus.

Zazi is an airport limo driver in Denver with ties to New York. While investigators believe he may be part of an alleged terrorism cell, Zazi has proclaimed his innocence.

Adding to the questions was a comment made by Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller who testified to the the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. He said:

"I can say I do not believe that there is imminent danger from what I know of that particular investigation."

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On All Things Considered, Dina told host Robert Siegel that what really worried her sources was their belief that the Afghan men they had under surveillance had capabilities to launch attacks the counter terrorism types hadn't seen in other groups since 9/11.

Here's part of the discussion between Dina and Robert:

DINA: The chatter that was happening among this group, it seemed like they were talking about attacks. And they seem to be really careful about phone conversations they were having and e-mails they were sending. And it worried law enforcement enough that they didn't feel like they were getting enough from their wiretaps. So they recently inserted an informant in the group.

And what worried them was that the men that they were watching had expertise that other so called terrorist groups that we have in this country generally don't have. And it's unclear exactly what that expertise was but it may have been bomb-making experience. And that's what made this investigation so sensitive. One former law enforcement official descriebd it to me as the first time since the 9/11 attacks that the FBI thought they had a group that could actually launch an attack in the U.S...

Robert asked the question that's on a lot of minds.

ROBERT: ...Dina, two things here don't seem to fit. On the one hand talk of this as one of the most sensitive terrorism investigations in years, no actual plan alleged, as you've said, and no arrests. What kind of a big super important investigation results in nobody being arrested?

DINA: That's a really good question. I think what's really going on here is law enforcement is trying to figure out what they've got...