That's not a pregnant belly - that's a bomb. 

Women terrorists real threat, sez NYPD 


The NYPD is warning business owners to be on the lookout for female jihadists who can hide explosives by faking pregnancy or sweet-talk their way past security officers.

"The threat posed by women is real, and it can't be overlooked," Rachel Weiner, an NYPD intelligence specialist, said at a security conference yesterday. 

The warning was not in response to a threat against any specific targets in the city, but a general caveat for private security in light of the radicalization of women in other parts of the world. 

"What this means is that we don't have the luxury of ignoring 50% of our population in assessing whether someone is a threat," Weiner said. Cossor Ali, a young mother among two dozen suspects accused in a London-based plot to blow up U.S.-bound flights, intended to use her 8-month-old baby's bottle to hide a liquid explosive, authorities said. 

Counter-terrorism experts noted that 19 of the 41 Chechen militants in the 2002 siege of a Moscow theater were women, part of a group known as the "black widows." More than 120 civilians were killed. 

Experts said yesterday that female terrorists achieve martyr status among radicals. Wafa Idris, widely considered the first female Palestinian suicide bomber, killed one person and injured more than 150 in an attack in Jerusalem in 2002. She has a Palestinian summer camp named in her honor. 

A growing number of female terrorists are housewives, scientists or even teens schooled in the U.S. and Europe, officials said yesterday, blurring the profile of would-be bombers. 

During the NYPD Shield conference yesterday at police headquarters, cops also gave business owners tips on the general behavior of potential terrorists.

The NYPD Shield is a security partnership between cops and private businesses designed to prevent terrorist attacks. Peter Patton, an NYPD intelligence specialist, drew from an "Encyclopedia of Jihad" found at an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, saying that 80% of jihadists' information is drawn from public sources. 

They read newspapers and scour the Internet for maps and shareholder reports, he said. The other 20% of their information comes from taking panoramic photos of potential targets, casually interviewing security staff, examining surveillance equipment and traffic patterns onsite and observing product delivery schedules. 

In one of the most startling parts of the multimedia session, Patton showed actual photos and video footage taken in 2000 by convicted plotter Abu Eisa al-Hindi, who was prosecuted under the name Dhiren Barot. Among his desired targets were the New York Stock Exchange, the Prudential building in Newark and the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington. 

The wanna-be terrorist kept detailed notes, documenting in one building the exact number and location of surveillance cameras, uniforms worn by security guards and discrepancies in security for building employees and the public. Hindi once sat at a Starbucks on consecutive days staring at one of the potential targets. 

"He was trying to figure out the best time to launch an attack to inflict massive casualties," Patton said

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