Oct 09 2018

Shadier than you think.

Of course it’s a tragedy and today the papers are filled with the biographies of the victims and the reactions of their family and friends, but the Schoharie limousine crash opens a lot of lines of inquiry into its cause.

In the first place you have the a driver with an improper liscense and a history of Drug convictions. In the second place you have a vehicle that failed inspection. In the third place you have a Limousine Company known to have ties to schemes to invalidly obtain liscenses and a record of failed inspections.

Weird huh? Wait, there’s more.

The owner of that company is an FBI Informant who’s known activities included infiltrating an Albany Mosque. To be fair, some contend that his son owned it, but there’s plenty of evidence it was him.

Limousine Owner Had Shoddy Record and Shady Dealings
By Jesse McKinley, Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Patrick McGeehan, The New York Times
Oct. 8, 2018

The mounting questions about the accident increasingly centered on the limousine company, Prestige Limousine, which had a shoddy record, operated out of a back room in a low-budget hotel and had a history of dealings that seemed to extend to Dubai. On Monday, officials moved to suspend the company’s operations and seize its vehicles.

The owner of the limousine company, Shahed Hussain, has the same name and address as that of a former informant for the F.B.I. who has testified in two prominent terrorism cases, according to public records. A law enforcement official suggested that his son may operate the limousine company.

The company is based at the Crest Hotel and Suites in Gansevoort, N.Y., a small town north of Albany, and on Monday, state troopers were at the hotel. The State Police said they had seized three vehicles, including another limousine, from the company and believed that Mr. Hussain was outside of the United States.

Arnie Cornett, the manager at the hotel, confirmed that the State Police were looking for the owner of the hotel and limousine company. Mr. Cornett identified the owner only as “Malik” and said he lived in Dubai. Mr. Hussain, the informant, went by Malik when he helped the F.B.I. infiltrate a mosque in Albany.

On Monday, investigators continue to search for clues as to what caused the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine to speed down a rural highway, through a stop sign and into an unoccupied car, killing 17 friends in the vehicle who were on their way to celebrate a birthday party. Two pedestrians were also killed in the crash.

Mr. Hussain, the man whose name seems to be associated with the limousine company, posed as a wealthy Muslim radical and was the central prosecution witness in a 2004 federal sting focusing on a pizzeria owner and an imam at an Albany mosque. In 2010, Mr. Hussain, who posed as a terrorist, played a key role in trying the government’s case in a plot to blow up two synagogues in the Bronx.

He became an F.B.I. informant after being charged in 2002 with a scheme involving taking money to illegally help people in the Albany area get driver’s licenses.

According to Noor Al-Sibai at Raw Story

The limo company owner’s lawyer also confirmed that he was indeed the same Shahed Hussain who became a “celebrated informant” for the FBI.

A 2011 Mother Jones profile describes Hussain, a DMV translator who used his official role to help people cheat driving exams for cash, as a “superinformant.”

“Hussain pleaded guilty to a felony in relation to the DMV scam but avoided prison and deportation by becoming an informant,” the (Rochester) Democrat and Chronicle noted, “working in the Muslim community to find people that had radical tendencies.”