Limo Company Owner in Crash Revealed as F.B.I. Informant, Recruiter of Terrorists, Fraudster

Shahed Hussain, the owner of the firm in the deadly limo crash, once arranged illegal driver’s licenses and posed as a jihadist.

Comments: 57

  1. In the old days, Americans understood the value of "regulations". Government regulations saved lives by enforcing common sense laws like safe water and sanitation mandates. In fact, if this scam business had been shut down because of all the violations, these young lives might have been saved. Regulation has historically been common sense distilled into public policy. Without regulations there might still be lead in the gas and cholera everywhere. If those who would do away with regulations want to see what a world without public safety laws and regulations were like, read about what life was like in Victorian London. People there couldn't open windows on hot summer days because there was a foot of horse droppings in the streets and the stink was overwhelming. Water born illnesses took thousands of lives until government REGULATIONS mandated a sewer system with tax money allocated to make it happen.

  2. Once again, a major crime is committed by someone the FBI knew all about. The FBI knew all about the 9/11 attackers, and they knew all about the Boston Massacre attackers. Perhaps the name should be changed from "Federal Bureau of Investigation" to "Department of Rat Management".

  3. @Peter Zenger I guess you mean Trump is somewhat correct about his attacks on the FBI. You present a valid case.

  4. This was a terrible traffic accident caused, I believe, by a driver going fast down hill not knowing the road stopped and made a sharp left driving a old SUV that was modified to carry many people. I believe the deaths were caused by people not wearing seatbelts because none were required. I don't believe it serves any purpose to talk about terrorists, spies or secret plots. Talk about passing laws requiring seat belts, stiffer penalties for commercial vehicles that fail inspection and fixing the intersection were the accident occurred.

  5. Mr. Hussain seems to be a one man indictment of how the entire system works, immigration, law enforcement, FBI, the courts, DMV, regulatory bodies and Vehicle Inspections. Mr. Hussain arrived from Pakistan as a refugee and was given asylum, but he has no problem traveling back to Pakistan for medical treatment and now it seems he is a refugee in Pakistan from America. It seems the FBI used him to settle some scores while he used the FBI to settle some personal ones.

  6. The FBI got his help to thwart an assassination and bombings—terrorist plots.

  7. @Jc I am wondering how much of the plot was a real plot and how much was based on the FBI finding a bunch of deranged lunatics and then egging them on via Mr. Hussain to indict themselves. I always have a problem when somebody's weakness is used to set a trap because the question always remains whether they would have actually carried out their crime on their own. FBI using lowlifes like Mr. Hussain does not help.

  8. Mr. Hussain, unfortunately, is not the rare exception among immigrants. Some people from third world countries bring their lack of ethics and indifference to laws with them. This accident could have been prevented. When the limo didn’t pass inspection it should have been locked the way possessed cars are until it was deemed safe.

  9. Donald Trump brought his lack of ethics with him too.

  10. I cannot stand Trump but you cannot lay this on him!

  11. @Olivia "Some people from third world countries bring their lack of ethics and indifference to laws with them." ...to be met by an FBI that lacks ethics and an indifference to laws..." Of course when our government does these things, since we are the "good guys," it is OK.

  12. The one fact that we do know about this crash was that the car went speeding straight through the stop sign hitting a vehicle in the parking lot on the other side of the road full force. So the only possible way the company was at fault was if this was outright brake failure to the extent that the driver pressed on the brakes and nothing at all happened. Governor Cuomo has been going on about how the driver did not have a license to operate a bus, which was required to operate a limo and the fact that the limo failed inspection. However since these were not the cause of the crash these factors make no difference as far as liability goes. And people familiar with the area have been quoted as saying that at least two semi trucks did the same thing and the theory was that this was because the stop sign is at the end of a steep downhill incline and so heavy vehicles have a hard time stopping if they don't see the stop sign till the last minute. And those were trucks that had brakes designed to stop a fully loaded truck. On the other hand the limo that crashed had brakes that were designed to stop a vehicle of the original size with 5 people on board, not a limo with 18 people on board. So for all we know the issue here, and the lesson that will be learned is that a limo must be refitted with more powerful brakes and that the original brakes will no longer do. So unless it can be proven that the brakes failed the company and its owner cannot be held criminally liable.

  13. @Michael Stavsen There were not supposed to be 18 people in that car, who's fault is that?

  14. @Michael Stavsen: Are you kidding? Nobody at this point can say definitively if the brakes had been upgraded or failed or not, and while those may be among the proximate causes of the crash, it in no way excludes the owner of liability. The vehicle wasn't certified for the number of passengers it was carrying, failed inspection, was driven by a (effectively) unlicensed driver, and I'll bet was inadequately insured. Putting such a vehicle in service violates a number of laws. In NY, and many other states, when you participate in a crime in which someone dies from those criminal acts, you may be charged with murder. Hussain has a long record of criminal activity, and a sketchy record of "assisting" law enforcement, the details of which are cringeworthy. Absoliving him a priori on the basis of a flawed technical argument is reckless and rather ignorant.

  15. No disrespect intended to the victims, but the accident recalled Harry Chapin's song "20,000 Pounds of Bananas." I ruined the brakes on my rental leaving Yosemite via the Coulterville Road. Scariest road I've ever been on; and I was being passed by pick-up trucks which knew the road. I rode the brakes all the way down. I know, I should have switched to low gear, but I could not have imagined that this two lane road could twist and turn and descend for so long. Never again.

  16. I can't help but think that if only Mr. Hussein had been born in the US, he might even be the president by now. This is how far we have fallen. And yet I'd wager that many will still vote for politicians that will weaken inspectors and regulators of every industry, so profits can be higher. What a tragedy.

  17. The precise case of the motor vehicle accident described is not as yet known. However, Under no circumstances should passengers in a motor vehicle of any kind be permitted to be seated at the sides of a vehicle, rather than facing to its front or rear, on a seat with an adjustable headrest, and wearing a seat belt and shoulder harness. Seating in a so-called "stretch" limousine is a death trap. All such vehicles should be demolished, and those who construct them penalized. Partying" in such a vehicle, and the use of smoked cannabis ("marijuana") by either driver or passengers, must be totally interdicted. Arthur Taub MD PhD Clinical Professor (ret.) Yale University School of Medicine Emeritus Attending in Neurology Medicolegal Consultant

  18. @ATMDPHD I respectfully disagree with your conclusion that the use of cannabis caused this accident. Rather, it was lack of adherence to safety laws. Just remember Katrina. Save a dime, take a life. Now with trump, regulations are being abolished. Yet, one regulation continues to go strong. It is enforcement of draconian drug laws. We all sleep well believing that cannabis is the root of our problems. We continue to deny that the true ‘gateway drug’ is alcohol.

  19. Yes this is very much about regulations and its enforcement. It’s one thing to pass a regulation and another thing trying to enforce it and yet another thing make those fraudsters accountable for their actions. This man will never come back, to face justice, and bankruptcy is his next move. He does have a friend in the White House. POTUS who has gone bankrupt 6 times. Never held accountable for his involvement in New Jersey casinos. How many livelihoods were destroyed by that? At least one. The American taxpayer.

  20. @William: I dunno, we're pretty good at extraordinary rendition, we could snatch him up and have him back in the states in short order.

  21. @William unbelievable how you make this about Trump while he is the only one whose policies would have kept this guy out.

  22. @skeptic . . . Yes, Trump's policies may have kept Hussain out and, likely, would have kept Steve Job's family, and many others who have contributed great things, out too.

  23. Why did we offer this man asylum? He does not appear to deserve it and 20 people have died as a result.

  24. @Kentucky Female Doc We offer everyone asylum if they 'know' (i.e. pay) the right person in the government. And those gov't employees cannot be fired, and if indicted, we pay for their attorneys, and if found guilty, they receive their pensions for life anyway.

  25. My jaw hit the floor when I found out the driver was the informant in the Newburgh 4 case. I highly recommend the documentary "The Newburgh Sting". Not only is he one of the shadiest characters you will ever see, but the whole event was a total miscarriage of justice and the perfect definition of entrapment. Eye opening, and just bizarre the connection to this tragedy.

  26. @Ella He was not the driver. He owns the company.

  27. Yes thank you. I was still half asleep when I wrote that. You are correct.

  28. Were the passengers wearing seatbelts? A basic fact that neds reporting.

  29. A previous article stated only one was wearing a seatbelt. Died at the hospital.

  30. I used to drive Limo's, SUV's are already the most roll over prone vehicles there are. When they "stretch" an SUV they are making them even more dangerous. This car should not have had 18 people in it. That is just plain stupid. These extra long vehicles are a danger to everyone. Add in a steep road with a stop sign not visible and it's a tragedy. When I was driving the biggest Limo we had would fit about 6 people comfortably, and was not as SUV, it was a regular old Lincoln town car.

  31. @Rick In that the intersection is known for being dangerous, perhaps it is time for warning lights and other safety measures?

  32. So the guy who is an undercover snitch go the FBI is responsible for the death of 20 people because is a life long criminal. ripping off the system whenever and wherever he can. This is where the FBI goes off the rails and just doesn't use good judgment.

  33. It sounds very nice, but to unwind such a chain of facts they had to sweat. But it sounds too sleek.

  34. Mr. Hussain's past as an FBI informant has nothing to do with his lack of qualifications to drive the limo. I'll think about this tragic crash whenever I see any group of young people pile into a limo for a wedding or a prom. Why do they do it? Because it's a special thing to do for a special event and you do not want to drink and drive. Since this deadly crash we have all learned about the deficient safety features of these modified vehicles. If these vehicles cannot carry people safely they should be removed from service and our roads. And remember, when riding as a passenger in a taxi, Uber, or Lyft vehicle, always buckle up.

  35. This guy has been defrauding people for over two decades. So much for the FBI vetting him. The limo was unfit for service, as was the driver, and the car was overloaded. Twenty people died and the FBInis dithering about processing a lot of evidence. There is something way off in this picture.

  36. Mr. Hussain should never have been in this country. This is what the pro-immigration advocates are doing to this country- bringing in the worst people from all over the world. People who want more money and don't care about anyone or anything else.

  37. This is the scum the US government used to fabricate charges against Muslims in the early days of it's never-ending "war in terrorism." Yes, Washington deports those with a real and tangible fear of persecution and welcomes scum like this to further their imperial agenda.

  38. @WillT26 America is made of immigrants so your argument is shortsighted. What needs to be done is to filter immigrants for economic, educational and social value and allow for qualified individuals to migrate first. America cannot survive without immigration - the majority of it's innovation, growth ,society and culture is derived from these very immigrants. If you untie the knots that make up the fabric of this nation, the nation will cease to exist as we know it today.

  39. @WillT26 Stupid risky driving actually caused the accident. Was the driver an immigrant? If not, how does your cause and effect logic work? Plenty of the world's "worst people" are American citizens.

  40. Do we need laws that require that all passengers get the right to know the certification standards for all commercial drivers. Traffic is more complicated and we need tighter standards for drivers. Knowledge beforehand empowers people to make better decisions. Every state has . . . same

  41. If the limousine company allowed a non-CDL chauffeur to operate a stretch limo, we can infer from that they are willing to commit other corner-cutting measures a responsible transport company would never do. I also wonder if the bus the party had reserved was ever intended to show up to start with, or if the company knew at the time of reservation they would be sending this stretch limo, clearly in disrepair. If that is the case, that there was premeditated planning to send the stretch instead of the party bus, then this could go from manslaughter to murder real fast.

  42. In 24 hrs, the CIA and FBI have revealed everything about this limo driver, from being an an FBI informant, to recruiting terrorists yet the truth of Lee Harvey Oswald will never be told. I use to say the world at times doesn't make any sense but it does, we just don't want to think about it.

  43. To the NYT - stay on this story and get it to unravel. There is something very shady about a long-time FBI informant being able to run a shoddy business with multiple, on-going infractions. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but somewhere there is a link between the FBI and Mr. Hussain's ability to operate with impunity. Stay on the story.

  44. I started my own limousine service in 1977. I left the industry in 2004 solely because of what it has become. The massive decline. It astounds me people of enormous wealth and or highly educated will think nothing of jumping in a cab or Uber with an inexperienced driver. Often, with small children! Un-belted. They have decimated this industry with the quality of drivers today. It's an abomination. This is not new, I see it daily. They will hire and put anyone behind the wheel of a car. For the record, the driver HAD a CDL- and merely lacked a passenger endorsement. Both were never required until recently. I truly thought and hoped the tragic death of Princess Diana would educate people. Or the financial crisis and high unemployment would return the industry to it's once stellar reputation - but sadly such is not the case. The limousine industry is not a rich mans business nor has it ever been. The burden falls solely on the passengers. If the vehicle is old DO NOT GET IN IT! If the driver is not professional STOP THE VEHICLE! If need be, drive it yourself. Remember, you get what you pay for. These drivers make no money and are rushing to get to the next call, just to survive. No one has destroyed this industry more than Uber and Lyft. Do you really want someone with NO professional driving experience picking you up? There is no oversight! How do you know the vehicle is even safe? It mortifies me! I still drive for a living (privately) and get paid $50/hr!

  45. I am an American who has lived in Asia for almost 30 years. As Americans we pride ourselves as having a “pure” government, ie uncorrupted like those we see in what we quaintly refer to as “developing” countries but it is not true. Regulations are not enforced for those who can pay but are rigidly enforced for the poor schlep in many states throughout the country.

  46. So, in summary, another refugee gets admitted into the United States, commits a number of crimes, never goes to jail, and ends up causing the death of 20 Americans. And will likely escape prosecution, because, as a foreigner, he can hide in his country of origin - the one he was "persecuted" according to his claim for asylum. Hope the courts now let President Trump end this.

  47. @Baron95 . . . As ugly and despicable as this crash and Mr. Hussain are, immigration is not the culprit. Hussain is just another sick, corrupt person who could as likely be white as brown skinned. Hussain is the type of person who should become the poster boy for severe punishment, if he is convicted of the serious crimes for which it appears he is involved. However, others shouldn't be persecuted because they happen to be immigrants.

  48. @Baron95 President Trump is NOT responsible for any part of the investigation, hearing, or sentencing. Yes, some believe Trump is hear to 'save' America. The office of the President is not empowered with such authority, at least not until he declares himself as Dictator.

  49. @Edinburgh The point is that this guy was admitted to the US as a permanent resident as a refugee/asylum seeker. Given all his fraudulent skills, his asylum application was clearly fraudulent. He was afraid of Pakistan but is now back there. The whole point is that Trump wants to significantly reduce the abuses of asylum/refugee status. And that is good.

  50. "It was in 2008 that Mr. Hussain, posing as a wealthy jihadist named Maqsood and driving a series of luxury cars provided to him by the F.B.I., recruited four men for what he said was a plot to bomb synagogues in the Bronx." Just about all widely reported "terrorist plots" and actual terrorist acts have been perpetrated by FBI agents provocateur, similar to Mr. Hussain. Indeed, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings are suspected of having been the result of a similar FBI sting operation which exploited the mostly Saudi suspects. The leniency granted to Mr. Hussain, a flagrant criminal, is likely the result of his relationship with the FBI.

  51. So how is it, right now, he is alive and well in Pakistan? "He testified in the 2009 terrorism trial that in Pakistan, he had been active in an opposition political party, arrested and tortured and charged with murder in the 1990s, freed after his father bribed the police, had fled to Moscow, Mexico and finally Texas on a fake passport and was granted asylum in Albany."

  52. Why does it seem that the FBI chooses it’s spy’s and other personnel like Trump chooses his administrative staff. Qualifications include: Greedy, shameless, lying, easily manipulated and exploited, myopic and only interested in themselves, comfortable with abusing power, experienced with theft and hiding inappropriate behaviors. I could go on... but all this begs the question. Who does the FBI and the rest of our government work for? It’s obvious that it sure isn’t for We the People.

  53. @Dolcefire Ummmmm, there are few that can really help fight terrorism that are squeaky clean themselves. Very few.

  54. The intersection was historically and notoriously dangerous and feared. “Officials” tried to correct the ticking bomb. Scary accident after accident continued. Can our painfully sad eyes come back to the tragic obvious? This intersection was criminally allowed to exist. Awful.

  55. Still don't understand how running a stop sign leads to crashing into a parked car.

  56. Everyone goes to Pakistan when they're dealing with health issues. The wealthy Sunni oil autocrats of the Middle East have it all wrong when they travel to the USA or Europe seeking top notch medical care in the best hospitals on the planet. Shahed Hussain has it down, head to Pakistan when you're suffering from a problem with your health. Either way he sounds like a dead man walking. If he returns to the USA with his name in the papers, many sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalism won't be happy that he's breathing. I suspect it's even worse in Pakistan.

  57. “Mr. Hussain, who he said has been in Pakistan for some time dealing with health issues” LoL.... I’m sure he’ll be back soon. Probably with startup money for another “business”