Part of the Port Authority Bus Terminal was evacuated this morning after a suspicious package was discovered on a subway platform as authorities mount a nationwide search for at-large members of a suspected Al Quaida cell.
The Port Authority scare was just that; a rider apparently left behind two stereo speakers lashed together on the A, C, E platform. The terminal's south wing was evacuated as a precaution, but passengers were allowed back in starting about an hour ago.
Meanwhile, federal authorities are on the hunt for as many as a dozen members of the suspected Denver-based Al Quaida cell that was rolled up last weekend with the arrest of Najibullah Zazi and two accomplices. The feds believe the men may have been targeting mass transit with suicide attacks, and this morning the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning of terrorist interest in "sports stadiums, entertainment complexes and hotels." No specific threats were cited.
On MSNBC this morning, NBC News Justice Department correspondent Pete Williams said that the FBI actually has a bead on some of the alleged cell members: "Some of them under surveillance, they're talking to some of them."
We just don't know what to make of this: We're in the middle of what seems like an actual 24 scenario, and it's being handled calmly and with lawyers. They're talking to them! We hope this stuff works, because Dick Cheney is chuckling to himself somewhere, waiting for the explosions. Also because we don't want anybody to die.