The misstep by the official, Paul Ciorra, appears to have been in greenlighting a decision to show photographs of Najibullah Zazi, the main suspect in the ongoing probe, and of several other men, to a Queens imam who had cooperated with police in the past. The imam tipped off Zazi to the investigation, forcing the police to conduct their raid of those apartments sooner than they had wanted, and angering the FBI.
That could make it harder for prosecutors to develop cases against others involved in the alleged plot, which law enforcement believes was a plan to blow up the New York City subway. Zazi -- as well as his father Mohammed Zazi and a third man -- have been charged only with making false statements, though the younger Zazi is expected to be charged with other crimes eventually.
Ciorra is said by the Times to be "widely respected and has overseen a large contingent of detectives assigned to work with the F.B.I. on the Joint Terrorism Task Force."
The wider investigation continues...