Dallas police kept Smadi probe top secret



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Posted on September 25, 2009 at 9:57 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 19 at 6:16 PM

Smadi Investigation

Rebecca Lopez reports

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DALLAS - Thursday's arrest of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi for allegedly attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction under a downtown skyscraper was the best kept secret in the Dallas Police Department.

Only three top-level commanders knew about the FBI's ongoing investigation into Smadi, and they were sworn to secrecy after they were briefed back in March.

The commanders were basically made to take an oath of secrecy, because wheat they had learned was classified information. The FBI threatened to arrest any of the commanders if the information leaked out.

On Thursday, when Smadi was arrested, only a few Dallas police supervisors had been told what was going on.

The Dallas SWAT team was also kept in the dark. In fact, they were never told what was going on as they were bundled into two vans and posted near the scene of the arrest for at least one hour.

Commanders confiscated their cell phones and told them not to make any calls. They were never told about their assignment, even as the arrest was taking place.

In the end, the Joint Terrorism Task Force swooped in and made the arrest around noon. Dallas SWAT personnel were not needed.

Dallas police say they are just glad the top-secret information didn't get out and the operation concluded without any problems.