(JTA) — The Muslim owner of the limousine company involved in an upstate New York crash that left 20 people dead helped uncover planned terror attacks on two synagogues while working undercover for the FBI.
Shahed Hussain, a Pakistani immigrant and Albany-area businessman who owns Prestige Limousine, went undercover for the FBI after he pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge for helping someone get their driver’s license illegally.
On Saturday, one of the company’s stretch limos ran a stop sign at an intersection in Schoharie, killing the 18 occupants of the limo and the two in the other vehicle.
The limo had failed inspections for problems with its brakes, suspension and chassis last month, and the driver did not have the proper license to operate a commercial vehicle, The New York Times reported. The car also was not certified to carry so many people.
As part of an FBI sting operation at a mosque in Newburgh, a suburb north of New York City, Hussain, posing as a wealthy representative of a Pakistani terrorist organization, helped convict four men in a thwarted plot to attack synagogues and shoot down military planes.
Hussain’s role in the Newburgh case was the subject of an HBO documentary.
Lee Kindlon, a lawyer for Hussain and Prestige, told The Times that Hussain has been in Pakistan for some time dealing with health issues. He said his client would be willing to return to the United States if the limo investigation continues.