US federal agents raided homes in a New York city borough on Monday as part of a terror investigation deemed enough of a threat to brief key Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
The congressional briefings underscored the serious nature of the probe, which ABC News said was linked to an Al-Qaeda terror suspect. Four men were indicted in June for an alleged plot to blow up a New York synagogue and shoot down military planes.
"The operation was in Queens. There were some raids in some residences there," New York City Police Department (NYPD) spokesman Martin Speechlay told AFP.
"It was a federal operation, we were assisting them."
The sting operation sought to disrupt the plans of an Al-Qaeda terror suspect whose travels had been tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), ABC reported, citing an official briefed on the matter.
"He was being watched and concern grew as he met with a group of individuals in Queens over the weekend," Republican Congressman Pete King of New York told the television network.
"The FBI went to court late last night for an emergency warrant to conduct the raids this morning."
New York Senator Chuck Schumer insisted the raids were preventive and that no terrorist attack was in its final planning stages.
"There was nothing imminent, and our law enforcement officials are very good now at tracking potentially dangerous actions," Schumer said in a statement.
Authorities told ABC that no bomb-making materials were found in the raids.
CNN reported that the Justice Department's Joint Terrorism Task Force executed multiple search warrants early Monday at several buildings in Flushing, a Queens neighborhood, but that the suspect was not at the raided buildings.
Law enforcement officials told The New York Times that no arrests were made. The search warrants were executed as part of an "ongoing investigation," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told ABC.
In Washington, a Senate aide told AFP that members of the Homeland Security Committee were being briefed on the raids. The Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Government Affairs Committee also reportedly received briefings.