The owner of the limousine that crashed into a parked car in New York state on Oct. 6, leaving 20 people dead, is an FBI informant.
The news comes as it was disclosed the limo failed an inspection in September and wasn’t supposed to be on the road. One of the riders in the vehicle had texted a cousin, telling her the vehicle was in “terrible condition” just 20 minutes prior to the deadly crash.
“The owner of the company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a news conference on Oct. 8. The limo’s braking and suspension systems failed inspection and the vehicle also didn’t have a federal certification showing it was properly extended, Cuomo said, reported Syracuse.com.
The limo, a 2001 Ford Excursion, was operated by Prestige Limousine. The owner of that company is listed as Shahed Hussain, who assisted the FBI in two terrorism stings, reported Fox News.
A federal record cited by the broadcaster showed that four vehicles operated by the company failed inspections in the past two years and were taken out of circulation.
In addition, the driver of the limo, who was also killed in the crash, was not licensed to drive a limousine, Cuomo said. The limo plowed through a T-junction instead of stopping at a stop sign and rammed into a parked vehicle in Schoharie, officials said previously.
The owner of the limo company involved in the upstate crash that killed 20 people served as an FBI informant https://t.co/ordP3OBoUZ pic.twitter.com/ZPVQUb4Emf
— New York Post (@nypost) October 8, 2018
Update: Here is an artist sketch of Malik Shahed Hussain at the 2006 Albany terror trial where he testified as an FBI informant. Hussain is the owner of Prestige Limousine, the company that provided the limo that was in the crash that killed 20 in Schoharie pic.twitter.com/cBUXfUhtiM
— Greg Floyd (@CBS6Greg) October 8, 2018
Hussain, a Pakistani immigrant, was used in two controversial counterterrorism stings in Albany and Newburgh, both in New York State, according to the Albany Times-Union.
One of the stings involved Hussain using the name “Malik” and infiltrating a mosque.
The undercover scheme led to convictions of Yassin Aref, an Iraqi refugee and imam of the mosque, and Mohammed Hussain, a Bangladeshi immigrant who owned a pizza shop.
The pair were arrested over laundering money for Hussain in connection with a fake terror plot the FBI orchestrated; both were convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
Hussain was put to work as an informant by the FBI first in 2002 in Albany after being convicted of federal fraud charges. Officials said he was taking payments from immigrants in a scheme to obtain drivers licenses by cheating on state exams.
In 2009, Hussain’s information helped the FBI charge and convict four Muslim men in Newburgh on charges of plotting to bomb two Jewish synagogues in the Bronx, reported the New York Post.
The men were also said to have planned to shoot missiles at planes.