Subsequent interviews with NYPD and NYC officials state that the threat of the poison gas weapon was overstated:
One official who was briefed at the time that the authorities learned of
the threat said some in the intelligence community had been skeptical of the
supposed plot, particularly of the idea that the plot had been called off by Mr.
al-Zawahiri. The plot was said to involve the use of a relatively crude device
for releasing the chemical gases.
"This is a simple cyanide thing, two chemicals mixed together, and it releases cyanide gas," he said. "They'd be lucky if they killed everybody on one car — you can do that with a 9-millimeter pistol." He added, "None of it has been confirmed in three years, who these guys were, whether they in fact had a weapon, or whether they were able to put together a weapon, whether that weapon has been defined and what it would cause or whether they were even in New York."
One former official said he believed the basic information about the scheme had been declassified two years ago for distribution to state and local officials.
New York Times, June 18, 2006
That's a pretty different story than what Suskind was claiming - and puts it more in the realm of vague threats than originally thought.
Someone got overly excited. And it wasn't the authorities.
Hat Tip: Eric Umansky. Even though he's a Lakers fan.