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A cautionary tale about eavesdroppers in pubs and anti-terrorsim.

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posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:13 AM
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As some of you may be aware I live in a town in North East England.
Its not particularly unique in any way, sure it has its own little characteristics same as any town or city, but all in all its pretty unremarkable.

Just like most areas of the North East there are long established Asian and Muslim communities, along with 'Afro-caribbean' families, although their numbers are lower than the national average.
There is very little history of racial or religious tension and generally speaking everyone gets along quite fine - there's certainly no history of suspected terrorist activity or extremist behaviour - at least not to my knowledge.

A very good friend of mine has his own pub - a free house - which is reasonably successful.
Its a bit of an old fashioned beer drinkers pub located in the town centre.
On a weekend it gets quite busy with drinkers on the local pub route but during the week it tends only to be locals who visit.
They like to indulge in a few pints whilst talking the normal pub chit chat that occurs in countless, (well it is used to be countless but alas becoming more and more infrequent due to closures), pubs and clubs across the length and breadth of the UK.

As a bit of a favour I sometimes do a few hours for my mate either on the door on a busy weekend or behind the bar during the quieter nights during the week.

Last Wednesday night was one of those quieter mid-week nights where I worked behind the bar.

At about 8.30pm it was very quiet and I was sat behind the bar chatting to an old friend over a few pints - yes, I know you are not supposed to drink behind the bar but..... - when four people came in.
I knew two of them vaguely - they appeared to know me better than I knew them - and one of them ordered drinks for them both.
Another one of the guys is called X and I know him reasonably well with him being a regular in the bar and I've had quite a few conversations with him over the last year or two.
He ordered a drink for himself and the fourth guy who happened to be an American who wanted lemonade, (I think our colonial cousins call it Sprite).

The four lads moved to a table under a TV near to the bar and I continued talking to my friend and serving the other customers.

I overheard snippets or their conversation and they asked me several questions about music particularly the Dead Kennedys and I spoke briefly about Black Flag and Social Distortion to them.

After approximately half an hour two of them left leaving X and the American.
My friend had also left but another local who I know quite well had taken up his stool at the end of the bar near me.
This local also knows X and struck up a conversation with him and the American.
As this was at the bar I overheard most of the conversation and occasionally joined in giving my two penneth.
Like most pub conversations they spoke on many different topics ranging from sport, US/UK gun laws, women, drinking, the middle east, terrorism, where the American had visited in the UK, where he wanted to visit and the obligatory piss taking that goes with most pub talk.
One or two other people joined in as they were at the bar ordering drinks.

The American left about 10.45pm, last orders was called, I locked up and went home.
Nothing unremarkable at all - a night like countless others I have spent in pubs over the years, both sides of the bar.

The following day I noticed a miscall off my friend whose pub it is.
I had one or two things to do and I returned his call about 6.15pm.
He told me the police wanted to talk to me and that they were there with him at that time.
The police were put on the phone and immediately asked me about the four people who had come in the night before at around 8.30pm.
They told me where they had sat, what clothes they were wearing and where they had been prior to coming into my mates pub.
They asked me who were they, what I knew about them, where they worked, how well I knew them, did I know where they lived, what did the do for a living and they repeatedly asked me what were they talking about, particularly X and the American.

Being an old fashioned sort of guy in some respects, I cling to the principle of not grassing people up - its ingrained in people like me and the life I've led.
However, I also know from having my own pubs in the past that it is imperative that pub owners and employees are seen to be working with the police in their enquiries and are not hampering their investigations.
As such I told them what little I knew of their conversations, what they did and who they were etc whilst specifically trying not to drop X in for something he may have done.
They took my details and that was that.

Me and my friend whose pub it is spoke about it on the Friday.
He told me they were plain clothes police but didn't seem like C.I.D. or Drug Squad.
We wondered what it was all about and then more or less forgot about it.

Fast forward to last night and I was in the pub having a few pints and X walked in.
We looked at each other and when it was convenient to talk without too many people overhearing I asked what had happened?
He said that the police had caught up with him on the Thursday night and had questioned him at some length.
They wanted to know who other people were who he was with but they concentrated on who the American was, how he knew him and what they had spoken about.
He explained what he knew and could recall and that he'd only just met him and was just trying to be friendly to a stranger.
They repeatedly asked about exactly what they had spoken about.
X said that he tried recalling exact details and said at one point he had mentioned Ricin.
He said that got the immediate attention of the officers and that was what they wanted to talk about.
X explained it was just idle, pub bollocks that people talk about but the police quizzed him again and again about it.

Eventually they said they were happy with X's explanation and that he could go and that would be the end of the matter.
But they did feel it necessary to say to him that this country is on the highest level of alert it has ever been on at present.

At first I was pretty shocked at what he told me but after a while I just started taking the piss out of him, as I'm sure most would do.

However, this does raise so many questions, some of them quite worrying.

Apologies about the long winded nature of the post but I felt it may help to give some background to enable an understanding of the context of this story etc.




posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:21 AM
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Odd...so this would suggest they had the American under surveillance prior to going into the pub I guess? That or they had some kind of recording device in the pub?

Must have been something on the American already brewing to have them that interested in speaking with everyone at the bar that was there and solely focusing on him.

Though, I will say someone walking into a pub/bar and ordering a lemonade at night is grounds enough for me to wonder about them...



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:34 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

Sounds pretty ominous to say the country is on the highest alert ever at present.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:35 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

It is interesting - I could see with the immigration issue and terrorist-related attacks that authorities would be more on-edge than ever.

It is odd they would go through all that trouble if an American "mentioned" ricin during pub talks, unless there is more to it and the American might actually be up to something nefarious.

I wonder what other information they had that tipped them off.

I'm curious to see what other ATSrs think. I agree with Vasa - they were likely already watching the American prior to him coming into the pub.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:45 AM
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originally posted by: Vasa Croe
Odd...so this would suggest they had the American under surveillance prior to going into the pub I guess? That or they had some kind of recording device in the pub?

Must have been something on the American already brewing to have them that interested in speaking with everyone at the bar that was there and solely focusing on him.

Though, I will say someone walking into a pub/bar and ordering a lemonade at night is grounds enough for me to wonder about them...


Illegal surveillance possibly through a smartphone in someone's possession, the word ''ricin'' may have attracted attention from the spooks. or someone in the bar may just be a grass haha.

Pure guesswork on my part but with the recent revelations the above is very possible and if it is the case, does that mean you can't have conversations about things anymore without being hassled by nazis invading privacy?



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:49 AM
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a reply to: FamCore

I wonder how they knew the ricin came up in discussion?


I'm curious to see what other ATSrs think. I agree with Vasa - they were likely already watching the American prior to him coming into the pub.

Maybe dude works in the field of bio/chemical.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:49 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

There were a small number of people in the pub - I'm also wondering (if you didn't personally know one of them), if one of them could have been a confidential informant, dressed as a regular pub goer?



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:50 AM
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I heard through the grapevine we were on the highest threat ever and articles like this show we are being extra vigilent uk.news.yahoo.com...

www.rt.com...

and someone was arrested for trying to buy ricin. It might be part of a bigger operation. www.theguardian.com... a reply to: Freeborn



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:50 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: FamCore

I wonder how they knew the ricin came up in discussion?


I'm curious to see what other ATSrs think. I agree with Vasa - they were likely already watching the American prior to him coming into the pub.

Maybe dude works in the field of bio/chemical.



From the story told by the OP, they only knew it came up because X told them it did and that got their attention.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: anxiouswens

The timing and context of this suggests it IS in fact related - thanks for the input anxiouswens



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:52 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

I have to thank you for that excellent report. Its very interesting and I appreciate the detail. We don't have a "Pub" culture in the US anymore due to the fact that its near impossible to walk anywhere and so everyone has to drive and the draconian DWI laws and anti-smoking laws killed what little bit of that culture we used to enjoy.

I'm amazed at the idea that the UK would be on its highest alert level in years. I honestly don't know what to think about that. Are you seeing a dramatic uptick in terrorist threats? Is Officialdom concerned about some type of home grown uprising? And why in what I take to be a relatively small town in Northern England? I'd think they'd be watching the big town airports and train stations and such.

Very strange, and the only obvious conclusion is that for whatever reason, they were watching/following the American in his travels about the country.

Keep us apprised if you have the time.
Thanks



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:54 AM
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I'm going to go along with the "they already had something on him" line. It's a bit too calculated that they would just randomly pick him out. And why the American guy? I didn't think Americans were on a watch list of potential terrorists.
edit on 27102015 by MrCrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:57 AM
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a reply to: Vasa Croe


From the story told by the OP, they only knew it came up because X told them it did and that got their attention.

I don't think they were randomly investigating "4 fellows stroll into a pub".

They ere already focused either on the guy or his conversation. If the guy, they're checking on him. He's an American, probably there in some official capacity. If the place, my guess is like yours, could be bugged.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 08:57 AM
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originally posted by: anxiouswens
I heard through the grapevine we were on the highest threat ever and articles like this show we are being extra vigilent uk.news.yahoo.com...

www.rt.com...

and someone was arrested for trying to buy ricin. It might be part of a bigger operation. www.theguardian.com... a reply to: Freeborn



That article about Ricin is strange...I wonder what "peaceful purpose" Ali could have needed 500mg of Ricin for?

I agree, with that article in mind, it could be a much larger investigation going on and when X mentioned that the American spoke about Ricin it alerted them to whatever they had been looking in to.

I would also hazard a guess that the American was employed by some type of bio-chem company and when he entered the country that was flagged and he was followed/surveilled and when it came up that he was speaking about Ricin it immediately piqued a greater interest in him...though likely already being watched.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:00 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

A most interesting read Freeborn


I have nothing much to add aside from speculation, but I will say that the couple of times in my life I've worked behind bars have been an eye opener.

It is amazing how you become invisible to half the patrons chatting away to themselves. The barman knows you is having affairs with who, which folk hate each other, and those who are mates, who is fiddling benefits, who is a gambler, just come out of prison, whatever.
Think of any of the darker secrets humans have and working the bar in a pub you'll get to hear about it.

...the best surveillance operative would be behind the bar in my mind...never cross the bar staff folks, they are the ones who know too much.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:00 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: Vasa Croe


From the story told by the OP, they only knew it came up because X told them it did and that got their attention.

I don't think they were randomly investigating "4 fellows stroll into a pub".

They ere already focused either on the guy or his conversation. If the guy, they're checking on him. He's an American, probably there in some official capacity. If the place, my guess is like yours, could be bugged.




Yeah, you just asked how they knew Ricin was brought up.....from the story it seems they didn't know, but X brought it up and that was when they became very interested. I think the American was already on a watch list and likely in the bio/chem industry.

I still actually do find it odd that he would stroll into a pub at night in England and order a lemonade though....really just odd to me....especially with no other people with him.

OP....is this area much in the way of tourists coming to stay or visit?



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:04 AM
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originally posted by: MrCrow
I'm going to go along with the "they already had something on him" line. It's a bit too calculated that they would just randomly pick him out. And why the American guy? I didn't think Americans were on a watch list of potential terrorists.


Just because he was American doesn't mean anything really.

OP....what did the American look like? Did he look like a typical American, ie white/black, short hair, no beard, etc...? Did he appear to be a tourist to you?



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:08 AM
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a reply to: Vasa Croe


from the story it seems they didn't know, but X brought it up and that was when they became very interested. I think the American was already on a watch list and likely in the bio/chem industry.

So maybe "X" is the one they want to talk to?

I know during questioning the interrogator(s) don't bring up the subject they are interested in, they push until the subject brings it up.

Maybe the American told security some guy was questioning him in a pub about his line of work? That would surely get their attention.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:17 AM
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Find it a bit strange that your mate X happens to be "friendly" with a guy who brings up ricin out of the blue to him, and then just happens to be under surveillance by the po-po.

All a little too convenient for me.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:26 AM
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I wonder if the American in question had ties to a known terrorist organization. We have heard a lot of stories about both Americans and Europeans joining up with Isis.

For our modern Era I actually think looking into small and or rule communities is a good place to look for terrorist cells, we all know the cities are being watched heavily so why wouldn't you hide out in the small towns or country side?



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