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

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posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:28 AM
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The American claimed to work for a well known multinational pharmaceutical company and he said that he had been travelling around the UK.
He said we wanted to visit Stonehenge and that he had already been to Edinburgh, Durham and Newcastle.

The pub most definitely is NOT bugged - if it was I and a few others would have been in serious, serious trouble quite some time ago.

I neglected to mention that two other strangers were in that pub at the time.
They sat relatively near the four people mentioned in my OP.
I remember them because the way they spoke clearly revealed they weren't from the area and one of them ordered a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale.
Nothing surprising in that you may think, especially around here, but I asked if he wanted a glass with that and he said Yes. When I automatically offered him a half glass he looked at me strangely and asked for a pint glass.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows that Newcastle Brown Ale is either drank out of a half glass or out of the bottle, it goes flat and warm very quickly if drank out of a pint glass.

Now my thinking is that perhaps they were undercover and had someone under surveillance or they were 'concerned citizens' who felt the need to grass these people up.

Either alternative leads to more and more questions.




posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:30 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

Sounds like the American may have been a potential whistleblower or spy otherwise he would not be being "surveyed" by plain clothes police that didn't seem like C.I.D. or Drug Squad. - if he was a terrorist intent on killing innocents he would be taken into immediate custody under the UK's anti-terror laws and waterboarded for a minimum of 48hrs without a phone call or representation.

IMO, they are obviously watching him to get to a much bigger fish - and the fact that they knew so much info about him and the others when you first spoke to the plain cloths police is a testament to the fact he's already under surveillance for something.

edit on 27-10-2015 by Sublimecraft because: spelling and grammar



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:39 AM
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The American looked what I can only describe as an ordinary, everyday 'American'.
He said he was from Pennsylvania - I asked him about the Amish and Mennonites etc - that he had lots of guns back home and that he didn't drink because his family had a 'history' with drink abuse.

He appeared to be a genuine sort of guy who was interested in experiencing 'real' UK culture etc as well as doing the usual touristy stuff.

I'm a pretty piss wise sort of person, I've been around the block and some on more than a few occasions. I tend to be a good judge of character - nothing in this guys demeanour suggested he was anything other than that what he alleged to be.....but of course he could be very good and I could easily be wrong.

My personal opinion is that it had something to do with the two other guys who were in, again, I could easily be wrong.
edit on 27/10/15 by Freeborn because: typo



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:42 AM
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I wonder if any of the plain clothed 'officials' involved in this mystery are reading this thread right now...



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: Sublimecraft

I don't think for one minute the American was / is plotting a terrorist attack here in the UK.
But given his alleged job and his travels I think he may have aroused the suspicions of our security services.
Now that leads me to think that if that is correct then it was indeed the other two strangers who were monitoring him.

If so then I've got to say they were unbelievably crap at their job.

If they were just 'concerned citizens' then it makes me think we are becoming an incredibly paranoid society and I hate the thought of 'ordinary people' spying and reporting on other 'ordinary people's' conversations in pubs.
It reeks of Gestapo / KGB / Stasi tactics and despite believing myself to be a pretty switched on person maybe I'm just as naïve as the majority.




edit on 27/10/15 by Freeborn because: grammar



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:53 AM
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a reply to: grainofsand


I wonder if any of the plain clothed 'officials' involved in this mystery are reading this thread right now...


I'd be lying if I said I hadn't considered that and all its ramifications before I posted this.

I guess you'll know if I ever suddenly stop posting on ATS and this thread gets 404'd.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 09:54 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

The title of this thread is strangely misleading. The text tells us an innocent tale that involves the use of the uncommon word "racin" as if it is an everyday word. It isn't. The fact that the police didn't mention the word until the guy being interview brought it up is nothing but clear evidence that they were clever in what they were looking for from X. Trained in interrogation, they would not have mentioned it first. That is not how they play.

Rather than the pub being piped in some fashion into the police intel network, yes, it is a safe bet that the American--or X--was under surveillance and that materials such as "racin" was a trigger for them (and probably related to reason for the surveillance of either or both).

It appears to me that our OP is being very protective of his friend, X, over any reason why the police would be involved at all and what his own further thinking has make of racin being a key part of the issue. This version of the story presented by the OP seems too sanitized for my acceptance.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:06 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

Hope not, I like your posts here fella

Sounds a full on mystery though, did your man see any ID of the investigating officials?
I won't speak to anyone without seeing it, would sound more like NCA/spooks to me than local detective plod.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

Brilliant thread Freeborn, many thanks. It's almost like going back in time on ATS with this one.........

Anyhow, as to the subject matter. For me (like you it appears) the common link is the "American". This could indicate several differing options. For example, he is a pharmaceutical rep, as claimed. However, as you have identified, some of his travels, etc, may have alerted the auhorities. Perhaps he had just visited Syria? :-)

Alternatively, perhaps he is Intel / Military? It is possible he had security clearance for something and was going on "travels" - meaning someone, somewhere, wanted an eye keeping on him (ie, is he selling secrets?).

It certainly is a curious one though. Our Security Services have been quite vocal post 2001 about the fact that we simply don't have the resources to track everyone. The simple fact that someone here was tracked and then it was followed up with inquiries suggests resources have been spared to carry this out. This in itself demonstrates that someone thinks there was cause.

ETA:

Don't you hate that moment of indecision when having to speak to the Police? "I want to help but i am not grassing!"



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:11 AM
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a reply to: Aliensun



This version of the story presented by the OP seems too sanitized for my acceptance.


Think what you wish my friend.
I have done nothing but relay the events as I witnessed or as I have been told.

I have an inherent resistance to revealing all to the police, as I explained in my OP.
But I also understand the need and responsibility to assist officers in their enquiries.
I didn't know he had mentioned Ricin in his conversations.

I spend a lot of time in pubs and am well travelled. And as such I know the sort of discussions that occur in pubs across the whole of the UK - if everybody who mentioned Ricin or similar substances were brought in for questioning I suspect the police would have no lime left for other policing matters.
It was an off-hand remark that for one reason or another got blown out of all proportion.

My personal concerns lay more around the act of reporting or monitoring conversations in public places.

I understand why this country has a high terror alert at present and I don't question that.
And I acknowledge that the officers involved handled it as pragmatically as possible.
I just wonder at the broader ramifications.


edit on 27/10/15 by Freeborn because: grammar and clarity



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:11 AM
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www.thenorthernecho.co.uk...

www.bbc.co.uk...

www.theguardian.com...

Quite a further arrested this year on terrorism charges in North East of England. As can be seen the Guardian one just back in September relating to explosives. Doesn't mean just because someone doesn't live in the City they won't be living amongst terrorists. A lad was arrested in my town just last year for trying to buy explosives for acts of terrorism. I ive in a small town near the penines in England.CMP=share_btn_twa reply to: Freeborn



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:13 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

Freeborn...

This means one of two or perhaps three things.

First:

There was an informant in the bar, whose entire life is about keeping an ear to the ground for information on possible terror and intelligence threats, as well as holding down a job on the regular.

Second:

Someone overheard a conversation out of context, and made a call.

Third:

Some kind of remote surveillance system picked up on a keyword spoken in the bar, which raises questions like how does it work, where is it physically installed, what is its breadth and scope, and a myriad of other questions.

I like discussing ALL sorts at the pub. A mate of mine who used to do R&D for the MoD used to talk at length about a method he had devised, for cracking the planet in half using what amounts to a series of thermonuclear shaped charges. He had calculations, all sorts! That is one of the many side projects which eventually got him fired, and we do not see much of him these days...

Anyway, the point of the matter is, that somehow the security services were informed as to the contents of that conversation that those fellows were having, and something about that conversation concerned them.

Now, of the possibilities I mentioned at the top of this post, the obvious and most likely explanation is that someone overheard something and thought it fishy enough to act on. But that does not mean that it is the explanation which will prove to be accurate. I can understand your concern!



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

I suppose this would seem paranoid to you but have you swept the pub electroncally?
All of England IS appearing to go into a police state and THAT would be a primary target for low level intel.

edit on 27-10-2015 by cavtrooper7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:27 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

An alarm bell goes off in the back of my mind somewhere when he says he doesn't drink. I'm not making a joke here - that detail has something more to it.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 10:27 AM
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originally posted by: cavtrooper7
a reply to: Freeborn

I suppose this would seem paranoid to you but have you swept the pub electroncally?
All of England IS appearing to go into a police state and THAT would be a primary target for low level intel.


This seems highly unlikely. We simply do not have the manpower - so even if every pub in the land was bugged, who is there to sift through the collected data? Bugs usually only work properly when they are targetted - for example, you bug a room you know someone will use regularly. That in itself requires a prerequisite of actually having a target in mind for the bugging.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 11:09 AM
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a reply to: and14263



An alarm bell goes off in the back of my mind somewhere when he says he doesn't drink.


As a general rule unless someone is an alcoholic I don't really trust anyone who doesn't drink, I think they have something to hide and are scared of getting inebriated and revealing all.



I'm not making a joke here - that detail has something more to it.


To be honest, in this instance the guy seemed genuine in his reasoning why he didn't drink alcohol - I got the impression his family had suffered through it.
And I did have a bit of a dig at him over it.

a reply to: TrueBrit

Your mate sounds like he'd fit in in most of the pubs I've drank in regularly over the years.

I know I talk some absolute bollocks at times in pubs - enough sometimes even to warrant immediate sectioning.
But still I'm here.

a reply to: cavtrooper7

As I mentioned before, I very much doubt the pub is bugged.

And as previously stated, it would be impossible to bug all the pubs in the UK and listen to all the conversations.

In addition, I think all the background noise and other conversations going on simultaneously would render electronic surveillance pointless.


edit on 27/10/15 by Freeborn because: clarity



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: Freeborn

Maybe they are being assisted by OUR NSA and MI 6 (Or it's domestic equivalent) with it's elaborate computing system.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 11:33 AM
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From my understanding when bugging a bar or other noisy place you generally need to know where your subjects will be sitting so tou can have a localized bug in place a broad spectrum recorder would pick up everything I. The room and would be next to useless in a loud bar.

It is much more probable that they were already on his trail and either used a direct listing device (parabolic microphone) from a vancar parked outside or didn't have ears inside at all and we're trying to vet the stories told the other members of the group. Hence talking to the OP the bar backs hear allot in there duties because most people don't think twice about them being there.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 01:03 PM
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a reply to: and14263

Religious reasons for not imbibing alcohol?

Off to poison the water I expect. Or a food store, or gas attack in Eldon Square. Intuition says water is at risk.

Sounds like a good liar if he's a fake. Some are good liars.



posted on Oct, 27 2015 @ 01:13 PM
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a reply to: Freeborn




. . . there's certainly no history of suspected terrorist activity or extremist behaviour . . .

You've forgotten the lad near Seaham who made a cannon? Fired it at a piece of wood. Straight through the wood and the netty and out to sea. Outright terror.




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