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WAR: Baltimore Tunnels Closed Due To Terror Threat - 4 Suspects Arrested

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posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 11:52 AM
Baltimore TV Station WBAL and CNN are reporting that the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel has been closed completely and portions of the Fort McHenry Tunnel have also been closed due to a possible terrorist threat. No actual specifics have been given out to the media, but live video shows that police seem to be concentrating their attention on trucks at this time although police have been seen using bomb sniffing dogs on some cars.

See first news for latest updates on arrests made that may be connected to this event.


Yahoo News

Shortly before the tunnels were reopened, authorities made about a half-dozen raids in the Baltimore area, said city Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm.

Four people were arrested on immigration charges at businesses with Middle Eastern connections, said a federal law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

One of them was arrested as a result of information supplied by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which was heading the tunnel investigation, the source said. That arrest, made at a pizza shop, may be connected to the threat, the source said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Maryland Department of Transportation police closed the Harbor Tunnel and sections of the Fort McHenry Tunnel for a security precaution late Tuesday morning.

Federal officials told WBAL-TV 11 News reporter David Collins that they may or may not be searching for a specific vehicle. But pictures showed police are stopping and examining larger vehicles around the Fort McHenry tunnel.

Images from Sky Team 11 showed several officers walking around with weapons drawn at the mouth of the Fort McHenry tunnel. Traffic is flowing slowly through the inside tubes at the Fort McHenry.

WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Jayne Miller said police are acting on information concerning the Baltimore tunnels that has been gathered over the past several days. Miller said police emphasize that they are showing "an abundance of caution" in undertaking this operation.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

There appear to be some interesting developments here; since they are now saying there may be a possible connection linked with one of the suspects arrested.

Updates below in other posts contain information posted earlier where CNN stated possibly 8 suspects might have been involved. (See Below posts.

[edit on 10/18/2005 by shots]

posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 11:56 AM
You posted like a minute before I did... But change of info, they searched my car, for sure. I drive an SUV. There were dogs about, and there were large trucks blocking lanes on entrance to the tunnels. What a day

posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 12:54 PM

BALTIMORE -- The Harbor Tunnel and the Fort McHenry Tunnel reopened Tuesday afternoon after Maryland Transportation Authority police closed them for a security precaution.

Tunnels reopened

It would appear this turned into a non issue.

posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 12:55 PM
link is now showing that they've reopened the tunnels.

"We received some information a couple of days ago with a possible threat to a tunnel, nothing specific," said Carla McIntosh, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Baltimore.


Couple of days ago, eh? Nothing specific, eh? Why then, just out of curiosity, would you close the tunnels today?

Seems like there must have been something more specific than what is claimed by Ms. McIntosh.

posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 12:57 PM
Hah, beat me by a minute on that one, dude.

Still curious about the threat.

Non-issue? I think not. What the heck were they told to look for? Where did the threat come from?

posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 01:40 PM

Originally posted by Hamburglar
Hah, beat me by a minute on that one, dude.

Still curious about the threat.

Non-issue? I think not. What the heck were they told to look for? Where did the threat come from?

Bad choice of wording on my part sorry should have stated looks like it turned out to be nothing.

As to what they were looking for, I wish I knew but assume they had some kind of info stating the material or devices would have been contained in a large truck or Box Van. The authorities are letting out little if any info. For what it is worth here is what reporter stated in the update article I posted

NBC reporter Pete Williams said the source of the information came from an overseas source with a good track record that the threat came from a "radical Islamic group." Williams said national security agencies doubted the veracity of the credibility of the information. He said they decided that because there was a specific time associated with the threat that they would show caution and close the tunnels. (Same source as update)

What bothers me with the above is the fact they had a time frame and that backed up traffic for hours which could and I am only saying "could" mean the trucks/truck might still be in the area, that is if the source was correct.

That is just pure speculation on my part.

Edit to add found this on Yahoo news

Even though authorities questioned the credibility of the threat, they were looking for several men in the Baltimore area who the source said would drive "explosives-laden vehicles" into the tunnel, said another federal law enforcement official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

yahoo News

[edit on 10/18/2005 by shots]

[edit on 10/18/2005 by shots]

posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 02:23 PM
CNN is now reporting that Baltimore authorities may be looking for up to 8 individuals and currently have detained two Egyptian suspects for questioning. (They have not been arrested they have just been detained for questioning)

CNN also says they have heard from several sources that police Intel had said that a shipment marked cocoa had been shipped to the Baltimore area, where it is believed individuals planned to assemble the devices.

NOTE the above is according to a CNN reporter and none of it has been confirmed at this time.

posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 03:06 PM
It is starting to get very easy to cry wolf over in the Middle East and get people in the USA jumping. I wonder if this is a desentization tactic.

posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 08:03 PM
Living in Baltimore City, I heard about this pretty much as soon as it happened. My first thoughts were of two friends of mine who are with the local Coast Guard detachment, responsible for inspecting shipments into the various locations within the Port of Baltimore. My second thought was for my girlfriend, who commutes through the tunnels every day.

I don't really know any details of the story (both of my friends with the Coast Guard could only say that they were on alert all day, and couldn't give any further details), yet this smells like the worst of my fears come true: A WMD or other hazardous device brought into the Port of Baltimore, and used while still on the ship (I live and work within a mile of one of the Port of Baltimore terminals). In a scenario such as this, I could understand the tunnels on 95 and 895 being closed, as they both run under major shipping channels, and would be highly suceptible to a large underwater blast. Upon later hearing that they were on the lookout for larger vehicles, my anxiety was relieved to an extent. However, working for a company that uses many large vehicles/trucks, I was still worried about many of my coworkers who happened to be driving large trucks through the area today.

All in all, it's been an interesting day here in Baltimore, and I do want to see how everything pans out. I will likely be seeing one of my friends with the local Coast Guard detachment tomorrow night, and may be able to get a few more details, depending on what she's allowed to speak about.

posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 05:19 AM
What if this detailed plot of shipment and truck bomb in tunnels was planted with the specific "source" because some one suspicioned he was talking to U.S. intel agencies and they wanted to see if this specific threat would make it back over here? What if this guy just got outed?

posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 04:56 PM

Originally posted by Valhall
What if this detailed plot of shipment and truck bomb in tunnels was planted with the specific "source" because some one suspicioned he was talking to U.S. intel agencies and they wanted to see if this specific threat would make it back over here? What if this guy just got outed?

Seems to me that could very well be the case, although we probably will never know.

One would think that the fanatics are not dumb and I for one would never put it past them to falsely plant fake information just to probe our responses, while trying to find a weakness.

posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 05:13 PM
The explanation that I heard on the radio today (and I haven't yet had a chance to confirm it) is that one of the Egyptian men arrested had a girlfriend back in Egypt, who found out he was cheating on her. She made an overseas call to the FBI stating that there was some sort of shipment hidden within a shipment of cocoa powder coming from the Port of Baltimore, and that he was the contact person.

If this is true, all of this commotion was caused by a lovers' quarrel.


Apparently, the news story I heard on the radio was wrong. According to the Baltimore Sun (with information from AP), this is what happened:

At least six Egyptian terrorists planned to smuggle the explosives into the Port of Baltimore by ship, according to a tipster. But that same informant, who is in custody in the Netherlands, had a "questionable" performance on a polygraph and his story has not been corroborated by others, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

The full article is here: The Baltimore Sun

[edit on 19-10-2005 by obsidian468]

posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 06:10 PM
I like the first explanation better then the latter to be honest obsidian.

posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 08:43 PM
Shots, so did I, and so did the radio hosts.

I think that a total halt of a major highway, and "severe" terrorist threat are far funnier when it's simply the actions of a jilted lover, than an actual threat.

posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 08:58 PM

If you will please let us know what if anything you find out from your friend.

I am curious what a possible inside source would have to say on the issue.

Perhaps we may find out the lover was gay for all anyone knows

posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 09:38 PM

Well, I didn't see her tonight, and my phone conversation with her was brief (she was pretty exhausted after work today), but I suspect that her knowledge of the subject will be little more than the media is putting out, as she's still pretty new to the unit. However, I might glean a little more information from my other friend with the same unit (a coworker of the friend that I was supposed to see tonight), who has been with the unit for several years, and may be privvy to more information. I'll likely be seeing her this weekend.

If I do find out anything else from an "inside source" (I also have two friends on the local police force, who would have likely been present at the tunnel closings - one of which I may well see this weekend as well), I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.

My gut instinct on this, though, is that it was a simple minor disturbance that has been blown way out of proportion. I have a feeling that there was no real threat, and the local police and feds were just pulling a CYA (Cover Your A**) maneuver.

Still, even with saying that (and still believing in it), there must have been something that triggered it. Nobody in their right mind will close down two highways that, combined, handle over 170,000 cars a day without DAMN good reason.

Fact is, being a Baltimore local, I do realize the vulnerabilities of the tunnels to a major port threat. Even if I don't know the whole story, I can still understand why the tunnels would have been closed down if a viable tip came in. As other people have speculated in other threads, a bomb welded to the hull of a ship would cause massive damage to the regions around the port it was docking in. Both of the tunnels closed yesterday are in just such a position that any bomb in the Ft. McHenry/Sparrows Point terminals of the Port of Baltimore would probably collapse the structures (I live less than a mile from the Sparrow's Point terminal, and pass by it every day on my mile-long commute to work).

Those that are familliar with Baltimore would know that the major highways through Baltimore (95, 895, and 695) all pass within a mile of every port terminal for the Port of Baltimore, and they would also realize that no part of Baltimore City lies more than three miles from one of these terminals. A threat at any one of them endangers all of the 1.5 million people that live within the Baltimore City Limits. It might not be the nicest city in America, but it's still a very important city (the port of Baltimore accepts the majority of East Coast Honda and Toyota shipments, as well as the bulk of BP petroleum products, among other things). The port of Baltimore is one of the top five busiest ports on the East Coast, and an attack there would cause more damage to the financial climate of the US than the WTC attack on 9/11/2001. Any halfway educated local knows that, most US citizens with a financial mind know that, and I'm quite certain that any organization that wishes us harm certainly knows that.

As I've previously stated, a major attack on the Port of Baltimore (most specifically, nuclear) is probably the only thing on earth that truly scares the pants off of me.

Yesterday's events just made me think a bit more of the possibilities, and sort of forces me to put more faith in my friends within the local Coast Guard unit, who are responsible for inspecting Port of Baltimore shipments (I have made a prior post regarding port safety at the Port of Baltimore based on the firsthand accounts of one of my two friends that works for the Coast Guard - it can be found here: ).

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