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Terrorism tipline widely used for personal spite

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posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:58 PM

DHS hotline a hotbed of weak tips

The tipster from Illinois first called the Department of Homeland Security's hotline here on Feb. 15, when he reported that while he was helping a "Russian lady" change a flat tire, he saw a pipe bomb in the trunk of her car.

The tip set off a public safety alert in central Illinois, where state police and Naperville authorities responded to a bulletin from the DHS. The dragnet finally ended Feb. 21, when officers found the woman, her car and a device in the trunk.

There was a twist: The device had been placed in the car by the innocent woman's ex-husband, who was identified as William Nakulski. He and his son were charged in what turned out to be a bizarre and unsuccessful plot to have Nakulski's ex-wife, an immigrant, jailed and deported.

The incident was an extreme example of how the hotline - designed to help identify foreigners and others who could harm U.S. interests - has become a venting board for tens of thousands of tips from across the USA that have nothing to do with potential threats to the homeland...

Blackman estimates that about half the calls to the hotline contain false information that law enforcement agencies nevertheless have to check out. He says that's a reasonable cost for getting leads that local law enforcement can use...

The hotline - 866-347-2423 - was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The number of calls to the hotline this year is nearing 100,000, almost triple the number during 2004...

Blackman says the increasing number of calls to the hotline suggest that people "are much more aware of the people living in their communities now..."


This story is disturbing on many levels....

I feel like we really did fall through the rabbit hole....

[edit on 1-12-2005 by loam]

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