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#30526 - 08/19/04 01:40 PM ambulances being cased in NY for use in terrorism?
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
I ran across this article and thought of our EMS friends here. Keep your eyeballs peeled, boys. To everybody: still not carrying an urban PSK? Think about it.


Suspicious Interest in Ambulances Prompts Terror Alert in NYC Suburb
By Scott Wheeler
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
August 19, 2004

(CNSNews.com) - Officials in Westchester County, N.Y., on the outskirts of New York City, issued an internal terrorism alert to law enforcement and emergency response personnel Aug. 12 after receiving several reports about Middle Eastern men and "suspicious activity concerning ambulances," according to government documents obtained by CNSNews.com.

The documents include the Aug. 12 alert itself, which was posted by the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services and was "based on information from New Jersey authorities." Wednesday afternoon, the county's Department of Emergency Services confirmed that it had issued the alert, but did not provide any further details.

According to one witness-described incident, included in the alert, "an individual who attended an open-house at an ambulance squad in Middlesex County, [N.J.,] claimed he was from Pakistan and a physician." br>
The eyewitnesses said the man "asked a series of questions to the squad members that related exclusively to the operation of the emergency vehicles, including the speed at which the vehicles responded to calls and the use of the lights and sirens."

The Middle Eastern man was described as acting "very nervous" and "did not ask about patient care," according to the government documents, which also quoted the witnesses as saying the suspicious man "left the premises when asked to complete a membership application."

The alert indicated that the second incident occurred at a hospital in Essex County, N.J. "A male of Middle-Eastern appearance" was seen "standing near an ambulance at the emergency room doors while writing notes in a small notepad," the CNSNews.com-obtained documents stated.

"When confronted by the vehicle's operator, a firefighter/EMT, the man asserted that he was employed as an ambulance mechanic. He then asked where a nearby fire department serviced its vehicles," the government alert stated. When the man was asked for identification, he "provided an illegible New York driver's license" and then left.

The terrorism alert outlined a third suspicious event. While it provided no location for the incident, the documents did cite a description from the New Jersey Office of Counter Terrorism.

There was "an unusual attempt by three men of Middle-Eastern appearance to join a volunteer ambulance squad. The men expressed to squad members an 'abnormal interest' in operating the emergency vehicles, and further insisted that the process by which they obtain the appropriate credentials and certifications to join the squad be expedited at their personal expense," the alert stated.

All three incidents happened inside of a one-week time frame earlier this month. The warning also provided the following context: "Due to the recent threat elevation to ORANGE (HIGH) for the financial sector and intelligence relating to the threat of Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs), any suspicious activity relating to emergency vehicles is of particular concern and should be reported to law enforcement

The report also referenced locations where other vehicle bombs were used, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and "notably in the 1993 World Trade Center" bombing.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, counter terrorism experts believe "hundreds if not thousands" of so-called "probing attacks" have been reported since the al Qaeda sponsored terrorist strikes on New York City and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

These probing attacks, according to experts interviewed by CNSNews.com, are conducted by groups and individuals possibly associated with Islamic extremist organizations. The goal of probing attacks, the experts said, is to conduct surveillance of vulnerable American institutions that may end as the real target for violence in the future.

#30527 - 08/19/04 05:55 PM Re: ambulances being cased in NY for use in terrorism?
WOFT Offline

Registered: 05/10/02
Posts: 391
Loc: Cape Town, South Africa
I get into a rage when EMS is abused! we had a case in South Africa fairly recently [i'm sketchy of the details off hand] when an ambulance was hijacked, and the personel were raped! I get infuriated even more so because the people who do this knid of stuff will actually still recieve help from the same organisation that that they ABUSED when they get injured committing another crime, resisting justice or simply living a "normal" life <img src="/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />.

I need to go cool off so i can start making sense...

Here is a link to a follow up of the incident

And this is from a more recent article

<<The KwaZulu-Natal health department has welcomed the arrest of five suspects in the hijacking of an ambulance and rape of one of the crew at Imbali.

Police say they found two of the suspects stripping the emergency vehicle in the Midlands area. The ambulance crew had responded to a fake emergency call.>>

Edited by WOFT (08/19/04 06:12 PM)
'n Boer maak 'n plan

#30528 - 08/19/04 07:02 PM Re: ambulances use in terror-Get a grip people!
bountyhunter Offline

Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 1224
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA
If you all focus on "Middle Eastern" looking individuals, you are formenting racism, discrimination, and missing the potential real terrorists.

I don't know how many of you are old enough or remember an airport massacre that was credited to a German terrorist group that hired some Asian individuals to do the actual killing. The date and the details escape me, but maybe someone else remembers it.

If the "Al Queda" really exist in the United States as a terrorist organization, it occurs to me they would have enough money and sense to hire white middle class dressed people for their information gathering purposes.

They could hire legitimate private investigators by claiming they want business information that will let them compete and overwhelm an existing business provider. The "Hell's Angels" in Southern California used this tactic of hiring private investigators to find out addresses and facts about police officers for the purpose of threatening the officers. The "Hell's Angels" also used to have a Chief of Police in Wisconsin working for them by providing information they could not otherwise obtain. He was eventually caught and prosecuted.

These terrorists could hire gang members dressed and acting conservatively to ferret out information, get the information, and then kill the gang member since few of the authorities would care about a gang related murder. They can watch TV, go to the libraries, attend PTO meetings, and go to local politicians town hall meetings and garner all kinds of information for their needs, and none of them has to be or look like "Middle Eastern" individuals.

I for one believe most of this paranoia is being created by people who want more control and less freedom for the American people in the United States of America, and they are not from abroad.


#30529 - 08/19/04 07:58 PM Re: ambulances use in terror-Get a grip people!

When all the information you are able to get is slanted one way, the decitions you make will be skewed. If all the information is bad, you will plan for the bad, and become suspicious. If the information you are given only allows you to see one side of a situation, you will not consider the other side.

The people and situations that are listed in the US 'probative attacks' are listed as Middle Eastern, even one saying he was from Pakistan. I will take that at face value because facts like that are easy to verify.

What I do not take at face value is that they did not, in the alert, list the three Ambulances KNOWN to have already gone missing from various NY area maintenence lots, along with at least one garbage truck, over the last year. (as reported by Reuters, June 2004) Or the several small Cesna planes that were purchased over the internet from an Ohio company and when they tried to make delivery to an address listed on the form, it turned out to be a recently built Mosque, which refused the delivery. When the purchaser contacted the seller, he was arrested under the Patriot Act.(as reported by BBC, May 2004)

Not that I check other sources.


#30530 - 08/19/04 08:05 PM Re: ambulances use in terror-Get a grip people!
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
The info acted upon by the authorities in the news story involved Middle Eastern-looking men. While this fact is potentially unfortunate for the reputations of Middle Eastern-looking men, it is still a fact. When non-Middle Eastern-looking suspects are discovered doing such things, I hope that they too are dealt with appropriately.

My point in posting the story was not to focus undue scorn or suspicion on Middle Easterners. The point was to make other EMS personnel aware of the CONCEPT that someone could be actively looking to use ambulances in the U.S. as a terrorism tactic. This was the chief problem with the 9/11 attacks: Americans did not have the CONCEPT in mind that a plane would be used as a missile.

#30531 - 08/19/04 09:33 PM Re: ambulances use in terror-Get a grip people!

Regarding the attempted sale of Cessnas to a mosque, I have some serious doubts. Airplanes are not delivered to street addresses, they are delivered to airports with known airport IDs. Airplanes are typically flown to their new home after purchase by a ferry pilot or the purchaser themselves. No pilot in his or her right mind is going to even begin to undertake a trip with an airplane to a street address. Secondly, the paperwork required to purchase an airplane would make it almost impossible to do so over the internet. I really have to question the vailidty of a story that would contain such obvious anomalies.

#30532 - 08/19/04 11:45 PM Re: ambulances use in terror-Get a grip people!

As I sit here listening to Warren Zevon singing about the soldiers, spooks, and mercenerys of the '60s and 70's, I can't help but wonder... does anybody else miss the good old days when the CIA had enough field agents and HUMINT to make the "BAD GUYS" disappear into shallow graves??? TO ALL WHO MAY TAKE OFFENSE...PLEASE exercise your sense of humor and take this with a grain of salt, I just couldn't help myself <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


P.S. Send lawyers, guns and money...

Edited by wildcard163 (08/19/04 11:53 PM)

#30533 - 08/19/04 11:50 PM Re: ambulances use in terror-Get a grip people!
David Offline

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 245
Loc: Tennessee (middle)
Ah, yes...Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner! One of my favorites! Brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.

Thanks for that, Troy. I just may have to go find that tape...

The late Mr. Zevon's talent will sorely be missed!


#30534 - 08/20/04 12:23 PM Re: ambulances use in terror-Get a grip people!

The concept was well in the American mind. NORAD had war gamed the scenario prior to 9/11. Tom Clancy even flew a 747 into the White House in one of his books. (The one just before Executive Orders. The title escapes me just now). I think this whole country just needs to take a collective deep breath and quit seeing phantom terrorists in the bottom of every teacup. Seems an awful lot like the Red Scare of the '50s.

Bountyhunter: In the '90s we conspiracy theory geeks used to say that if you claimed it was "for the children" you turn this country into a police state with little effort. Now we use "to protect against those who would do us harm" in the same context. The majority of the people of this land will gladly sacrifice every freedom and civil liberty in any attempt to achieve a utopia that is unattainable.

#30535 - 08/20/04 02:16 PM Re: ambulances use in terror-Get a grip people!
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
The concept was well in the American mind

So that's why the standard procedure for a hijacking was to comply 100% w/ the hijacker's demands? Apparently the country's security leaders hadn't conferred enough with Tom Clancy.

quit seeing phantom terrorists in the bottom of every teacup

Like that little teacup incident on 9/11/2001? Just a phantom, right?

Back on topic: keep an eye out, fellow EMS folks.

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