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Middle Eastern Men Found Hiding In FL Port Truck

From the Miami Herald:

Suspicious truck stopped at the Port of Miami-Dade; cargo was not auto parts

Sun, Jan. 07, 2007

By ALDO NAHED, JAY WEAVER and ROB BARRY

Federal and county authorities have detained as many as three Middle Eastern men at the Port of Miami-Dade after they tried to enter the facility Sunday morning without proper paperwork, officials said.

An FBI spokeswoman in Miami said an Iraqi semi-truck driver trying to get into the port was been arrested after the cargo in his truck did not match what was declared on the truck’s manifest and he lied about being alone in the truck.

Federal sources said the manifest described the cargo as auto parts, but that is not what was found. It’s unknown what the search revealed was really inside the semi.

Authorities also found a second Iraqi national and a Lebanese national hiding inside the 18-wheeler, the official said.

”Right now, we’re trying to figure out what these men were trying to do,” said Judy Orihuela, the FBI spokeswoman. A press conference will be held later today at the port.

She said the incident began when the Iraqi driver tried to make a delivery at the port and was told he needed a day pass.

During the questioning, inconsistencies surfaced as to the cargo. The two men hiding were found during a search of the truck, she said.

The incident prompted a shut-down of the port as members of several federal, local and state law enforcement agencies converged on the busy facility. Among the agencies responding was the Center for Domestic Preparedness, an agency that deals with suspected weapons of mass destruction.

Orihuela said the men appear to be in the U.S. legally and have resident status. They are not on any watch list.

Authorities in Washington, D.C. have been notified of the incident, Orihuela said.

It could be nothing, of course.

But a bomb squad is on the scene.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, January 7th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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