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July 14, 2004
Minneapolis-AQ Connection, Cont'd

Local television station KSTP-TV, our ABC affiliate, broke the news story that the FBI detained a traveler at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on immigration violations, finding evidence of terrorism connections in his personal belongings (via my friend Big Trunk at Power Line):

Federal sources told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the man was arrested last Wednesday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Sources in the Twin Cities and in Washington D.C. said the man arrived on a flight and was taken into federal custody. Along the way, customs agents found disturbing items in his possession.

The U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Ali Mohamed Almosaleh is in federal custody in the Twin Cities. He was being detained on an immigration law violation, but federal sources confirmed there is much more than that to this investigation.

Sources confirm Almosaleh was carrying a suicide when he was arrested. They say that note indicated a specific time and date for carrying out some sort of public suicide. He was also carrying CDs and DVDs, which federal sources say contained anti-American material. A source also confirms Almosaleh had something with him indicating a connection with at least one known terrorist. ...

A federal source would not say where Almosaleh's final destination was, but that source did indicate it appears Almosaleh had plans to travel beyond the Twin Cities.

I think in this instance, the phrase "final destination" is somewhat unfortunate. Something tells me his final destination had more to do with 72 virgins, or white raisins, or black sheep, or what-have-you.

MSP is part of the string of Midwestern airports that comprise the so-called "fly-over land", where major airlines maintain their hubs for national flights. It's not surprising that federal authorities are keeping a close eye on these international airports, and it's not surprising that they caught someone here. It does seem that an inordinate number of captures have occurred here in the Twin Cities, although that may just be due to my proximity to the media. Has any other major metro area seen seven or eight announced terror arrests over the past year?

Once again, I'm reminded of the very large and well-known tourist and shopping center located just minutes from my house, and its obvious value as a target for Islamofascist terrorists. Perhaps those of us with digital cameras and camera-equipped cell phones should routinely take them to the Mall just in case we see anything suspicious. If we wind up taking useless pictures of strangers, no harm done; however, if we capture something significant, we can easily transmit them to law enforcement with a description of our suspicions. Any thoughts on this idea?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 14, 2004 6:53 PM

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