The FBI in Seattle, as well as the Washington Joint Analytical Center (WJAC), have asked for the public's help in identifying two men spotted aboard Washington state ferries exhibiting unusual behavior. A number of ferry passengers have reported the two men showing strange behavior.
Two photos have been circulated showing two young "Middle East" looking men on board a ferry. The reluctance of the FBI to provide more details is reminiscent of the 2000 and 2001 closely-held government reports that a number of teams of between two and five to six young male and female Israelis, all veteran or reserve Israeli Defense Force members, were spotted casing federal facilities, oil refineries, harbor areas, homes of federal law enforcement officials, office buildings -- including the World Trade Center, bridges, tunnels, and military bases and airfields prior to and subsequent to the 9/11 attacks.
The Israelis were described in a number of federal reports as "Middle East-looking" in appearance. The FBI never sought to prosecute the Israelis, many of whom were using the intelligence covers of office and home furniture movers, vendors of toys at shopping mall kiosks, and art students selling bogus Israeli artwork, and merely turned them over to U.S. immigration authorities for deportation back to Israel. The code phrase "Middle East looking" has since become politically-correct FBI-speak for Israelis. Nationals of Arab countries are described as Arabs in official law enforcement intelligence reports. However, Israeli influence over the Bush administration prevents Israelis in the United States operating illegally or pursuing other dubious activities from being described as Israelis.
As a senior law enforcement official in northern New Jersey told this editor that there should have been some "healthy skepticism" shown by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials about the activities of Israeli nationals in and around New York City prior to 9/11. The official, who was appointed by then-Governor Jim McGreevey, knew that his boss had been compromised in an Israeli intelligence "honey trap" involving Israeli agent Golan Cipel, who McGreevey appointed chief of homeland security for New Jersey after 9/11. Cipel, an Israeli national, had full access to sensitive information about every critical infrastructure facility in the state.
Many of the Israelis picked up prior to 9/11 were turned over to federal and local authorities because they, too, exhibited unusual behavior -- including sketching and photographing the interiors and exteriors of federal buildings, trying to enter various secured offices and other spaces, and splitting up from teams of five and six to teams of two to canvass certain urban areas without drawing too much attention.
The FBI and WJAC have asked anyone with information on the two suspicious ferry passengers in the Seattle area to report it to 206-622-0460.
Yesterday, WMR reported on Israeli press accounts that the Israeli branch chief of Interpol is under investigation for using his contacts within the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem to obtain U.S. visas for criminal Israeli suspects to enter the United States.
Our San Francisco sources also report that, in an unusual move, the Oakland Bay Bridge will be closed by Caltrans in both directions during the entire Labor Day weekend -- from August 31 to September 4. It is the first time the bridge has been closed since the 1989 San Francisco earthquake caused the collapse of the bridge's upper deck. Ostensibly, the bridge is closing to replace a section of the road on Yerba Buena Island but the closure will effectively deter people from traveling to San Francisco from the East Bay, a blow to city businesses that depend on visitors to the city during holiday weekends.
The closure of the bridge will result in expanded service on area ferries, including the Alameda-Oakland, Vallejo Baylink, and Golden Gate ferries, as well as BART train service, including service on the San Francisco-Oakland Trans-Bay Tube, the longest submerged tunnel in the world. The security alert issued about suspicious men on Washington state ferries should be viewed as a possible dry run and an "incident" on the expanded service San Francisco ferries cannot be ruled out. The Seattle area, including the Whidbey Island naval installation and Sea-Tac airport, have witnessed past incidents involving suspicious Israeli agents.
With the closure of the Bay Bridge, there will be an increase of traffic on the Golden Gate, Richmond-San Rafael, Dumbarton, and San Mateo-Hayward bridges.
WMR has a number of friends and readers in the San Francisco Bay area and, while not wanting to be alarmist, we urge them and their families and friends to exercise preparedness, alertness, and a high degree of skepticism about any encounters with "Middle East looking" young men and women. The intelligence indications and warnings (I&W) point to a possible maritime incident or incidents involving water-borne craft in San Francisco Bay area waters.
Also, strange behavior is something I have witnessed personally. These "Middle Easterners" act dumb but they are not. They will ask where certain doors lead, who or what is in certain offices, and they will take photos of things that tourists just would not be interested in -- like certain equipment. On a ferry, they may have asked about certain hatches and their use and may have taken photos of things like life boats and emergency equipment -- that would have certainly raised suspicions, as well as any curiosity about port facilities, loading docks, warehouses, shipping lanes, bridges, tunnels, etc.