Near the bridge connecting PA’s Pocono’s to NE New Jersey, a call about suspicous behavior and a man with a name matching a name on the “Persons of Interest” list leads to an on the road determination by a NJ State Trooper, to release a possible terrorist without any positive proof that the man was not this “Person of Interest”.
The trooper based his discision on radio information with with the regional operations intelligence center. Did he have a picture of the person of interest? How did he know this was not the same man? In a matter of a few minutes a potential terrorist could have been released.
There was no evidence he took pictures of the bridge? The trooper found no camera, where did he search? Did he search or was this solely the word of the “person of interest”?
Too many unaswered questions. Scenarios like this should worry the general public. Especially considering the area this occured in. Not long ago terrorists were training only a few miles down the road, their goal was to attack military bases in NJ. 60 miles east of this location is NY city. Remember NJ has been a hotbed for terrorists , several of the 9/11 terrorists lived in NJ for quite a while, obtained fake driver licenses through NJ DMVs, the parties in Paterson NJ after 9/11 etc…
The bridge in question is a major through way for trucks and it also carries a large number of commuters from PA to NJ & NY.
I would think that considering what was reported to police and the fact that this guy had a name that matched a “person of interest” that a little more due diligence should have been taken to confirm that he was not infact the person on the watch list.
To make it worse, there is no clue as to where this guy went. Does the trooper know where is lives?
A man of Middle Eastern descent whose name appears as a “person of interest” on the FBI’s terror watch list was approached but later let free by New Jersey state troopers Monday morning.
The man was on the New Jersey side of the I-80 bridge over the Delaware River, where a passing driver phoned in a report to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission that the man was allegedly taking photographs of the bridge, sources say.
“Just because an individual has the same name as someone on the watch list does not indicate that they are that person,” Williams said.
The commission called police, who responded and investigated, according to Lt. Gerald Lewis of the New Jersey State Police.
A trooper found the man in his car with his wife and 6-week old infant, but, according to published reports, no camera.
He called the regional operational intelligence center where he learned that someone by that name was classified as a “person of interest” on the FBI’s terrorist watch list.
It is not known why Ahmed is on the list.
“The watch list is just that — a watch list,” Williams said. “It does not indicate that anyone on that list is guilty of any criminal behavior.”
According to the FBI’s Web site, people are on the list if they are “known or appropriately suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism.”
Police found no evidence that the man had been taking pictures of the bridge or that he was engaged in any terrorist activity.
He was allowed to leave with his wife and child. It was not known in what direction he was headed, Lewis said.
Williams said police are continuing their review of the situation.
Update: This incident occured on 9/10/2007. The trooper that responded, claims to have searched the vehicle and did not find any camera. In addition on 9/11/2001, this bridge was shut down due to a bomb threat.