Algerian with false passport arrested in Vermont : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Algerian with false passport arrested in Vermont

BURLINGTON, Vt., Dec 21 (Reuters) - A man believed to be an Algerian national, who tried to enter the United States with a falsified Canadian passport, is expected to be arraigned later on Tuesday in Vermont, officials said.

The arrest of the man, and a woman who accompanied him, comes in the midst of heightened security along the 3,000-mile (4,827 km) U.S.-Canadian border after last week's arrest of an Algerian who allegedly attempted to smuggle explosives into the United States.

The pair were arrested on Sunday night as they tried to enter the United States at Beecher Falls, Vermont, a small border post in the northeastern part of the state, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Henry said in a telephone interview.

"We believe the man is an Algerian national and the woman is a Canadian," Henry said. He added that no weapons or bomb-making equipment were found in the couple's car.

"You know yourself people try to come into this country for a 100 different reasons. This may just be a simple case of smuggling," Henry said.

He declined to identify the pair, but said they would face charges of smuggling and possibly carrying falsified documents when they are arraigned before a U.S. magistrate in Burlington.

The arrests come as Canadian police searched for members of a Montreal theft ring with alleged ties to Algerian extremists to determine if the Algerian man apprehended in Washington state last week was acting alone in what appeared to be a millennium bomb plot, police said.

U.S. and Canadian authorities believe Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian-born resident of Montreal arrested last week for allegedly attempting to smuggle explosives into the United States, had accomplices.

Ressam's arrest raised fears that guerrillas may be planning to mark the New Year with bombing attacks in the United States, prompting U.S. authorities to tighten controls at remote crossing points along the U.S. and Canadian border.

U.S. Customs Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced on Monday that 300 additional inspectors were being dispatched to border sites, especially those in remote areas.

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-- Ray (, December 21, 1999


Remember the old axiom about rats and cockroaches: if you see one, or two...

The local media in Seattle are making much of the story of the first Algerian who was caught by accident (uh...the vigilance of U.S. Customs) and just what that means for impending New Years celebrations. They expect 60,000 + people for the festivities at the Seattle Center-about three blocks from where I work. Lots of talk going on about "heightened security measures". I hope it's more than rhetoric to reassure the masses. Last New Year's, a young Navy lad on PCP, shattered windows in 65 cars and several buildings, including mine. The police arrived about 10 minutes after he abandoned his attempt to gain entrance. (ahhh...the comfort of safety glass and double paned windows)

I thought the opinion expressed by one security expert particularly interesting: it's too late to start watching the ports and sealing the borders. If they intend us harm, they're already here.

-- chairborne commando (, December 21, 1999.

chairborne (BTW, your handle has always been my forum fave),

Of course, this wouldn't have anything to do with Gates deciding to spend rollover on a converted Navy ship off the coast of Australia, would it?

-- (, December 21, 1999.


-- More Dinty Moore (, December 21, 1999.

Fair use...yada yada.....

Car May Have Traces of Explosives

Filed at 3:59 p.m. EST

By The Associated Press MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Trained dogs detected traces of possible explosives in the car that carried an Algerian who was arrested at a tiny border station, federal agents said today. But a search of the car turned up nothing more.

Arrested Sunday evening at Beecher Falls were Bouabide Chamchi and a Canadian woman named Lucia Garofalo, authorities said. Chamchi is the second Algerian with allegedly falsified documents arrested in the past week while trying to get into the United States with allegedly false documents.

In an affadavit released today, a Border Patrol agent, John Pfeifer, said that two dogs trained to sniff out explosives indicated there were explosives in the right rear fender of Ms. Garofalo's car.[!!!!!!!]

But after the car was searched, Noel Induni, agent in charge of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in St. Albans, Vt., said nothing was found, although traces apparently were in the car.

``Nothing was there. The items used to make explosives can be used for many other things as well, and it's common fertilizer that can be used.

``But we found nothing, and the state police actually did the search and they found nothing. They may have been transported at some time, but there's nothing there now.''

The affidavit said one dog was certified to detect plastic explosives, while the other dog was certified to detect black powder explosives, and they separately reacted to one portion of Ms. Garofalo's car.

Chamchi was expected to be charged with presenting false papers at a port of entry while Ms. Garofalo is expected to be charged with attempting to smuggle an alien into the country, Mark Henry, assistant chief of the Border Patrol sector covering Vermont, had said earlier.

The two were lodged at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility pending a federal court appearance in Burlington.

``I don't know why they were here. It could be as simple as she's smuggling him into the United States,'' Henry said.

Induni said the woman had tried to cross from Canada into Pittsburg, N.H., last Wednesday. She was denied entrance because the man -- a Pakistani national, not the man she was arrested with Sunday -- with her did not have proper identification and their story didn't not match the amount of luggage they carried, he said.[!!!!!!!]

The arrests came amid heightened concern about possible terrorist threats to the United States from suspected terrorist groups operating in Canada.

Last week, a man was arrested while trying to enter Port Angeles, Wash., on a ferry from Victoria, British Columbia. Authorities said Ahmed Ressam had nitroglycerin and other potential bomb-making materials in his car.

Vincent Illuzzi, the prosecutor for Vermont's Essex County, where the attempted entries were allegedly made, said he had been told there was no clear link between the Washington state and Vermont arrests.

The Customs Service said Monday it has transferred 300 employees to inspection duty to facilitate more frequent and thorough border checks for explosives in light of the incidents in Seattle and Vermont.

Customs spokesman Roger Maier said the additional employees will remain on inspection duty until the new year arrives, but he declined to say to which ports of entry they were sent.

Inspectors are on a ``heightened state of awareness,'' said P.T. Wright, the Customs port director at the town of Nogales, on the Arizona-Mexico border.

``The same factors that key you onto a potential drug smuggler key you onto a potential terrorist: The story that doesn't quite match, the nervousness,'' Wright said. ``They're trained to look for things that just don't fit the norm.''

Meanwhile, Kevin Weeks, Michigan's U.S. Customs management director, said authorities there were adding more staff at the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

Farther west, authorities were beefing up security along the U.S.- Canada border from the northeastern tip of Minnesota to Montana. It has 28 land ports of entry, including some of the nation's most remote.

``We are on a state of heightened alert,'' said Dean Hove, deputy district director of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. ``It's a matter of taking more time.''

-- Duke 1983 (, December 21, 1999.

Smoke - n - mirrors, smoke - n - mirrors, smoke - n - mirrors....

-- preparing (, December 21, 1999.

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