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Posted: 12/24/2003 9:33:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 9:35:07 AM EDT by raven]
I think the bush pilot slated to carry them is lucky to be alive.

FBI tries to track mystery travelers
ODD: Chartering flight to village near pipeline raises suspicions.


Amid heightened security by police and military agencies in Alaska, a bulletin was posted on the state's Homeland Security Web site: The FBI was looking for a man who booked a flight Sunday to a remote village near the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

A man had requested a charter to the Koyukuk River village of Allakaket using a "known" alias of Zaman Muhammad, the statement said. Muhammad and his travel companion didn't show up for the flight, and the air carrier contacted the FBI.

The notice urged people to call the FBI if they had information.

"All I can tell you is that there are two individuals that we are interested in talking to," said Bob Burnham, assistant special agent in charge for the FBI in Anchorage. "We cannot connect them with any type of criminal activity at this time. ... As far as we know, there could be a completely innocent explanation to all of it."

Saying new intelligence data suggested the possibility of terrorist attacks during the holidays, federal officials on Sunday raised the national security threat level to "orange," the highest notch below an actual attack. Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski raised the state's level to orange on Monday.

Burnham said employees at the air carrier became suspicious about a stranger asking to travel to Allakaket, 190 miles northwest of Fairbanks, in winter. The flight path parallels the pipeline part of the distance, but doesn't cross it.

The agent would not say who contacted the FBI about the flight or comment on how the agency knew the person may have used an alias.

"It's the orange (high) alert that caused us to look at this a little more quickly," Burnham added. "It's a great example of somebody trying to do the right thing."

Representatives at several Fairbanks air carriers said Tuesday that they didn't know about the alert, or had slightly different information than what was published by the Division of Emergency Services.

Fairbanks police Lt. Dusty Johnson said his department hadn't been contacted, and Fairbanks airport manager Jesse VanderZanden wouldn't comment on the case.

The operations manager at Warbelow's Air Ventures called the FBI sometime over the weekend about two passengers who had booked seats on Sunday's regular flight to Allakaket using a reservation service, said owner Art Warbelow. They hadn't chartered their own flight, however.

Seeing two strangers giving Middle Eastern names heading to the Athabascan village of 97 seemed odd, especially since the flight carries regulars, Warbelow said. The passengers, whose names or genders could not be confirmed Tuesday, didn't board the flight.

"We're in a little different situation from most of the big airlines because we know all of our customers," Warbelow added.

The information in the state report had been shared by the FBI at the joint terrorism task force meeting on Monday, said Staff Sgt. Kevin Lake, spokesman for the Alaska National Guard.

www.adn.com/front/story/4550168p-4524691c.html
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 9:40:50 AM EDT
Take them up in the plane and push them out.

You want a better look at that pipeline Muhamad?  Well here you go!
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 12:51:44 PM EDT
Hmm...

Maybe use them as bait trolling for brown bears.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:08:47 PM EDT
you'd think they would at least be smart enough to not use a "muslim" sounding name. If they had booked the flight under Joe Smith this would never have made the news.

mike
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:09:08 PM EDT
We had two Saudis call on 9/10/01 and try to book tandem jumps for the next day. They specifically said they had to jump before 10AM as they had to catch a plane back to SA.
We are closed Tues and Wed in the summer so we never booked the jump but we did tell the FBI about the call.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:18:56 PM EDT
Is there such as thing as "bear-chum?"
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:23:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 1:27:50 PM EDT by LWilde]
Well, after hearing this story, something occurred to me:  If I were a pilot and some Abdul Abul-bul Amir I'd never met before made such a request out of the blue, for no apparently logical reason, I damn well would NOT fly that dude anywhere.

Also...when was the last time anyone heard of someone from the sand pile wanting to go sightseeing...or do anything else for that matter, up in the Alaskan bush...in winter...in the cold...and snow???  Sorry, that's a stretch.

Let's see if the Feebs can catch these dudes.

All sorts of scenarios run rampant...with my best guess being that the towelheads wanted to 'jack the bush pilot's plane and fly it into the pipeline, thinking they could cut off our oil and create a national enviro-disaster.

Hey...if I were the Feebs, I'd check the intercepts between the Al-Qaeda and the ELF!  [;D]
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:27:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ClayP:
Is there such as thing as "bear-chum?"
View Quote


There is now..Arab-Chum to be more specific!
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:49:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ClayP:
Is there such as thing as "bear-chum?"
View Quote
my thoughts exactly..

raven..did ya at least get to take a few pop-shots at them??  

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:52:04 PM EDT
Considering how vunlerable the pipeline is to even small arms fire they have reason to be concerned.

It was only about a year or so ago that they put a guy in prison for 10 years for getting drunk and blowing a couple holes in it with a .338 Winchester Magnum.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:15:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
you'd think they would at least be smart enough to not use a "muslim" sounding name. If they had booked the flight under Joe Smith this would never have made the news.

mike
View Quote


Well, they use their real names so the folks back home will know they're martyrs.  The a-holes who pulled 9/11 are heroes in their crappy towns in Saudi Arabia.  Palestinian kids trade cards with their photos.  Just fucking sick.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:16:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
Considering how vunlerable the pipeline is to even small arms fire they have reason to be concerned.

It was only about a year or so ago that they put a guy in prison for 10 years for getting drunk and blowing a couple holes in it with a .338 Winchester Magnum.
View Quote


That happened like a month after 9/11, too.
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