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Terror Threat From the Sea...Exclusive?

by Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

20 March 2005: Northeast Intelligence network analysts did a double-take when MSNBC Headline today read Exclusive: Look Out Below-The Terror Threat From the Sea, citing the March 28, 2005 issue of a story in Newsweek by Investigative correspondent Mark Hosenball. Excerpted from the article: "Al Qaeda frogmen sound like one of the more exotic terrorist threats-but Homeland Security chiefs are preparing, just in case. Last month the Coast Guard launched a special program to train members of its seagoing SWAT teams how to protect U.S. ports against scuba-diving attackers."

Analysts had to check to make sure the story was from the March 28, 2005 issue rather than 2004, as the threat of al Qaeda divers and possible terrorism from the water is NOT new. On February 28, 2004 analysts from the Northeast Intelligence Network and the HQ INTEL-ALERT were investigating the strange death of a foreign diver found on the shore of the Hudson River in Newburg, NY as reported here.

While this story might be new to MSNBC and Newsweek, cutting-edge media personalities like George Noory (Coast to Coast AM), Tom Bauerle (WBEN AM-930), Pat Campbell, America at Night with Ernie Brown and others REALLY had the exclusive - over well over one year AHEAD of the major media.. More will be contained in this week's HQ INTEL-ALERT newsletter due out late tonight.

Three Divers and a Picture Raise Caution Levels

What do this photograph, and three suspicious divers in different parts of the United States have in common, and are the divers connected to terrorism?

Three suspicious divers in different parts of the United States and this photograph are raising a host of questions this morning. Within the past 3 days there have been three separate incidents involving suspicious divers. Two of these divers were found dead, one in the Hudson River in New York State, and one this morning in Hollywood, Florida. A third diver has not been located, but officials from the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force launched a thorough search of the Honolulu, Hawaii harbor in an attempt to locate the diver who was spotted by the Coast Guard.

  The above photograph circulated on jihad message boards earlier this winter. It clearly shows a scuba diver, with a smiling Osama Bin Laden.

  According to news reports, police are investigating the death of a man found in the Hudson River wearing scuba gear. The body was spotted floating Sunday by the crew of a cargo ship that had delivered coal to Dynergy's Danskammer power plant, the Times Herald-Record of Middletown reported. Newburgh town police were trying to establish the man's identity. Newburgh is 80 miles south of Albany.

  In the meantime, Hollywood FL police need help identifying a diver found floating Wednesday off John U. Lloyd State Park in Dania Beach. A park ranger saw the body about 7:05 a.m. and pulled it ashore. The diver was dressed in a wet suit but had no diving tank or weight belt. There were no unattended boats or cars nearby. The current was strong, and police said the man appeared to have been dead for at least several hours, Hollywood police said. An autopsy revealed the man may have died under suspicious circumstances, but police would not elaborate. The man is described as a white male with reddish hair and a mustache. He was 5-foot-10 and weighed about 180 pounds.  

The big questions are:

  • Are these three divers connected?
  • Do they have anything to do with Al Qaeda or any other terror group?
  • What were they doing? 

    This is a threat that the Department of Homeland Security clearly takes seriously.   

    IDENTIFIED: 24 April 2004: The diver's body found floating in the Hudson River in February was identified as Juan Carlos Galo-Argueta, 22, of Honduras. He was in this country illegally and had been living in Houston, Texas, according to police. Galo-Argueta's body was spotted in the river the morning of February 22, 2004 by the crew of a Cyprus-based ship that had just delivered a load of coal to Dynegy's Danskammer power plant on River Road. He was wearing a diving mask and scuba gear when found.

    Interestingly, Newburgh, NY police spokesperson Detective Sergeant Margaret O'Neill said she couldn't disclose what Galo-Argueta was doing in this area because it's related to an ongoing investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She did say, however, that Galo-Argueta had no connection to the ship whose crew spotted his body.

    EXCLUSIVE: 28 February 2004; Newburgh, NY-- Douglas Hagmann, director of the Northeast Intelligence Network, and Investigator "Skip" Callahan were in Newburgh, NY probing the unusual incident where the body of an unidentified diver was found in the Hudson River, near the Danskammer Power Plant. The above composite was made during the autopsy of the unidentified man; he is described as a white male, 5'7" tall, 160 pounds, with gold, double loop earrings in each ear. He also has two tattoos on his left chest and shoulder (one is a cross with the initials "C.M.M" and the other is of an angel with yellow hair). The man was wearing a mask and scuba gear when pulled from the icy Hudson River.

       Investigators from the Northeast Intelligence Network are investigating the possibility that this man might be part of a larger terrorist operation referenced in a number of jihad forums within the past year. Based on the presence of federal authorities in Newburgh, NY, it would appear that they are considering the same possibilities. Developing...

    INVESTIGATIVE NOTE: A number of people contacted by investigators have their own theories on possible terrorist "targets" in the area. One target in particular was mentioned in nearly every conversation: Indian Point Nuclear Reactor.

    Related: Network Analyst Sean Osborne is in Hollywood FL investigating the diver found there. Information forthcoming...

    Maritime Terror in the Philipines: Abu Sayyaf Claims Responsibility for Explosion, Sinking Ferry With 899 Passengers, Crew 

    In a statement this morning to radio RMM, Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility for an explosion aboard a Philippines based ferry board on Friday.  

    Speaking on behalf of Abu Sayyaf, Abu Sulaiman claimed that the group had planted an explosives device on the ferry. The ferry, which was carrying 899 passengers and crew, caught fire shortly after leaving Manila Friday morning. Survivors reported hearing a large explosion prior to the fire breaking out. 

    One person has been confirmed dead in the incident, 12 are injured, and at least 180 are unaccounted for. Some reported indicated that these 180 are believed dead. 

    This may be the first response of a series of attacks by Al Qaeda and their franchise groups throughout the world which have been widely expected to follow two audiotape messages this week by Al Qaeda Second-In-Command Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri. 

    Accident or Intentional? Houston Bound Chemical Tanker Explodes and Sinks Off Coast of NC After Leaving NY

    A Singapore based chemical tanker carrying 3.5 million gallons of Ethanol exploded and sank Saturday night in the frigid waters off the coast of North Carolina. As of Sunday afternoon, the Coast Guard was still searching the site for 18 crew members who remain missing. One person is confirmed dead, and six survivors have been rescued.

    According to reports, the explosion occurred after a fire broke out on deck. The cause of the fire and subsequent explosion remain unknown. The ship had just left New York and was bound for Houston.

    In addition to the ethanol, which is used as a fuel additive, the tanker was believed to be carrying 48,000 gallons of stored diesel fuel and 193,000 gallons of fuel oil. Currently a 9 square mile oil slick is being monitored by the Coast Guard, but this is not believed to pose a threat to Maryland or Virginia shores.

    Maritime Attacks Bring Increased Scrutiny to Three Mystery Divers in US Waters

    These two marine attacks bring increased scrutiny to the three mysterious divers found in US waters this week. Two of the divers, one in Hollywood FL, and one in Newburgh NY were found dead; a third diver was sighted by the Coast Guard in the Honolulu HI harbor but a search of the harbor came up empty handed.

    Late last summer, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a bulletin warning that terrorists may attack American ships or ports using scuba divers. The "Swimmer Attack Indicators and Protective Measures" bulletin was issued on August 22, 2003. The bulletin advised "the maritime industry and owners and operators of maritime facilities of a number of incidents of suspicious activity and possible surveillance of maritime facilities around the U.S. over the past few months."

    This is a matter that the Northeast Intelligence Network takes seriously as well. Investigators were on the scene of in both Newburgh NY and Hollywood FL gathering additional information for this report.

    Another Suspicious Diver in Honolulu HI Harbor

    Yet another suspicious diver has been reported in a US waterway, according to a report from KITV in Honolulu, HI. This diver was sighted around 10:23 pm Saturday night near a Coast Guard Cutter in the Honolulu harbor. The diver was reported dressed in wet suit, with mask, and was carrying a box and a spear similar to those used for spear fishing. According to reports from the area, the weather was stormy and was not conducive for diving or for spear fishing. Investigation of the matter continues.  

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