Cloudcroft chief stops Israelis with suspicious cargo
By Michael Shinabery Staff Writer, Alamogordo Daily News
CLOUDCROFT, NM -- That they were speeding through the school zone first got his attention.
That they had Israeli driver's licenses and expired passports made him suspicious.
Cloudcroft Police Chief Gene Green stopped the 2-ton van on Thursday, for speeding. Initially, Green thought the truck was commercial because of exterior markings. But when he found it was out of Chicago, he asked for documentation such as logs books and manifests.
"They said this is a U-Haul truck and handed me a rental agreement (for) in-town delivery only in Illinois, (which) had expired two days before," Green said. He called for backup, and Otero County Sheriff's Deputy Billy Anders, who patrols the Sacramento Mountains, arrived, along with Capt. Norbert Sanchez and Det. Eddie Medrano.
"We got them out and started digging a little deeper," Green said, "got permission to search the truck. They claimed they were hauling furniture from Austin to Chicago." When officers advised the men they were not exactly en route from one town to another, Green said the two men claimed they were Deming bound. "But they couldn't give us an address in Deming they were going to," he said. "Once we got into the truck, they had some junk furniture I wouldn't have given to Goodwill."
Also inside the vehicle were, Green said, "50 boxes" they claimed was a "private" delivery, but the men insisted they had no "idea what was in them."
At that point, the officers called for drug-sniffing and bomb-sniffing dogs. The men were turned over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and U- Haul recovered the truck.
Contents of the boxes remain unknown, pending investigation.
Well, don't that just beat all? Another "moving company" with Israeli drivers with bad papers, and nobody even noticed...
Well, I noticed.
Not only did I notice, I remembered a strange story about a similar event:
On May 7, 2002, local police authorities pulled over a Budget rental truck in Oak Harbour, Washington near the Whitney Island Naval Air Station. The driver and his passenger were Israeli nationals, one of which had entered the country illegally. The other had an expired visa. Tests performed on the vehicle revealed that there were traces of TNT on the gearshift and RDX plastic explosives on the steering wheel. But no actual explosives were reported to have been found in the truck. [Fox News, 5/13/02]
A report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer the following day reported that the FBI performed follow-up tests on the truck which turned-up negative. One source speculated that perhaps the original tests had actually detected just cigarette residue, and not explosives. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/14/02, Jerusalem Post, 5/14/02].
Critics argued that it would make no sense for U.S. authorities to use a method of testing that could be skewed by cigarette residue. The website whatreallyhappened.com remarked:
“The specific claim is made that residue from a cigarette lighter confused the tests for TNT and RDX. That doesn't explain why the trained bomb-sniffing dog, who surely knows the difference between explosives and cigarettes [else he would false-positive every smoker, ashtray, and convenience store he came across] gave the first indications of explosives in the truck that led to the tests in the first place. Likewise, were the chemical tests unable to discriminate between tobacco and TNT/RDX, which are chemically quite different from tobacco combustion products, they would give false positive results for every vehicle ever tested in which smokers had ever ridden. Given the likelihood of finding tobacco residues in any car, such tests would have to be designed to tell the difference. The same is true for other products from non- electric cigarette lighters, the vast majority of which are butane.”
The same website also provided references to three documents with detailed information on the tests used to detect TNT and RDX. None of the documents indicated that the presence of cigarette residue might induce inaccurate test results. [International Society for Optical Engineering 1984; Cold Regions and Research Engineering Laboratory 5-1996; Security Management n.d.]
I also remembered another peculiar item: the so-called Urban Moving Company that some researchers suggest was a cover for Mossad.
Many observers have suggested that Israel had foreknowledge of the 9/11 terrorists attacks. Some have even argued that they may have been behind the attacks, and it seems that the funny stories about Israelis with trucks and bad papers just keep popping up here and there.
On September 11, five employees of Jewish owned Urban Moving Company were detained as a result of witness accounts that they were taking pictures of the flaming ruins of the World Trade Center and celebrating!
Yes indeedy! Shortly after the collapse of the towers a witness called the police and reported that the 5 individuals were, “going to unusual lengths to photograph the World Trade Center ruins” and they were obviously and blatantly “making light of the situation.” The witness stated that these men were on the roof of the office of their employer, Urban Moving Company, and were posing, dancing, and laughing. [New York Times 10/8/01; Bergen Record 9/12/01; Ha'aretz 9/17/01; Gotham Gazette 11/2/01]
After their indiscreet celebration on the roof of the building, the five Israelis headed down to a nearby parking lot where they mounted the roof of their truck and resumed their photographing and celebrating. Another witness called the police and told them that the men were smiling, dancing, and giving each other high-fives while viewing the destruction of the symbol of Free Enterprise in America. [Gotham Gazette 11/2/01; ABC News, 6/21/02]
A few hours later, the five Israelis were stopped by police while driving their truck. One individual had $4,700 in cash hidden in his sock, while another had two foreign passports. They were also found to be in the possession of a box- cutter, which they presumably had because of their job as professional movers. [New York Times 10/8/01; Gotham Gazette 11/2/01; ABC News, 6/21/02]
On September 14, Dominic Suter, the owner of the moving company, left the country very abruptly after FBI agents indicated that they wanted a second interview with him. According to ABC News’ 2020 [ABC News 6/21/02], “Three months later 2020's cameras photographed the inside of Urban Moving, and it looked as if the business had been shut down in a big hurry. Cell phones were lying around; office phones were still connected; and the property of dozens of clients remained in the warehouse. The owner had also cleared out of his New Jersey home, put it up for sale and returned with his family to Israel.” [New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, 12/13/01; Gotham Gazette 11/2/01; ABC News, 6/21/02; Forward, 3/15/02]
Shortly after the arrest of the men, FBI officials suspected that the Urban Moving company was an Israeli intelligence front. Vince Cannistraro, a former chief of operations for counterterrorism, told ABC News that the FBI was concerned that the moving company had been “set up or exploited for the purpose of launching an intelligence operation against radical Islamists in the area, particularly in the New Jersey-New York area.” [ABC News, 6/21/02]
The five employees that were taken into custody were all former members of the Israeli Army. After being transferred to jail, the FBI’s Criminal Division sent the case to the Counterintelligence Section on account of suspicions that they were Israeli spies. They were then detained for more that two months. Some of them spent 40 days in solitary confinement. [New York Times 11/21/01; ABC News, 6/21/02]
Naturally, several individuals attempted to research this item. One high-ranking U.S. intelligence source told Forward magazine that intelligence agents’ investigation of Urban Moving Company led them to believe it was a front for the Israeli Mossad. It should be noted that, at present there is no publicly available information that conclusively confirms this allegation. However the above described incident, reported by various news sources, certainly casts a very dark shadow of suspicion on the company and its employees.
It seems that Urban Moving Company was not an isolated phenomenon.