July 30, 2007

Rocky Mountain Jihadis?

Courtesy of Gates of Vienna, via Michelle Malkin (click image for link)

Or just skittish videographers?
Three suspicious incidents in downtown Denver this summer have triggered a notice to law enforcement officials stating someone in the area may be conducting surveillance activity.

According to an internal document obtained by the Rocky Mountain News today, a man was seen about 6:30 p.m. on July 11, standing on Tremont Street between 16th and 17th streets.

He was outside one of the buildings there, videotaping the security desk through a window. The man, described as "believed to be of Middle Eastern descent," then walked to 16th and Tremont, where he filmed more of the outside of the building.

When a security guard tried to approach the man, he "started running down 16th Street and was lost in the crowd," according to the bulletin.

As of yet, investigators have not determined any motive for the man’s actions, and it is not certain how significant the incident is, said Lance Clem, a spokesman for the Colorado Information Analysis Center, a branch of the state’s Homeland Security Agency.

Similar reports arise on average about once a month, he said.

"It’s not unusual — put it that way," he said.
The same man was alleged to have mumbled some Arabic, including the phrase "Al-Aqsa".

Until more information is available (if ever), this seems to be insignificant, BUT we should not let our guard down, thinking a city like Denver would be too remote for potential terrorist activity--did anyone consider the possibility that an unarmed man with mental issues would enter the state capitol just a few weeks ago, declaring himself emperor and forcing law enforcement to shoot him, thus necessitating that Governor Ritter and the state legislators would have to reconsider capitol security? Didn't think so.

So what should we do?
Clem confirmed the contents of the bulletin, but refused to comment on any details. He did say reports to the CIAC may vary in severity, some spotty like this bulletin, but all are treated the same.

"We don’t always know why some people do things like this (suspicious surveillance of buildings)," he said. "But whenever we get reports, they’re taken seriously and they’re handled seriously.

"We don’t want to discourage people from filing reports. Anytime they see anything that’s out of place, they should let us know."
Vigilance does not equal vigilantism. But just don't let CAIR know about you, John or Jane Doe.

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