***Bumped and Updated***
***News conference scheduled for
3:30pm 4:45pm with DHS, FBI, US Border Patrol, and the Coast Guard***
Update 6:30pm: Sorry, folks, but I got so tired of waiting for the press conference that I just decided to go to the grocery store, which I was trying to put off until the press conference was over.
This is what appears to have happened:
The driver got to the Port of Miami and needed access to make a delivery. He didn’t have a day pass or proper identification, so he was directed to another area of the port. When he was asked if he was alone, he said yes, but then two other men were found in the back seat of the cab. One report said it was a language barrier that caused a “miscommunication.” Nonetheless, officials implemented normal security measures, so the bomb squad and HazMat were called in. The three men are still being questioned.
Apparently, one person who spoke during the press conference said that at no point was the port closed, but the AP is still reporting that the cargo area of the port was closed all day.
The Miami Herald reported that two 55 gallon drums were found on the truck, which officials said was not true. The Herald’s site has not been updated yet.
One way to look at this is that with all the airport security false alarms that took place last year there was bound to be a port security false alarm. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have more port security false alarms in the future as well. At least we know that security officials at the Port of Miami were alert and reacted quickly.
This is just breaking on Fox News. Apparently, Port of Miami security detained and searched a cargo truck and found two men of Middle Eastern origin hiding inside. Now, from what is being reported on Fox, all cargo operations have been suspended, what ever that means, and the FBI and customs officials are on the scene.
Update: Fox is now reporting that illegal immigrants have been arrested. I don’t know if that includes the driver as well as the two men found inside the truck or what. More information as soon as I have it.
Update II: The driver of the truck had all the correct identification and authorization to be there at the port, yet he gave inconsistent statements, which caused the search. The entire port is in lock down with police everywhere.
Just great. Now we have those who work at the port sneaking illegal Middle Eastern men into the country through the ports. Are the Democrats prepared to handle with with heavy fist? I seriously doubt it.
Added: One commenter said that Bush doesn’t’ have a stellar record on illegal immigration. I agree whole heartedly. But this isn’t just an illegal immigration issue. This is a terrorism issue, which is why the port has been locked down and the FBI and the police are all over this. The Democrats are not strong on terrorism and national security issues.
Update III: Fox is saying that the FBI, DHS, and local anti-terrorism forces are converging on the port. The Democrats have talked the talk on port security. Will they follow through?
Update IV: The Conservative Voice has a report, but so far there isn’t anything new.
Update V: The driver, who was also Middle Eastern, was arrested as well.
One commenter said that the port is operational again, but so far I haven’t seen or heard any reports saying that .
Update VI: Fox is now reporting that the two men were hiding in the sleeper part of the cab, not in the cargo portion of the truck as previously reported. Also, the cargo portion of the port is closed but the vessel portion is open for, I believe, the cruise ships only.
Update VII: The bomb squad is now on the scene, presumably to search the back of the truck.
Update VIII: More from the Miami Herald.
An FBI spokeswoman in Miami said an Iraqi semi-truck driver trying to get into the port was been arrested after the cargo in his truck did not match what was declared on the truck’s manifest.
A second Iraqi nationakl (sic) and third Lebanese national were found hiding inside the truck, the official said.
”Right now, we’re trying to figure out what these men were trying to do,” said Judy Orihuela, the FBI spokeswoman.
She said the incident began when the Iraqi driver tried to make a delivery at the port and was told he needed a day pass.
During the questioning, inconsistencies surfaced as to the cargo. It in his story and the Lebanese national was found, she said.
The incident prompted a shut-down of the port as members of several federal, local and state law enforcement agencies converged on the busy facility. Among the agencies responding was the Center for Domestic Preparedness, an agency that deals with suspected weapons of mass destruction.
Orihuela said the men appear to be in the U.S. legally and have resident status. They are not on any watch list.
Needless to say, this is not an illegal immigration issue. Instead of trying to sneak people out of the port, the driver was trying to get sneak the men and whatever is in the truck’s cargo hold into the port. He also tried to get a day pass saying he was making a delivery. This does not sound good.
Fox News said a news conference is scheduled, which is going to be attended by the FBI, the US Border Patrol, Coast Guard, DHS, and other government organizations.
Border patrol agents are also on scene.
Update IX: Fox News says that a HazMat vehicle has been escorted into the port by Miami police and was taken to where the truck is being held. Former Assistant Director of the FBI Bill Gavin, speaking with Fox News via telephone, said bringing in a HazMat vehicle is standard protocol if the authorities can not identify what’s inside the truck. He also said that the reaction from the authorities is necessary in a post-9/11 world.
Others following the story: