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More Strangeness at the Port of Miami

The bomb squad was called in to the Port of Miami again today because, according to the port public information officer, something tested positive C-4 explosives in preliminary tests.

Here's the report from CBS4.com:

(CBS4) MIAMI One day after a case of miscommunication turned into a security scare at the Port of Miami, now there's another situation unfolding that involves possible explosives found at the busy Port.


According to Port of Miami spokeswoman, Andria Muniz-Amador, a cargo pallet has been discovered and may contain a large amount of C-4 explosives.

If anything comes of this, I will post it as soon as I can.

Update: The content of the pallet was harmless, sprinkler parts, but it tested positive for C-4 explosives a total of six times:

The package was destroyed, and a Miami-Dade County police bomb squad determined it held sprinkler parts, which contained a substance that "closely resembles" plastic explosives, said police spokesman Bobby Williams.

Williams said the instruments used to test the package sometimes give false positives.

"We still need to check it out," Williams said.

Yes they do.


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Comments (19)

It was "sprinkler parts..."... (Below threshold)

It was "sprinkler parts..."

...that tested positive for C-4 six times...

Why do I get the distinct feeling that someone is testing our responses and methods?

The Jurassic Raptors tested... (Below threshold)
woody:

The Jurassic Raptors tested every inch of that electrified fence, several times. Thank God the Dems have all of this under control; we'll just negotiate with them & declare peace--& return to our breast-feeding.

"Why do I get the distin... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Why do I get the distinct feeling that someone is testing our responses and methods?"

Perhaps because that's preferable to thinking that our C-4 detection technology is so easily fooled?

After 5 1/2 years we should have our ports secured tighter than a drum. Everyone knows that's not the case, including the terrorists.... but not to worry -- one the Republican'ts finish the job in Iraq this won't be a problem anymore...

That's why we spent hundreds of Billions of dollars looking for WMDs in Iraq instead of securing our borders, right? To stop the terrorists from launching another 9/11-scale attack?

Its too easy to fall into y... (Below threshold)
Joe:

Its too easy to fall into your own tinfoil thinking. Why do the call it 'plastic' in 'plastic explosives'. And why DO you think there are so many false positives? COMPAQ had to change the formulation of the plastic used in the case of one of their model of laptops one time because some of the chemicals used would set off the explosive detectors. EVERY time. I saw a businessman miss his flight in Kansas City because he unfortunately had one of those models of laptop. And this was BEFORE 9-11. So I wouldn't read too much into blowing up a pallet of plastic sprinkler parts. Now the 'mis-communication' with the arabic speaking truck driver the other day, that sounded too much like the flying imams to me...........

After 5 1/2 years... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:
After 5 1/2 years we should have our ports secured tighter than a drum

Now that the Democrats are the majority in Congress I'm sure they'll secure the borders, right ? I mean the fence along the Mexican border won't be defunded by Democrats for political games.

That's why we spent hun... (Below threshold)
Jo:

That's why we spent hundreds of Billions of dollars looking for WMDs in Iraq instead of securing our borders, right? To stop the terrorists from launching another 9/11-scale attack?

By the way, when have we had another attack? Oh yeah, we haven't. Thanks George W.

But never fear, as you dems slowly do away with the Patriot Act, one will be on the way. And the blame will be rightly pointed at the dems. Who will you blame then?

Mike LOL.... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Mike LOL.

"I mean the fence along ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"I mean the fence along the Mexican border won't be defunded by Democrats for political games."

For politial games, no - I don't think so... but if upon further examination it turns out to be another stupid Republican idea that will in no way make our country more secure -- or that the minor degree of security isn't worth the major cost and the money can be better spent elsewhere more productively, then I hope the Democrats do their best to block the wasteful expenditrure.

So much money has been wasted in Iraq - with little if any positive effect on our national security, that we may have to go after the billions in annual tax cuts for the rich in order to afford spending more to secure our nation -- You're ok with that, aren't you, underscore Mike?

Joe,Do you have even... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Joe,
Do you have even a hint of a link to that? Cause it sounds like urban legend to me.

Lee,So mu... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Lee,

So much money has been wasted in Iraq - with little if any positive effect on our national security, that we may have to go after the billions in annual tax cuts for the rich in order to afford spending more to secure our nation --

Of course you can't know what would have happened if Bush had left Saddam in power in Iraq. I expect the sanctions would have been lifted by 2004, particularly given the level to which Saddam was able to corrupt UN officials. Saddam suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the U.S. in the first Gulf war and his thirst for revenge would have likely lead him to sponsored terrorism against the U.S., and Saddam had managed to retain his ability to produce WMD's even if he didn't have any on hand that we know of. Yes it's just speculation, but so is your statement that the war in Iraq has had "little if any positive effect on our national security."

The higher the level of security the more false positives you are going to have. The time to worry is when there are no incidents that turn out to be nothing.

Leebut if upon ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Lee

but if upon further examination it turns out to be another stupid Republican idea that will in no way make our country more secure -- or that the minor degree of security isn't worth the major cost
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt Lee and say your just mistaken in claiming it just another "stupid Republican idea."

I'll say you missed the fact 26 Democrats joined 54 Republicans in support building the fence.

At fence that remians unfunded and by all indications won't be by the new Dem led congress.

Lee, maybe you can get a hold of Porkmistress Pelosi and ask her to fully fund the 700 mile fence.

After all the fence isn't a total solution but it would be better than money spent on a 1.2 BILLION dollar subway to NOWHERE.

What do you say Lee? Surely you have Nancy's number on your Crackberry. How else would you get the daily talking point feed?

Saddam suffered a ... (Below threshold)
Larkin:
Saddam suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the U.S. in the first Gulf war and his thirst for revenge would have likely lead him to sponsored terrorism against the U.S.,

From key members of Saddam's regime that have been interviewed we know that he was far more concerned about Iran than the US. After all, from the day Khomeini came into power he began working to topple the secular, Sunni regime in Baghdad and replace it with a fundamentialist, Shiite-dominanted regime friendly to his country (we of course accomplished Khomeini's dream for him).

Why do I get the d... (Below threshold)
Larkin:
Why do I get the distinct feeling that someone is testing our responses and methods?

These devices have to sample the air and try and determine whether the molecules match up to known explosives. My guess is that this is an enormously difficult thing to do and that the database of molecular combinations is massive. There are likely artificial intelligence techniques used.

In other words, it's new technology that's not perfect yet. Didn't they even take these sniffers out of the airport security lines after they had false positives? I seem to recall that.

Meanwhile, bin Laden has to be laughing his a** off in the comfort of his Pakistani villa every time he sees a "Fox News Alert" about crap like this. He certainly proves his point that we are a bunch of cowards every time we panic and close down an entire terminal because a finger nail clipper made it through. It's just embarrassing to see what we've become. I'm sick of taking my shoes off to get on a damn plane. I'd rather go back to the way it was before 9/11 and roll the dice.

Larkin,Fr... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Larkin,

From key members of Saddam's regime that have been interviewed we know that he was far more concerned about Iran than the US.

That was before the U.S. rubbed his nose in the dirt. At the outset of the first Gulf War Saddam made peace with Iran. Both Iran and Iraq viewed the U.S. and Israel as their common enemies after 9/11. Can you imagine the threat Saddam would pose now if Bush hadn't taken him out?

SCSIwuzzy , sorry I can't g... (Below threshold)
Joe:

SCSIwuzzy , sorry I can't give you a link. The COMPAQ plastic problem was in the late '90s. The guy missing his flight (not MY flight, I was standing in the queue waiting on yet another delayed flight to Dallas) was also in the late '90s (1999?). I was in COMPAQ professional services at the time, flying R/T from Dallas to KCI and back. Out on Monday, back on Friday. At the time it was semi OK to joke with the security people, especially when they were swabbing the handles, latches, laptop plastics and such before they stuck their little swabs into the machine. I used to say "You missed a spot" and point to some imaginary dirt on a handle or latch. No more. Now they detain, interrogate, throw you in jail, and fine you for 'interfering' with a federal employee or some such fiction. I wish I still had the internal memos that Compaq circulated (about the plastics and bomb sniffing machines, and other interesting stuff), but memos had a half life of about 15 seconds if they didn't apply to me. (HP later bought COMPAQ; I was 'redeployed' from HP in 2004. Truth in advertising.)

Further truth in advertising. I drive everywhere now. I don't fly anymore. I haven't flown since before HP terminated our relationship. I hope I never get a contract that requires me to fly anywhere ever again.

I hesitated even bringing up the plastics issue, because COMPAQ was not the only laptop manufacturer that had to address the problem.

In all my years working wit... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

In all my years working with computers, and the subset wherein I flew from Philadelphia to Silicon Valley weekly or now that I take a commuter flight to and from Chicago a few times a month...
I have never heard anything at all like this.
If the exploding batteries made news... if laptop burns to the lap made news... this would have made news.
I call bullshit.

Laptops triggering bomb det... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Laptops triggering bomb detection equipment is a story almost too good to be true. The public will put up with lots of items being banned from flights, but I doubt business people would give up taking their laptops on board with them. I sure wouldn't put a laptop in checked baggage because it's too big a target to be stolen, it's a lot of work to install all the software on a new machine even if you have current backups, and laptops are too delicate for the severe handling checked baggage is sometimes subjected to.

I did a Google search and did find this one news article about a laptop triggering a bomb alert, but the cause is not known.

Much ado about nothing. Ag... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

Much ado about nothing. Again. And I repeat that it's certainly a remarkable coincidence that things like this seem to happen quite regularly before Bush wants to escalate the fighting in Iraq. I guess he figures that a frightened public will be more receptive...

Can't see why anyone is wor... (Below threshold)
John S:

Can't see why anyone is worried. After all we've got Iraq nationals probing the security of the port of Miami a week after the Great Leader was sent to Hell. Someone unknown is conducting aerosol dispersion tests over NYC. Someone unknown released something in Austin, TX overnight that killed every bird that flew over the city. Nah, no dots to connect here. If the Dems hadn't exposed all of our classified surveillance programs we might have known what this is all about.




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