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Search of ship finds nothing abnormal
The Daily News Longview Washington ^ | Dec 07, 2003 | Hope Anderson

Posted on 12/07/2003 7:25:27 PM PST by Oorang

A Coast Guard inspection of a freighter docked at the Port of Longview "didn't uncover or reveal anything," a Coast Guard spokesman said Saturday, but the crew members are not allowed off the ship and security will be maintained until the ship leaves.

"We were not expecting to find anything," Lt. Cmdr. Glynn Smith, the Coast Guard's public affairs officer for the Pacific area, said Saturday by telephone from his office in Alameda, Calif.

The search was routine, according to the Coast Guard, but Longview officials said the security crackdown is the most port activity since the Sept. 11, 2001, security measures.

"We had some intelligence and thought the prudent thing to do would be to secure the vessel, inspect it and provide security while it's in port," Smith said. "This is just precautionary; there's no active threat."

During its time at the Port of Longview, though, the crew is not allowed off the Athena, and the Coast Guard will maintain 24-hour vigilance.

Smith said he thinks the reason the crew members can't disembark is because of a lack of visas.

He said the freighter is scheduled to depart Wednesday or Thursday for Australia.

While the Athena is docked in Longview, a ring of 24-hour security will be maintained, Smith said. The Coast Guard brought in two boats from Seattle's maritime safety security team, a Customs and Borders Protection agent will man the pier to prevent anyone from boarding the ship and three security officers will stay onboard until the Athena departs.

The Coast Guard said the ship, which arrived at the Port of Longview Friday evening, is sailing under a Bahaman flag, but the Port of Longview listed the Athena as flying Greek colors.

The Athena was last docked in Pusan, South Korea, Smith said.

The vessel's destination was the Port of Longview's Berth 5 to pick up 26,150 metric tons of calcide petroleum coke, a byproduct of the oil refining process, port spokeswoman Marie Wise told The Daily News Friday.

The product, which is shipped to the port via rail from a British Petroleum refinery in Cherry Point, Wash., is used in the aluminum smelting process and typically is exported to Brazil, Australia and other countries, she said.

The Coast Guard has boarded roughly a half-dozen vessels off the coast of Astoria, near the mouth of the Columbia or on the open Pacific, during the past two weeks, a Coast Guard petty officer first class from Portland told The Daily News Friday. She declined to give her name.

She said the Coast Guard had been planning to board the Athena for weeks.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Washington; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 200302; 20030219; adrianpopsorian; adriansorian; aluminum; aluminumsmelting; athena; athenia; australia; bahamas; bp; calcidepetroleumcoke; cherrypoint; cristi; dimitriskokkos; greece; isolatedincidents; kokkos; longview; maritimesecurity; missingship; mozambique; oilrefinery; ports; portsecurity; rifatmuhammed; sara; skorea; sorian; terrorism; twillinger; uscg; washington
Seems like a lot of security for "nothing".
1 posted on 12/07/2003 7:25:27 PM PST by Oorang
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To: Oorang

Oct. 30, 2003
South Korea tipped off about al Qaeda ship

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/031030/80/ecknk.html

We have been investigating the ship on the suspicion that members of al Qaeda may try to enter South Korea but we couldn't find any evidence to prove the suspicion," the official said.

"The authority decided not to allow the crew to leave the ship and we will strengthen port security in case some al Qaeda member tries to do something terrible."

The newspaper named the ship as the Athena, sailing from New Zealand.
2 posted on 12/07/2003 7:32:35 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: JustPiper
pin
3 posted on 12/07/2003 7:33:17 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
Well, that's interesting
4 posted on 12/07/2003 7:39:35 PM PST by Oorang (Dusting off my old Moon Pie t-shirt)
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To: tubavil; LayoutGuru2
ping
5 posted on 12/07/2003 7:42:37 PM PST by Oorang (Dusting off my old Moon Pie t-shirt)
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To: Oorang


Seems to me, that they have pretty good intel the Athena is one of AQ's ships, but either they are really not finding anything, or they don't want to say, what they are finding. But looks like they are scrutinizing it carefully.

http://www.intellnet.org/news/2003/10/31/21235-1.html

Oct. 31

KUNSAN: South Korea said on Friday it had found nothing unusual on a Greek-owned ship after an investigation sparked by a tip-off it could be carrying members of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda group.

Meanwhile New Zealand customs today said it would not reveal why the ship that visited New Zealand was subjected to top-level-security checks saying the information is "sensitive".

The vessel, Athena, and its crew were subject to top-level security checks after Customs received "information of interest" about the ship.

The vessel flying the Bahamas flag, arrived in the west-coast port of Kunsan with its cargo of timber on Thursday and was scheduled to stay for up to 10 days.

The Athena visited Auckland and Tauranga before arriving in Lyttelton on October 2 and leaving for South Korea on October 4.
6 posted on 12/07/2003 7:44:11 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: Oorang
Another ship story -- unrelated, but we never found out what was in the suitcase, or what really killed the sailor.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2985453.stm

Anthrax ruled out in ship death

Medical officials in Brazil have ruled out anthrax as the cause of an Egyptian sailor's death.

It was feared that seaman Ibrahim Saved Soliman Ibrahim had been exposed to anthrax after an autopsy indicated the presence of the poison.

He found dead in his cabin on the ship Wadi al Arab on April 11, a few days after arriving in Brazil by plane from Cairo.

But, after conducting a second examination and doing tests on the ship, officials in Brazil and Canada found no evidence of anthrax - although they say they still do not know what killed the sailor.

The vessel was shipping a cargo of bauxite from Brazil to Canada and quarantine measures - imposed by Canada after it received word of the possible anthrax-related death - have now been lifted.

A first autopsy found the sailor had suffered from vomiting, internal bleeding and multiple organ failure, but also discovered an indication of anthrax.

This prompted speculation that a suitcase he was given in Cairo and asked to deliver to someone in Canada may have held the substance.



7 posted on 12/07/2003 7:52:24 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
I remember that one. It was a strange story. Wonder what every happened.

This ship story seems strange in that something has caused various port authorities to give this ship their full attention and have yet to find anything.

8 posted on 12/07/2003 7:55:18 PM PST by Oorang (Dusting off my old Moon Pie t-shirt)
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To: Oorang
Another interesting AQ ship story:

http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=145

Note -- ships also owned by Greeks. I wonder who owns the Athena, could it be the same guy, who owns these two? OR could the Athena be the missing Cristi (see last paragraph).

Cristi disappear around Oct. 18 -- everyone is madly searching Athena, starting Oct. 30, that we know of... and even now, ever since.

==

"DEBKAfile’s maritime and counter-terror sources report that the Cristi , like the Sara, which was detained in Italy carrying suspected Pakistani terrorists, and another suspect vessel, Twillinger, is owned by the Greek ship-owner, Dimitris Kokkos, and a Pakistani-American, Rifat Muhammed.

The Twillinger was detained on February 19 at Trieste with 8 al Qaeda operatives aboard posing as Pakistani crewmen. American and Italian investigators are still not sure if they laid hands on the entire ring. According to certain intelligence reports, twice that number secretly disembarked before the ship docked, and is now hiding out somewhere in Europe.

The pattern of al Qaeda’s maritime operations began emerging when the Romanian captain of the Sara, Adrian Pop Sorian was questioned. Small, fairly beaten-up, rusty cargo vessels sail out of Constanza for the Mediterranean carrying an innocent cargo and a Romanian crew. At Nador, Morocco, a band of operatives disguised as seamen, who are flown in from Karachi, comes aboard after collecting cash, addresses, instructions and false Pakistani papers on shore. The new “passengers” then take command of the vessel, which the crew is under orders from the owners Muhammed and Kokkos to hand over.

At sea, the ship assumes a new name and flag. Before steaming into a European port, the vessel rendezvous with a second ship and offloads the terrorists, enabling them to infiltrate a European port, masquerading now as distressed stowaway immigrants.


More facts reached DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources in the course of the multi-national naval hunt still in progress for the Cristi. An international dragnet has been set up for Kokkos and Muhammed. The latter is the al Qaeda chief of naval operations in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean. Kokkos comes from the Greek crime scene and is willing if the pay is right to seek out old but fairly sound vessels for al Qaeda’s use.

The missing Cristi was last seen around October 18 between Crete and Cyprus heading east - either to Cyprus, Lebanon or Israel. Considering its direction, Israeli defense authorities resolved to try and capture the terrorist ship, fearing the men aboard were bent on a mega-terror strike against Israel from the sea.


9 posted on 12/07/2003 8:03:16 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
Your article posted above states this (last sentence) "The Athena visited Auckland and Tauranga before arriving in Lyttelton on October 2 and leaving for South Korea on October 4.
So I don't think the Athena is the Cristi since she disappeared around Oct. 18th.
But, you have a good collection and memory of ship related info. Need to follow all this and see where is leads. Wouldn't surprise me if it leads to no good.
10 posted on 12/07/2003 8:14:18 PM PST by Oorang (Dusting off my old Moon Pie t-shirt)
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To: Oorang; FairOpinion
Seems like a lot of security for "nothing".

Roger. Thanks for the ping.

"The Coast Guard brought in two boats from Seattle's maritime safety security team..." [tubavil: That's SWAT, see http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/attack/77060_patrol03.shtml ]

11 posted on 12/07/2003 9:33:07 PM PST by tubavil
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To: tubavil
The boats perform exactly like you would see a fighter do," said Scott Peterson, vice president of Safe Boats International. "They can go into a 50 mph turn and literally do a 180-degree turn in a boat length. They have a low center of gravity and turn very level, almost like they are on rails, so the gunners (manning M-60 machine guns fore and aft) never lose their target.

Eat hot lead jihadi MF'ers.

12 posted on 12/07/2003 9:35:50 PM PST by tubavil
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To: tubavil
Thanks for the link. That's my kind of boat! (M-60)
13 posted on 12/07/2003 9:37:20 PM PST by Oorang (Dusting off my old Moon Pie t-shirt)
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To: FairOpinion
pin Bum?
14 posted on 12/08/2003 12:40:42 AM PST by JustPiper (Teach the Children to fight Liberalism ! They will be voting in 2008 !!!)
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To: Oorang; All
Excellent, right in my back yard. Thanks for the ping!

Makes me want to take a little reconnaissance trip this morning...

15 posted on 12/08/2003 7:36:21 AM PST by LayoutGuru2 (Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious)
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To: Oorang; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub
Go Coast Guard!
16 posted on 12/08/2003 8:13:11 AM PST by A Navy Vet (government is the problem, not the solution!)
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To: tubavil
Is it the norm to keep a ship isolated like this for no reason?
17 posted on 12/08/2003 9:25:37 AM PST by jerseygirl
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To: LayoutGuru2
If you do a recon let us know if you see anything noteworthy.
18 posted on 12/08/2003 4:44:40 PM PST by Oorang (Dusting off my old Moon Pie t-shirt)
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To: jerseygirl
I'm no expert in "ship in port rules", but I don't think it is the norm to keep it isolated. Longview is a fairly decent sized port (not huge but not tiny). I believe when a ship is in port the crew is normally allowed off the ship (so long as papers are in order, etc.) and are free to go wherever they want. Restaurants, bars, etc.
19 posted on 12/08/2003 8:38:17 PM PST by Oorang (Dusting off my old Moon Pie t-shirt)
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To: Oorang
Here a few shots of the Athena taken yesterday afternoon. It was parked in front of the Transit Shed at Berth #6.

PetroBulk's info on the Athena

Port of Longview Washington - Sitemap

The ship shown in the following .pdf file is docked at Berth #5

20 posted on 12/10/2003 2:20:03 AM PST by LayoutGuru2 (Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious)
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To: Oorang
Almost forgot to mention a prominent landmark that is seen (over on the Oregon side) on the drive back south out of Longview on I-5.

Trojan Nuclear Power Plant

oregon_columbia_trojan_feb2001a
<\tinfoil>
21 posted on 12/10/2003 2:40:52 AM PST by LayoutGuru2 (Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious)
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To: LayoutGuru2
No tinfoil necessary.
Good photos/Good discussion thread.
22 posted on 12/10/2003 2:53:08 AM PST by Cindy
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To: Cindy
Trojan was decomissioned (the Greens were jumping for joy) a couple years ago. I believe the facility is still home to several hundred fuel rods and other assorted nuclear waste.
23 posted on 12/10/2003 3:00:46 AM PST by LayoutGuru2 (Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious)
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To: LayoutGuru2
Great photos LG2. One of my brothers has been with DoD for years, has friends in the CIA. Maybe he can get you a ops job!

I haven't heard anything in the Portland/Seattle news about this ship since it's arrival; have you? I wonder how long it is going to be in Longview considering they are not letting anyone off ship.

24 posted on 12/10/2003 7:08:02 PM PST by Oorang (Don't tread on me)
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To: Oorang
I recall the original story stating that the ship was due to leave today or Thursday. I feel that the 'harassment' they received is intended to send a message.
25 posted on 12/10/2003 7:38:22 PM PST by LayoutGuru2 (Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious)
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To: Oorang; A. Pole
Funny you should mention a job. I've been unemployed for two weeks now. My former position was recently out-sourced to India - I kid you not. I have a line on a new position in Rochester, NY - Might here some good news on that by the first of the year.
26 posted on 12/10/2003 11:41:28 PM PST by LayoutGuru2 (Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious)
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To: Oorang
More on this today
27 posted on 12/11/2003 10:09:41 AM PST by martin_fierro (Ohhh... ehhh... ┐Peeka Panish?)
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To: Travis McGee; Squantos; Alamo-Girl; Cindy
fy
28 posted on 12/11/2003 10:34:47 AM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: piasa
(From the other thread, repeated here.)

We obviously must have acted on intell. Sometimes terrorist organizations use false tips as a "trace element" to test their communications security. This may just have been a test of agent reliablity etc on the part of AQ. If the "tipped" ship is searched, they know they have a leak and plug it, or go to alternate comms for the "real" act of terrorism involving a ship.

29 posted on 12/11/2003 10:43:50 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: piasa
Thanks for the ping!
30 posted on 12/11/2003 10:54:02 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Travis McGee
Sometimes terrorist organizations use false tips as a "trace element" to test their communications security. This may just have been a test of agent reliablity etc on the part of AQ. If the "tipped" ship is searched, they know they have a leak and plug it, or go to alternate comms for the "real" act of terrorism involving a ship.

Don't we try to do this as quietly as possible, so that we can follow the organization back to the source. It seems we and other countries are being very noisy about this one ship for some reason. I think that it would look very strange if other countries gave this ship attention and we let it waltz in here without pulling out all the stops.

31 posted on 12/11/2003 11:20:01 AM PST by Lady Heron
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To: Lady Heron
Quietly? Sometimes, but many agencies are involved, and not all are good at "quietly." Plus, if a really ripping hot tip is involved that has high credibility, we'd pull out all the stops and quiet be damned. It's a intell war cat and mouse game.
32 posted on 12/11/2003 11:28:55 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: LayoutGuru2
Sorry to hear about your recent unemployment. Outsourcing to India (or anywhere), fries my wires. Hope things work out soon and you don't have to move to N.Y.
33 posted on 12/11/2003 12:23:18 PM PST by Oorang (Don't tread on me)
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To: Oorang
Search of ship finds nothing abnormal

just some illegal aliens who were prompty put on medicaid, unemployment, given wic checks and housing, drivers licenses and registered to vote as dims..

34 posted on 12/11/2003 12:25:51 PM PST by petercooper (Proud VRWC Neanderthal)
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To: petercooper
Hey, gotta spend all that tax $$ somewhere!
35 posted on 12/11/2003 12:29:16 PM PST by Oorang (Don't tread on me)
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To: LayoutGuru2
FYI....Shermy posted this on another thread from the looks of the ship you photographed......the M/V ATHENA has been painted...

Here is the Athena from the companies website who owns it.


36 posted on 12/11/2003 1:10:15 PM PST by Dog (George W. Bush - - - -" Avenger of the Bones..")
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To: Dog; Shermy
Yes, this picture is of the Athena when it was brand-spankin-new back in '95. I wasn't sure if it was the same ship when I first saw it, but if you examine the photos I took you'll see that it is a match. Looks like they haven't bothered to apply a new coat of paint since she was launched.

Search of ship finds nothing abnormal
      Posted by LayoutGuru2 to Oorang
On News/Activism 12/10/2003 2:20:03 AM PST #20 of 36

Here a few shots of the Athena taken yesterday afternoon. It was parked in front of the Transit Shed at Berth #6.

PetroBulk's info on the Athena

Port of Longview Washington - Sitemap

The ship shown in the following .pdf file is docked at Berth #5


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37 posted on 12/11/2003 1:40:27 PM PST by LayoutGuru2 (Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious)
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To: Lady Heron
Well, maybe if everyone is noisy about it, it will be that much more difficult for al Qaeda to figure out which of their operatives squealed.
38 posted on 12/11/2003 6:34:28 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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