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Gunboat guards suspicious ship in Longview (WA)
KATU News (Portland, OR) ^ | December 10, 2003 | staff

Posted on 12/11/2003 9:56:12 AM PST by diamondjoe

The Coast Guard intercepted and boarded the ship, 'Athena' off the coast, then escorted it upriver to be docked.

Since it docked at the Port of Longview Friday, it's been under constant surveillance from a Coast Guard Gunboat with Coast Guard and customs agents watching from shore.

Just down river from the ship, fishermen Mike Young and Gerald Senesac reel in their catch and wonder why the cargo ship is being guarded.

"With guns ready, there's got to be something different than what the government's saying," says Senesac.

KATU's Dan Tilkin learned a few details about the ship:

Before the Athena came to Longview, it traveled through New Zealand and South Korea where it was searched by both countries.

According to a South Korean newspaper, the South Korean government was given unconfirmed tips, perhaps from the U.S. military that al-Qaida operatives disguised as sailors might be on the Athena. But the reports say "nothing or no one suspicious was found."

Even though nothing was found, South Korean forces watched the ship closely until it left the country.

Now the U.S. Coast Guard is doing the same, with the ship's crew forbidden to go ashore.

"It's a long standing policy of the Coast Guard that I can't comment on any intelligence or law enforcement information such as that," said Lt. Andre Billeaudeaux, Coast Guard.

Responses from the Coast Guard leave the public and two Longview fishermen to wonder what's going on.

"I have no idea," says Senesac. "The government ain't gonna tell you."

The Athena is scheduled to leave Friday with a cargo of product that helps create aluminum.

It's bound for Mozambique, Africa and the Coast Guard says it will keep a close on the ship until it's gone.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Washington; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: africa; alqaeda; aluminum; athena; athenia; mozambique; mvathena; newzealand; nz; nzealand; portsecurity; seamen; seaportsecurity; shipping; sk; skorea; southkorea; terror; uscg; washington
Very interesting.
1 posted on 12/11/2003 9:56:13 AM PST by diamondjoe
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To: diamondjoe
btt
2 posted on 12/11/2003 10:01:05 AM PST by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: diamondjoe
Glad you clarified Longview, Washington. Hate to think a suspicious ship was anchored in the Sabine River at Longview, Texas.
3 posted on 12/11/2003 10:03:26 AM PST by ladtx ( "Remember your regiment and follow your officers." Captain Charles May, 2d Dragoons, 9 May 1846)
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To: diamondjoe
Earlier, related post
4 posted on 12/11/2003 10:07:13 AM PST by martin_fierro (Ohhh... ehhh... ┐Peeka Panish?)
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To: Travis McGee; Squantos; Cindy; Alamo-Girl
fyi
5 posted on 12/11/2003 10:13:45 AM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: diamondjoe
Wasn't there a Clive Cussller book about a cargo ship with a false bottom bringing in Chinese slave workers to Washington State ? Where's Dirk Pitt when you need him !
6 posted on 12/11/2003 10:18:42 AM PST by RS (nc)
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To: martin_fierro; Dog; FairOpinion; Grampa Dave; AmericanInTokyo; Ronin; seamole
Same ship. From Oct. 30

South Korea on alert for possible Al Qaeda ship

7 posted on 12/11/2003 10:19:34 AM PST by Shermy
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To: piasa
Thanks for the ping!
8 posted on 12/11/2003 10:21:33 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: piasa; harpseal; archy; Squantos
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.
9 posted on 12/11/2003 10:32:28 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Shermy; Travis McGee
Shermy, thanks for the ping!
10 posted on 12/11/2003 10:35:54 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Time to visit this website and join up: http://www.georgewbush.com/)
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To: diamondjoe
The Athena is scheduled to leave Friday with a cargo of product that helps create aluminum. It's bound for Mozambique, Africa and the Coast Guard says it will keep a close on the ship until it's gone.

From the local Longview newspaper:

"On Saturday, The Coast Guard said its team found nothing suspicious on the ship, but added that customs and security officers would remain with the vessel while it was in the United States. The 21-member crew is barred from leaving the ship while it is in port. "We'll maintain our activity there," Coast Guard Lt. Andre Billeaudeaux said Tuesday.

The delay in loading was not related to the security concerns, but was a shipping issue, he said. The Athena arrived to take aboard a load of calcined petroleum coke, a product produced in Bellingham and exported through the Port of Longview, for shipment to Australia.

"I think they had a dirty hold they had to clean up," he said.

Port of Longview spokeswoman Marie Wise said Tuesday that the Athena moved to the port's berth 6 for the cleaning process, but would move to the coke loading terminal at berth 5 when the cleaning was done. "The ship is cleaned to avoid whatever kind of cargo they had in it before getting in the new cargo," she said.

The ship is scheduled to remain in Longview all week, Billeaudeaux and Wise said.

Port officials said they did not know who owned the Athena, and its shipping agent, Cascade Marine Agencies Ltd. of Portland, declined comment."

There is nothing on the Port of Longview website to check where the shipment is going - Africa or Australia. Anyway of checking which one it really is?

11 posted on 12/11/2003 11:00:08 AM PST by WASH
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To: WASH
There's that town...Bellingham..again....where Malvo went to school.
12 posted on 12/11/2003 11:19:18 AM PST by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Shermy; seamole; Angelus Errare; Coop; hchutch
Holy Crap......I remember this ship.
13 posted on 12/11/2003 11:22:51 AM PST by Dog (George W. Bush - - - -" Avenger of the Bones..")
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To: Dog
Another OCt. 31 article here...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2710587a10,00.html
14 posted on 12/11/2003 11:25:57 AM PST by Shermy
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To: Travis McGee
Roger that may also be part of a setu of our intel. The many nations involved however, suggest that it is a lwak to test AQ comms internally.
15 posted on 12/11/2003 11:29:44 AM PST by harpseal (stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: Shermy
What is it about this ship causes such concern from law enforcement?

I know it could be connected to AQ......but it seems like they turn up the security several notches when this rust bucket makes a call in a port.

There is a piece of intel......the feds have that on this ship that seems to have them a tad spooked.

16 posted on 12/11/2003 11:30:41 AM PST by Dog (George W. Bush - - - -" Avenger of the Bones..")
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To: diamondjoe; Sacajaweau; Grampa Dave; seamole; Dog; Travis McGee; WASH; martin_fierro; piasa; ...
Some earlier articles on the web identify the "Athena" as owned by a Greek company, "Petrobulk"

If that is so, here's a picture of the ship.

17 posted on 12/11/2003 11:33:49 AM PST by Shermy
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To: Travis McGee
***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.***

AKA *Walking the cat* Remember that just before the magician gets away with what he wants you to overlook, he feeds you an act of misdirection beforehand.

But as a warning for an action about to come, that can also serve as a beforehand tipoff.

-archy-/-

18 posted on 12/11/2003 11:35:26 AM PST by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: archy
Good point. I'm going to remember the "walking the cat" phrase also. You may see it in print some day.
19 posted on 12/11/2003 11:41:07 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: archy
BTW, I just received 500 brand new 2nd editions for signed copies. Plus 1,700 more of them back at the warehouse in Kansas for bulk orders. I got books, lots of books! Gotta run now and start stuffing pre-addressed mailers, to get them out today.
20 posted on 12/11/2003 11:43:36 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: harpseal
It's part of a very high level game of cat and mouse! The consequences of an error could be a wrecked port or city...

Archy makes a great point a few posts down.

21 posted on 12/11/2003 11:45:57 AM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: archy
Good point! When's the last time you heard of a ship tipping over while loading(In NY bedsides). Now wondering about the 3 guys that got trapped in the hold and the various sailors on that ship.
22 posted on 12/11/2003 12:08:21 PM PST by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Shermy
Thanks for the link. LayoutGuru2 was kind enough to drive to Longview and take some photos of the ship that are posted on this thread: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1035921/posts
23 posted on 12/11/2003 12:20:14 PM PST by Oorang (Don't tread on me)
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To: Oorang; 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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24 posted on 12/11/2003 1:43:19 PM PST by LayoutGuru2 (Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
I think you'll be interested in posts & pics on this thread.
25 posted on 12/11/2003 2:04:50 PM PST by Shermy
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