A series of unconnected reports from several sources suggests that some Counterterrorism activity may be going on just west of Atlanta.
George Smiley 9/29:
Connect the Dots
…Al Qaida was/is reportedly planning a Mumbai-style attack against cities in Western Europe. …
…The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, is refusing comment. That’s often a sign that the information is credible, and the spy masters are upset that someone blabbed before all the suspects could be rounded up, or the plot was completely foiled.
…Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal says a recent surge in U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan is part of an effort to disrupt possible attacks in Europe.
…And the U.S. is also a potential target, according to ABC News and Britain Sky News.
But before you say this is nothing out of the ordinary, consider this unusual twist that might related. On Tuesday, federal, state and local law enforcement agents were stopping–and inspecting–all west-bound tractor-trailers traveling on I-20 out of Atlanta. At the height of the evening rush hour, no less.
A spokesman for the TSA told WSB-TV that the search was part of a “training exercise.” But the station’s investigative reporter, Mark Winne, learned from other sources that the inspections are part of a counter-terrorism operation.
Obviously, there’s a big difference between an “operation” and an “exercise.” Additionally, we’ve never heard of this type of drill being conducted on a major interstate highway, during rush hour, with participation by all levels of law enforcement. So, it sounds like something beyond training prompted that traffic jam on I-20 Tuesday afternoon.
But, before we connect that final dot, it is worth noting that the European plot apparently didn’t involve large trucks or radioactive devices. The trucks being searched on I-20 west of Atlanta were screened with a radiation detector (and other devices), according to WSB.
For the second time in three days, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have conducted a major counter-terrorism operation along I-20 in Atlanta. For several hours, beginning this morning and continuing into the afternoon, officials searched scores of tractor-trailer rigs traveling along the highway.
A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, Jon Allen, told WSB-TV that the operation was aimed at prevent any type of activity that anybody may have to disrupt transportation systems.â€
Mr. Allen described the search effort as a form of “highway homeland security.” But at that point, his comments took a turn for the odd. Interviewed by WSB’s Mark Winne–one of the first journalists to learn that Tuesday’s search was an operation and not an exercise–Mr. Allen said the federal air marshal service was the lead agency for the roadway inspections in Atlanta. …
Admittedly, this has not been a very good week for TSA’s regional public affairs department. As Tuesday’s search got underway west of Atlanta (and traffic slowed to a crawl on I-20), a TSA spokesman insisted the activity was a training exercise. That explanation lasted until Mr. Winne contacted other law enforcement officials, who revealed it was a counter-terrorism operation.
Dave Lindorff, at leftist CounterPunch, Weekend October 1-3 edition:
Now the Government is X-Raying You While You Drive
Americans in Atlanta got a taste of this latest government intrusion into their lives when Homeland Security last Tuesday ran what it called a â€œcounterterrorism operationâ€ not prompted by any specific threat. They set up one of their ZBV vans on I-20 and snarled traffic for hours while all trailer trucks stopped and scanned by Homeland Security personnel.
CBS Atlanta 10/1:
Emergency Repairs On I-20 This Weekend
Drivers should expect delays on I-20 eastbound around Six Flags this weekend as an emergency project continues to replace failing bridge joints. …
Tuesday morning traffic was backed-up for miles on the eastbound side. Failing joints created a hole in the bridge over Six Flags Parkway. The debris lead to a four-car accident.
The hole was temporarily patched, the but the problem was not solved.
This weekend an emergency project will continue to replace those bad bridge joints. The $5.1 million project will close two right lanes on the eastbound side at Six Flags. No major delays are expected, although drivers should give themselves a few extra minutes. …
The lane closures are scheduled to last from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.