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Can you say Dry Run?

☆CarolAnne☆ 2011/04/01 05:37:39
SAN DIEGO -- One of the nation's largest military bases is reportedly under tighter security after three Middle Eastern men tried to enter without proper authorization.

10News learned the three men -- 40-year-old Afghani Ahmad Rahmani Naeem, 41-year-old Iranian Vahik Petrossian and 27-year-old Iranian Sengekdi Norvik Avanosian -- attempted to get into Camp Pendleton last weekend under what was considered suspicious circumstances.

On Wednesday, base officials said there was no threat, but others on the base told 10News security has been stepped up.

According to a Be On the Lookout (BOLO) alert issued to high-ranking Camp Pendleton officials, someone reported hearing hateful comments and terrorist threats from three men at a gas station in Oceanside Saturday.

Investigators at Camp Pendleton said the men asked the attendant for directions on how to get to Camp Pendleton before they left the gas station.

According to the alert, shortly after midnight Sunday, a rented silver Toyota Corolla driven by Naeem attempted to enter Camp Pendleton through the main gate. As it was being searched, Petrossian and Avanosian drove up in a black Mercedes, but were told to wait. Instead, they continued past the gate and onto the base. Following a short pursuit, the Mercedes was stopped and searched.

No weapons or contraband were found in the Mercedes, but base security noticed the air bag in the steering wheel of the Mercedes had been pulled out and re-attached with duct tape and had wires hanging free, the alert said.

According to the alert, Naaem told base security he was lost and was trying to go to Glendale. When interviewed, Petrossian and Avanosian said they were lost and trying to go to Glendale. The three men claimed not to know each other, the alert said.

Naaem, Petrossian and Avanosian were photographed and released after questioning, and a warning about the trio was posted to law enforcement.

However, later that morning about 8:30 a.m., Naeem returned in the Toyota and tried to get on the base again, saying he made a mistake and was trying to enter Interstate 5, the alert said. After his vehicle was searched, Naeem was issued a letter of debarment from the base and escorted to the freeway.

Since the incident, 10News learned high-ranking Camp Pendleton officials have notified other military bases and law enforcement of a potential threat.

According to a local security expert, that comes with good reason.

"I think after 9/11, anybody on any government facility should be worried," local expert John told 10News.

John, who does undercover security and anti-terrorism work for Eagle Eye Security Solutions, did not want to be identified.

He told 10News the Camp Pendleton incident sounds like a possible probe or dry run and said their visits raise a few red flags.

"Number one: they went on base twice. Their stories didn't stick, kinda wishy washy. Number two: the vehicle, the condition of the vehicle," said John. "They could have been probing the security, not just cameras, sensors, individual security from MPs. Three: [they] could have wanted to know what background checks would have produced."

A criminal background check on the trio conducted by the Department of Homeland Security found no "derogatory records" for the men. Additionally, the U.S. Border Patrol said the immigration statuses for the three men were confirmed and they did not appear on any terrorist watch databases.

Former High-Ranking Marine Reacts To Security Alert

Retired Lt. Col. Thomas Richards, who has seen many BOLO notifications during his service, told 10News, "BOLOS are fairly common. This has significance because Middle Eastern people were trying to get on a U.S. military active base."

Richards said the base holds many targets.

"They could have done a lot of damage ... to people, equipment, the base itself. There’s the Camp Pendleton airfield, lots of helicopters there, any number of barracks, repair facilities, industrial buildings, the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital," Richards said.

He said the incidents may be a coincidence, but the military can't take a risk.

"It could have been an intelligence reconnaissance mission for them to look around the base and see what there is there to do damage to," said Richards.

incidents coincidence military risk intelligence reconnaissance mission base damage richards
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Opinions

  • Rockies Man 2011/04/02 02:06:35
    Rockies Man
    +1
    Just like the dry runs on Airlines before 9/11.
  • ☆CarolA... Rockies... 2011/04/03 03:33:56
    ☆CarolAnne☆
    +1
    Yup and I have since found out more information this they have not released to the public.
  • 1LT B 2011/04/01 06:32:58
    1LT B
    +1
    That means I should leave for my "place of business" earlier tomorrow. Thanks for posting this, FPCON will probably be upgraded as an exercise within the next few days.
  • joe59 2011/04/01 06:01:29 (edited)
    joe59
    +1
    I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt being former military and working for the Marines you are not gonna get past a Marine security detachment at the gate or if they have a MARDET placed there. You try and see what'll happen, I was overseas at Camp Fuji and Yokosuka in Japan and those guys don't play they will take you out in a heartbeat and also break you down if you don't stop dead in your tracks during TAPS.

    I do agree though, I think it was a dry run also. I bet you anything that roving patrols will be all over any entrance ways and also staggering barricades, When I was at Fort Bragg some years back that was tried also, a UPS truck was stolen and some uniforms from one of their locations and they tried to get on Bragg as a delivery but tried the main entrance and that's where they screwed up because deliveries go in another entrance only.

    So they made security suspicious and they got busted.
  • ☆CarolA... joe59 2011/04/01 06:13:02
    ☆CarolAnne☆
    +1
    I think they should have detained these guys and questioned them like no other! Especially the fact that all 3 guys said they did not know each other but yet were all lost and trying to find Glendale California, which is 90 miles away! Red Flag to me!
  • joe59 ☆CarolA... 2011/04/01 06:30:06 (edited)
    joe59
    +1
    Well it won't happen again unless those sandfleas are just stupid and try it again because everyone is on alert now, I suspect they'll lay off Pendleton and maybe try some other place if possible. Even if they did, an alert has been put out on them so bases and posts will be vigilant I'm sure.

    Back in the 80s the Pentagon actually had a team of highly trained special ops guys that went around the globe and tested security of installations but they were so good and made the commands look bad it made the brass complained so much and they got disbanded.

    They would make security go crazy, when I was in Japan they took over a mess hall with hostages, took down a communications center, simulated blowing up communication towers and fuel depots and over took a nuclear submarine. Took an Admiral's wife hostage also.

    No one could stop them, what's so bad is they actually notified the bases and posts they were coming but they didn't give specifics of how and when they would come and that made security go crazy they would check anything and hold up traffic for miles, but that was all part of that teams plan though. They were true bad asses.
  • ☆CarolAnne☆ 2011/04/01 05:42:22
    ☆CarolAnne☆
    +1
    These 3 idiots are now in San Diego County! Who knows what they will try to do next! Now more than ever we are on high alert!

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