A strange episode in Texas: a Middle Eastern man was photographing a chemical site. When confronted by a guard, he pulled a gun and fired.
While FBI, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs, the U.S. Coast Guard, state police and local law enforcement sources are publicly downplaying terrorism fears in the shooting of a guard at a BASF Corp. ammonia terminal in Freeport, Texas, some of those same sources are telling Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, off the record, they strongly suspect the guard stumbled into a terrorism reconnaissance operation.
The FBI, state and local law enforcement are all involved in investigating the incident Friday night on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The gunman, described as a dark-complexioned, mustachioed man with dark hair and a thick Middle Eastern accent and a 5 o’clock shadow, was driving a white, club cab, half-ton Chevrolet pickup with black trim at the bottom and dark-tinted windows. The truck had no front license plate.
Robbie House, the guard, questioned the driver of the truck about why he was in the vicinity of a large, multi-story ammonia tank. He told police the truck driver explained that he was taking pictures of it. When the guard turned to radio for help, the driver pulled out a handgun and shot House in the shoulder. . . .
G2B sources say a mysterious armada of al-Qaida ships has been purchased to target, among other things, civilian ports, cruise ships and oil rigs.
House was listed in good condition today at an area hospital where he was recovering from the gunshot wound to the shoulder.
Chemical plants and refineries have tightened security since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks for fear they may be targets in a future attack. Ammonia can be explosive when mixed with air. In addition, it should be noted that BASF is the second largest producer in the world of ammonium sulfate, a fertilizer with explosive tendencies.
The Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF is one of the world’s largest chemical manufacturers. The Freeport complex includes 16 plants, including an ammonia plant next to the deepwater cargo port. The facility produces adhesives, super absorbers, paints, nylons and plastics.
“We don’t believe we have any kind of a terrorist threat or that there was any way any kind of a terrorist planning or organization was going on with what occurred last night,” said Bob Doguim of the FBI’s Houston office immediately following the attack.
But other law-enforcement sources say common sense dictates that, in this case, with this extraordinary set of circumstances, “terrorism is everyone’s first guess.”
One law enforcement source said the signs point to this incident being a “terrorist reconnaissance operation.”
“There are no signs of any explosives,” he said. “There are no signs of any renegade ships in the area. But there is a strong likelihood this shooter and any companions that may have been with him were scoping out a possible target for terrorism.”