Author Archives: EJ Haust

Refusal to Answer

FOIA MA State Police Letter2

The official Massachusetts State Police statement on the 5 men and 2 women arrested for trespassing near the largest man-made water reservoir in the U.S. just days after the Boston Marathon bombings is “no comment,” but that’s not the end of the story.

Publicly, MSP cannot legally release the names or other information about the 7 individuals because they haven’t been officially charged with any crimes, despite the state police department’s efforts to reverse that decision by a magistrate judge from the East Hampshire District Court which serves Belchertown, MA where the reservoir is located.

Clerk Randal Smith would not release the date of the judicial review of the clerk’s decision, citing statutes that require information be withheld from the public until a complaint is filed. Radio host and blogger Michael Graham has a bit more information, as provided by MSP Spokesperson David Procopio:

“In summary, the Quabbin case has not advanced at the Belchertown District Court since the original MSP appeal in May. At that time, the Assistant Clerk Magistrate determined that there was probable cause, yet ruled that no complaint would be filed. Subsequent to that finding, because we believe the complaint should issue so that there is a record of a charge against these individuals, we requested judicial review of the clerk’s decision (basically asking that a judge at the court review the case and issue the complaints).

We think it is important to create a record within the judicial system that the individuals were observed trespassing at a critical infrastructure site at an odd hour (around midnight or so) and gave the stated reason that they had professional and academic interest in engineering and wanted to observe the water storage structure.

Since that time, we have made periodic inquires to the court to determine the status of the case. After receiving your inquiry, we made inquiry of the court again today. Today’s inquiry resulted in the court telling us that the case will be heard by the Belchertown District Court Justice on either September 25th or October 2nd. When the appeal is heard, the Justice may make a summary finding or take it under consideration for a future finding.”

Perhaps the intense confidentiality and confusion related to the MSP complaint and any information on the individuals involved can be explained by the “on-going criminal matter” as described in the Freedom of Information Act request response from the Office of Chief Legal Counsel for the Massachusetts State Police. See page 2 of the response below.
FOIA MA State Police Letter 1

Major media outlets have largely ignored any follow-up on this story, originally reported at CDN in May 2013. Shortly after the trespassing incident, padlocks were cut at an aqueduct in the area that provides drinking water for the greater Boston area.
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To see the early coverage of the trespassing incident, click here:

Questions Remain After 7 Arrested For Trespassing

Massachusetts State Police Unhappy With Clerk Decision
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A Criminal Matter

The seven individuals apprehended for trespassing at the Quabbin Water Reserve in Belchertown, Massachusetts, just after midnight May 14, 2013 are part of an “on-going criminal matter,” according to the Massachusetts State Police.

In response to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request for names, addresses, court dates, and charges filed against the seven individuals, the Office of Chief Legal Counsel for the Massachusetts State Police cited several state statutes exempting the release of information requested.

“Please be advised G.L. c. 4, XXSSXX 7 cl. 26(a) exempts from public disclosure any records that are “specifically or by necessary implication exempted from disclosure by statute.” In this instance, your request falls within this exemption since releasing the requested information would violate… the Criminal Offender Record Information (“CORI”) statute.”

The letter comes more than 3 months following an incident whereby 5 men and 2 women were apprehended for trespassing at the largest drinking water supply for the greater Boston area in the middle of the night. The 7 individuals of Singaporean, Pakistani, and Saudi Arabian decent claimed to be chemical engineering students, according to local news reports. No other information has been made public about the identities of the individuals involved.

The response letter revealed ties to a larger criminal investigation.

“…according to information provided to this office, this incident remains the subject of an on-going criminal matter.”

The Massachusetts State Police recently shared publicly their discontent with a Clerk Magistrate’s decision not to proceed with the criminal investigation of the seven individuals.
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To see scans of the FOIA request & additional information, click here: Refusal to Answer

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A Renewal of Spirit

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More than speeches, Right Online and the Defending the Dream Summit offer a chance for renewal.

With so much stacked against constitutional capitalists; media bias, Hollywood culture, anti-capitalist agenda in our schools; it’s easy to get discouraged and feel like we are fighting a losing battle. But remember this is #WAR, as the late Andrew Breitbart would say, and it will be fought one battle at a time.

Americans For Prosperity is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to education and promotion of the free market that has resulted in America being the most prosperous, most healthy, and most environmentally conscious nation the world has ever known. And for the first time, AFP and AFP Foundation have joined forces to organize hundreds of activists together in one place for both the Right Online conference and the Defending the Dream Summit.

With speakers like Michelle Malkin, Greg Gutfeld, and Senator Ted Cruz, the events are sure to grab media attention, but with breakout educational sessions and networking opportunities too numerous to count, activists from across the country will have the chance to learn the latest strategies for action and be inspired to TAKE ACTION when they return home.

For those unable to make it to Orlando, fear not. You can follow the action online via the Right Online website, CSpan, and of course Twitter, where you will no doubt find live tweeting from your favorite bloggers and radio hosts. Look for the hashtag #RO13 for details.

When you attend, read about, and watch online this weekend’s events in Orlando, allow yourself to be renewed. Renew your spirit. Renew your love of America. And renew your efforts in the fight for freedom and prosperity for all!

30 Years for Convicted Terrorist

Fed Reserve NY TerroristQuazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 22 year old student from Bangladesh, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for his attempt to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank building in New York City nearly 1 year ago. His plot was thwarted by undercover agents who sold Nafis 1,000 pounds of dummy explosives.

Nafis came to the United States on a student visa and attended school at a state university in Missouri, though he had previously had contact with Al Qaeda, according to reports. The State Department, then under the direction of Secretary Hillary Clinton, issued the visa because Nafis was not one of the 39 million records on file of individuals flagged for denial.

Nafis attended school in Missouri to study cyber security for less than one year and requested transfer to a school in New York, supposedly to live near family, his parents said in interviews at the time of the attempted terror plot and subsequent arrest.

Nafis is just one of the young men in the United States on student visas who have been involved with terror attacks in recent years. The State Department also failed to flag the so-called “underwear bomber” in 2009 who attempted to blow up a commercial airplane full of passengers. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab passed the State Department’s records test despite his Nigerian parents’ warnings to U.S. officials that their son was dangerous.

Most recently, the northeastern U.S. has experienced the Boston Marathon bombings, allegedly carried out by Chechen students, and a series of odd events, one involving foreign students from Signapore, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Just weeks after the marathon attack, 7 chemical engineering students were detained at the Quabbin Water Reserve that provides clean water to the greater Boston area. Ten days later, padlocks were cut at the aqueducts that deliver drinking water to Boston and surrounding towns.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security ordered new student visa reviews as a result of the missteps at the State Department in vetting the Boston Marathon bombers prior to their approvals to study in the U.S. With Secretary Clinton no longer at the top of the State Department investigation, no further news has been reported on the progress of the new reviews.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein released a statement in July 2012 regarding student visas, reminding the nation of the “students” who attacked on September 11, 2001.

“In late 2000, a foreign student was allowed to enter the United States on a student visa but never attended classes. In 2001, additional foreign travelers were allowed to re-enter the country based on plans to attend a flight school that wasn’t certified to accept foreign students. Those individuals later hijacked four U.S. airliners, killing thousands of Americans. Yet more than a decade later, this GAO report makes it clear that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement still has no process in place to monitor whether foreign students are actually enrolled in school or attending classes, or even whether the schools they claim to attend are legitimate…”

“With more than 850,000 foreign students enrolled in 10,000 U.S. schools at the beginning of this year, it’s clear that monitoring activities of students in this country on visas and shutting down sham schools that serve as fronts for criminal activity are questions of national security.”

Apparently, not much has been done to fix the system as of August 2013.

New Jersey School Lunch Scam

ChrisChristie2More than 100 government employees and elected officials defrauded the national school lunch program and stole free lunches for their children.

A two year investigation of 15 New Jersey school districts has revealed more than 100 government employees and their families lied about their incomes, applied for and received school lunch assistance for their children, and could face prosecution as a result.

“Dozens of public employees appear to have lied about their income in order to take advantage of a school program designed to help families in need,” State Comptroller Matthew Boxer said in a statement.

Altogether, the total underreported income by state employees amounts to more than $13 million. One Pleasantville elected school board member failed to disclose at least $59,000 of her family income over a three year period. When asked by the comptroller’s office why she had done it, the woman said she didn’t report it because she wasn’t the one receiving the free lunch. She also said that her income was “none of (the school district’s) damn business.”

In fact, it most definitely IS the business of the school board, the state comptroller and the taxpayer’s business to know where and how the school lunch program money is being spent, which is why Boxer led the two year investigation.

“We took on this project because we were concerned about the ability of public employees to use their knowledge of the workings of the free lunch program to improperly obtain benefits,” Boxer said. “Those who know the rules of the program have a greater opportunity to submit a fraudulent application and avoid any scrutiny.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie weighed in on the report via his spokesperson saying that every employee who lied about their incomes should be “fired and prosecuted.”

According to CBSPhilly, whose original reporting cited only 83 violations but have since been adjusted upwards of 100 incidents, the investigation found structural flaws within the Nation School Lunch Program, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.

“Federal law doesn’t require proof of income along with the application and generally requires school districts to verify the validity of the 3 percent of applications whose reported incomes are closest to the eligibility limit. Districts are prohibited from verifying the remaining 97 percent unless fraud is suspected.” (CBSPhilly)

The federal school lunch program has come under scrutiny in recent years as school districts attempt to abide by new nutritional standards in the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. With mandated smaller portion sizes and higher costs, districts are finding it difficult to “sell” the program to parents and students who are either throwing the school lunches in the trash or bringing lunch from home.

The full extent of the New Jersey investigation into lying government employees is yet to be seen as free and reduced lunch programs provide the necessary paperwork “verification” to apply for and receive other government assistance programs. The “Obamaphone” program, for instance, is available for anyone whose children participate in the federal school lunch program. Read more about the fraud in the Lifeline, also known as the “Obamaphone,” program here. Phones for Drugs

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Costs Up, Quality Down for School Lunch

MyPlateSchools across the U.S. are struggling to meet the school lunch requirements championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and regulated by the Departments of Agriculture and Education. School boards continue to raise the prices of school lunch while simultaneously reducing the amount of healthy foods offered to students.

The new school lunch requirements, defined in the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA), have prompted the Government Accountability Office to recommend the Department of Agriculture modify its regulations. The GAO investigated several schools and food distributors and found a decrease in meat and grains served to students, and an increase in sugar, salt, and fat, in direct opposition to the stated goals of the new nutrition standards passed by Congress in 2010.

As schools struggle to meet the new calorie counts and portion sizes, many are having to raise prices in order to meet the federal standards and receive federal funding.

The Lynchburg City School Board is the latest in a list of schools nationwide to debate increased school lunch prices. The board is considering the price hike as a result of the new federal mandates on pricing and food offerings. In recent months, prices in Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, and elsewhere have increased by 10, 15 and even 25 cents per student.

In many cases, the quality of foods offered to students has decreased despite the price jump. One fourth grader went undercover to document the quality of his New York City public school lunch offering. Video here: Yuck! In his documentary, Zachary Maxwell records his school lunches for six months and brings to light the vast difference between what the Department of Education and his school say publicly about the lunch menu and the reality of what is actually served to students.

The GAO found some schools substitute whole grain chips for potato chips, natural shredded cheese for processed cheese sauce, and add high-in-fat sauces like ranch dressing in order to meet the minimum calorie requirements. Ketchup and pizza sauce are considered “vegetables” in some cases and hamburger patty sizes have nearly been cut in half.

The Department of Agriculture has agreed to temporarily suspend some meat and grain limits until further review, but students still aren’t buying it. Many reports have emerged from students and school districts all over the country saying students are left hungry and are in some cases boycotting the meals.

To learn more about the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and the War on School Lunch, click here.

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Mass State Police Unhappy With Clerk Decision

MSP SealThe events following an incident at the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, Mass. have left state police puzzled.

When 5 men and 2 women from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore converged at the reservoir that provides drinking water to the greater Boston area shortly after midnight on May 14, state police thought they would have a slam-dunk trespassing case against the seven individuals. A clerk magistrate, however, put an abrupt halt to those plans which could leave the seven alleged trespassers off-the-hook.

After being detained, interviewed and released by state police, the seven people were to await trespassing charges and a court summons. Local news reports in the days immediately following the incident listed the seven as “arrested,” though state spokesman David Procopio is now saying the group was “detained.”

The clerk’s decision not to charge the group, despite the incident triggering terrorism alerts and the involvement of the FBI, has left state police confused.

“In our view, the clerk’s decision was contrary to our past understanding with the court, specifically, that the continuance without criminal complaints (which is how minor motor vehicle matters are generally handled) is not the resolution in cases involving violations of the Quabbin watershed rules,” said Procopio in an email to MassLive.com.

The FBI and state police have since stated that the 7 individuals who reside in Amherst, Cambridge, Northampton, Sunderland and New York City have no connection to terrorist activity.

Requests to obtain the names and court dates associated with the trespassing incident have gone unanswered by the Massachusetts State Police Chief Legal Counsel Mike Halpin, the East Hampshire District Court, and the records department of the MSP.

The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest man-made water supply in the US and provides clean water to the eastern half of Massachusetts including the Boston area.

Two weeks following the Quabbin trespassing incident, vandals cut padlocks that access the Hultman Aqueduct in Framingham, Mass. The Hultman provides drinking water to the greater Boston area. Authorities say there is no evidence of tampering with the water supply and are calling the broken locks an act of vandalism.
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Read: Questions Remain After 7 Arrested

Read: More Suspicious Activity in Boston
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Obama Phones Sold For Drugs? Shoes?

Another Project Veritas expose video has surfaced.

The so-called “Obamaphone” program began as a means to provide emergency land line telephone service to rural areas many miles from urban centers, but it has since expanded to include wireless communications and was ramped up to unprecedented levels in 2012 leading up to the presidential election.

The video, the work of investigative journalist James O’Keefe and his crew at The Project Veritas, depicts workers hired by the federal government to dispense taxpayer funded cell phones to needy Americans encouraging phone recipients to sell the phones for profit. What the undercover journalists say they will do with the phones doesn’t seem to phase the workers at all.

More Suspicious Activity in Boston

NO_trespassingThree padlocks meant to keep trespassers out of the greater Boston water supply in Framingham, Massachusetts were cut and a fourth was damaged, according to State Police. The incident comes just three weeks after 7 foreign nationals were arrested for trespassing at the Quabbin water reserve.

The Hultman Aqueduct carries drinking water to Boston and surrounding towns. Three access hatches about a half mile apart, with clearly visible “No Trespassing” signage, had their locks cut. A fourth lock was damaged but not fully cut. Officials are calling the latest incident “vandalism” with no connection to terrorist activity, though State Police have increased patrols in the area.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority released a statement Monday saying, “MWRA’s real-time water quality monitoring shows no change in water quality nor any sign of contamination” at the aqueduct. A similar statement was made shortly after the trespassing arrests in May.

Information regarding the 7 individuals of Middle Eastern decent who were arrested just after midnight May 14th was characterized as “confidential” by a clerk at the East Hampshire District Court in Framingham. The names, charges, and court dates have not been released by authorities, but local news reports say the individuals live in 4 separate Boston suburbs and New York City. How the 7 came to be at the same location in the middle of the night to trespass on Quabbin Water Reserve property remains unclear. Requests for this data and more via a Freedom of Information Act Request, as well as multiple messages for Massachusetts State Police Chief Legal Counsel have not yet been returned.

Read more here: 7 Arrested
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Questions Remain After 7 Arrested For Trespassing

Shortly after midnight on May 14, 2013, five men and two women, all of Middle Eastern decent, were arrested for trespassing within the boundaries of the Quabbin water reserve just outside Boston, Mass. The seven, who are from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Singapore, are recent chemical engineering grads and “cited their education and career interests” for being at the reserve, according to local news reports. The seven individuals currently live in various Massachusetts towns including Amherst, Cambridge, Sunderland, and Northampton, and one of those arrested lives in New York City.

The Quabbin reserve is in Belchertown, Massachusetts and is one of two sources of the City of Boston’s drinking water. Authorities tested the Quabbin within days of the arrests and discovered no threats to the public’s water supply.

Police have increased patrols in the area as a precaution but say they have found no connection between the seven trespassers and any terror related activity.

Requests from the East Hampshire District Court where the seven will be summonsed for trespassing violations for the names and court dates were denied. A clerk said the cases were “confidential” and deferred all questions to the Massachusetts State Police.

Chief Legal Counsel for the MSP Michael Halpin, did not return phone calls and a Freedom of Information Act request has been sent.

There have been no public statements from the group nor from authorities to explain why 7 chemical engineers from 5 different towns in the Northeast converged on the same location at 12:30 AM on a Tuesday in May to learn about the country’s largest man-made water supply facilities.Arrest

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Refusal To Answer

A Criminal Matter

Mass State Police Unhappy With Clerk Decision

More Suspicious Activity

GOP Senators Boycott McCarthy

Gina_McCarthy EPAGina McCarthy, President Obama’s nominee for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Director, will have to wait a little longer for Senate confirmation as Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted the “mark-up” of McCarthy’s nomination.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) began Thursday’s committee meeting saying she was “rather stunned” that the Republicans planned to boycott the meeting and that she had only just heard of the efforts of Republicans to halt the McCarthy confirmation.

In a letter sent to Boxer, Republicans expressed the lack of cooperation from the EPA.

“As you know, all Republicans on our EPW committee have asked EPA to honor five very reasonable and basic requests in conjunction with the nomination of Gina McCarthy which focus on openness and transparency… While you have allowed EPA adequate time to fully respond before any mark-up on the nomination, EPA has stonewalled on four of the five categories. Because of this, no Republican member of the Committee will attend [Thursday]’s mark-up if it is held.”

Boxer did hold the EPW Committee meeting, despite the eight vote absence that rendered the committee useless and thus having no quorum. Instead of deliberation and votes, Democrats spent than 54 minutes complaining about Republican “obstructionism.”

McCarthy is a controversial nominee specifically for her hard left political stance and her refusal to answer questions about the data used to justify EPA’s regulations. Republicans say the EPA, and in particular Gina McCarthy, are killing jobs in the US. They sent a letter in March of this year requesting information on questionable emails, transparency, and the rules being implemented to regulate hydraulic fracturing.
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Warned! Saudi Arabia’s Warning to DHS About Boston Bomber

Kerry Saudi FMA news report out of the UK claims Saudi Arabian officials sent written warning to the United States Department of Homeland Security about Boston Marathon Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2012. The letter detailed Tsarnaev’s radicalism and was based on intelligence gathered in Yemen, according to the Daily Mail report.

“Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev’s plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.”

Also included in the letter are three other people from Pakistan who are also listed as jihadis worthy of U.S. investigation.

DHS and the White House have flatly denied receiving any warning from Saudi Arabia referencing Tsarnaev, however both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry met with Saudi officials at the White House within days of the Boston bombings in unannounced, closed-to-press meetings which is raising suspicion.

No reports have been released yet to explain who the Pakistanis mentioned in the letter are, if the two have been investigated, or whether the men are still in the United States. Pressure cooker bombs, like those used at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, are a “signature device” to jihadis in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to intelligence officials in the region.

The sentiment is held by U.S. officials as well. “I think given the level of sophistication of this device, the fact that the pressure cooker is a signature device that goes back to Pakistan, Afghanistan, leads me to believe — and the way they handled these devices and the tradecraft — … that there was a trainer and the question is where is that trainer or trainers,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, on “Fox News Sunday.”

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CNN Contributor Arrested

Screen shot 2013-04-30 at 12.54.17 PMSelf-avowed communist revolutionary and former “Green Jobs Czar” turned CNN contributor Van Jones was arrested on Monday at a protest outside a federal courthouse in St. Louis. According to Jones’ Twitter posts, miners are being “ripped off by Big Coal,” so he volunteered to be arrested along with 16 others.

Jones said he was protesting not only for environmental reasons, but also because the miners are being cheated of their earned pensions. Ironically, Jones has spent considerable time, money, and effort to put coal miners out of work by way of demonizing fossil fuel energy production.

CNN hasn’t commented on the actions of Jones, nor is it clear whether the news organization paid for his travel expenses.

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Jones is not alone.

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) (and Van Jones BFF) got himself arrested on purpose a couple of years ago. The two are quite close, apparently. Read: The Company You Keep
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Secretary Napolitano Caught in Lie, Media Absent

Under oath!

Janet Napolitano
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss immigration policy and was quickly questioned about a Saudi national who was reported early in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings as a “person of interest.”

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) inquired about Abdul Rahman Ali al Harbi, about whom Napolitano refused to answer questions at a previous hearing. “Before the [Tsarnaev] brothers became the focus of the investigation, authorities questioned a Saudi student who reportedly was on a terror watchlist,” said Grassley, “…if so, how did he obtain a student visa?”

Napolitano’s response contradicts itself in just a few short sentences.

“He was not on a watchlist. What happened is — this student was, really when you back it out, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was never a subject. He was never even really a person of interest. Because he was being interviewed, he was at that point put on a watchlist, and then when it was quickly determined he had nothing to do with the bombing, the watch listing status was removed.”

So which is it? Was he on a watchlist or not? If he wasn’t a “person of interest,” why was he being interviewed? If he was never a “subject,” why was he issued an event file designated 212 3B by federal authorities?

The media has been decidedly silent on the subject of Al Harbi. The front pages of ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, NBCNews.com, and CNN.com do not contain information on the Saudi national, whose whereabouts has not been released by authorities as of the time of this posting.

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze news site has more information and documentation to support claims al Harbi is a dangerous person with a terrorist designation by federal authorities.

* Updates to this story will be posted, as needed, if more information is released.

CLEARED By Investigators

Two young men whose photos were captured by surveillance and onlookers at the Boston Marathon have been cleared as suspects in the bombings, according to reports. (New York Post, Business Insider)

Thanks to seeing his face in photos on social media websites like Facebook, 17 year old Salah Barhoun went to the police to clear his name on Wednesday afternoon.

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See a photo of a man carrying a black bag with grey straps similar to the mangled bag in the official FBI photo released to the media here: Could THIS Be the Bomber?

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