He was a Russian. He had a camera. And he was photographing a natural gas tank.
So naturally police thought he was a terrorist.
Police in Lynn, Mass. became so suspicious of Stanislav Arkhipov, they not only arrested him on trespassing charges, they ended up contacting the State Anti-Terrorism Unit.
And the State Anti-Terrorism Unit ended up calling the Department of Homeland Security, which placed a “detainer” status on the Russian immigrant, forcing him to remain in jail for four nights.
Welcome to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, Mr. Arkhipov.
Adding to the hysteria was journalist Dan O’Brien of the Daily Item of Lynn, who wrote the following lede sentence.
A Russian national was arrested Friday after he was caught taking photographs of the secured liquefied natural gas terminal on Lynn Harbor, touching off an investigation by the state’s Anti-Terrorism Task Force, police said.
Memo to O’Brien: It is not illegal to photograph the gas terminal, so there is no need to use the word “caught”.
O’Brian continued to write what he no doubt thought was going to turn into a terrorist cell crackdown in his own backyard.
Stanislav Arkhipov, 25, of 10 Farrar St. #803, Lynn, allegedly gave police an interesting answer when asked why he was taking pictures of the area.
OK, O’Brien, what was his “interesting answer” that deemed him so suspicious?
“He said he likes to take pictures of industrial sites,” said Lt. Ted Blake, Lynn police spokesman.
No wonder they called Homeland Security. You never know what might happen if someone puts a photo of the Lynn Natural Gas terminal on the Internet, like the one below, which was published in the Daily Item of Lynn last week.
O’Brien continues hyping the incident by writing:
Due to the suspicious nature of the incident, a report of what happened was forwarded to the State Police Anti-Terrorism Unit for further investigation, according to Blake.
Employees of National Grid, the company that owns the 12-million gallon gas tank, called police after noticing the alleged suspicious behavior at about 11 a.m., police said.
How is taking a photograph suspicious?
There is not a shred of evidence during our “War on Terror” that proves a terrorist photographed a site before blowing it up or flying an airplane into it.
So stop this “9/11 changed everything” hysteria, Mr. O’Brien. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. You are contributing to our loss of Constitutional Rights instead of defending them.
After four nights in jail, Arkhipov faced Lynn District Court Judge Michael Lauranzano, who dismissed the single trespassing charge against the Russian.
Thankfully, somebody in Lynn, Massachusetts has some common sense.