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[mob] [Fwd: Homeland insecurity]

If al Qaeda ever acquires bicycles we're in deep doodoo.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Homeland insecurity
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 13:29:15 -0400
From: Tim Meehan <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]


Boy bikes undetected into the United States

May 12, 2003, 11:11 AM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- A 7-year-old Canadian boy apparently biked into the
United States undetected by U.S. Customs officials, leaving his parents and
police questioning how such a security breach could occur.

Mitchel Hernder rode his bike about 8 1/2 miles Saturday, ending up at a busy
intersection in Niagara Falls.

U.S. Customs officials on Sunday said they were unsure how the mistake occurred.

"What surprises me is that he crossed the border and got through without being caught," Niagara Falls Police Lt. Salvatore Pino told The Buffalo News. "This
child basically got through Customs without being stopped by anybody."

Mitchel, described as mildly autistic, apparently slipped away from his Niagara
Falls, Ontario, home and rode away on his sister's bike. His parents called
Niagara Regional Police about 4:15 p.m. and a search was launched involving
dozens of officers, family members and neighbors.

Across the border, meanwhile, a motorist noticed the boy standing in the middle
of a busy intersection and called police about 5:45 p.m.

Police suspect Mitchel rode his bike to the two-tier Whirlpool Bridge, about 1 1/2 miles from his home, and made his way across on either the deck for vehicle
traffic or one with abandoned train tracks.

"How can a kid walk across the border in these times of high security?" his
father, Mark Hernder, asked. "It blows me away how he made it that far. I guess
someone wasn't watching the gate."

The boy told police his name and address and then waited for his father to pick
him up at a police station.

"If he didn't know his name or his address, I don't think we would have ever
found him," Hernder said. "We would have never thought to look for him in

Janet Rapaport, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's
Bureau of Customs & Border Protection, said the incident would be investigated.

"If he did come across the border, we didn't encounter him," Rapaport said.