Should I call the FBI? Seriously.

Picture, if you will, the following scene:

Boston, between 8:30 and 9 AM, on the subway blue line. This happens to be the train which stops at Logan airport, running right alongside a few hangers, the SkyChefs building, etc. You may remember Logan from 11 Sep.

I’m in the front car with two other people, a woman and a guy who looks to be in his mid-20’s. As we pull out of the airport stop (now running alongside said hangers and stuff) this guy:

A: Pulls out a small video camera and begins recording the airport.

B: Keeps his eyes on the train operator the entire time, while recording the airport.

C: Tucks his camera back into his clothes as soon as the airport is no longer visible.

D: Looks around the train to see what the other two people are doing (I make as though I’m looking out the window).

This guy also happened to have features consistent with those of middle eastern descent. In this time when we’re encouraged to be “vigilant”, should I
A) call the FBI about this? Or
B) am I being overly-paranoid?

I’m inclined to go with “B”, but I don’t know…the guy just seemed really suspicious, in the way he moved, and looked around the train, and seemed like he didn’t want the train operator to know he was recording the airport.

Anyway, your opinions are appreciated.

Call 'em. Let them make the decision.

yes! call them.

as they say, if it waddles like a duck and looks like a duck …

Personally, I suspect this guy was just taping the airport but realized that it might look suspicious. Nevertheless, let the FBI make the call.

Call them, better safe then sorry.

Please call them.

Don’t call them.

In the interests of having an alternative voice…

Drop it. The FBI is up to ears in work, and that’s partly because everytime someone with brown skin goes anywhere near an airport, people wet themselves and call them.

This guy shot some video from a subway train. So??

Calling them seems like a no harm-no foul to me.

If you call them and they decide to not follow up, so be it.

But if you don’t call them and there is another incident, could you live with the knowledge that you may have been able to do something?

The terrorists on 9-11 blended very well in our society. How do you think the flight instructor that didn’t notice anything wrong with cash-flashing middle easterners that didn’t want to know how to take off or land???

Better to be safe than sorry.

No call. He did nothing wrong.

IMHO, the only reason he was looking around is the same reason why you even noticed it … beacuse he was of middle eastern descent and everyone is still hyper sensitive from 9-11. And, because of this sensitivity, if the FBI even breaths a hint of a question in the general direction of this guy he’ll proably lose his job, have visa problems if he’s an international student, or at least sweat blood about the FBI following him.

Short story: I saw a guy call the police on his cell phone after a young middle eastern male got off the bus that the caller was on. The reason? (quote) “He was looking at me with violent intent”…“Yes I know it’s subjective, but you didn’t see him.” (/quote) I walked away after that because I was very close to ACTING on my violent intent.-end story.

Ultimately, do what you is think is best. I don’t think you have anything here, but I wasn’t there.

  • Cheers!

Here in New South Wales, there is a new “Police Assistance Line” which is staffed by civilian employees of the police service. It’s designed largely for “kinda-maybe” type calls of the type you plan on making. Its publicity goes to pains to distance it from the emergency number. It’s designed for situations which are “not life threatening, or when a crime is not in progress”, and was introduced to free up police from a lot of paperwork and dead ends. They encourage people to use it when they might otherwise have been reluctant to make a more formal notification.

Does the FBI have something like this? Even if they don’t, I’d say call them. They might be up to their ears in work, but it’s up to them whether or not to follow this up. If they are like the Australian cops, they’re no doubt fond of saying, “all information, no matter how small, might be vital”. Call them, and let them do with your information what they will. Your mind will be at ease.

Or can you just report it to the local police station, if you think calling the FBI is overkill?

If you report this, it will just read “unknown persons acting suspiciously.” You’ve got nothing to follow up on, it’s not like you know their names or got their license plate or something.

hehehhe…sounds like me last weekend. I was doing a film project for school on the bus, but I never actually got permission to film on the bus, so I snuck my camera on and furitively filmed from the back of the bus.

Washington Post
If you’re worried that it would be a waste of time the FBI has set up a website to handle tips like yours. I encourage you to at least drop a line. Worst case scenario: FBI decides it’s bogus. No, actually that wouldn’t be the worst case scenario.

You aren’t required to give your name, address or anything else even though there are places for them.
FBI tip website:
Main site for the link:

I see no reason to call the FBI, nor any basis for assuming that anything will come from doing so.

I think the link that Asylum provided is the best way to go. You shouldn’t worry about what repercussions might befall the guy if he’s innocent, because it doesn’t sound like you have enough info for the FBI to find him.

Your tip, by itself, is not going to spur some big FBI action. But that small piece of data might mean something very important to someone who is looking at a lot of other data.

Let us know what you decide to do, OK?

I don’t see anything suspicious there; I filmed the Tokyo airport 3 years ago while waiting for a plane. Why? - they had orchids growing in the witing room and my mom like orchids, that’s all. I felt slightly nervous and out of place as there are some places you’re not supposed to take pictures of, although there were no signs. No one spoke english, I was by myself, couldn’t afford to miss my plane, was the only one with a camera and was being looked at oddly, and was of course the only member of my race present and was sweating (due to the heat). I must have looked suspicious as hell, despite my benign intentions.

I tried calling the FBI Boston field office yesterday evening, but got no answer (which I found odd, but that’s a topic for another discussion). I also told a boston cop that I happened to run into in (where else) Dunkin’ Donuts. The cop didn’t seem to think it was big deal.

So, I consider my part done.

And, just for the record Jeu_D’esprit, I noticed the guy because he was filming airport hangars. I didn’t notice what he looked like until after that point.

::Hell yeahyou should call the FBI! There have apparently been other reports of “video tapings” of different landmarks (ie:Sears Tower, Rockefeller Center, and other airports). The FBI would rather you call them and report this, let them investigate and have it turn out to be nothing, than to have something happen at the airport, and you had information that could have helped prevent it.

Sorry, but I work right by the Pentagon, and live by Dulles Airport, so I think I’d like to have the FBI checking out everything!!!

Yeah, we’ve done that. “Permit? No, Mr. Ranger Sir, we’re just testing the camera for something we’re going to shoot. We’ll be sure to get a permit when we come out to shoot.” :wink: