Miscommunication Blamed for Port of Miami Terror Scare

January 8, 2007

Update: According to the Associated Press, a simple misunderstanding between gate security personnel and a truck driver is responsible for yesterday's lockdown at the Port of Miami. "There was a discrepancy in the number of people in the vehicle," police spokeswoman Nancy Goldberg told the AP. "This, and the fact that one of the individuals did not have any form of ID, raised our level of concern."

The truck's contents matched the driver's cargo manifest, and the three men in question (the 20-year-old Iraqi driver, a friend and a relative) do not appear on any terrorist watch list; all cruise ships departed yesterday as scheduled with minimal delays.

(January 7, 5:30 p.m.) -- Earlier today, according to the Miami Herald, "as many as three Middle Eastern men at the Port of Miami-Dade" were arrested when they tried to enter the facility without appropriate identification.

Apparently, security officials there determined that the cargo of a truck driven in did not match its paperwork. When they entered the trailer they found at least one man, a Lebanese national according to the Herald's report, hiding. The port went into shut-down mode and security officials from a handful of U.S. agencies began investigating.

While the incident has nothing at all to do with cruise ship departures on this normally busy Sunday in January, it did impact auto traffic around the port and entry into it by folks embarking today. We also hear that debarkation was delayed on some ships.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor