Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2008]
I just came from dinner with a friend who personally experienced a very disturbing situation at North Hills Movie Theater here in Raleigh, NC this past Friday at the 4:30 matinee showing of "Atonement". I have known this woman and her husband for almost
She and her husband were sitting down front and after the previews, just before the movie started she realized that someone slipped in two seats over from them with an empty seat in between them. She glanced over to look at the person who had just slipped in beside her. I won't give you the description until later...as she glanced over for a second time, this Person pulled up a brief case, placed it in their lap, and was holding onto it for dear life. This person never glanced over at my friend but kept their Eyes straight ahead, until they received the "buzz" of text message over Their cell phone. This person glanced a at the text message but didn't respond to the message. This person then continued to receive text messages every few minutes. How many people do you know that bring their brief cases to the movie, much less placing them in their laps during the movie and Clutching them? And how many times do you see people get text messages in a movie that don't respond to them? At least to say.."I'm at a movie, leave me alone".
Oh by the way...this person that had the brief case was dressed as a Muslim woman. Black cloth covered them from head to toe with only the eyes visible. She could not be sure that this was a woman because only the eyes were showing.
After about 1 hour of squirming in their seats my friend and her husband left the movie and tried to find a manager. Well, most of the people working there were about
Do you think maybe this was a test? The 911 bombers tested their plan
Think about this...no screening, no security, visibility greatly reduced (dark) and apparently most people are totally oblivious as to "suspicious" activity at movie theaters!
Sorry to be the bearer of disturbing news, but I want to make the people I care about be more aware of their surroundings, perhaps we all need to Have a phone number for a Homeland Security contact in our cell phones!
Origins: Because concern about the potential for additional terrorist attacks on U.S. soil lives on, tales like the one above fall upon believing ears. Acts that previously would not have drawn much comment or notice are now regarded as potentially life-threatening when carried out by folks of Middle Eastern appearance.
The e-mailed account about suspicious activity at a daytime showing at the North Hills Movie Theater in Raleigh, North Carolina, of the film Atonement first reached the snopes.com inbox on
The message (which is clearly phrased as a second-hand account of an occurrence at which the writer was not present) has been looked into by the Raleigh Police Department. Although a woman dressed in Middle Eastern garb was present at the showing and was texting during the film, there was no coordinated movie-going group of such women in all the theaters. Also, the lone woman doing the texting was not holding a briefcase on her lap (it was her purse), nor was she found to have been engaged in any activity that posed a security threat:
"It was determined in the end that there had been a single movie-goer, a female in Middle Eastern attire," Sughrue said. "We're not faulting anybody for anything that happened. We ran it down, and we were more than happy to run it down and report that there was not a security threat."
Was this a terrorist on a "dry run" practicing her part in a coordinated plan to detonate bombs or unleash biochemical agents in crowded spaces? Or was it a woman that had an afternoon to herself who thought to spend it watching a film she'd wanted to see? The woman's Middle Eastern appearance has a significant impact on one's assumptions.
Had the woman not looked like she came from the Middle East or had she not been clad in a chador (full robe) or wearing a hijab (head scarf), her actions in the theater likely wouldn't have been regarded as suspect. Although others trying to watch the film might have regarded her as yet another ill-mannered yahoo on a cell phone, she wouldn't have been thought a potential terrorist practicing up for the big day. Perhaps, at most, she'd have been considered a potential bootlegger furtively recording a current film so it could be sold on pirated DVDs. But because of the way she was dressed, the woman attracted suspicion.
A similar scare was initiated in late-2001 when a man described as being of "Middle Eastern descent" was seen purchasing large amounts of candy from a Costco in
Last updated: 7 February 2008
Perez, Lorenzo. "False Rumor Puts Triangle Muslims on Edge." The [Raleigh] News & Observer. 7 February 2008.