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FBI says terror threat was false alarm

BOSTON – The FBI said Tuesday that the possible terrorist plot reported against Boston by a tipster last week was a false alarm. A law enforcement official in Mexico said that a suspected smuggler made the story up to get back at people who failed to pay him.

“There were in fact no terrorist plans or activity under way,” an FBI statement said. “Because the criminal investigation is ongoing, no further details can be provided at this time.”

Jose Ernesto Beltran Quinones, one of 16 people sought for questioning about the alleged terror plot, was detained over the weekend in Mexicali, a Mexican border town near San Diego. His son, also named Jose, was detained Monday.

According to a law enforcement official there, the two men were involved in smuggling Chinese migrants across the border and told investigators that smugglers had squabbled over a deal, and that one had anonymously called in the false tip to U.S. authorities as revenge. The source, who asked not to be named, did not say which smuggler had made the call.

The official from the Baja California Attorney General’s Office said the men told investigators the claim was nothing more than a tall tale.

The two were later released; relatives at their houses told reporters Tuesday that they were not at home.


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