Two men driving a car with Massachusetts license plates and originally identified as being of Russian descent were stopped in Niagara Falls, NY, Friday morning and police used a robot to search their vehicle. It was the same day Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and just days before Canadian officials announced a foiled terror plot to blow up a passenger train running through the area.
The men were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing -- only being cited for minor traffic violations -- and authorities eventually said they made a mistake by identifying the men as Russian, instead saying they were Americans.
But at a time when two men from Chechnya with ties to Russia who lived in Massachusetts are the prime suspects in the Boston bombings case, the incident caught the attention of local news outlet WGRZ-TV.
According to the outlet, a local Air National Guardsman called 911 after he saw the men acting suspiciously and avoiding eye contact. Police eventually observed the men -- in their 20s -- swerving and failing to use a blinker. After pulling the vehicle over, authorities determined they had suspicious bags and asked to search the vehicle. They obliged and police brought in a robot to be safe:
WGRZ has more on how it ended:
For almost two hours, a NY State Police remote controlled robot, equipped with a camera, removed items from the car including two backpacks, a couple of duffle bags and two sleeping bags.
Those items were inspected, but found to contain nothing more than personal items and papers.
The WGRZ report also notes that while the men were initially described as being of Russian descent by two different law enforcement agencies, the police eventually backtracked and said they were Americans.
Niagara Falls superintendent of police Bryan DalPorto declined to name the men, saying they were only cited for minor traffic violations. The news outlet says the men were simply driving through the area to see friends and wanted to stop at the falls.
The foiled Canadian terror plot involved a plan to bomb a passenger train as it crossed the Whirpool Rapids Bridge connecting Canada to the United States, plunging its many would-be victims 225 feet into the raging Niagara River. The suspects in that case were also said to have been getting assistance from al-Qaeda figures in Iran.
This story has been updated.
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