Virginia resident was taken into custody recently after his wife was seen
taking videos of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, a Maryland official confirmed.
who was identified as Ismael Selim Elbarasse of Annandale, VA, was recently
named in a statement from the U.S. Justice Department as an unindicted
co-conspirator in a Chicago racketeering and terrorism case.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge, officially known as the William Preston Lane Jr.
Memorial Bridge, carries U.S.
50 and U.S. 301 across the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, MD. The twin structure is 4.3
miles from shore to shore, and runs from the Annapolis area across to the
off-duty officers from nearby Baltimore County said they spotted a person
videotaping the bridge and reported it to local authorities, WJZ-TV reported. Kathleen Leahan of the Maryland
Transportation Authority Police said that person was Elbarasse’s wife.
Officers questioned the couple, and then ran Elbarasse’s
name through their computer, which showed he was wanted as a material witness
in a federal case in Chicago. He was taken into
custody by Maryland Transportation Authority Police officers, who also
reportedly confiscated the videocamera from the Virginia man.
Elbarasse’s name appeared recently in a Justice Department
statement about the Chicago case, which involves an alleged conspiracy to
funnel money into Israel to finance terrorist activities. He appeared on a list
of “alleged high-ranking Hamas leaders named in the
indictment as co-conspirators.”
is now being held as a material witness in the Chicago case. However, he is not
charged with any crime in connection with videotaping the bridge.
“You can videotape our bridge any
time,” Leahan said. “We may stop you and ask you what you’re doing, but it’s
– by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor