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‘Potential terrorist': Migrant wearing N.Y. county ambulance jacket caught by border patrol

Chief Thomas Meyers said the man has no ties to the Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which has newer uniforms


The current jackets worn by the Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps (left) look different from the style worn by the Saudi migrant who was detained last Thursday.

Photo/Tribune News Service

Steve Howe

CLINTON, N.Y. — An apprehension by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents last Thursday night had an unexpected local tie.

A 21-year-old migrant from Saudi Arabia detained for illegally entering the country was wearing a Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps jacket, according to social media posts from the Yuma Border Patrol Sector in Arizona.

Border patrol agents determined the man had ties to “several Yemeni subjects of interest” and was a “potential terrorist.”

The man, who was not identified, will be processed for an expedited removal from the country, the post said. There was no immediate response to a request for comment from the Yuma Border Patrol Sector.

The Clinton-based volunteer ambulance service posted a statement from EMS chief Thomas Meyers to its Facebook page. In the statement, Meyers said the group no longer wears those uniforms, which were discontinued in 2017, and the man arrested has no ties to the organization.

Uniforms are issued to members of the volunteer ambulance service, Meyers said. When a member leaves the group, it’s requested that all uniform apparel and identification are returned, but they are not on rare occasion, he said.

“This unfortunate incident should help remind all organizations ... that we are trusted members of the community and on occasion, people with ill intentions will pose as one of us to gain trust,” Meyers said.

U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, also sent out a statement critical of President Joe Bident’s administration on the border apprehension.

In the statement Tenney called for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and said she reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol requesting information about the man arrested last Thursday.

“We must know how this individual acquired the uniform and what risk he posed to Upstate communities,” Tenney said.