The man looked Middle Eastern, the callers said, and he was skulking around the American Legion Bridge on the Capital Beltway. Heavy traffic whizzed past, crossing the Potomac on a night when tensions were already high because of a big event on the Washington Mall. Maryland State Police arrived to question the man, and his story didn’t add up. When three friends came to retrieve him, their stories seemed just as curious. The mystery deepened when one of their names turned up on a watch list for terrorism. Such was the scene Sept. 4, after several passing motorists heeded the call of one of those big messages posted at times on up to 54 signs along the state’s major highways, from the Bay Bridge to Western Maryland: “Report suspicious activity. Call 800-492-TIPS.” Full Story
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