Things not to leave in your hotel room: a terrorist message about "the device" and warning "they must pay."
A note was discovered at the Pleasant Night Inn in West Carthage last Tuesday. It read like something a terrorist would leave, with sentences like "Brother Hamdullah will meet you with the device," and "They must pay. Only martyrdom can make this right."
The note terrified the staff at the hotel.
""They (staff members) came into my office, white as ghosts," said Erica Leonard, the manager of the hotel.
Leonard contacted Fort Drum's Crminal Investigation Division, but said the people there didn't take the note very seriously.
"They all just kind of laughed at me and said 'We get these kinds of things all the time.'"
To the contrary, a spokesman for the military's Criminal Investigation Command said the note was taken extremely seriously.
"Within a couple of hours, we had the origin of the note, all the background on it, and were able to confirm what this had to do with," said Chris Grey, spokesman.
As it turned out, the note was left by someone hired by the military to play the role of a terrorist during training exercises on post - the note was a prop, part of the training.
But the timing of the note's discovery led military officials to hurry at the end of last Tuesday's funeral for Staff Sgt. Daniel Rodriguez. The funeral was held in Carthage, and as a result, some people who lined the streets of Carthage starting a 2 pm missed the funeral procession.
"Unfortunately it (the note) did, and our condolences go out to the family who was affected by this," Grey said.
A spokesman for the company which supplied the actor, The Ginn Group, located in a suburb of Atlanta, likewise said it apologized and said it is reminding employees to put away any materials they use.
Friday, December 13, 2013, Watertown, NY