Massachusetts State Police say they are increasing routine patrols at water supply facilities around the state after a possible security breach incident at the Quabbin Reservoir near Belchertown, which is the primary drinking water source for Boston and forty other communities.
At approximately 12:30 am Tuesday, a trooper saw two cars parked at one of the reservoir park entrances and then noticed a group of people, five men and two women, walking towards the vehicles. When questioned, the male individuals said they were chemical engineers and had recently graduated from college. The group claimed to be at the reservoir for educational purposes and career interests.
The seven people were from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Singapore and had addresses in Amherst, Cambridge, Sunderland, Northampton, and New York City. State Police provided the Commonwealth Fusion Center the identities of the group and details of the incident. The Commonwealth Fusion Center works with local, state and federal public safety agencies and private sector organizations in collecting, analyzing and distributing intelligence relevant to terrorism and public safety.
A preliminary background check revealed no warrants, detainers or advisories for anyone in the group and they were allowed to leave after being cited for trespassing. In a statement to the press, State Police spokesperson David Procopio said both his agency will continue to investigate the incident. “Further investigation is being undertaken because of the late hour when they were observed, their curious explanation for why they wanted to see the reservoir, and the fact that they were in an area marked no trespassing,” Procopio said.
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