Wednesday, January 7, 2009
EMAIL HOAX.....OR A DIRE WARNING?
Let me start by saying I don't put much faith in the accuracy of this email, but I thought it was noteworthy to mention. I've been told there's an email going around from a woman describing her conversation with a Muslim taxi driver in New York City. He warned the woman, the email explains, that she should not come into Manhattan on Wednesday (meaning today.) He indicated in vague terms that terrorists may try to strike. Some credibility is added to this email, by news that Arab leaders are confabbing at the United Nations today. The New York Times reported this yesterday:
"Ms. Rice planned to meet with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, as well as with foreign ministers from Turkey, which has been trying to broker its own deal, and Libya. She was also scheduled for joint talks with her French and British counterparts, Bernard Kouchner and David Miliband, before taking part in a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the crisis."
Now, you're saying, Hmmmm, this could be real. Well, it's not, best I can tell. SNOPES.COM once again debunks the urban myth. The first email appeared shortly after September 11th and it has morphed into several more recent variations, including this one.
"These rumors have reappeared at various times in various forms, including versions that specifically warned against the drinking of Coca Cola after a certain date, which of course change after each telling. Text messages circulated in New York during the first week of January 2009 stating that a Jewish woman gave a tip to a Muslim taxi driver and out of appreciation he warned her not to go to Manhattan next Wednesday."
Several years ago, an online blog reported a similar story.
"A Village Voice reporter is told by a New York taxi driver, “You know, I am leaving the country and going home to Egypt sometime in late August or September. I have gotten e-mails from people I know saying that Osama bin Laden has planned big terrorist attacks for New York and Washington for that time. It will not be safe here then.” He does in fact return to Egypt for that time. The FBI, which is not told about this lead until after 9/11, interrogates and then releases him. He claims that many others knew what he knew prior to 9/11."
By all accounts, this is another one of those email hoaxes. I'd urge you to go about your business today. Visit Manhattan. Hell, stand right in front of the U.N or the Empire State Building. Be bold and please, please, please people, check these sort of things out before you hit the send button.