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FBI Issues Scuba Industry Alert Over Requests For Specialized Training, 'Nefarious Activity'
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The purpose of this advisory is to provide situational awareness to the scuba industry regarding behavior that may indicate an individual(s) is involved in nefarious activity.

The following threat indicators, taken in isolation, generally reflect legitimate recreational and commercial activities. In combination with other information, they can indicate possible links to criminal behavior. Please note, the below indicators are not an all inclusive list, these indicators represent a baseline that could possibly indicate suspicious behavior.

Training Indicators

Requests for specialty training, including odd inquiries that are inconsistent with recreational diving. These may include:

Requests to dive in murky water or sewer pipes.
Inquires about procedures such as diver towing.

Requests to learn advanced skills associated with combat swimming, including:

Use of re-breathers and diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs).
Deep diving.
Conducting kick counts.
Receiving extra navigation training.

Requests for advanced diver training by applicants from countries where diving is not a common recreational activity. Similarly, training sponsored by groups or agencies such as religious organizations, cults, associations, or charitable agencies not normally associated with diving.

Potentially Suspicious Equipment Purchases or Rentals

Volume purchasing inquires related to Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) and Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs). SDVs are very expensive vehicles normally used for specialized military purposes, and usually are not available to recreational divers. Efforts to purchase DPVs, the more commonly available civilian counterpart to SDVs, could be associated with extending the range or payload capacity or a combat swimmer team.

Other Indicators:

Paying cash for diving instruction.
Refusal or reluctance to provide personal information.

Recipients are requested to report suspicious or criminal activity to their local FBI Office.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

28 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

What the hell is this supposed to mean?!!! Give us a break on claiming that your are the freedom land,while you are capturing all the world's scuba activities!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you guys make me sick
   comment# 1   - Shady Amin · Cairo, Egypt · Jun 24, 2007 @ 2:48am

The USA was a free country, until George Bush subverted the democratic system by stealing the 2000 election. Since then most of the Bill of Rights has been declared to be subversive. Civil liberties are no longer available, standing up for whatever rights have not yet been taken away is basically criminal, etc. Unfortunately, I see no advantage in helping the FBI further oppress the people. If I can determine that a concrete danger for the people exists, then I might reconsider.
   comment# 2   - Michael Fisch · Germany · Jun 25, 2007 @ 7:52am

Oh boy, they're gonna just LOVE my public rebreather construction page then eh? The only "combat" I engage in is with, on occasion, big fish, who are destined for my grill. Last time I checked, that (in federal waters) was still legal - even on a CCR. I understand the concern.... I suppose if I wanted to know about MINES as well, or was particularly concerned about whether my CCR had a "magnetic signature", that would be cause for concern.... but in general? Pssshaw.
   comment# 3   - Karl Denninger · Niceville, FL · Jun 25, 2007 @ 8:46am

All with an issue with this simple "notice" remain in your choosen lands and we wont have to worry about the threat.
   comment# 4   - Jake Heller · Seattle, WA · Jun 25, 2007 @ 8:53am

So diving in murky water is suspicious is it? That'll make EVERY British diver a potential terrorist then. The vis round these parts is typically between 3m & zero!
   comment# 5   - Lionel "Buster" Crabb · Portsmouth, England · Jun 26, 2007 @ 5:13am

Agree with James, if you don't like it stay out of our country. It is not uncommon for someone to consider using SCUBA to conduct attacks, all they are asking is for us to be alert. Evidently if you have complaints, you shouldn't be conducting these activities.
   comment# 6   - James Wolfe · Warren, MI · Jun 26, 2007 @ 6:51am

Everybody quit whinning! Your not going to be locked up because you take advanced or Tech classes!! We keep getting our rear orifice kicked because everyone cries over security measures. Maybe you would rather have a cruise ship blown out from under you. If you are not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about.
   comment# 7   - Mark · USA · Jun 27, 2007 @ 1:40pm

"If you are not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about" yeah. right.
   comment# 8   - Garf · UK · Jun 28, 2007 @ 4:20am

At least they are taking steps to protect this country! What is your problem? Everybody carry's on about how easily people are getting in here! It's about time we protect ourselves! Like they said if you haven't done anything wrong - what are you worried about!
   comment# 9   - Jennifer · USA · Jun 28, 2007 @ 8:26am

i agree if you dont like it stay out of our country. all they are saying is that if someone is doing something out of the ordinary to get them check. how many people want to dive in sewer pipes. thats not normal in my area. basicaly use common sence and if you think they are bad let someone know so it can be check then the fbi will do there job
   comment# 10   - scott · logan, ky · Jun 28, 2007 @ 8:28am

You don't like the rules, don't come to our country!!
   comment# 11   - dave · memphis · Jun 28, 2007 @ 4:15pm

I think it is VERY important that ALL SCUBA dive training centers report to the FBI any suspicious activity regarding customers that seek special training. If the pilot instructors reported their sudden increase of foreign nationals requesting pilot trining, I wonder if things could have been different. I think the only group that should be concerned about this hightened level of concern are those foreigners here, wanting to SCUBA dive. As a general rule, there are not a lot of Middle Eastern SCUBA enthusiasts. And I will gladly support my local SCUBA businesses that report customer information to the FBI. Because I have nothing to fear. I applaud this effort and support the concern. 20 years of diving and I have yet to see a single diver who fit the AlQueda profile. If I ever do see one, I personally will report him to the FBI. Thanks for reading. Happy bubbles!
   comment# 12   - Jeffrey the Diver · Tampa Florida · Jun 28, 2007 @ 6:46pm

Murky water! Try diving with us in the UK then. Deep diving is not an unusual request inconsistent with recreational diving. Diving towing!! Is a standard training requirement. Rebreather usage is becoming ever more popular due to lower prices and the obvious advantages for gas consumption and deco times. So will this be clamped down on due to popularity?? Land of the free?? Yeah, sure......
   comment# 13   - Nick · Lincoln, England · Jun 29, 2007 @ 4:32am

As the beginning of the notice states "taken in isolation, generally reflect legitimate recreational and commercial activities". All they're asking is for diving professionals be alert and point out potential threats. I applaud them for being pro-active instead of reactive.
   comment# 14   - Dave · Moose Jaw, Canada · Jun 29, 2007 @ 5:28pm

For the guys that say "if you dont like our rules, dont come to our country" or "if your not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about" all I have to say is that its very troubling that so many ignorant people still seem to think there is nothing wrong with our rights being taken away, day after day, month after month. It makes no difference if your doing anything wrong or not, our country was founded on a bill of rights, and if you dont like THAT, maybe YOU should get out of the country. Reporting suspicious scuba divers and thinking your going to make a difference is about as wishful thinking as believing the TSA are keeping you safe at the airport. MUHHAHAHAHA... I guess if it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside thats all that matters. Just keep mooing through life and going to your job everyday while you haver your blinders on. everything will be allright...(come on now, sing it with me) everything will be allright...dont worry, be happy, ..
   comment# 15   - Geoff · Eureka, Ca · Jun 29, 2007 @ 7:32pm

I'm with all the ones voting for safety, even if it means scrutiny. Unfortunately, not by our choice, we now have to live in a world where caution must prevail. Many of the previous posters said it better. BOLA!
   comment# 16   - AK · Jupiter, FL, US · Jul 3, 2007 @ 4:54am

Just imagine one week ago: 'Be alert for Doctors and medical personnel purchasing nails, propane cylinders and gasoline cans from hardware/home supply stores.' Sounds preposterous??? When a set of conditions (such as released in the SCUBA alert) is identified which is obviously unusual, and certain combinations represent potential for terrorist activity, why should we not be alert? How would this be any different than the blind eyes that were turned toward the 911 hijackers during their flight training with unusual requests. By the way, their preparation took place on Clintons watch.
   comment# 17   - JM · Fort Myers, FL, USA · Jul 5, 2007 @ 1:52am

Some people seem to ignore that there's a war going on... You can argue about the respective responsibilities of the Western world and of Islam, but you can't deny that a significant number of extremists are currently working to harm us. You complain about those very simple measures? Tell me about the limitations of freedom during WWII... Do you think it wasn't worth it?
   comment# 18   - Thomas Damiens · Brussels, Belgium · Jul 5, 2007 @ 9:13am

"Rights being taken away??" What in this notice takes away any rights? We all need to share in responsibility for the well being of our country. I am not "mooing thru life" and I get a little sick of all the whining. Why have we apparently forgotten what started this? Do they have to strike us again? I will do anything to make it difficult for anyone to cause one iota of trouble here in our land. If this really bothers you...leave now.
   comment# 19   - FP · La, USA · Jul 7, 2007 @ 5:31am

Geoff yea we can listen to you, sure thing buddy, and what let the illegals take over? Your a joke go stick your head back in the sand!!!
   comment# 20   - dav e johnson · memphis · Jul 12, 2007 @ 1:45pm

Strike you again!!!.. Well,unfortunately, you are so blind by the media and the government that you either don't see the whole picture or living in denial, statiscs said that the Americans are the most ignorant when it comes to knowledge outside the boundaries of the US, may be that's why the government is extending those boundaries to include the whole world, and what Islam got to do with it anyways? i believe you should go read first, and trust me the US will collapse just from within, own people, believe me, one day you will wake up on the biggest joke ever, Well done in Iraq, Plaestine, Afghanistan, Sudan,Iran and the rest of the world. FREEDOM, last thing as an Instructor, responsibility on reporting serious suspicious act is a self and ethical responsibility( freedom of choice) not imposed by any organisation... anyways, chill people we were originally checking this site for our passion for the underwater realm
   comment# 21   - Shady Amin · Cairo, Egypt · Aug 1, 2007 @ 2:00am

Who do you turn to for legal justice to be served, and the f.b.i, local agency don't pursue and they keep letting the crimes continue, countinue on so much it has destroyed civil rights of people and has damaged these individuals life. And again this is crimes not only in the white collar industry, banks, and makes the local fbi look like they are involved with these crimes again who do you turn to for justice
   comment# 22   - J Kelley · ft worth tarrent · Feb 3, 2008 @ 12:48pm

Hey Shady- Kiss my &*^. Don't come whining to the US when Iran is knocking on your Islamic butt ok? Just as in Dafur you Arab Islamic think you are the premire race? We from the west are the root of all evils right? you think you have seen EVIL? Please don't use the words of Freedom/Iran or Islam in the same sentence as you are showing your ignorance.
   comment# 23   - kParker · Phx US · Jun 14, 2008 @ 3:38am

Few countries manifest advance "swimmer" skills. tradecraft that demands constant edge sharpening. Skills that very few to the inner circle only. In reality Arab countries lack any real order of battle capabilty in the combat swimmer venue. In truth, very uncomfortable in the water thus their any advance tactics employed would be hired perhaps by rouge members ie Germany, France etc. Effective mission plans in combo with experienced & "current" swimmers would indeed impose problems. The water has a unique way of affording total deniability. However, the surface swimmer threat is not out of reach even by substandard and desparate elements that lack. It takes almost zero skills to run -in, Jump-in peirside and self employing one as a " stand-off". Simply put, ellaborate plans are not on the menu ensuring mission success. Advance skills often increase case ifs and "error boxes". What the concern should be is: Individuals trying to acquire technical knowlege on ANTI SWIMMER defenses. Keep it real and be on guard people. Retired TOADMAN :)
   comment# 24   - IVAN TRENT · USA · Oct 18, 2008 @ 9:49am

some helpful Key indicators to be mindful off: Equipment 1) Subdued colored gear( ie body cover, head cover,gloves, watches, depth gages, compasses etc) 2) low volume face masks/heavy load fins 3) Attempts to purchase fully closed circuit tactical UBAs ie LARV, MK25 etc ( check ebay ie) TRAINING 1) manuals, Internet hits on Combat swimmer history/ teams / techniques/Training 2) Interest on learning the combat swimmer surface swimmer side stroke. In closing: The internet affords focued information the bad guys have access too. Ie You tube has french "UBARE" TEAMS conducting subsurface missions..amazing how loosely it is displayed on the net. Not good. However, in reality, there are many collectors and harmless wanna profiling right?..well in this new age, the war on terror should never be limited to thin skinned political correctness. Simply put, all must be vigilant and on guard against this extremst plague that is from the radical side of islam.aN OPINION
   comment# 25   - IVAN · USA · Oct 18, 2008 @ 11:07am

Hey KParker. I have the impression that people who are not from the "West" are more sensitive to toying with the Bill of Rights more than you guys are! The dire situation in Iran, Sudan, etc is a product of compromising personal freedom in the name of "sharing responsibility" ending up with a miserable system of mass surveillance, and of course: suppressing the will of the ppl to a dirty political agenda. So you probably need to learn it the hard way! And to clear Islam out of your ignorance: Indonesia and Malaysia which are home to the Muslim population majority don't have so much "Freedom" issues simply because the US government is not sticking its nose into them (no oil = not sexy!) So if your government is creating its own demons worldwide, I wish this would have been a time where educated ppl of the world stand up against dirty hidden agendas. And, oh, lesson #1: Islam is a religion,Arabhood is an ethnicity. None of them is a "race".
   comment# 26   - PAKINAM ELWY · CAIRO,EGYPT · Jan 15, 2009 @ 5:04am

Those who sacrifice freedom for security shall have neither.
   comment# 27   - Benjamin Franklin · Philidelphia, PA United States Of America · Feb 16, 2009 @ 2:37am

Diving is sure an experience and i just love it! so why quarrel and push the underwater fun down the road of political differences....The fun thing is that the lady used the sight to get back to her ex husband after she already got married...ewwww!
   comment# 28   - Loulwa · Cairo, Egypt · Dec 18, 2009 @ 11:35am
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