Sheriff Says There Is No Evidence Terrorists Are Planning Spectacular Hattiesburg, Miss. Attack

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A county sheriff in Southern Mississippi has assured anxious residents that he is unaware of any evidence verifying a story making the rounds on the Internet that warns of four terrorists who have been casing local public schools.

The sheriff, Danny Rigel, said the rumor appears to have started on the website, The Clarion-Ledger reports.

Another website,, then picked up the rumor.

“Spoke to a VERY close friend today, he went to a tactical rifle training course yesterday in Hattisburg (sic), Mississippi,” the BeforeItsNews claim read, according to The Clarion-Ledger.” The class was told of a ‘recent’ incident in LaMar (sic) County a noisy (alert) parent dropping her kids off at school saw a ‘Middle East’ looking man videotaping the school from inside a van. She went reported it to the school security officer, who called the police. Police came and stopped the video, and there were actually 4 men inside. Arrested the men, and once they played the video, there was actually (4) FOUR schools they had videotaped. The police called the FBI, and they came got the 4 men.”

Rigel attributed the popularity of the story to the amazing ability of the Internet to create memes.

“I think it’s one of those things that got put on Facebook, and it got clicked and liked enough that next thing you know, ‘Dateline: Hattiesburg,'” he told the Jackson, Miss. newspaper. “As far as this specific threat going around, it’s like we keep finding, ‘I know a guy who knew a guy,’ and we never can find that guy.”

The sheriff added that no arrests have been made.

“They mentioned a specific town and county, and I think that’s why there’s all the hoopla. I have personally talked with the heads of every law enforcement agency and sheriff’s department surrounding Lamar County and Hattiesburg, including the FBI which has a field office in Hattiesburg,” he told The Clarion-Ledger. “Nothing has been reported to any of these agencies, and nothing has been reported with the Hattiesburg School Chief of Police or the Lamar County School Chiefs of Police.”

An FBI spokeswoman, Deborah Madden, indicated that the FBI knows of no specific threats to schools in the Hattiesburg area.

“As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activities to your local police or the FBI,” she added.

Rigel agreed with this sentiment, noting that his office is aware that the looming anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks is an annual cause for concern.

“Don’t let your guard down,” he advised, according to The Clarion-Ledger., the alleged originator of the rumor, is owned by Stephen Quayle, who describes himself as “a nationally known radio host (Survive2thrive and Coast to Coast), photographer and author of a number of important books.” is a website for citizen-generated news. The publisher appears to be Chris Kitze, an investor who was once chairman of the board at News categories at the website include “Agenda 21,” “chemtrails,” “mass animal death” and “Obama birthplace controversy.”

Previous reports have indicated that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is working with al-Qaida to carry out a terror attack on American interests in the very near future. (RELATED: Report: ISIS Planning Imminent Terror Attack At U.S. Border)

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