Jersey Roots: German spies in Long Branch during World War I ...
While we tend to think of terrorism as an evolution of modern warfare, the threat of an attack on the homeland by one or more individuals was as real a century ago as it is today.
In the Asbury Park Press on Nov. 12, 1917, the newspaper reported that two German men — Emil Egeling and Christian Scheibel — had been arrested aboard a New York-bound train at Long Branch on what is today NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line.
Authorities said the suspects had come to Monmouth County from New York to pick up two bombs that had been shipped to a third German at the Jersey Shore on Election Day the week before, using a postal express service.
Unbeknownst to Egeling and Scheibel, the federal government had become aware of the plot and intercepted the explosives in Long Branch, while undercover U.S. marshals tailed Egeling and Scheibel to New Jersey from New York.
Asbury Park Press