3 Texas men arraigned on terror charges


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Desertdog
August 13, 2006, 07:27 PM
The last sentece is what you will be hearing on the MSM - They (their lawyers) say the men were targeted only because they are of Arab descent. I think they could have gotten a better price by buying wholesale.


3 Texas men arraigned on terror charges


© 2006 The Associated Press

CARO, Mich. — Three Texas men were arraigned Saturday on terrorism-related charges after police found about 1,000 cell phones in their minivan, and prosecutors say they believe the men were targeting a bridge connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas.

But two of the men said they were only trying to buy and sell phones to make money, and one said the money was intended to help pay for his brother's college education.

A magistrate set bond at $750,000 for each of the men, who are charged with collecting or providing materials for terrorist acts and surveillance of a vulnerable target for terrorist purposes. No pleas were made at the arraignment at a District Court in Caro, about 80 miles north of Detroit.

Officials have not said what they believe the men intended to do with the phones, most of which were prepaid TracFones. But Caro's police chief said cell phones can be used as detonators, and prosecutors in a similar case in Ohio have said that TracFones are often used by terrorists because they are not traceable.

"All we did is buy the phones to sell and make money," Louai Abdelhamied Othman told the magistrate. He said authorities had previously stopped the group in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"We've been checked by the FBI before," he said. "They even gave us their card and everything."

Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark E. Reene told The Saginaw News that investigators believe the men were targeting the 5-mile long Mackinac Bridge. He declined to say what led investigators to that belief.

Reene and the FBI did not return phone messages Saturday to The Associated Press.

Othman and Maruan Awad Muhareb, both of Mesquite, Texas, and Adham Abdelhamid Othman, of Dallas, were stopped before dawn Friday after they purchased 80 cell phones from a Wal-Mart in Caro. Police said they found about 1,000 cell phones in their minivan.

Adham and Louai Othman are brothers and are in their early 20s. Muhareb, 18, is their cousin. All are being held at the Tuscola County Jail, Caro police said.

Muhareb told the magistrate: "This is a misunderstanding." He said he was selling the phones to earn money to help pay for his brother's college education.

Louai Othman's wife, Lina Odeh, said the men were buying the phones to sell to a man in Dallas for a profit of about $5 per phone. She said they were in Michigan because so many people in the Dallas area are doing the same thing that the phones are often sold out.

"I just want everyone to know that they're innocent and they shouldn't be locked up in jail without any evidence," she told The Associated Press.

The arrests in Caro came three days after two men were arrested in Marietta, Ohio, where police said they aroused suspicions when they acknowledged buying about 600 phones in recent months at stores in southeast Ohio.

Ali Houssaiky and Osama Abulhassan, both 20 and from Detroit suburb of Dearborn, have been charged with two felonies _ money laundering in support of terrorism and soliciting or providing support for acts of terrorism _ and misdemeanor falsification. A preliminary hearing on the felony counts was set for Tuesday.

Defense lawyers said Houssaiky and Abulhassan planned to resell the phones simply to make money. They say the men were targeted only because they are of Arab descent.

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Lone_Gunman
August 13, 2006, 07:35 PM
Once again, I see a trend... Young, middle-eastern, males. The article doesn't say, but anyone want to take a guess what religion they are?

In the profiling thread that was recently closed, some were saying we couldn't profile the terrorists, because the terrorists didn't fit a specific profile.

Creeping Incrementalism
August 13, 2006, 08:47 PM
How could you possibly make money by buying something retail, and then selling it wholesale?

GuyWithQuestions
August 13, 2006, 09:14 PM
The police didn't say that they arrested them and put them in jail, while prosecutors thought about charges, because of race and religion. They claimed that they arrested them based on probable cause that they won't completely disclose to the public yet. There was the phones, the type of phones, the nature of how they were bought and being used (different than how a reasonable person would buy and sell phones). This is different than saying, "There's a middle easterner, stop and question him because that's good enough for reasonable suspicion." It sounds like many factors came into play, and although their defense lawyers say otherwise, if someone from a different ethnic group did the same thing with phones in the same exact manner and the same way of articulating their reasoning with the same social connections, the police would still be suspicious. All the time all over the U.S., LE bomb squads have to deal with possible threats from people who aren't Middle Easterner descent, even look at police blogs. We still need to find out if these two are guilty.

longeyes
August 13, 2006, 09:21 PM
How could you possibly make money by buying something retail, and then selling it wholesale?

You do not understand the proscription against usury, O foolish one.

ilbob
August 13, 2006, 10:02 PM
Since when is it illegal to buy or resell cell phones?

ugaarguy
August 13, 2006, 10:13 PM
Since when is it illegal to buy or resell cell phones?

'Tis but part of the evidence. The act of buying and selling cell phones is not illegal. When one is observed engaging in activities that appear to be surveillance on a bridge, and is subsequently found with mass quantities of cheap pre-paid phones, then things start adding up in a bad way. Also, I would imagine that the profit made from the resale of over 1,000 phones would provide sufficient income to require a business license under the tax and commerce laws. Most folks would have a retail or wholesale business license if they were buying that large of a quantity of anything for resale. The business license would also allow tax free purchases on items bought for resale.

FTF
August 13, 2006, 10:18 PM
Call from jail to lawyer....

"Can you hear me now"?

ConstitutionCowboy
August 13, 2006, 11:11 PM
These guys are buying up phones for their fellow conspirators. The number of phones confiscated tells me there are at least 1,680 conspirators out there. This ain't got jack manure to do with $5.00 profit for "college". One thousand phones at about $20.00 a piece is $20,000.00. It ain't about college, my friends. 20K will get you through a year of any state college with ease.

I ain't being Chicken Little in a panic about a rain drop, this is Rooster Cogburn polishing his bullets. I believe these phones are for the coordination, command and control of terrorist guerrilla activities.

The warning flags are wave'n my friends! I'm doin' my best to read 'em and it's time to heed 'em! We've only intercepted 1680 of them phones. How many have actually been bought up, I wonder...

This is only my gut feeling, my friends.

Woody

"The United States of America is not up for grabs. Keep your hands off and steer clear. Free people live here - Free people who are determined to stay free. Our rights and freedom will be defended with extreme prejudice." B.E.Wood

Lone_Gunman
August 13, 2006, 11:22 PM
The warning flags are wave'n my friends! I'm doin' my best to read 'em and it's time to heed 'em! We've only intercepted 1680 of them phones. How many have actually been bought up, I wonder...


I don't know what they are up to, but I really don't think there is an army of thousands of terrorists here in the US .

Its easier to manipulate a scared public.

ConstitutionCowboy
August 13, 2006, 11:32 PM
...you'd better keep a look-out for it. If you don't, you'll step in it.

Woody

"Knowing the past, I'll not surrender any arms and march less prepared into the future." B.E.Wood

Geno
August 13, 2006, 11:41 PM
They are all being held on $750,000.00 bond. Want to bet where they will be next month? If not, and they make bail, then I would guess that they didn't much need money from cell phone profits. Gut feeling? These fellas were up to no good. Keep them locked up and say "Sorry" if wrongfully held.

Better safe than sorry. Besides, as I said to my cousin at the family reunion today, "Drive from Texas to buy phones?! Hello. Use a credit card (or have a Michigan friend buy them) and have them shipped. Have you checked the price of gasoline? There went the 'profit margin'!"

Gene

PinnedAndRecessed
August 13, 2006, 11:47 PM
I thought they had removed the lithium batteries from the phones.

If you're going to sell a phone, wouldn't it be a plus if it actually had the batteries?

ConstitutionCowboy
August 13, 2006, 11:52 PM
Could the batteries have been removed to extend the life of the batteries? If they were just collecting the batteries, what can be made out of lithium? And, it would be much more cost effective to simply buy batteries.

Curiouser and curiouser....

Woody

Art Eatman
August 13, 2006, 11:57 PM
One newspaper article said their story was they planned to sell these $25 phones for something like $38 or $48. That, in and of itself, sounds phony. These trac phones are being advertised all over the place. many ads per day on TV; many ads in newspapers. Maybe a bit of a small local shortage, but not a thousand phones' worth.

Art

bcolorado
August 14, 2006, 12:14 AM
Rumor on the street is they were collecting lithium for treatment of Islamic psychotic disorder.

Desertdog
August 14, 2006, 01:01 AM
From another paper.
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=59411
When police pulled the men over, they found about 1,000 phones in the van. Many were separated from their battery packs and the chargers were discarded. Michigan State Police Trooper Patrick Sharkey says, “We didn't know exactly what was going on. You hear on the news about these phones being used to detonate IED's."
Looks very suspicous to me.

AJAX22
August 14, 2006, 01:54 AM
Can't resell a phone that doesn't have a charger....

Cant use a phone that doesn't have a battery, unless you hook it up to something that does... like ooo a detonator.

Somethin ain't right.

ugaarguy
August 14, 2006, 02:04 AM
I don't know how it works, but Fox News just said you can use the batteries in the manufacture of methamphetamines. Now makin meth will give you quite a profit margin. Not to mention that the same chemicals used to make meth are liquid, highly volatile, and known to blow up and/or catch fire. Young middle eastern men with liquid explosive sound familiar to anyone? Apparently you can make your money with the meth, and use the leftovers for making bombs. Pretty useful set of common ingridients if'n you was a terrorist.

ccwolff
August 14, 2006, 02:40 AM
$20,000.00 can buy of guns,armor and alot of ammo.

At that point why would anyone even mess arround with "cellular bombs"?:confused:

I think some people are getting their leashes tugged.
The question is who and why.:uhoh:

Mr.V.
August 14, 2006, 03:30 AM
Well I can buy 1,000 bottled waters at costco for a little less than $0.10 each. But everyone I know has purchased the exact same water, at least once in their life, for $1 or more; that's 10X the rate! People buy marked up products even when they know they can get it cheaper somewhere else.

What do you do in a situation like this?

Clearly these particular guys are up to no good...but nothing they did is technically illegal (**well none that WE'VE been made aware of...yet**).

The summation of the individual acts certainly does lead the average person to suspect a plot, but can you really say that someone is guilty of a crime even though no one act they carried out was illegal because "we're pretty damn sure they're up to no good."

It sounds right in this case because come-on they're obviously up to something, but I'm not sure I like the idea of finding someone guilty because they bought a bunch of things that that could be used badly but are perfectly legal.

This is the same argument that is responsible for the fact that I can't buy more than one handgun every 30 days in California, because if I did, "I would clearly be up to no good. Who needs more than one handgun every 30 days? Clearly some nut-job going on a shooting spree..."

Can you imagine if it were perfectly legal to buy as many guns as you wanted, but you'd randomly be arrested because someone felt that this behavior would only be displayed by a crazy-man about to snap?

I just get lost because on one hand it would be nice to protect against terrorism but on the other, you're essentially giving the government a pass to arrest and prosecute people who are: most-likely-guilty-of-probably-going-to-commit-a-crime-at-some-point.:confused: :confused: :confused:

ball3006
August 14, 2006, 03:56 PM
Yoopers chipped in to hire these three to blow the bridge before deer season?;) ;) ;) chris3

Phetro
August 14, 2006, 04:11 PM
Once again, I see a trend... Young, middle-eastern, males. The article doesn't say, but anyone want to take a guess what religion they are?

In the profiling thread that was recently closed, some were saying we couldn't profile the terrorists, because the terrorists didn't fit a specific profile.

Well, they don't! After all, 1 out of every 1,000,000 terrorists is an 80-year-old American white woman!

...well, okay, that's not true...but we can imagine it's true to argue against profiling, right? ;)

Robert Hairless
August 14, 2006, 04:27 PM
There should be a law in every state limiting phone purchases to no more than one a month. Such laws would prevent straw man purchases like these. Those people admitted that they bought the phones with the intent of transporting them across state lines for resale on the streets. That's how people in New York City who are not legally entitled to buy phones get their illegal phones.

It's time to bring class action suits against telephone manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

ccwolff
August 15, 2006, 01:02 AM
Thats it, mandatory 35$ background check on all phone purchases.

NO "high capacity" batteries, they are "For law enforcement use only."

Concealed phone carry by permit only, not allowed near, planes, bridges, or other places "where the public congregates."

Phones with any two of these features are considered "terrorist devices" and subject to registration and/or confiscation.
1) camera
2) detachable battery
3) memory storage components
4) Internet access

Phones that can dial more than one digit per the push of a button, and/or have any "silent feature" fall under the regulation of the B.T.I.T.s.

Bureau of Telecommunications, Internet, and Telephoto.(B.T.I.T.s)


:scrutiny:
:rolleyes:
:banghead:
:confused:
:uhoh:
:(

tyme
August 15, 2006, 03:11 AM
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4117318.html
DALLAS — The three Dallas-area men arrested in Michigan on state terrorism charges are well-known to cell phone wholesale and retail shops here, where managers said Monday they are part of a brisk trade in buying phones from Wal-Mart and other discount stores and reselling them to smaller shops.

In Michigan, meanwhile, the FBI said it has no information to indicate that the three Palestinian-Americans arrested with about 1,000 cell phones in their van on Friday had any connections to terrorism.

And, in an unrelated case, an Ohio prosecutor said he didn't have enough evidence to present felony terrorism charges against two Michigan men also arrested with a number of cell phones in their car.

...
Adham Othman, 21, his brother, Louai Othman, 23, and their cousin, Maruan Muhareb, 18, all from Mesquite, were stopped outside a Wal-Mart Store in Caro, about 80 miles north of Detroit in an agricultural region, after employees became suspicious over their purchase of 80 cell phones.

...
Across the street, at Wireless Way, a shop owner who did not want to be quoted by name said, "These guys are known up and down this street, all over here. I would swear to God and my children that they weren't up to anything."

He said he bought at least three shipments of phones, totaling perhaps 400, from the three men in the last several months.

kengrubb
August 15, 2006, 03:50 AM
After the first plane hit one of the WTC towers, wife called me at work to say it had happened. At the time, I thought tragic accident.

When she called me back to say a second plane hit the other WTC tower, I knew we were under attack.

One group of guys buying up cell phones in order to resell them wholesale, and I can swallow they were engaged in free market capitalism--even if I'm suspicious their business plan won't pan out.

Throw in a second unrelated group doing the same thing, and I'm not waiting for a third round of arrests before I'm willing to say this is clearly enemy action.

tyme
August 15, 2006, 05:46 AM
Throw in a second unrelated group doing the same thing, and I'm not waiting for a third round of arrests before I'm willing to say this is clearly enemy action.
:rolleyes:

How could two groups of people both figure out that there's good money in buying and selling cell phones?

Definitely terrorism. I'd also like to see Dell and HP charged with terrorist conspiracy. One company selling computers might be capitalism. Two, and something's clearly up.

GigaBuist
August 15, 2006, 01:55 PM
Whoops! http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/08/14/mackinac.ap/index.html

They're legit.

Leatherneck
August 15, 2006, 02:08 PM
Between 100-200 IEDs every day triggered by cell phones tend to make Uncle a little curious about cell phone buyers with ME backgrounds. Glad these guys were apparently legit. Sorry. Have a nice day.

TC

Phetro
August 15, 2006, 02:13 PM
Okay, now let's have a "boy, did I ever jump to conclusions" from each of the people that has already tried and convicted these innocent guys.

Profiling is one thing...arresting innocent people is a whoa-different story. The propaganda about terrorism has got an awful lot of people willing to accept a police state...after all, if it prevents just one bridge blowing up...right?

Liberal Gun Nut
August 15, 2006, 03:46 PM
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060815/NEWS04/608150394/1006

"Um, sorry there Mohamed, it was a mistake, you just watch yourself if you've got a name like that in Texas."

The war on terrorism is defending our freedom! Yeah!

Autolycus
August 15, 2006, 03:52 PM
How does one surveil a bridge? I assume that it doesnt move. And if it does best leave it alone. I think they may have been establishing traffic patterns.

Phetro
August 15, 2006, 04:11 PM
How does one surveil a bridge? I assume that it doesnt move.

Perhaps not, sir. Perhaps not. But how do you know if you don't watch? :D

Hey, there was that one bridge that DID move...remember? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacoma_Narrows_Bridge

Art Eatman
August 15, 2006, 06:16 PM
Well, CNN has one story. Another news story about a deal of the same sort of purchases was alleged to have the "innards" being shipped out of the US. An IED doesn't need the case, earphone or speaker...

Dangfino.

At least somebody is checking on these wonderful dual-use items. I don't see it as any different from keeping an eye on pesticide technology, because of the dual-use for nerve gas. Same for some computer stuff and machining. Controlling peaceful rockets also can control ICBMs. The tooling for ultra-quiet sub propellors, remember that?

And the latest little fun toy is IEDs.

Anybody really surprised about folks being suspicious?

Art

Liberal Gun Nut
August 15, 2006, 06:38 PM
And the latest little fun toy is IEDs.

Pretty much anything is dual-use for IEDs. That's where the "I" comes from.

Art Eatman
August 15, 2006, 06:44 PM
Oh, sure, I agree that all sorts of improvisations are out there. But being able to punch a few numbers into a cell phone and watch something go boom at just the right moment seems to be popular. It's the ability to control the "when" that's important.

Art

MrTuffPaws
August 15, 2006, 06:49 PM
Man, some of you in here would beat feet to give your rights and freedoms away.

LAK
August 16, 2006, 03:46 AM
I find the phone nonsense just that. More nonsense. When anyone can go into a great number of retail outlets and buy a prepackaged cellphone anonymously the idea that people are going around "selling cellphones to terrorists" is almost amusing.

It suggests that these guys were very gullible and were set up for this, so that some people with some very large agency budgets could show some "results" in the "war".

---------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

ConstitutionCowboy
August 16, 2006, 11:56 AM
...doesn't matter. These guys called attention to themselves in very suspicious times. If they were legit, they'd have a tax ID number. They are no less evading taxes than a drug dealer would be. Have they sold any of these phones as they claim they are doing?

I'd rather be on the side of freedom in any goings-on, but there are legal and constitutional ways to keep an eye on these activities. Let's give them some rope here and let them run, but keep one end tied to a tree and let us see if they hang themselves. Let us see if they form a legitimate business. Let's see if they set up a communication system for a terrorist cell. Let's see if they use the phones as detonators for bombs or other destructive devices.

Remember, they called attention to themselves. Well, we're watching!

Woody

SuperNaut
August 16, 2006, 12:11 PM
Remember, they called attention to themselves. Well, we're watching!

The nail that sticks up gets hammered down. The tall poppy gets cut. Obey.

Correia
August 16, 2006, 12:53 PM
Okay, I'm not seeing the big deal. Maybe I'm just a NeoConfascist-antilibertarian or something, but let's break this down. (which is funny, since that is the opposite of what I was accused of being yesterday)

The feds saw something suspicious. (guys buying a bunch of cell phones, that could probably be used as detonators for car bombs) Suspicious right?

There was an investigation.

They were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Now, I'm the first person to say that the feds often screw up. Constantly. I've had my phone tapped as a "person of interest" before, and it sucks.

But if you were the investigator, and you found out about 3 young muslim men buy an absurd number of what are basically car bomb detonators, and their cover story doesn't make any sense, wouldn't you want to investigate?

And so if they didn't investigate, and it had turned out that these were jihadists, and they were detonating car bombs around the country, would we then get mad at the feds for not checking them out?

I'm must be missing the right answer, because this seems to fall into a damned if they do, damned if they don't kind of thing.

Why can't we posters on THR admit that this situation sucks, and A. The government is bad. and B. The Jihadists are bad. These are not mutually exclusive things. We can use common sense to protect our country, and keep our civil liberties at the same time.

SuperNaut
August 16, 2006, 01:04 PM
Why can't we posters on THR admit that this situation sucks, and A. The government is bad. and B. The Jihadists are bad. These are not mutually exclusive things. We can use common sense to protect our country, and keep our civil liberties at the same time.

Reason? Larry, this is the internet. :)

As a life-long-non-conformist the yoke tends to chafe me more than some (you'd think I'd have callouses). What did Mal from Firefly say? "I aim to misbehave." Anyway, I agree with you. they are not mutually exclusive. But people need to be reminded that everyone has the potential to be in the gov't crosshairs.

Keep in mind that what is done to the least of us, is done to us all; and also the law of unintended consequences.

FreedomKommando
August 16, 2006, 01:20 PM
I propose a three-day waiting period on the purchase of cell phones, and a monthly limit on the number of cellphones that a single person can possess.

No honest person needs 100 cellphones.

ConstitutionCowboy
August 16, 2006, 02:11 PM
Wasn't that Mal from Serenity who said "I aim to misbehave."?

Woody

Derby FALs
August 16, 2006, 02:29 PM
Firefly was the series about a Firefly Class space freighter named Serenity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_%28Firefly_vessel%29) of which Mal was captain.

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 16, 2006, 02:41 PM
Firefly was the series about a Firefly Class space freighter named Serenity of which Mal was captain.

However, the line "I aim to misbehave" was also in the movie Serenity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_%28film%29) based on the series. Looks like you can go either way. I've haven't seen either of them. I guess I should.

Back to the topic, it is really hard to figure out what is really going on when the trend in the media is to sensationalize everything, all the time, non-stop. So much of the story is in the presentation.

Sergeant Bob
August 16, 2006, 04:27 PM
The feds saw something suspicious. (guys taking flight lessons but not interested in learning how to land) Suspicious right?

And so if they didn't investigate, and it had turned out that these were jihadists, and they were detonating car bombs around the country, would we then get mad at the feds for not checking them out?

I'm must be missing the right answer, because this seems to fall into a damned if they do, damned if they don't kind of thing.
You're darn right they'd be howling.

Desertdog
August 16, 2006, 05:09 PM
Read the story and then ask yourself; If they were 60 year old grandmas and everything else was the same: would the police and FBI have acted the same way?

Frankly, I hope so.

GigaBuist
August 16, 2006, 06:28 PM
Why can't we posters on THR admit that this situation sucks, and A. The government is bad. and B. The Jihadists are bad. These are not mutually exclusive things. We can use common sense to protect our country, and keep our civil liberties at the same time.

The situation doesn't suck for TracPhone! Now anybody buying these phone up just to hack them and move them to a different network can expect the FBI knocking at their door.

It's probably an unintended consequence, but it does sound familiar. (http://www.schwimmerlegal.com/2004/10/homeland_securi.html)

ConstitutionCowboy
August 16, 2006, 07:59 PM
Right you all are! I've never heard of the series, "Firefly". I'm going to have to find it on DVD, I guess. Thanks, you three!

Keep up the vigil!

Woody

"Revolution is the Right of the People to preserve or restore Freedom. Those vested with power should never deprive the People the means, for it may compel such recourse." B.E.Wood

Derby FALs
August 16, 2006, 08:01 PM
Heard it was on sale at WalMart not long ago.

Desertdog
August 16, 2006, 09:31 PM
Something smells to high heaven to me. I, personally think there are some attacks on the herizon."They had taken phones out of the containers, out of the packages. They didn't take chargers, didn't take instructions how to activate the phone, they just left everything else behind."

http://kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=5286637
Huachuca City detains 2 Middle Eastern men with 1000 cell phones; Feds release them


Arizona's Counter-Terrorism Information Center has advised Arizona's law enforcement officials that there is a possible increase in suspicious purchases of prepaid cell phones.

Tucson Police have been searching for two men, of Middle Eastern descent for allegedly trying to buy around 50 disposable cell phones at a local Sam's Club.

Those men are wanted for questioning, but not criminal charges.

The Counter-Terrorism center is also monitoring the case.

Tuesday, two new claims.

An inside source says at a Tucson Family Dollar store, two men have also been trying to buy cell phones from that chain.

And there's news from Huachuca City that police detained two Middle Eastern men from California for trying to buy large quantities of disposable cell phones.

Experts say that those disposable phones can't be traced and that they can be used to detonate a bomb.

Those details are exclusive to News 4 and our Lupita Murillo.

------

An anonymous tip to Huachuca City police on April 21st...

Sgt. Jennifer Fuller, the dispatcher who took the call, says, "There were two Middle Eastern gentlemen buying a large amount of phones in the general area and they were headed our way."

Huachuca City police swung into action. They set up surveillance at the Dollar General and the Family Dollar stores.

They soon spottd the black Ford Explorer with a California license plate, the vehicle the caller told police about.

Three people -- a woman, and two men with Middle Eastern names -- were detained, questioned, and later released by federal agents.

Sgt. Fuller says "The ICE agents checked with their supervisors and, because nothing illegal was going on, the two men were allowed to leave."

Police found in the vehicle, a large number of prepaid cell phones.

Sgt. Fuller says, "They had purchased about 300 phones in the surrounding areas. Later discovered 1000 in their vehicle."

"They had taken phones out of the containers, out of the packages. They didn't take chargers, didn't take instructions how to activate the phone, they just left everything else behind."

So while purchasing 1000 phones may not be illegal, Huachuca City police say, "It's just enough to make you think it's not right."

As we mentioned, there's a new report of big cell phone purchases in Tucson Family Dollar stores as well.

A source tells News 4 that on Saturday, 2 men came in to try to buy as many cell phones as they could.

The source says this has been happening for the last two months.

Family Dollar released a statement to News 4, saying that it sells the disposable phones without a contract for customer convenience, but says, "While the program has been very well received by our customers, we do limit (the) purchase to two per customer to curtail opportunities for re-sale in other markets."

Rabbi
August 16, 2006, 09:45 PM
Careful, guys .................. if you try verbally questioning Jihadis here, you are are going to get a warning. I backed down, I like it here. I just keep my opinions to myself now.

geegee
August 16, 2006, 09:50 PM
This, to me, is one of the strangest quotes on the article:

Louai Othman's wife, Lina Odeh, said the men were buying the phones to sell to a man in Dallas for a profit of about $5 per phone. She said they were in Michigan because so many people in the Dallas area are doing the same thing that the phones are often sold out.

Yeah, you pretty much need to leave Dallas and not stop driving until you hit Detroit, before you can find some more Wal Marts with Trac Phones. :rolleyes:

If so many people are doing it in the Dallas area, and now we know that Wal Mart employees are indeed watching, why aren't purchases like this being regularly reported? And if you really do need to drive that far away, are we to believe that the only place you can drive to is a city with the largest Muslim population in the US? Why not head east to Atlanta? Heck, why even leave Texas at all? We have more than a few Wal Marts here, last time I checked.

This story provides many more questions than answers.

Art Eatman
August 16, 2006, 10:05 PM
Rabbi, I don't think there's any "soft" on Jihadists, here. It's the all-inclusive references that derrogate ALL Islamics that create problems.

As far as I'm concerned, anybody can bad-mouth Jihadists all they want to, as long as the comments are pertinent to a thread's topic. Just use language appropriate to THR.

Art

ConstitutionCowboy
August 16, 2006, 11:15 PM
Ordered Firefly: The Complete series from Amazon just now.

Back to the topic, Is there any way to jam a cell phone so's I can carry a jammer around with me and foil any IEDs that might be "within my space"?

'Course, it might interupt any cell phones near me - including my own - but hey, I'd be safe!

In all seriousness, I'll hold to my original thoughts on the matter, that these phones are for the command and control of a large terror cell, or a passel of little ones.

Woody

GigaBuist
August 16, 2006, 11:27 PM
Yeah, you pretty much need to leave Dallas and not stop driving until you hit Detroit, before you can find some more Wal Marts with Trac Phones.

You do if you want 1,000 of them. The store that reported them to the FBI said that they got 80 from there. Presuming that's average they'd have to hit at least 11 stores. I'm also guessing that 80 is exceptionally high which is why nobody reported them until they hit Michigan.

Further, Wal-Mart policy says that you may only buy 3 of these phones at a time. Also stated here. (http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archives/008954.shtml)

With a roving band of 3 people you can do 9 phones at a time. Go eat lunch, come back, purchase some more hoping nobody notices you scamming the system and you could maybe swipe 18-27 phones per store before anybody really noticed you.

So, given that stores only carry a limited supply of these phones and actively keep you from buying them up in bulk, I don't think it's that out of the question that they actually DID have to go that far to collect all these phones.

Yes, Michigan is home to Dearborn and there is a large Arab Muslim population living there. So large that our current governor actually has an "About" page on her website in Arabic.

However, these youngsters didn't end up in Dearborn -- they went as far north as the bridge. And they took PICTURES of it! Just like every other person I know of that is seeing the bridge for the first time. It's impressive! Golly, my grandpappy took video footage of a bridge crossing on 8mm tape back in the day. Musta been a jihadist sympathizer.

If only we had known. I thought my grandpa was into sight-seeing. Little did we know that he was an operative of the Taliban only venturing to the bridge for terroristic activities. I'm so ashamed. Heck, I've taken pictures of the bridge. Mohammed must have gotten to me! Allah Akbar!

Given that they've been released I'm considering it quite plausible that they were collecting these phones for re-use as replacements to be sold to folks that had either lost or damaged their other phones. Every cell company out there sells them at a loss but the pre-paid companies do so without a contract. There's a reason there's a $200 cancelation fee with your cell contract -- that's probably about as much as they lost on selling you that phone.

The pre-paid folks hinged their bets on people not cracking the phones and opening them up to other networks. Since the phones can be hacked, (http://hacks.oreilly.com/pub/h/3428) there's now a market out there for hacking them and selling them back to other consumers.

Y'all knew that, right? That there's a viable profit behind this stuff? Major news orgs didn't make a deal of it (that I know of) but I trust that you did your research.

Of course they're going to separate the battery from the phone! A replacement battery would cost as much as the $30 phone itself. They can be parted out. That's the same reason you don't buy a charger: there's no hacking to be done on the charger so there's nothing they can do to it to increase it's value beyond that of retail.

So, I'm going to hedge my bets on some college kids trying a 'get rich quick' scheme that's only going to net them chump change but still allow them to see a significant amount of the country.

The other theory, I suppose, is that American Muslims of Arab descent are purchasing phones in the USA designed by foreign countries, and likely manufactured in Korea, at below cost because terrorist organizations are unable to afford purchasing them on the international market with their pithy profits from the international oil and heroin trade. They then hack them to work as a legit phone on the Iraqi network, ship them out sans-battery and charger, only to be used as a bomb detonation system. Somehow this is much easier, or cost efficient, than buying a cell phone on the Iraqi market for Iraqi dollars? With all parts intact?

Desertdog
August 16, 2006, 11:36 PM
In all seriousness, I'll hold to my original thoughts on the matter, that these phones are for the command and control of a large terror cell, or a passel of little ones.
Or shipped to Iraq.

With the volumn of phones being purchased questions really shoud be raised as to what they are going to be used for.

At $5 per phone markup minus expenses, I see no profit.

Phones without chargers or operating manual does not sound like it is to be resold to the general public. If I was an FBI agent, I would be wanting to check out the person these guys are selling to.:confused:

ccwolff
August 16, 2006, 11:52 PM
Something smells to high heaven to me. I, personally think there are some attacks on the herizon.

I could not agree with you more.

That Constitution of The United States of America has stood in the way of Federal power for long enough. The .gov is getting ready to open an even lager can of woopass on it and those who support it.:uhoh:

geegee
August 17, 2006, 12:33 AM
Quote:
Yeah, you pretty much need to leave Dallas and not stop driving until you hit Detroit, before you can find some more Wal Marts with Trac Phones.


You do if you want 1,000 of them.
Check the number of stores by state here:

http://www.walmartfacts.com/StateByState/

The most recent count in Texas is over 300, with Michigan showing about 78 or so. But I guess on summer break, why not take a road trip from Dallas to Michigan? Certainly cooler when you get there.

Linux&Gun Guy
August 17, 2006, 03:09 PM
These guys are buying up phones for their fellow conspirators. The number of phones confiscated tells me there are at least 1,680 conspirators out there.

These guys are buying up guns and THOUSANDS of rounds of ammo for their fellow conspirators. The number of rounds confiscated tells me there are at least 1,680 conspirators out there.....


As for the idea of using the same precursors to make both methamphetamine and organic peroxides - that's retarded. H2O2 has no place in methamp production but plays the key role in the synthesis of organic peroxides. Nor does making methamp require any sort of nitration whereas nitro explosives do. Clearly you must be confusing amine with nitro NH2 is not ONO2!!

Ryder
August 17, 2006, 05:08 PM
This annual activity is less than three weeks away. You can bet I won't be there... Even armed.

http://www.michigan.gov/images/littlemacwalk_39688_7.jpg

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