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3 Texas men arraigned on terror charges

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Desertdog, Aug 13, 2006.

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  1. Desertdog

    Desertdog Member

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    The last sentece is what you will be hearing on the MSM -
    . 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.
     
  2. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    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.
     
  3. Creeping Incrementalism

    Creeping Incrementalism Member

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    How could you possibly make money by buying something retail, and then selling it wholesale?
     
  4. GuyWithQuestions

    GuyWithQuestions Member

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    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.
     
  5. longeyes

    longeyes member

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

    ilbob Member

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    Since when is it illegal to buy or resell cell phones?
     
  7. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    '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.
     
  8. FTF

    FTF member

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    Call from jail to lawyer....

    "Can you hear me now"?
     
  9. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

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    My Opinion:

    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
     
  10. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    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.
     
  11. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

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    Well, If You Can Smell It...

    ...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
     
  12. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    Grand Rapids Press (MI) Had a Good Article

    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
     
  13. PinnedAndRecessed

    PinnedAndRecessed member

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    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?
     
  14. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

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    Hmmm....

    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
     
  15. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    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
     
  16. bcolorado

    bcolorado Member

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    Rumor on the street is they were collecting lithium for treatment of Islamic psychotic disorder.
     
  17. Desertdog

    Desertdog Member

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    From another paper.
    http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=59411
    Looks very suspicous to me.
     
  18. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    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.
     
  19. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  20. ccwolff

    ccwolff Member

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    $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:
     
  21. Mr.V.

    Mr.V. Member

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    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:
     
  22. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    I wonder how many.....

    Yoopers chipped in to hire these three to blow the bridge before deer season?;) ;) ;) chris3
     
  23. Phetro

    Phetro Member

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    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? ;)
     
  24. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

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    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.
     
  25. ccwolff

    ccwolff Member

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    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:
    :(
     
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