The three men are described as being of Palestinian descent but live in Texas. Police say the three, ages 19, 22, and 23 appear to be naturalized citizens.
One man was driving while the other two were in the back opening the phone packages with box cutters throwing the phones in one box, batteries in another and the packaging and phone charger in another container. The suspects had 1000 other cell phones in the van. There was also a bag of receipts showing that someone was in Wisconsin the day before.
The phones were Nokia TracFones selling for $20 at Wal-Mart.
These young Texas Palestinians were arrested in Caro Michigan on suspicions of terrorist activity.
Concerned that the Mackinac Bridge may have been a target, prosecutors arraigned three Texas men Saturday in Caro on felony terrorism charges after police found about 1,000 cell phones in their van in the Thumb.
Maruan Muhareb, 18, Adham Othman, 21, and Louai Othman, 23, were charged by Tuscola County prosecutors with providing material support for terrorist acts and terrorism surveillance of a vulnerable target, said Sgt. Curtis Chambers of the Tuscola County Sheriff's Department. They were each being held on $750,000 bond Saturday night.
Apparently they were not intending to use the bulk of these phones in the United States.
Police also noted that the men had thrown away many of the phone chargers, indicating that they may have intended to send the phones out of the country because different outlets are used overseas.
How many US soldiers have died in Iraq as a result of Muslims in the United States sending the supplies needed do make bombs?
In Marietta Ohio 20 year olds Ali Houssaiky and Osama Abulhassan were arrested as a result of their TracFone buys and are suspected of taking the microchips out of the phones to be sent abroad.
Assistant Washington County Prosecutor Susan Vessels said Abulhassan and Houssaiky knew the phones were being used for illegal activity. She said the men were found in possession of a list detailing the specific types of phones to buy, based on the kind of microchips they use.
Mr. Abulhassan made a statement to officers that he knew what they were doing was wrong and that he knew no one would ever use over 600 phones for legal purposes, Vessels said. (He also stated) he did not know for sure, but that he believed the phones and chips were being shipped overseas.
Terrorists aren't the only people who want untraceable communications. Conventional criminals also buy TracFones for anonymity.
In an earlier incident, at a Wal-Mart store in Midland, Texas, on Dec. 18, six individuals attempted to buy about 60 of the phones until store clerks became suspicious and notified the police. A Wal-Mart spokesperson confirmed the incident.
The Midland police report, dated Dec. 18 and obtained by ABC News, states: "Information obtained by MPD [Midland Police Department] dispatch personnel indicated that approximately six individuals of Middle-Eastern origin were attempting to purchase an unusually large quantity of tracfones (disposable cell phones with prepaid minutes attached)." At least one of the suspects was identified as being from Iraq and another from Pakistan, officials said.
In addition, special agents reported that similar incidents centering on the large-scale purchases of tracfones had been reported throughout the nation identifying individuals of Middle-Eastern descent as the purchasers."
If we did not accept Muslims as immigrants we would not face this problem.
But the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are as concerned about phones being resold to finance criminal or terrorist operations, said Kirk Whitworth, Homeland Security spokesman.
Cell phones that can be bought for $20 in the U.S. can bring $200 to $300 in China and Iraq, said Rich Rawlins, deputy director of the Ohio Division of Homeland Security.
The phones also can be reconfigured, by those with the know-how, to make an unlimited amount of free calls from a phone that is difficult to trace, Rawlins said.
I'm surprised by the profit margins. Why can't they buy cell phones more cheaply from Taiwan or Hong Kong?
Sometimes I think the Open Borders advocates defend the transformation of our society because they just want to relieve their boredom. America is full of small towns where nothing much ever happens. Letting in Muslim immigrants allows boring towns like Caro Michigan to become exciting national news stories.
CARO - Taking a break between customers at her family's ice cream parlor on S. State Street, Andrea Downing tried to make sense of news that terrorism suspects were operating in Caro.
"It's just so weird," said Downing, 17. "Nothing ever, ever happens in Caro."
Why live safely when you can create challenges by importing people who hate you? Some members of our society just can't stand to look around and see millions of people living in relative safety and freedom. They want to upset our society and force us to experience scares, ordeals, and injustice.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 August 13 08:18 AM Immigration Terrorism|