Skip to comments.FBI: No terror groups in cell phone case
Posted on 08/14/2006 12:16:12 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
CARO, Mich. - The FBI said Monday it had no information to indicate that the three Texas men arrested with about 1,000 cell phones in their van had any direct connection to known terrorist groups.
Authorities had increased patrols on Michigan's 5-mile-long Mackinac Bridge after local prosecutors said investigators believed the men were targeting the span.
Local authorities didn't say what they believed the men intended to do with the phones, most of which were prepaid TracFones, but Caro's police chief noted that cell phones can be untraceable and used as detonators.
The FBI issued a news release Monday saying there is no imminent threat to the bridge linking Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.
The release also said the FBI had no information indicating that the men, Palestinian-Americans living in Texas, had any direct links to any known terrorist groups or to the alleged plot to bomb trans-Atlantic jetliners that was announced in London last week.
William Kowalski, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit field office, said authorities believe concern about the bridge was connected to images of the Mackinac Bridge found on a digital camera belonging to the men.
Kowalski said there was nothing illegal about buying cell phones in bulk, but that profits from that kind of activity can be suspicious.
Adham Abdelhamid Othman, 21, of Dallas, and Maruan Awad Muhareb, 18, and Louai Abdelhamied Othman, 23, both of Mesquite, Texas, were stopped by police Friday outside a Wal-Mart store in Caro, about 80 miles north of Detroit after employees became suspicious when they purchased about 80 cell phones.
Local prosecutors charged them with collecting or providing materials for terrorist acts and surveillance of a vulnerable target for terrorist purposes.
The men told a magistrate Saturday that they were buying the phones for resale.
Louai Othman's wife, Lina Odeh, told The Associated Press on Saturday that she thought her husband and relatives were targeted because of their Arab descent. She said the men's families come from Jerusalem.
Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark E. Reene said Monday that representatives of his office and Caro police had met with Sunday with officials from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. attorney's office. He said all the agencies were working together on the investigation.
Messages seeking further comment from Reene were not immediately returned.
If it is normal than I am sure the IRS is currently investigating their past tax records.
Without their chargers??
Misleading AP headline.
Having no information is not verification.
The value is in the SIM card. I'm sure lots of criminal types like to buy them in bulk.
This article was also posted earlier
Terrorists in Caro?
Did the alleged perps intend one?
The IRS is not your friend.
I can't grasp how this makes any sense without the chargers. Could someone enlighten me?
Our lovely FBI.
The Muslim shooting the clerk at the El Al ticket counter was not terrorism.
The Muslim driving the SUV int the crowd at UNC was not terrorism.
The Muslim shooting Jewish women in Seattle was not terrorism.
The Muslims in the windowless rented van buying cellphones by the gross is not terrorism.
This is the kind of stuff that almost makes me agree with the left that Bush is an idiot, but in reality, he is just another nutless washington republican.
I really hate Fed speak.
Welcome to FR.
The battery current would be needed to use them as initiators, however if they were building initiators, they would remove the batteries for safety while they were modifying the phones.
Me thinks the FBI got cards they ain't showin'. Could be some psych ops going on here for secretive purposes.
Well...the FBI did crack the case of a 20 year old mob homicide in Chicago a few months ago. Give em some slack...
had no information, direct connection, and known terrorist groups. I'm well on my way to winning Weasel Word Bingo.
Welcome to FR and thanks for having the courage to BLAME/BASH BUSH, it is something seldom done here!!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.