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More TracFones Possibly For Terrorism

More Middle Eastern men were caught buying large quantities of Tracphones:

From WNEM in Michigan:

Around 1:00am August 11th the three men purchased cell phones from the Wal-Mart store on M-81 near the corner of M-24 in Caro. Wal-Mart places a limit on the number of cell phones that can be purchased at once, that number is three. The three men allegedly bought 80 by purchasing them three at time so that an alert wouldn't be triggered by the cash register. They also paid cash.


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. For your twenty dollars you receive a phone charger and 40 minutes of airtime. The phones do not have to be registered with a name. Also discovered was a laptop with store addresses and store logos.

Tim Nausler with the Michigan State Police bomb squad says this has all the tell tale signs of using cell phones to detonate bombs. He says you need two phones to detonate a bomb one to be with the explosive and the other to make the call to that phone. In some instances he says you can detonate with one phone using the alarm clock function.

From WBOY in West Virginia:

Last week, the Grafton police pulled over 24-year-old Hashem Sayed for a routine traffic stop. But what they found in his car was far from routine. Patrolman Daniel Laymon recalls the scene, "There were multiple cell phones, roughly 150 to 200 cell phones from multiple retailers," he said.


Buying that many pre-paid phones is not a crime, but the police say it is unusual.

Less than a week later, the authorities in Marietta, Ohio, arrested 20-year-old Osma Sabhi Abulhassan and 20-year-old Ali Houssaiky. Washington County Sheriffs deputies seized several pre-paid cell phones and thousands of dollars in cash. Because of the incidents, Grafton police believe the events are connected.

"The department feels that there are a lot of similar circumstances and there are a lot of similarities between the activity there and the activity experienced here," said Patrolman Laymon.

The activity seems to be more than just a coincidence. All three men are from Dearborn, Michigan and all three gave similar reasons for buying the phones. Sayed said he was buying them to ship to California to sell for a profit. But Washington County's sheriff says that may not be the whole truth. "They are digital for detonating car bombs and they have a particular digital frequency and that's what they're using them for," said Sheriff Larry Mincks.

Mincks says the men also had instructions on how to obtain private flights and airplane passenger information.

"It also had some information concerning airport security and check points."

Interesting how they're going to small towns to make their purchases. Perhaps they think they're less likely to be caught, but in reality, they're more likely to stand out.


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Comments (28)

Um, yeah, these guys were j... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Um, yeah, these guys were just, um, collecting cell phones so they could "recycle" them and donate them to the poor. Yeah, that's the ticket! The poor - you know, alms and all that other peaceful Muslim stuff ...

Any questions about the war... (Below threshold)

Any questions about the war and homeland threat levels?

You can only purchase three... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

You can only purchase three phones at a time, but these young Middle Eastern men were still dumb enough to keep coming into the same store over and over to buy three phones at a time.

So when the lefties tell us that printing news about monitoring bank accounts and phone calls doesn’t matter because terrorists are already on to it, they forget about all the stupid careless terrorists.

A lot of these nuts have had minimal thinking skills taught to them in their young lives and are going to do stuff that gets them caught. Since these young guys are the dupes, they will more than likely leave a trail to the big fish, you know, the guys that sent them out on their scavenger hunt in the first place.

All three men are from Dearborn, Michigan and all three gave similar reasons for buying the phones. Sayed said he was buying them to ship to California to sell for a profit.

Yep, young Muslim’s buying things terrorists use in large quantities equals something different. Riiiight….

And many, many apologies to the super hypersensitive politically correct folks for me pointing out they were all Muslim’s or middle eastern. It was just another astonishing coincidence. AGAIN!!!!!

The story says the islamofa... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The story says the islamofascists' story was they were going to sell them for a 90% markup--just good, clean capitalist fun. Wow, I got to get me some tracphones and start marketing them myself. I suppose the "customers" couldn't be bothered to drive to Wal-Mart themselves, so a $18 premium on a $20 phone makes sense.

We are lucky the I-F's are so stupid, but are we clever enough to be as completely vigilant as we can be regarding the "religion of peace" people, as stupid as they are?

Hmmmm.Are these Tr... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

Are these TracPhones useful in the middle east? I thought they were designed with only the American standard and not any global standards. So buying 100 TracPhones means that they can only be used inside America.

Is that right? And if so, then what possible use, other than command detonating IEDs would anyone have for hundreds of these phones? Well I suppose another use is in bypassing the NSA surveillance techniques as printed in the NYT.

The reason that these guys ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

The reason that these guys were caught was that someone at the stores reported the suspicious transactions. They still believed that there was a danger from terrorism, and they followed their instincts. But horrors! The ACLU and CAIR will probably accuse Wal-Mart of 'racial profiling', and the poor clerk who was only doing what was the right thing in reporting the transactions, will be forced to undergo 'diversity sensitivity' training.

Actaully, as they seem to b... (Below threshold)
Kristian:

Actaully, as they seem to be using walmarts, it makes sense that they would not be in big cities, but in small ones: They big cities have outlawed walmarts, but the smaller towns haven't.

Still, you'd think they might need to get some anglo stingers to buy the phones in Jackson's Hole Wyoming...

And if so, then w... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
And if so, then what possible use, other than command detonating IEDs would anyone have for hundreds of these phones? Well I suppose another use is in bypassing the NSA surveillance techniques as printed in the NYT.

Yep ed, I think you are right. These guys were dumb enough to think the infidels at WalMart were dumb enough not to notice that they kept coming in over and over to buy three phones at a time.

So my guess is these guys would have been dumb enough to have used registered phones if there wasn’t such a big stink about it in the media.

And the lefties were cheering the NYTs on and are now clamoring to put them in charge of national security.

TracFone purchases in Penns... (Below threshold)
RHB:
were they going to use them... (Below threshold)
krazy kagu:

were they going to use them to communicate or perhapes as bomb denotators? who knows but at least they were stopped

Krazy:But were the... (Below threshold)

Krazy:

But were they all stopped and if not how many weren't?

RHB:Did you notice... (Below threshold)

RHB:

Did you notice the Feds let one go and gave them their phones, GPS and laptop???

Our President uses code RED... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

Our President uses code RED???
"NBC News has learned that U.S. and British authorities had a significant disagreement over when to move in on the suspects in the alleged plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners bound for the United States.

A senior British official knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports."

Geez Drew, I thought the t... (Below threshold)
epador:

Geez Drew, I thought the topic was TracFones.

I missed the link above to ... (Below threshold)
epador:

I missed the link above to the Texas Trio "From Dearborn" and the quote from their father:


"The only illusory connection advanced by the prosecution to date is based on race and national origin," Abulhassan's family said in a statement. "This appears to be a typical case of racial profiling and we are confident Osama and Ali will be exonerated."

Hmmm.There are mus... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

There are muslim populations all over the country, not just around Dearborn, MI. These are the ones that got caught. That doesn't mean that the FBI caught all of them.

If I had a young child in the public school system, I'd be shitting bricks right now.

I've noticed in the last se... (Below threshold)
Armonsol:

I've noticed in the last several days many many out of state people of arab decent travelling at night in packs on highways around Chicago. I'm a business traveller and in the twenty years i've been doing this I've never seen this. I think something is up. Supposedly the guys arrested in Michigan's thumb area were scoping out the mackinac bridge, per the police's statement.

there seems to be quite a b... (Below threshold)
Sgt. Rog:

there seems to be quite a bit of misinformation here. tracfone lowered its price for a tracfone with 360 minutes after referal to $20 net last week. I know because I follow ebay. Many vendors are selling separated cards and phone accessories. College kids drive around and buy them in bulk. the cards are worth $30 and the phones alone worth ten for the batteries and charger.

You can buy ten at a time and you have to go to diferent stores and buy in cash.

I think the prosecuter will end up dropping the charges and making an apology. Nothing illegal or even suspect once you know scores of non arab kids are doing this as well.

Hmmmm.I t... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

I think the prosecuter will end up dropping the charges and making an apology. Nothing illegal or even suspect once you know scores of non arab kids are doing this as well.

But the purported purpose of these TracPhone purchases was to re-sell at a 90% markup.

Why would anyone spend $40 to buy something that they could purchase at Wal-Mart for $20?

Why would anyone s... (Below threshold)
IreneFingIrene:
Why would anyone spend $40 to buy something that they could purchase at Wal-Mart for $20?

Why are there gas stations that have gas prices with a difference of 15 cents/gallon a quarter miles from each other?

You can buy ten at a time a... (Below threshold)
Tommy Jonn:

You can buy ten at a time and you have to go to different stores and buy in cash


WHY??? why 10 at a time why cash why different stores????? WHY CASH??? where did these "kids" get thousands and thousands of dollars in cash!!!! and if you have that much why are you going to make so little off your investment gas is 3 dollars a gallon and they are traveling all over the country YES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY the profit margin is not great enough and none of them are doing it locally. USE YOUR HEAD!!!!! DO THE MATH!!!!

the point sgt was trying to... (Below threshold)
me2:

the point sgt was trying to make is that even if there was a sinnister plot behind buying the cell phones in bulk in cash in another state there is nothing illegal about that, not even the mark up. if they can't prove they were going to use the phone as part of a terrorist plot then the charges will be dropped and the defendents let go.....in my opinion it's plain as day they were using the phones for possible terrorist activities, but that will never hold up in court.

Also, who is more dumb, the dumb kids who went and bought three cell phones at a time and kept going back over and over getting hundreds of phones...

OR

The employees at wal-mart not noticing these same people coming in over and over again to buy these phones non stop over a period of a couple days?

Wal-mart has high tech product tracking tools in place where all they have to do is put a flag in place on certain products and when they see that product boom in sales, they will know, such as TracPhones.....

"the point sgt was trying t... (Below threshold)
Rog:

"the point sgt was trying to make is that even if there was a sinnister plot behind buying the cell phones in bulk in cash in another state there is nothing illegal about that, not even the mark up. if they can't prove they were going to use the phone as part of a terrorist plot then the charges will be dropped and the defendents let go.....in my opinion it's plain as day they were using the phones for possible terrorist activities, but that will never hold up in court."

Sorry it is "plain as day" that this is nothing about terrorism and everything about racism and paranioa.

It is coming out that the FBI told the one prosecuter these guys were clean and 72 hours later he was still holding them.

The employees of walmart aren't "dumb", just caught up in the hysteria recourse to prejudice.

Both the big successful and unsuccessful attack by al queada in the UK, Spain, the planned one in Italy, all involved local born or long time immigtrants to those countries.

The two big ones for the US (911 and millenim plot) all had to use imported attackers.

I served in Iraq with a bunch of guys from Dearborn. Our CO was from dearborn and he died protecting us. They are as American loyal brave and sacrificing as you and I -- and some people are participating in a HUGE SLANDER.

Does it occur to some of you that the significant Moslem nasties here (dc sniper malvo, the guys in the regon washington group, the American taliban from california making al queda tapes) are all white or black american converts?

Does it occur to some of you that NOT ONE THING jives with or makes sense as far as the allegation of terroism and everything 100% jives with them being young all american capitalists?

1) The Feds took custody of these guys. They interviewed the first goup once and left. It looks like now they told the two prosecutors there was nothing with one day.

2) scary gps software.wow. turns out to have been mapquest which makes perfect sense if you are trying to find local walmarts, targets, etc.

3) These phones are used for detonators. WRONG.
3a) Not without batteries they are not
3b) Not wihout their sim cards, once original is removed before activation the pohone will never work.

4) they had a picture of the bridge. OK so they had a picture of themselves at the most photographed bridge in the U.S. there are huge nubmer of better pcitures on flicker. seems everyone who visits takes a picture at the bridge.

5) they had cash. So do hundreds and hundreds of ebayers driving around to box stores buying deep discounted items for resale. go to sites such as fat wallet thy are dedicated to this. it is well known and legal.

On tracfone specifically if you do some reading (this is noted on deal sites and mobile phone discussion sites for months) there are two differnt ways to make money on the tracfones, both totally legit.

a) you buy for $20 and sell the whole package for $25 or $30 to stores in areas where there are no walmarts. this is legal and legit. In financial markets it is called "Arbitrage," and I am certain they teach and promote it at the Harvard School of Business.

b) you buy for $20, take out the card, sell it for $25 or $30, take out the battery and sell them all for $10 in bulk to an ebay guy (todays ebay price is $15). and eiother sell or throw out the charger and the main part of the phone which are worth very little. It is legal and legit. In business it is done all the time by investing groups that buy comapnies and sell of their parts at a profit. If that factory in your home town is part of a corporate entity one friggen percent more valuable chopped up than the stock price, someone is going to buy it and chop it up.

Now this below is example of someone caught up in the paranoia:

"WHY??? why 10 at a time why cash why different stores????? WHY CASH??? where did these "kids" get thousands and thousands of dollars in cash!!!! and if you have that much why are you going to make so little off your investment gas is 3 dollars a gallon and they are traveling all over the country YES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY the profit margin is not great enough and none of them are doing it locally. USE YOUR HEAD!!!!! DO THE MATH!!!!"

Yeah, did you dop the math? One thousand phones requires about $20,500. lets say you spend $400 on gass for 125 gallons. at 20 mpg that is 2500 miles. lets say you sp[end $200 at fast food places and $100 in motel sixes. that is $21,200. lets say you put $1000 wear and tear on your vehicle. $22,200.

you sell the phones thus: minute credit on cards $30 per. lets say you don't sell them and wholseale them out at $25 per. that is $25,000. Batteries $10 and you wholsale them for $6. $6000. we are up to $31,000. The chargers which were not thrown out bu sperated are worth about $2000 and the phone are worth about $1,000 to companies that send them to china have metals (silvers) recovered. Lets also say you spend $500 shipping stuff to the three types of buyers.

that is $34000 minus$ 23,000 =11,000 profit after all expenses. for two college guys that is $5,500 a piece. that is a decent profit for a couple weeks work driveing, buing and selling and living out of yourr van a few nights.

So did you "do the math" or just succumb to the BS?

Fact: there is NOT one iota of evidence, not one that these kids aren't as loyal and loving of Ameircan as ANYONE else in the entire country. You cant make IEDs from phones without battereis, it is impossible.
Note the prosecuters are elected. the FBI surely told these hick prosecutors there wsas nothing and they still grandstanded and leak. all the speculation came from local authorites none from federal authorities.

An apology is due to these kids.

Wouldn't you hook up larger... (Below threshold)
G:

Wouldn't you hook up larger batteries to the phones for longer phone life? The phones don't have to be portable they just have to receive calls.

I'd have to agree. I have ... (Below threshold)
nathan:

I'd have to agree. I have been buying these phones to re-sell them to a contact that i met on ebay. There is nothing wrong with it. It just makes sense. Buy low, sell high. It's not more illegal than the stock market.

If anyone knows of someone willing to buy pre-paid tracfones, let me know. [email protected]

Incase all of you hard core... (Below threshold)
joe:

Incase all of you hard core heros. Do you think that the U.S is the only country that makes cell phones in the world.If it is such a big problem why are they not pulled off the market.Profiling=lawsuit, lawsuit=money in somebodies pocket.And I agree with nathan

I'm a single mom putting my... (Below threshold)
alana:

I'm a single mom putting myself through college by buying and selling these phones and the cards. It never crossed my mind that I was doing anything wrong until people started running their mouths and pointing fingers. I even had one manager tell me not to come back to her store! I make damn good money doing this just a couple hours every other day or so. Tracfone limits the number of phones you can buy(go to their site) and the stores demand cash only! Some do take debit cards though.
I've beentoldd that Tracfone started the rumors because they weren't making money off the phones, then again "I heard it".

This is only the beginning.... (Below threshold)
tired:

This is only the beginning. After they come to buy the phones, they will expect more. They bribe with money, with cigarettes, and then, get this, they ask you to work for them. Why would the stores stop selling...you have to be careful that you aren't being racist and if they (stores) are making a profit, then it's that, a profit. Yet, the cigarettes are from other states, even states not of their own dwelling. They start calling on a weekly basis asking to call as soon as your next shipment comes in. They ask you not to sell to others, as if. Then they will leave you numbers to contact them. Some legit, some not. I googled one number and got a telecommunication business...to then look it up again at a later date and it is listed as a private cell number. It is never ending and a headache. The "right" people don't care or even slightly interested. Then what do you do when your employees are too scared to come to work, convinced the store has been bugged (a whole other story), and threaten to quit because of these sales?! I wish Tracfone would vanish.




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