Another terrorist plot was broken up this past week.
Three men of Middle Eastern descent were arrested Friday and were being held on terrorism charges after they purchased 80 prepaid cell phones from a Wal-Mart store, police said.
The men, who are from the Dallas area, were being held on charges of soliciting or providing material support for terrorism and obtaining information of a vulnerable target for the purposes of terrorism, Caro police Sgt. Dale Stevenson said. They were being held in Tuscola County Jail and were scheduled to be arraigned today.
So far, doesn't sound too incriminating...but wait, there's more.
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."
Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene says, “There were a thousand cell phones that were inside one motor vehicle. There's a laptop computer. There's a camera and there are things that are still being investigated at this point in time. Based on information received from a variety of agencies, we're developing how the actual headphones were sold, revenue was passed from one location to the next. Obviously, it's fairly complex." He thinks the men had a complex plan to attack the
. Mackinac Bridge
Ok, so they had a camera and took pictures of a bridge. They have a pretty good defense though.
However, the men, who are from
, say they simply purchase the cell phones, and resell them for more money. Louai Othman's wife Lina Odeh says he was simply trying to support her and their two-month old daughter. Odeh says, “Their goal in Texas was to buy as many phones as they could so they could make a profit over here." Michigan
The men allegedly traveled to several states to buy pre-paid cell phones, despite policies at many stores limiting purchases to two or three phones at a time. Police in
say these three men also bought phones in their state. A clerk who helped them says she suspected something fishy. Barb Bessert, a clerk at a Dollar General store, says, “When they buy more than a couple. Because they are 20 dollars apiece. So, that's like 80 bucks. But, they don't buy the minutes for it. Just the phone." Wisconsin
But, Othman's wife says this is a common business, and her husband is only being targeted because of his nationality. Odeh says, “There's nothing wrong with it. I don't know why they're making a big deal out of it. Are ya'll making a big deal out of this because all the Arabs are doing it?"
So basically these guys were caught with 1000 cell phones and pictures of a bridge. This sounds more like a complete misunderstanding than a devious terrorist plot. I have a feeling the FBI is going to be pretty embarrassed with his is over.Stumble It!