Robert Spencer wrote in FrontPage magazine To profile or not to profile? Some recent suspicious incidents involving mass purchase of cell phones by Middle Eastern men have given this debate a new urgency. On Tuesday, terrorism charges were dropped against two Muslims from Dearborn, Michigan, who had been arrested in Ohio. Ali Houssaiky and Osama Sabhi Abulhassan had been stopped for a traffic violation a week before; in their car, sheriff’s deputies found $11,000 in cash, airline passenger lists, material about airport security procedures, and twelve cell phones. It turned out that they had bought 600 cell phones recently.
Cell phones can be used as detonators. They’re also a ready means of non-traceable communication, as well as an easy source of ready cash, as they can be resold to people who don’t want their calls traceable.
We need to figure out some way of tracing these untraceable calls. Since the phones are purchased by cash, you may not be able to track them back to the purchaser, but NSA should begin (if they are not already) monitoring all calls from or to these untraceable phones.There have been several other strange incidents involving mass purchase of such phones recently: three Palestinians were recently arrested in Texas with 1,000 cell phones in their van, and there was another incident involving “Middle Eastern men” buying cell phones in large quantities in Tucson, Arizona. These incidents, especially all coming around the same time, are extremely suspicious, but even before prosecutors dropped the terror charges against Houssaiky and Abulhassan,
They should not have done that. Maybe we need a law against having 10 or more of these phones without a license to sell them.charges of racial profiling began surfacing in the mainstream media. A public defender handling Abulhassan’s case, Ray Smith, said of his client at a hearing: “If his name was Joe Smith, we wouldn’t be here. His origin and appearance and name condition us to (think), ‘Oh my gosh, he’s a terrorist.’” The dropping of the charges will only reinforce this impression, despite the fact that many questions remain about the case and Washington County, Ohio Prosecutor James Schneider said that he still might press terrorism-related charges against the pair. According to AP, “Relatives of the men said they were just trying to make money by reselling the phones and were targeted because of their Arab backgrounds.”
And why would there be such a profit in reselling these phones, when the purchaser could just go into Walmart himself and buy them with cash.Read More