Another Terror Plot Foiled?

The terror plot foiled in the U.K. is the big news of the day. Closer to home, there are reports that two Michigan men were arrested in southeast on Ohio on charges they engaged in money laundering to support terrorist activities.

Deputies stopped the two on a traffic violation Tuesday and found the flight documents along with $11,000 cash and 12 phones in their car, Sheriff Larry Mincks said.

It wasn't clear what significance the airline information might have. Assistant County Prosecutor Susan Vessels declined to comment on whether the manifests were for upcoming flights or those that already had flown. She also would not give the origin or destination of the flight or flights. . . .

[The two men, Osama Sabhi] Abulhassan and [Ali] Houssaiky admitted buying about 600 phones in recent months at stores in southeast Ohio, said sheriff's Maj. John Winstanley. They sold the phones to someone in Dearborn, Winstanley said.

Vessels declined to say how the phones, cash or flight information involved terrorism.

UPDATE: More on the story:

Twenty-year old's Ali Howssaiky and Osama Abulhassan are facing charges of money laundering to aid terrorism. This comes after a traffic stop Tuesday led police to thousands of dollars in cash, several disposable cell phones and instructions of how to obtain private flight information. Police also found a list of flight passengers in the car.

"It also had information about airport checkpoints, and what would be accomplished there, so this is a little bit unusual," Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says.

Sheriff Mincks also says the disposable cell phones are especially important, because it appears their final destination was supposed to be overseas.

"They are digital and can be used to detonate car bombs," he says.

This story links the suspects to Hezbollah, while another account says the two are college students and claim they were on a business trip.

Tracy Johnson (www):
Were they "Cingular" phones? Maybe they just didn't want any dropped calls? (Per Adler's post just prior.)
8.10.2006 1:58pm
U.Va. 2L (no longer a 1L) (mail):
When the terrorists get to Zanesville--that's when we need to be afraid.

More seriously, though, this is a really weird scheme they're running. Buying 600 cell phones throughout southeastern Ohio (which means that they probably did get to Zanesville, I should tell my folks) and reselling them in Dearborn? Is it so they can make plans off-the-grid?
8.10.2006 2:14pm
I had heard the chips were all removed. The chips are used for remote detonation of explosives. Just call the number and BOOM!
8.10.2006 2:37pm
The Drill SGT (mail):
here is an example of the type of phones they might buy at Walmart.

Disposable Phone for off NSA radar calls or as a bomb trigger
8.10.2006 3:03pm
Greedy Clerk (mail):
Good thing we attacked Iraq --- that sure is effective in stopping these types of plots.
8.10.2006 3:08pm
It's time to round up ALL people living in SE Ohio!

(Starting with my father-in-law.)

If we don't jail all the retired Irish-Catholics of East Liverpool, the terrorist have already won!
8.10.2006 3:10pm
Evan H (mail) (www):
I've stopped getting excited about these so called terror arrests. Once they start making a few more prosecutions stick, give me a call.
8.10.2006 3:10pm
IssueRaised (mail) (www):
What bewilders me is that such high numbers of our population get caught in the spin, allowing themselves to be brainwashed into believing this propaganda and refusing to notice the correlation between the so called "Red Alerts" and terrorist discoveries with the failures of the administrations policies and the losses of the Republican party: the Israel and Lebanese conflict has somehow disappeared from the headlines; the failures in Iraq are diminished; the wavering of support not only by the people but by the politicians who previously aligned themselves with the Administrations policies; and let's not forget the impending elections! None of this could have any influence on the timing of today's "discovery", right?
8.10.2006 3:55pm
It's an elaborate plot to make the new 9/11 movie the blockbuster of the century. I believe it's common knowledge that publicists will go to any length to "win." Some say US Attorneys are like that, too, but I have no comment on that.
8.10.2006 4:01pm
Kristian (mail) (www):
I think the timing is intersting...just 24-36 hours before a major bust in England, some local yocals stumbled onto some terrorist abettors. Perhaps the current round-up was to catch the U.K. conspirators before they acted prematurely or dispersed?
8.10.2006 4:03pm
IssueRaised, ROFL at your hilarious spoof of asinine leftist moonbat "thinking".

Evan, you'd be much more "excited" if those guys hadn't been arrested, and had carried out their plan.
8.10.2006 4:16pm
Jaime non-Lawyer:
Maybe the refund value on cell phones is higher in Michigan than in neighboring states, and they spotted an arbitrage opportunity.
8.10.2006 4:34pm
Evan H (mail) (www):
Jeek, first I think you make a mistake by assuming there is a plot to be carried out. Secondly at the risk of sounding cavalier I don't worry about terrorist attacks. Why? Because terrorism only works if it inspires fear and the surest way to defeat terrorists is to be fearless in the face of whatever heinous acts they may commit. So one day yeah I or my wife or my kids may die in a terrorist attack, but we're not going to live in fear and we're not going to let terrorist dictate how we live our life.
8.10.2006 4:50pm
U.Va. 2L (no longer a 1L) (mail):
Jaime non-Lawyer:

As Newman and Kramer established, the Michigan deposit scheme doesn't work.
8.10.2006 4:54pm
Jaime non-Lawyer:
Kramer's scheme didn't work due to the transportation costs from NY. But Ohio is just accross the border.
8.10.2006 5:01pm
sam24 (mail):
Doesen,t every one go around the country buying disposable cell phones? Always in smaller numbers so as to not attract attention until a large number is accumulated. Once you have a large number, of course the only sensible thing to do is go to Dearborn an sell them.
8.10.2006 6:14pm
Evan, I don't see how there can be any doubt that a plot was in progress and was disrupted (if we're talking about Britain, anyway, which was what I was talking about, who knows about Ohio).

As for "not living in fear" or "letting them dictate how you live your life", sure, the threat doesn't affect my daily existence all that much, but I still acknowledge that there is a threat that needs to be taken seriously. I do not dismiss it as "nothing to get excited about".

Terrorism doesn't "only work if it inspires fear". It also works if it kills a lot of people and does a lot of economic damage. It also works if we're so stupid and "fearless" that we don't close the security holes that bad guys can exploit.
8.10.2006 7:05pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
The story linking them to Hezbollah was issued by Reuters, so it must not be true. They are probably innocent Bush supporters, and Reuters/Hezbollah is trying to destroy the Republican's electoral chances by besmirching their reputations. Will the Reuters machinations never stop!
8.10.2006 9:30pm
JunkYardLawDog (mail):
Yes it is a good thing we took the war on Terror to Iraq. Now if we would only get off the dime and take out Iran, Syria, and North Korea with a few nice tidy volleys of tactical nuclear weapons aimed at Iran and North Korea's nuke facilities and Iran's Oil production facilities. That's right take out Iran's oil production facilities, deny them MONEY, and the Saudis and others will fall into line, ramp up their production (lest they be next on the hit parade) to make up the difference in world oil production.

OH, and here's hoping that all these 24 to 30 so guys in the UK and USA rounded up in the last couple of days are enjoying at this very moment the serene pleasures of being tied to board while drowning or feeling like they are drowning under a wet rag.

Just so we don't do something really awful to them like making them wear a hood and stand on box in their undies.

Says the "Dog"
8.11.2006 1:27am