Feeds

FBI doubts cellphone terror scheme

Nuts to Barney Fife

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Update The FBI has expressed reservations about the alleged cellphone terror plot uncovered by a Wal-Mart cashier working with small-town cops in Michigan, which we reported recently.

The purchase of an unusually large number of TracFones at a Wal-Mart store led to terrorism-related felony charges against three men of Middle-Eastern descent in the town of Caro, Michigan.

The men, Adham Abdelhamid Othman, Louai Abdelhamied Othman, and Maruan Awad Muhareb, said they intended to re-sell the phones at a profit, but the local police imagined that the phones were meant to detonate explosive devices with which the Mackinac Bridge was to be destroyed.

The FBI said Monday that it had no information to indicate that the men in custody had any ties to terrorist organisations, the Associated Press reports. Nevertheless, the local police and prosecutors seem persuaded that they've foiled a dastardly plot, and appear prepared, for now, to go through with the prosecutions.

Additionally, photos of the five-mile long Mackinac Bridge were found in a digital camera belonging to one of the suspects, prompting local authorities to imagine it was a target.

A lawyer defending the men told the AP that the photos were tourist snapshots taken while the men were stuck in traffic. "That's what people do when they see a tourist attraction: they take pictures," the wire service quotes him as saying.

Meanwhile, in Washington County, Ohio, two other men of Middle-Eastern descent have been cleared of terrorism charges after also being discovered with a large cache of pre-paid cell phones. Prosecutor James Schneider said there was too little evidence that Ali Houssaiky and Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, of Dearborn, Michigan, were affiliated with any terrorist outfits. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.