Feeds

Terror charges axed in 2nd cellphone bomb plot

People do resell them after all

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Update The spirit of Barney Fife is alive and well in small-town America, but that will hardly amuse the three men recently accused of terrorist crimes in the redneck backwater of Caro, Michigan.

Adham Abdelhamid Othman, Louai Abdelhamied Othman, and Maruan Awad Muhareb, who were rumbled by a watchful Wal-Mart clerk when they bought 80 pre-paid TracFones, no longer stand accused of plotting to blow up the Mackinac Bridge, but are now, incredibly, facing counterfeiting charges instead.

The men were discovered with nearly a thousand pre-paid phones, and a few pictures of the bridge, leading local authorities to suspect a dastardly, mass-casualty plot in which the phones would serve as detonators. For their part, the men claimed that they were planning to resell the phones at a profit to a merchant in Texas.

Now that it's become clear that the terror plot was not to be, Assistant US Attorney Janet Parker is planning to help the Caro police save face by bringing charges of trafficking in counterfeit goods and money laundering. It would not look good for the men to skate free, after all that crying wolf about al-Qaeda mayhem.

The counterfeit charge likely stems from modifications the men are alleged to have been making to unlock the phones, enabling them to be used on competing networks. Presumably, they would then cease to be "authentic" (however much improved). Although, when last we checked, it was still legal to buy a car, make performance modifications, and sell it at a profit. The money laundering charge appears to be even more of a stretch.

Perhaps in a few weeks' time the charges will be lowered again, to the more realistic level of "creating a situation likely to encourage police officials to make fools of themselves". ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.