1000 Cell phones, 3 Arabs, and 1 Lie
Put them together and what do you get? A setup.
Police found about 1,000 cell phones in the men's minivan. Authorities have not said what they believe the men intended to do with the phones, most of which were prepaid TracFones. But the police chief in Caro, Mich., where they were arrested, said cell phones can be used as detonators, and prosecutors in a similar case in Ohio have said that TracFones are often used by terrorists because they are not traceable.What? Can't say PALESTINE?
Odeh said the men were buying the phones to sell to a man in Dallas for a profit of about $5 per phone. She said they were in Michigan because so many people in the Dallas area are doing the same thing that the phones are often sold out.
Odeh said she thought her husband and her relatives were targeted because of their Arab descent. The men's families come from Jerusalem, she said.
The men were stopped early Friday about 80 miles north of Detroit after purchasing 80 cell phones from a Wal-Mart. Police said they found about 1,000 phones in their minivan. The men were arrested Friday afternoon.Why not reveal the source? What are they trying to hide? What or who could have led them to believe that these men are terrorists?
No pleas were entered at the arraignment Saturday at a District Court in Caro. A magistrate set bond at $750,000 apiece and the men were being held at the Tuscola County Jail, police said.
"All we did is buy the phones to sell and make money," Louai Othman told the magistrate. He said authorities had previously stopped the group in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Muhareb told the magistrate: "This is a misunderstanding." He said he was selling the phones to earn money to help pay for his brother's college education.
Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark E. Reene told The Saginaw News in Michigan that investigators believe the men were targeting the Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas. He declined to say what led investigators to that belief.
In a call to New York City’s terrorism hot line in May, the informant described the plot in chilling detail: Syrians working in the jewelry business had hatched a plan to carry out a suicide bombing in the subway system on one of the most symbolic days of the year, Independence Day.Would you look at that! Framing Arabs to get revenge - how novel!
They had hidden explosives in hollowed-out jewelry, the informant said, and then used their professional know-how to import the jewelry and bring it to a store that one of them owned in New York.
To clinch the story, the informant, who identified himself as Jose Rodriguez and said he was from Israel, told the police officer answering the hot line that he had overheard the plotters use the Arab expression “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great.”
The post-Sept. 11 antiterrorist law enforcement apparatus sprang into action, with city, federal and even Israeli officers [in New York???] following leads, conducting 24-hour surveillance and searching homes and businesses with bomb-sniffing dogs. A New York detective stationed in Jerusalem [!!!] tried to track down the man called Jose Rodriguez.
In the end, the investigators concluded that the call was a hoax, they said yesterday, perpetrated by a Syrian Jewish refugee named Rimon Alkatri, 34, the owner of a jewelry store in Brooklyn. The five conspirators identified by Mr. Alkatri were not Muslims but Christians and Jews, the police and prosecutors said. He had done business with four of the men, officials said, and had named them as terrorists because he had a grudge against them stemming from a business deal that had ended in a bitter disagreement.
There is no doubt in my mind that the 3 Arab Americans in Michigan were also framed. And we can expect to see much more of this in the weeks to come.
The [Brooklyn] arrest offered what investigators said was a disturbing account of how law enforcement officers could be [EASILY] manipulated by a malicious prankster, especially in these times, when the specter of a terrorist attack seems possible and almost no threat seems too outlandish to ignore. This caller seemed credible because of the specific names and details that he offered, officials said.Of course, the terror alert itself was front page news. But, when this joker gets indicted a month later, barely a whisper. Meanwhile, the poor 'suspects' have their lives turned upside down and their reputations destroyed, likely forever.
Officials said they were fairly sure at least 10 to 12 days before the Fourth of July that the account of a conspiracy was a hoax, but felt compelled to continue the investigation until every person had been interviewed and every suspicion allayed. “Then the investigation turned towards who the hoaxer was and why,” said Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney. “It took tremendous resources and manpower.”
Mr. Alkatri was arrested yesterday as he was leaving his apartment on East Ninth Street in a Syrian Jewish neighborhood of Brooklyn to work at his jewelry store, El Castillo De Oro, on Knickerbocker Avenue. A grand jury has indicted him on a felony charge falsely reporting an incident in the first degree, and he faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Speaking outside State Supreme Court in Manhattan yesterday after Mr. Alkatri’s arraignment had been postponed, his lawyer, Samuel J. Karliner, said his client’s only motive was to be a good citizen. Mr. Alkatri called the hot line, Mr. Karliner said, because he truly believed that the five men were conspirators and had apparently made a mistake.Allahu Akber, World Trade Center, and Beheadings in Iraq? This guy is either paranoid schizophrenic or he's one lying antisocial SOB.
Mr. Karliner said his client had overheard a worker in his jewelry store named George talking on his cellphone and using the phrase “Allahu Akbar.” Mr. Alkatri associated the phrase with the attack on the World Trade Center and beheadings in Iraq and became alarmed, his lawyer said. He gave a false name to the police because he was afraid that the men would find out who he was and hurt him, Mr. Karliner said.
Nevertheless, assuming arguendo that he even heard the phrase said, which is unlikely in ordinary conversation, what ever happened to the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution? Arabs can't even invoke the name of God in public without being arrested on terrorism charges? What a joke.
Mr. Karliner said his client came to the United States from Syria as a refugee in 1996, and is married with two children. He said Mr. Alkatri felt wounded that instead of being thanked for his good citizenship, he has been arrested, and predicted that Mr. Alkatri’s plight would have a “chilling effect” on others.Can you believe the nerve of this guy? He lives in New York as a refugee (i.e., collecting benefits) and frames his neighbors, and he expects to get a medal of honor. What an a**hole.
The sign that every New Yorker, including his client, has seen in the subway, Mr. Karliner said, urges “ ‘If you see something, say something,’ not ‘If it’s not true, we’re going to arrest you.’ ”