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Interesting Military News and Information From Around the World

Friday, January 13, 2006

Terrorists Among Us?

Image: See Improvised Explosive Cell Phone - Up Close

Back on December 26, 2005 there was a very interesting post in our Military Forums about individuals buying cell phones in bulk and shipping them to the Middle East. The person who posted the information goes by the screen name "The Bogert." Here's what he had to say:

"Howdy all, don't get to post all that often but I have recently had something come up in my life. To fill you in, I've worked for Best Buy 4 years now and will be leaving to boot camp in a just over a week. Lately there have been individuals attempting to buy bulk amounts of virgin mobile phones which are no contracts and shipping them over to the Middle East, the FBI is looking into this for it is against "title 50 of us code 2401" export of US goods to foreign soil. This individuals have tried to buy up to 2000 phones in deferent areas, so they come into my store to try and buy these phones two day's in a row. On the first day we limit how many they can buy and write down all there info on who they are, and fax it in just how we're supposed to do. The 2nd day we deny them the phones all together. Two coworkers of mine start calling me racist for not letting them buy the phones and think I shouldnt care if there sending them over seas or not, they just think I should stay out of it. I told him that there are troops getting killed because of phones used in IED's WILL BE my problem in a few month's and if I lose a leg or worse and find a piece of virgin mobile phone stuck in me I'll be alittle pissed off."

On January 13th, 2006, similar stories started hitting the media:

Newsmax: "On December 18, six individuals of Middle Eastern origin, including one from Iraq and another from Pakistan, attempted to buy approximately 60 disposable phones at a Wal-Mart in Midland, Texas."

ABC 13: "In one New Year's Eve transaction at a Target store in Hemet, Calif., 150 disposable tracfones were purchased. Suspicious store employees notified police, who called in the FBI, law enforcement sources said... Other reports have come in from other cities, including Dallas, and from authorities in other states. Authorities in Pennsylvania, New York and other parts of Texas confirmed that they were alerted to the cases, and sources say other jurisdictions were also notified."

These purchases may be happening all over the United States ("The Bogert" hails from a northern U.S. state not mentioned above).

Two other possibly related news items come to mind. First, the FBI is said to be quietly investigating reports that some of the automobiles used in car bombings in Iraq originated in the U.S. Second, there have been recent reports that criminals in the U.S. are converting drug money, etc. into prepaid cards that are shipped overseas to be sold for cash, thereby circumventing efforts by the U.S. to track suspicious financial transfers to overseas destinations.

If the people involved in some of these transactions are connected to terrorism, how long before Zarqawi gets his wish of striking Mainland America?

05/2005 / 06/2005 / 07/2005 / 08/2005 / 09/2005 / 10/2005 / 11/2005 / 12/2005 / 01/2006 / 02/2006 / 04/2006 / 05/2006 / 08/2006 /
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