FBI: “No links to terrorism in Caro cell phone case”

Tuscola County Prosecutor “Normanized” by the FBI

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

14 August 2006:  On Saturday, Tuscola County prosecutor Mark E. Reene charged three Texas men with supporting terrorism after their purchases of large quantities of cellular telephones aroused the suspicions of a Wal-Mart clerk in Caro, in Michigan’s Thumb. When stopped by police, Maruan Awad Muhareb, 18, Adham Abdelhamid Othman, 21, and Louai Abdelhamied Othman, 23, had about 1,000 cell phones and photographs of the Mackinac Bridge in their van, according to police officials. In accordance with the evidence, prosecutor Mark E. Reene charged the three Texas men with terrorist-related crimes.

Today, however, Daniel Roberts, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit office, issued a statement that said “there is no information to indicate that the individuals arrested have any direct nexus to terrorism.” In response to the FBI statement, Mr. Reene stated that he was studying the FBI statement, an official in his office said, but had not responded to it by late Monday.Despite the findings of police officials that the three men conducted surveillance of the Mackinac Bridge, and despite the existence of a “Joint Information Bulletin” issued on February 7, 2006 about suspicious bulk cellular telephone purchases, the Detroit SAC denied “that the individuals arrested have any direct nexus to terrorism.”

The Detroit FBI SAC denials seem eerily familiar. Following the October 1, 2005 “suicide by TATP” of Joel Henry Hinrichs, III outside of a packed football stadium (and his documented attempts to secure large quantities of ammonium nitrate in the days before his death), the Norman, Oklahoma FBI Public Relations Officer continues to deny any connection to that event to terrorism.