Terrorism Suspects Held In Ohio

August 10, 2006

From Yahoo! News

600 phones, $11,000 in cash, airplane passenger lists, and locations of Wal-Mart stores.

The phones provide a ready means of communication which, once discarded and replaced, are hard to trace. They also can provide ready cash — by being sold to drug dealers and others who also don’t want to be traced. Chips from inside the phones can also be taken out and used as bomb detonators. The airplane passenger lists are an ominous touch; Susan Vessels doesn’t have to say what they’re for — it’s obvious. Locations of Wal-Mart stores could involve planned attacks or simply an easy resource for finding those phones and other supplies. “2 held on terror charges in Ohio.”

MARIETTA, Ohio – Two men were charged Wednesday with money laundering in support of terrorism after authorities said they found airplane passenger lists and information on airport security checkpoints in their car.Deputies stopped Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, 20, and Ali Houssaiky, 20, both of Dearborn, Mich., on a traffic violation Tuesday. They found the flight documents along with $11,000 cash and 12 phones in the car, said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.

Prosecutor Susan Vessels declined to say how the phones, cash or flight information involved terrorism.

Abulhassan and Houssaiky admitted buying about 600 phones in recent months at stores in southeast Ohio, said sheriff’s Maj. John Winstanley. The men said they sold the phones to someone in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb.

Investigators going through the car after the pair were pulled over in Marietta, about 90 miles southeast of Columbus, also found a map that showed locations of Wal-Mart stores from Ohio through Kentucky, Tennessee and into North and South Carolina, Vessels said….

The charges allege the two laundered between $5,000 and $25,000, Vessels said. A conviction carries a maximum 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.