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Disposable Cell Phone Purchases a Result of NSA Leak and NY Times Story
MND ^ | Sunday, January 15, 2006 | by Jim Kouri, CPP

Posted on 01/15/2006 3:32:02 PM PST by Nasty McPhilthy

The FBI has initiated an intense investigation into the increase in purchases of large numbers of disposable cell phones by individuals who emanate from the Middle East and Pakistan.

The cheap cell phones, which do not require purchasers to sign a contract or have a credit card, have many legitimate uses, and are popular with those who have bad credit or for use as emergency phones tucked away in motor vehicle glove compartments. But, according to law enforcement commanders, since they can be difficult or impossible to track, the phones are widely used by organized crime gangs, drug traffickers and terrorists.

The FBI agents are closely monitoring this dangerous situation, which came to light following recent large-quantity purchases in California and Texas. In fact, these two purchases occurred after the New York Times published a story regarding a top secret NSA surveillance program which was leaked by an official or officials unknown at this time.

In a December 31 transaction at a Target store in California, 150 disposable cell phones were purchased. Suspicious store employees called the local police, who in turn notified the FBI.

In a December 18 incident at a Wal-Mart store in Texas, six individuals attempted to buy about 60 of the phones until store clerks became suspicious and notified the police who informed the FBI of the transaction.

The Midland, Texas, police report dated December 18 and obtained by ABC News states: "Information obtained by MPD [Midland Police Department] dispatch personnel indicated that approximately six individuals of Middle-Eastern origin were attempting to purchase an unusually large quantity of tracfones [disposable cell phones with prepaid minutes attached]." At least one of the suspects was identified as being from Iraq and another from Pakistan, officials said.

When the local police officers arrived, the suspects were observed moving away from the registers while trying to avoid detection while they discarded merchandise -- 60 tracphones.

These purchasers are believed to be linked to a terrorist cell operating within the United States, according to counterterrorist sources.

According to sources in the federal law enforcement community, reports are coming in from other cities, including Dallas, and from cops in other states. Authorities in Pennsylvania, New York and other parts of Texas confirmed that they were alerted to the cases. It's believed other local law enforcement agencies and anti-terrorism task forces have also been notified.

The growing use of the throwaway cell phones has been cited by President Bush as an important justification for expanding the wiretap laws under the Patriot Act.

"Law enforcement officials can now use what's now called roving wiretaps, which will prevent a terrorist from switching cell phones to get a message out to one of his buddies," said the President during a press conference following the NSA spy leak.

Law enforcement commanders are being sensitive to allegations of profiling, so they are saying it is possible that some large purchases are being sent to the Middle East for resale in a sellers' markets in their home countries, or as gifts for friends and relatives.

In fact, as a result of news stories regarding suspicious disposable cell phone purchases, the American Civil Liberties Union is looking into legal action they might take to stifle law enforcement's investigation of Middle Easterners making large-quantity purchases.

However, both intelligence officers and law enforcement investigators are monitoring reports of large-quantity purchases.

It's believed that some purchasers of disposable cellular phones could include political extremists, terrorist supporters, sympathizers or others simply shaken by the recent revelations of the National Security Agency's widespread monitoring of calls, including calls to and from the United States to foreign countries.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: aclu; cellphones; gwot; homelandsecurity; jihadicellphones; nsaleak; nyt; patriotleak; spying; terrorism; traitors; wiretap; wot

1 posted on 01/15/2006 3:32:06 PM PST by Nasty McPhilthy
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

Both the leaker from the NSA and the NYT deserve to be charged with treason.

No ands, ifs, or buts about it!


2 posted on 01/15/2006 3:33:28 PM PST by Howie66 ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.")
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1515879/posts


3 posted on 01/15/2006 3:37:50 PM PST by EBH (Never give-up, Never give-in, and Never Forget)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

I can't believe this story has been so ignored.

A whole cache were bought in Dallas and all I read in the 'paper' was that the FBI said it wasn't terror related.

'Scuse me??? I'm sure one of those middle-easterners was buying a whole bunch of phones for their boy scout troup.

This is probably a direct result of the NY Times leak. Yes, it is traitorous and should be investigated and punished.

Bush pointed out a prior case where our connection to Osama was ruined when the way we were tracking him was leaked by the press.


4 posted on 01/15/2006 3:38:31 PM PST by altura
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

It looks like the majority of middle easterners purchasing non-traceable phones was in Texas!

Watch out Texas.....Midland, Texas...????


5 posted on 01/15/2006 3:39:19 PM PST by colorcountry (Currently not in the process of becoming a God!)
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To: altura

No need to have the taxpayers pay for the next damage a terrorist does. I'm sure the Slimes will be willing to pick up the tab to make restitution.


6 posted on 01/15/2006 3:40:25 PM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
This may not be such a bad thing.
7 posted on 01/15/2006 3:42:49 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: EBH

Yeah, I saw that.

Thanks.


8 posted on 01/15/2006 3:43:44 PM PST by Nasty McPhilthy (Those who beat their swords into plow shears….will plow for those who don’t.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

OMG. Next thing you know, the bad guys will use pay phones!!


9 posted on 01/15/2006 3:44:08 PM PST by Cboldt
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Mike Darancette

Expand?


11 posted on 01/15/2006 3:45:00 PM PST by Nasty McPhilthy (Those who beat their swords into plow shears….will plow for those who don’t.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

Pinch Sulzberger must be proud.


12 posted on 01/15/2006 3:46:45 PM PST by JRios1968 ("Cogito, ergo FReep": I think, therefore I FReep.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

I'll expand, buddy. This is how low the American people have found themselves by a Bush administration that has run rampant.

:) Hehe!


13 posted on 01/15/2006 3:46:58 PM PST by writer33 (Rush Limbaugh walks in the footsteps of giants: George Washington, Thomas Paine and Ronald Reagan.)
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To: Howie66

Absolutely! Would love to see it happen.


14 posted on 01/15/2006 3:50:13 PM PST by Theresawithanh (You'll get me to stop posting on FR when you wrench my laptop from my cold, dead fingers!)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
Now thanks to this story, the terrorists will buy the disposable phones in smaller quantities. Sometimes I think all journalists should just shut up.
15 posted on 01/15/2006 3:51:08 PM PST by firebrand
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

bump....


16 posted on 01/15/2006 3:53:30 PM PST by God luvs America (When the silent majority speaks the earth trembles!)
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To: EBH

when did the Times story break??? Reason I ask is the thread you linked to is from 11/5.


17 posted on 01/15/2006 3:54:26 PM PST by God luvs America (When the silent majority speaks the earth trembles!)
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To: firebrand
Now thanks to this story, the terrorists will buy the disposable phones in smaller quantities.

If the anonymity is useful to them, they were probably already using it. If the technology is useful for terrorists, perhaps it should not be available "over the counter," as it were.

Sometimes I think all journalists should just shut up.

Hehehehe. I hear ya. But it's fun to deconstruct their fabrications.

18 posted on 01/15/2006 3:55:09 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: God luvs America

The one about the NSA that caused all the commotion was December 16, I think, but wasn't there a previous one?


19 posted on 01/15/2006 3:57:03 PM PST by firebrand
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
Remember, Al-queda stopped using cell phones in Afghanistan because they could be traced. And now that many have locating chips .....
20 posted on 01/15/2006 3:57:11 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
Image hosted by Photobucket.com i'll prolly get smacked for this, but... don't the phones all have serial numbers assigned to their phone numbers???

LEO's can then just get serial numbers from the store and the phone numbers from the Mfg., then LOOK for those phone numbers when making calls to give them a little more shall we say extra scrutiny???

21 posted on 01/15/2006 3:59:44 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist ©®)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
The New York Slimes have been helping our enemies for more than 60 years.

The Soviet Union first learned about U.S. nuclear research when the NYT published an article in 1940 detailing the fact that the U.S. was perusing technology to enrich uranium in order to counter the German nuclear threat.

22 posted on 01/15/2006 4:01:20 PM PST by COEXERJ145 (Those Who Want to Impeach President Bush Are the Party of Treason.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy


All of these employees should be given medals of honor for using their heads, profiling and probably saving a lot of our butts, it's a good thing these employees aren't liberals and it's doubtful they belong to the ACLU.


23 posted on 01/15/2006 4:03:56 PM PST by rockabyebaby (I'm not afraid to say out loud what the rest of you are afraid to admit.)
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To: COEXERJ145

Guess there is a reason why they terrorists hit the WTC rather than the NY Times building.


24 posted on 01/15/2006 4:04:51 PM PST by Donald Meaker (You don't drive a car looking through the rear view mirror, but you do practice politics that way.)
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To: colorcountry

Midland...that seems so weird. But I talked to a friend who lives there and she said apparently the perps were traveling and stopping at Walmarts in various West TX towns, trying to buy the phones. She also said that they let all but one of the guys go, the other had a visa violation. I think she must have gotten this info from local news.
susie


25 posted on 01/15/2006 4:05:04 PM PST by brytlea (I'm not a conspiracy theorist....really.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

The legal extortion industry has expended much energy trying to hold gun makers liable for crimes involving their products. Will these same groups act in kind when the first Tracfone enabled bomb goes off?


26 posted on 01/15/2006 4:06:03 PM PST by SpaceBar
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

You are just pissing me off even more with threads such as this.

Keep it up!


27 posted on 01/15/2006 4:07:21 PM PST by Radix (Welcome home 3 ID!)
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To: Cboldt

you are going to see a move to restrict the anonimity aspect of these pre-paid cell phones. it has to happen, this is a gaping hole in the ability to monitor communications. not that the conversation cannot be tapped, they surely can - but you don't know who has the phone, and the same person can just switch from phone to phone, so its impossible to establish a calling pattern tied to an individual.

yes, they can use pay phones. but those at least have a geographic certainty to them - you know where the person was when making the call. and its alot harder to drive around from place to place making calls on pay phones.


28 posted on 01/15/2006 4:14:00 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Mike Darancette

those were satellite phones.


29 posted on 01/15/2006 4:15:18 PM PST by oceanview
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To: oceanview
those were satellite phones.

A satellite is a cell phone with a taller tower. Both eventually go on to the net. And cell (and satellite) phone transmissions have all kinds on information on them.

30 posted on 01/15/2006 4:27:45 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy
Law enforcement commanders are being sensitive to allegations of profiling, so they are saying it is possible that some large purchases are being sent to the Middle East for resale in a sellers' markets in their home countries

Don't Tracfones use a non-compatible frequency standard that is not used outside of the US?

31 posted on 01/15/2006 4:29:20 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: Mike Darancette

the sat phones works anywhere, you don't need any cellular infrastructure. step outside your afghan cave, clear view to the sky, they work.


32 posted on 01/15/2006 4:31:48 PM PST by oceanview
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To: writer33

Women and children hardest hit!


33 posted on 01/15/2006 4:35:50 PM PST by Nasty McPhilthy (Those who beat their swords into plow shears….will plow for those who don’t.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

Uhh, I don't know if it's been said yet, but.........


All your cell phones are belong to us.


34 posted on 01/15/2006 4:37:09 PM PST by Nasty McPhilthy (Those who beat their swords into plow shears….will plow for those who don’t.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

:)


35 posted on 01/15/2006 4:43:04 PM PST by writer33 (Rush Limbaugh walks in the footsteps of giants: George Washington, Thomas Paine and Ronald Reagan.)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

I hope the phones are GPS enabled...


36 posted on 01/15/2006 4:45:45 PM PST by Steamburg (Pretenders everywhere)
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To: oceanview
step outside your afghan cave, clear view to the sky, they work.

The call and information about the phone then goes up to a satellite then down to a ground station which then puts the call onto the public network. It can be tapped once on the public network, or sooner with cooperation and/or special equipment. Very little different than a cellphone except the HF travels farther.

37 posted on 01/15/2006 4:56:57 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: altura
This is probably a direct result of the NY Times leak. Yes, it is traitorous and should be investigated and punished.

These ass-clowns at the NYT need a visit from Mr. Clark...as in Clancy's Without Remorse.

38 posted on 01/15/2006 5:02:14 PM PST by stboz
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To: Howie66

I agree with you on your Post No. 2. I am also grateful to the employees of Wal-Mart and other stores for reporting the excessive sales of these phones. They are excellent Americans!


39 posted on 01/15/2006 5:21:33 PM PST by maxwellp
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To: Howie66
Both the leaker from the NSA and the NYT deserve to be charged with treason.

Bears repeating.

40 posted on 01/15/2006 5:26:24 PM PST by null and void (The real experts are kind of busy right now, so we're the substitute experts.)
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To: God luvs America

Glad you caught that date...

They've been using these disposable phones for a while folks. It is just too dang bad nobody bothered to profile them until now.


41 posted on 01/15/2006 5:48:39 PM PST by EBH (Never give-up, Never give-in, and Never Forget)
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To: EBH

Also keep in mind they use such devices for triggering bombs. They may not be purchasing them at all for regular communication...


42 posted on 01/15/2006 5:51:34 PM PST by EBH (Never give-up, Never give-in, and Never Forget)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

The NYT will be devastated if it turns out they have helped the U.S., instead of the enemy.


43 posted on 01/15/2006 5:58:45 PM PST by Waco
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To: Cboldt
If the technology is useful for terrorists, perhaps it should not be available "over the counter," as it were.

"Perhaps" being the operative word. There are lots of technologies that are useful to terrorists. Some also give anonymity like anonymous email accounts. But most have beneficial uses. Also anonymity isn't as serious a problem as some people here think.

44 posted on 01/15/2006 5:58:51 PM PST by palmer (Money problems do not come from a lack of money, but from living an excessive, unrealistic lifestyle)
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To: EBH
Yeah. I hope the NYT is proud of the results of their handiwork.
45 posted on 01/15/2006 5:59:43 PM PST by null and void (The real experts are kind of busy right now, so we're the substitute experts.)
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To: Howie66
Both the leaker from the NSA and the NYT deserve to be charged with treason.

As should MND!

Next thing you know they will divulge that all these cheap, presumably untrackable phones have been specially modified by the NSA...

Oooops...

46 posted on 01/15/2006 6:59:16 PM PST by Publius6961 (The IQ of California voters is about 420........... .............cumulatively)
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To: null and void

Couldn't agree more! (Like the large font!)


47 posted on 01/16/2006 1:13:56 PM PST by p23185 (Why isn't attempting to take down a sitting Pres & his Admin considered Sedition?)
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To: Nasty McPhilthy

Bet the NY Slimes are thanking Satan or whoever they thank for unwarrented luck that the bust in Great Britian is driving this story off the front pages


48 posted on 08/12/2006 7:06:21 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (A proportionate response would be the indiscriminate slaughter of Western journalists)
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