TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Three Texas Men With Cellphones Arrested on Terrorist Charges

Re: Three Texas Men With Cellphones Arrested on Terrorist Charges

Herb Oxley (
Fri, 18 Aug 2006 10:18:36 UTC

DevilsPGD <> wrote:

> And even on the odd chance you're planning a thousand bombs, you'd
> need enough other supplies that you could buy them three at a time,
> you wouldn't walk into a store and buy 80+ .

My guess is the Feds think these guys were part of a conspiracy to
acquire Tracfones to use in Iraq.

Does anyone know whether Tracfone offers service in Iraq -- or is it
fairly easy to load an "image" from an Iraqi cell provider onto them?

Now in the case of the 3 guys who got busted Uncle Sam is going to
have to prove they knew what the phones were going to be used for.

Now something that strikes me odd about this case: It was reported
that Wal-mart has a company policy which limits sales of prepaid
cellphones to three per customer per day.

Wal-mart leaves as little as possible to cashier discretion; for
example a cashier is prompted to "verify age" when they scan in an
age-restricted product such as alcohol, tobacco or M-rated[1]

Thus I'd expect the Wal-mart POS system to complain if someone was
buying more than 3 prepaid phones on the same transaction.

Sure this could be worked around, however why would a cashier risk
their job to "structure" a big buy of prepaid phones by doing 27
separate transactions?

I bet we'll soon see the FCC ban anonymous sales of prepaid phones;
that is a government issued ID will be needed to buy phones and top-up
cards and records will have to be kept to be provided on request to the

[1] In the USA, videogames are rated by the Entertainment Software
Rating Board <>, a voluntary association of game

Games rated "M" aren't recommended for players under 17 due to subject
matter, vulgar language, graphic violence, drug/alcohol/tobacco
references, sex and nudity. Wal-mart company policy requires
purchasers of M-rated games to be 17+.

 Herb Oxley
 From: address IS Valid.

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