DETROIT - Terror charges against two groups of Arab-Americans arrested with hundreds of prepaid cell phones teetered in Michigan and collapsed in Ohio on Monday as authorities said they lacked evidence that the men intended to use the phones for evil.
Ohio authorities dropped charges against two Dearborn, Mich., men arrested last week with hundreds of the disposable phones.
Meanwhile, Michigan officials kept three Texans locked up Monday evening even after Michigan state police and FBI officials said they were apparently wide-eyed tourists rather than would-be terrorists when they photographed the Mackinac Bridge.
The FBI, which questioned the Texans, who are of Palestinian heritage, for several hours over the weekend after their arrest, said Monday that "there is no imminent threat" to the iconic bridge linking Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas.
While local authorities in Michigan and Ohio feared the cell phones could be used in terrorism attacks - they've been used to detonate bombs in Europe, the Middle East and Asia - the men's relatives and friends said the men are innocent entrepreneurs buying cheap phones for marked-up resales. They were targeted, supporters said, because of their Arab heritage.
Yup. That's what I figured. Terror, terror everywhere!
- When it's tough to find a few good men and women to join the army, just have recruiters break the law. Why not? Bush does it too. Troop shortages suck more and more each day. Maybe if the Iraq war wasn't an illegal quagmire of hellish proportions, the military might actually reach its goals by legitimate means.
- Seymour Hersh's latest. Read it.
- If you missed Monday's WH press briefing then you didn't see Tony Snow waffling about whether Bush actually supports the Republican candidate running against Joe Lieberman.
- Possible future Republican presidential candidate, George Allen, has made one huge faux pas. (video)
- It was a bad week for Canadians in Afghanistan.
For some people around here, this mission is not turning out the way they imagined. The once noble cause of providing security to liberate the Afghan people is looking more and more like full-scale war — war with an enemy who doesn’t follow the rules; war with an enemy who is killing their friends.
Isn't it just a bit too late for some to have come to this reality? It is a war. Let's drop this 'Canadian soldiers are on a humanitarian mission' farce and deal with it.
- The Christian Science Monitor has the chronicles of Jill Caroll's kidnapping in Iraq. The intro, parts 1 & 2 are up now.
- Two famous Bills speak at the Toronto AIDS conference which PM Harper has snubbed. As Peg Herbert of Help Lesotho writes:
I am ashamed. My Prime Minister represents everyone in this nation, including those who are suffering from HIV/AIDS. As the leader of a G8 country, he should exercise his obligation and this unique opportunity to represent the developed countries' moral responsibility to eradicate this international pandemic. This is bad politics, shows poor judgment and demonstrates a lack of humanity.
Amen to that.
CBC is providing live streaming of the conference.
Update: About those Homegrown Islamic Fascists.