Sunday, August 13, 2006

Capitalism, Not Terrorism is Motive, They Say

The three men recently nabbed buying hundreds of cell phones and accused of plotting to destroy a bridge in Michigan claim that they were simply buying phones for resale at a profit.

Sex Offender?

Congratulations to JUSTIN ENGEL from The Saginaw News who included lots of details about the arrest and the men involved: two brothers, Adham Abdelhamid Othman, 21, and Louai Abdelhamied Othman, 23, and their cousin, Maruan Awad Muhareb, 18.

"One suspect admitted to a criminal background.

Adham Abdelhamid Othman said Texas courts charged him with a felony count of indecent exposure seven years ago, forcing him to register as a sex offender.

The Texas Department of Public Safety's online sex offender database shows a photo record of a Adham Jacob Othman -- with similar features and a matching birthdate -- who took his latest photo for the Web site June 29.

Authorities in Mesquite -- a community in Dallas -- convicted Othman of "Indecency w/child sexual contact" involving a 5-year-old female."

Perhaps you'd like to check the the Texas State record with a recent photo and see for yourself?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Explosives Ring a Bell

Today's revelation that a number of persons--make that suspected terrorists--were arrested in England, thus short-circuiting their plot to blow up a number of airplanes was the biggest news of the day. The discussion of explosives in this case pointed to use of relatively easily obtained materials. "Nitroglycerin and similar explosives have become much harder to slip by aiport security today than they were a decade ago thanks to "sniffer" machines that can detect trace amounts of explosives residue on luggage and passengers.

Partly for that reason, terrorists have increasingly turned to peroxide-based explosives such as TATP, which was used in last year's London subway bombings. Production of the explosive has been perfected over the past several decades by Palestinian bomb-makers who produce it using bleach, drain cleaner and acetone paint thinner."

The media have been discussing Richard Reid (known as the shoe bomber)--but I haven't read much today about the student who died in an explosion outside the stadium of the University of Oklahoma on October 1, 2005--an explosion that took place within 100 yards of a stadium filled with a crowd of more that 84,000. Descriptions of that incident included varying reports about the material used. Jack L. Allen wrote about the incident. There have been conflicting reports about the explosion. One, which I repeated in my October 7 article, said the bomb was made of TATP, supposedly the same material used in the London subway bombings. I don’t know what TATP is, but The Oklahoman has since quoted the youth’s father, Joel Hinrichs Jr., of Colorado Springs, as saying the FBI told him the bomb was made of hydrogen peroxide..."

Allen's column summarizes speculations after the incident concerning the Joel Hinrich III's association with Islam.

Many articles explore the incident. For example, The Oklahoman, in March, "A Norman police bomb expert said Tuesday he does not believe University of Oklahoma student Joel Henry Hinrichs III committed suicide by blowing himself up outside a packed football stadium. "I believe he accidentally blew himself up," Sgt. George Mauldin said. Mauldin said Hinrichs, 21, an engineering student, had two to three pounds of triacetone triperoxide, commonly known as TATP, in a backpack in his lap when it exploded Oct. 1. ..."

As one of America's now venerable novelists wrote in quite another context, "And so it goes."