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Guest Syed Aatif Ali B.

Dearborn men charged with terrorism support

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Guest Syed Aatif Ali B.

Dearborn men charged with terrorism support

By Aatif Ali Bokhari

The Arab American News

DEARBORN – Wednesday, two Dearborn men were charged with money laundering in support of terrorism in a case which critics say is a text book example of anti-Arab discrimination.

Osama Abulhassan, 20, and Ali Houssaiky, 20 were charged in Marietta, Ohio with supporting terrorism after they were arrested Tuesday on a traffic violation.

The two had in their possession a dozen prepaid cell phones and more than $10,000. AP reported Thursday that officers also found airplane passenger lists and airport security information in the car.

The AP also reported, "A municipal court judge ordered that [the two Dearborn men] remain held at the Washington County jail on $200,000 bond each. Both also must surrender their passports.

"Each was charged Wednesday with money laundering in support of terrorism. Prosecutors added a second felony charge on Thursday of soliciting or providing support for acts of terrorism. The two were also charged with a misdemeanor count of falsification."

Assistant County Prosecutor Susan Vessels said that the men should be held without bond and that they lied to police.

Strangely, the charges are not federal in nature. As of Friday morning, the charges were still at the state level, which is "unprecedented," according to Imad Hamad. Hamad is Regional Director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Michigan Chapter (ADC).

The "Detroit Free Press" reported that Ohio passed a law this year that "allows prosecutors to charge people suspected of using money to purchase items that would support terrorists or that terrorists use."

Hamad said that Abulhassan and Ali Houssaiky clearly have nothing to do with terrorism, they have their own business.

Hamad noted that Abulhassan and Houssaiky would find places that were selling phones on discount, buy the phones and then sell them for a profit to others. The two men were not sending the phones overseas as some in the media stated, but selling the phones to a retailer.

Hamad said that the business is totally legal but that the two young men are clearly the victims of bias.

"This is totally a legal business as long as the source of the money is clear, as long as there is documentation and receipts and as long as there is proper tax filing. There is nothing wrong with buying items on sale for a good deal and then reselling them and making a profit.

"Ali and Osama went to a Wal-Mart and bought a number of these phones for sale with cash. It was a salesperson who called the police and told them that two Middle-Eastern men bought these phones.

"The charges are very vague. The state police claimed that these phones contain a certain chip that can be used by terrorists."

Hamad called the claim, "The silliest thing I have ever heard. These phones can be purchased anywhere, including Michigan, it's not like they are special phones."

"Maybe the police weren't aware of this kind of business but they shouldn't have rushed to make a judgment.

"We commend the law enforcement for protecting this country, but that is no excuse for racial profiling and witch hunting."

William Swor, a Detroit attorney representing Houssaiky, said that his client was unfairly treated. He said that police were looking for an excuse to stop the two young men and charge them – the traffic violation never existed.

Swor said that he got his information from an attorney in Marietta but refused to identify his source.

The "Detroit Free Press" had reported Thursday, "According to prosecutors and county investigators, the men were pulled over … after switching lanes without giving the proper turn signal."

"These were college age boys and they were trying to raise money to pay for school. They were buying the phones to resell to a retailer," said Swor.

"It's my understanding that the store clerk was suspicious because they were buying multiple phones and the Department of Homeland Security was saying that this is what terrorists do," he added, confirming Hamad's statement.

"Right now the family needs to concentrate on taking care of each other, this is very stressful," added Swor.

In an exclusive interview with "The Arab American News," Osama Abulhassan's father Subhi said he wanted the public to know the injustice that he believed his son is being put through.

Subhi said that his son Osama, the youngest of five children, is the recipient of many scholarships and is a straight-A student at the University of Michigan. He's also well known for having been a captain of local Fordson High School's basketball team.

"Osama and his friend Ali, who is also a student, but at Wayne State University, decided they want to make a few dollars during the summer break.

"Someone brought it to their attention to buy the phones on discount and resell the phones here to a retailer. They did that a couple times

"Jack Beard [a retailer the two had been doing business with] had already been investigated by the FBI because he was buying a lot of phones and he had been cleared as legitimate. My son was only in business with him for five to six weeks."

But what about the papers in the car? "Houssaiky's mother is an employee of Jordanian Airlines at Metro Detroit Airport," said Subhi. "It was her car that the two were riding in and the papers were related to her work."

Subhi said that he had spent time with his son Osama, Ali and Ali's father Riad, the previous day in Ohio. As he spoke, his eyes began to well up.

"We're feeling very bad about this. All these charges of terrorism are being made and there is no evidence. My wife can't stop crying and it's difficult for her to sleep," he said, covering his eyes.

"If you breathe the wrong way, they're going to link you to terrorism, especially if you are Muslim.

"I would say that every nationality and religion on the face of the earth has its good and bad people. But what this country is doing in its treatment of Islam and Arabs is very bad.

"Any time they get a chance, even any little occurrence, they link it to terrorism. This is not fair."

In another interview, Ali's parents, Nada and Riad, also expressed dispair. "I'm so depressed I want to kill myself," said Nada. She also confirmed that the airline-related papers found in her car were training materials related to her job. "There were no passenger lists," she said. "It was training material teaching us how to get into passenger lists." She has worked for Royal Jordanian Airlines for four years.

Ali's father Riad said the maps referred to in the car were ordinary road maps with Wal-Mart stores marked on them because the kids were buying the phones from Wal-Mart stores for resale.

"I'm a proud American Arab and a proud Muslim and I love America, but this really hurts," Nada said.

###

Edited by Syed Aatif Ali B.

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Dearborn men charged with terrorism support

By Aatif Ali Bokhari

"If you breathe the wrong way, they're going to link you to terrorism, especially if you are Muslim.

Come on, they had $10,000 in cash and a lot of pre-paid phone cards. This is odd, to say the least. The "college kids needing money" story doesn't work either. In fact it sounds idiotic. $10,000 is a hell of a lot of money for a college student, even if split between the two of them! In the rare chance that they are innocent, they were stupid to engage in this type of business, since it appears suspicious on the surface.

"If you breathe the wrong way, they're going to link you to terrorism, espcially if you are muslim." No, if your a 20 year old man and carry around large amounts of cash, along with prepaid phone cards, your stupid and asking for trouble. Come on quit being stupid, and quit feeling sorry for yourselves.

Edited by Renak

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the problem is that there is no evidence tehy were planning on using the phones for terrorism, but they are still being charged with terrorism plots. if purchasing phones and having a lot of money in the car is evidence for terrorism, i dont know what country i live in. how do you know they weren't going to go to the bank the next morning to deposit their profits? if they are terrorists though,t hen they have to be the stupidest.

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Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

They need to hire a lawyer. They cant be searched and have their possessions seized for "changing lanes without a turn signal".

I guess if you are a Muslim, those rules don't apply to you. I'm sick of this. One of those kids went to Fordson High School and that's my current school.

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I guess if you are a Muslim, those rules don't apply to you. I'm sick of this. One of those kids went to Fordson High School and that's my current school.

(bismillah)

(salam)

My cousin goes to that school as well. :dry:

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^This is what I was talking about before with my husband! I can't believe they had the right to search their car just because of a failure to use a signal!! That is insane!

And you know what I saw on ebay yesterday? I was looking for a cell phone and found a company that was selling tons of phones...and guess from where... dearborn! Hm....maybe they had the phones to SELL on EBAY!

nah... it was terrorism....

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Come on, they had $10,000 in cash and a lot of pre-paid phone cards. This is odd, to say the least. The "college kids needing money" story doesn't work either. In fact it sounds idiotic. $10,000 is a hell of a lot of money for a college student, even if split between the two of them! In the rare chance that they are innocent, they were stupid to engage in this type of business, since it appears suspicious on the surface.

This is exactly why the policies of America is going down a slope. Their IDEA of trying to ASSUME something is terrorism if a person carries many cell phones, huge amounts of money etc. I don't see many drug dealers stripped of their citizenship do I? Police aren't so cautious about Marijuana nowadays aren't they? Ah, the closed mindedness of the American politics.

"If you breathe the wrong way, they're going to link you to terrorism, espcially if you are muslim." No, if your a 20 year old man and carry around large amounts of cash, along with prepaid phone cards, your stupid and asking for trouble. Come on quit being stupid, and quit feeling sorry for yourselves.

What's more stupid is to ASSUME without trying to investigate the necessary appliances. American politicians have been bent on rendering terrorism as an "Arab" thing or as something that has to do with "Mobiles" and "chips". What they don't realize is that they too carry the SAME thing. Drug busters off duty? I think so. Do you know their intentions? No. Do you like to assume? Yes. Quit it and im sure your fantasy world will be a lot enjoyable.

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Please the kids are innocent, one of the guys is a math major at UofM and he so incredibly smart Mashallah, And it is crazy to think that he would ever be anything like that. It is a racil profiling. These are 20 year old guys, just goes to show that anything could link you terrorists, what is next????? Allah Sa3doun and give their family Patience during this time. And I heard the amount of money was one thousand something, when the story first broke, but it suddenly jumped, I dunno. These are the things you hear stories about, like oh my friends brother's anuts, neighbor's friend was arrested for being a terrorist. It's crazy!!!!

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Same thing happened to these Texan Muslims and they were caught in Michigan:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metrop...an/4113303.html

Three Texans arraigned on terrorism charges

Authorities in Michigan suspect the men bought cell phones to use to detonate bridge

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

CARO, MICH. — Three Texas men were arraigned Saturday on terrorism-related charges after police found about 1,000 cell phones in their minivan, and prosecutors say they think the men were targeting a bridge connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas.

But two of the men said they were only trying to buy and sell phones to make money, and one said the money was intended to help pay for his brother's college education.

Prosecutor Mark E. Reene wouldn't confirm what evidence led him to think the Dallas men targeted the bridge. He said police picked up a laptop computer containing evidence related to the charges but wouldn't elaborate.

"All I can say is that the Mackinac Bridge is the target at issue," he said. "There's reason to be concerned."

Maruan Awad Muhareb, of Mesquite; Adham Abdelhamid Othman, of Dallas; and Louai Abdelhamied Othman, of Mesquite, are charged with collecting or providing materials for terrorist acts and surveillance of a vulnerable target for terrorist purposes.

Adham and Louai Othman are brothers and are in their early 20s. Muhareb, 18, is their cousin. All are being held at the Tuscola County Jail, police said.

A magistrate set bond at $750,000 for each. No pleas were made at the arraignment at a District Court in Caro, north of Detroit.

"All we did is buy the phones to sell and make money," Louai Abdelhamied Othman told the magistrate. He said authorities had earlier stopped the group in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"We've been checked by the FBI before," he said. "They even gave us their card and everything."

Authorities in Caro have not said what they think the men intended to do with the phones, most of which were prepaid TracFones. But Caro's police chief said cell phones can be used as detonators, and prosecutors in a similar case in Ohio have said that TracFones are often used by terrorists because they are not traceable.

Louai Othman's wife, Lina Odeh, said the men were buying the phones to sell to a man in Dallas for a profit of about $5 per phone. She said they were in Michigan because so many people in the Dallas area are doing the same thing that the phones are often sold out.

"I just want everyone to know that they're innocent," she said.

The Associated Press and Newhouse News Service contributed to this report.

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Come on, they had $10,000 in cash and a lot of pre-paid phone cards. This is odd,

How is that odd? For all you know the people were drug dealers, not terrorists.

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How is that odd? For all you know the people were drug dealers, not terrorists.

Either way, it's suspicious.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

They need to hire a lawyer. They cant be searched and have their possessions seized for "changing lanes without a turn signal".

Terrorists don't play by the rules, neither should the USA government.

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Either way, it's suspicious.

Terrorists don't play by the rules, neither should the USA government.

Seriously, these guys are neither Terrorists or drug dealers, they are a two boys that where going around the country buying cell phones for a discounted price, they were paid to buy them so thier boss could sell them. END of STORY. If they were drug dealers they would have probably had some drugs in the car. However that wasn't the case, and the amount of money they were carrying is questionable, beacause I have heard differnt accounts "When the two men were arrested during a traffic stop Wednesday, investigators said they found $1,100 in cash, 12 cell phones..."

http://www.wxyztv.com/wxyz/nw_local_news/a...4908308,00.html

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This all a bunch of BS...they were buying cell phones from walmart because cell phones are cheaper there then they would go to other places in the country and sell them for more....and these people go and accuse them of being terrorist....give me a break

we are really comeing to the days of Imam mahdi (ajf) i tell you...I mean now a days there allowed to arrest anyone without any charges and ect... all you have to do is be a practising and active muslim and then bam! you are on there terrorist watch list

they just use the term "terrorist" to justify there crimes

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Either way, it's suspicious.

Terrorists don't play by the rules, neither should the USA government.

Retarded logic. See how you racists assume they are terroists before they are convicted. So if terrorists kill innocent civillians so should US government? Oh wait they already do, 2000 americans killed in the twin towers so they kill 10 times as many innocent people. Since when have the US and Israel played by the rules? They implemented terrorism long before there was al qaeda and osama bin laden, what they thought they would have the monopoly on it forever?!

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Terrorists don't play by the rules, neither should the USA government.

You know, when we are children our parents always tell us....2 wrongs don't make a right... so even if they are so called, "terrorist" don't use this exuse to justify there crimes....

I mean when you take away someones basic human rights and your telling me that its okay?

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You know, when we are children our parents always tell us....2 wrongs don't make a right... so even if they are so called, "terrorist" don't use this exuse to justify there crimes....

I mean when you take away someones basic human rights and your telling me that its okay?

Well according to renak/US logic, 2 wrongs don't make a right, they have to counteract 1 wrong with a few hundred wrongs to make a "right".

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(bismillah)

All the terrorism charges have been dropped against the two young guys. If you go to WXYZ.com, you can see the below story:

__________________________________________________________________

Terror Charges Dropped Against Dearborn Men

By 7 Action News Team

August 14, 2006

Terrorism charges against two Dearborn men have been dropped. Ali Houssaiky and Osama Sabhi Abulhassan were pulled over and arrested in Ohio when police found cash, several cell phones and airport security documents in their car.

Now, the prosecutor says he does not have enough evidence to prove a terrorism link, but he says the two men will still face a misdemeanor charge for allegedly lying about why they bought the phones.

The high profile cell phone busts are causing some movement in Lansing. State Representative Kevin Green of Wyoming, Michigan, has proposed a new bill that would require vendors to record the name, address and driver's license information of anyone who buys a pre-paid cell phone.

Prepaid cell phone purchases do not currently require a contract, credit check, or any personal information.

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Guest Katayon

the fbi is going to continue to haunt them. if i was them and able to, id move out of the country before they find an excuse.

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Retarded logic. See how you racists assume they are terroists before they are convicted. So if terrorists kill innocent civillians so should US government? Oh wait they already do, 2000 americans killed in the twin towers so they kill 10 times as many innocent people. Since when have the US and Israel played by the rules? They implemented terrorism long before there was al qaeda and osama bin laden, what they thought they would have the monopoly on it forever?!

Actually, the twin towers collapse was by the U.S. government too. www.seeloosechange.com

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(salam)

Lose change is a deeply flawed movie on a number of accounts. For example, the narrators make the point that the engines couldn't have melted in the WTC. But we talked to an engineer who said that the engines have a special coolant in them that ensures that the temperature stays low. If the supply of coolant is cut off the engines could easily melt. The movie is filled with such inaccuracies.

Regardless of whoever engineered 9/11, Muslims around the world have to deal with the consequences of American domestic and international policy, justified as a result of the event.

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THe boys are actually home now, and all charges of terrorism have been dropped, its pathetic to see how we are treated in the country. Now what happens? We just forget it ever happened?????

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Come on, they had $10,000 in cash and a lot of pre-paid phone cards. This is odd, to say the least. The "college kids needing money" story doesn't work either. In fact it sounds idiotic. $10,000 is a hell of a lot of money for a college student, even if split between the two of them! In the rare chance that they are innocent, they were stupid to engage in this type of business, since it appears suspicious on the surface.

"If you breathe the wrong way, they're going to link you to terrorism, espcially if you are muslim." No, if your a 20 year old man and carry around large amounts of cash, along with prepaid phone cards, your stupid and asking for trouble. Come on quit being stupid, and quit feeling sorry for yourselves.

I use prepaid phone cards. They're cheaper than my long distance plan.

Also, regarding the definitions of possible terrorists, have you read the definitions of terrorist on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website? The jew, Michael Chertoff, who runs America's homeland security department, has some pretty loose definitions, which can be applied to virtually anyone the American government wants to target. They need only say you're affiliated with a "hate group" (and the jew decides what does or what doesn't constitute hate).

A year or so ago, that act was used to arrest an American citizen who was volunteering his time to patrol America's southern border. His only "crime" was apprehending illegal aliens. He was doing the job that George Bush and his inept flunkies are too incompetent to do.

Carrying around $10,000 in cash, though, will get a person arrested. You're right about that. The government figures that anyone carrying that much cash is engaging in criminal activities. At any given time in the United States, however, there are criminals carrying that kind of cash. Jewish ecstacy dealers. Jewish money launders. Jewish prostitution pimps. Jewish diamond smugglers.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060815/ts_al...st_060815182332

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/15/prostitu...tion=cnn_latest

I almost forgot. They could have been Jewish lobbyists with pay-off money for shabbos goy politicians. If these guys had been working for AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), $10,000 in cash would merely be bribe money...no big deal.

Edited by Angst

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The boys lied about why they purchased the phones. Sounds fishy. Why are people still trying to defend them?

Why do they need to be defended? Since when is purchasing pre-paid phone cards from Wal-Mart a crime?

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Why do they need to be defended? Since when is purchasing pre-paid phone cards from Wal-Mart a crime?

They were suspicious, taken into custody, they lied.

Muslims youth, buying a lot of pre-paid phone cards look suspicious. Hard fact for many to face, but it's true. I also admit that it's a sad fact to face. Not every muslim is a terrorist! However, people need to come to terms with the fact that the USA is battling Islamic terrorism.

I've come to terms with the fact that I can't go to Saudi Arabia and spread Christianity. Thus, I will not walk down Saudi Arabian streets with the holy bible, and various evangelical booklets. It wouldn't be a wise idea for me. I accept this. Muslims need to accept that they are under more scrutiny for possible links to terrorism.

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Here is a scenario for you Mr Renak

Say you are an international student and your parents live in Pakistan. You go to Wal mart and buy a large amount of international calling cards to call your parents back home. The reason you buy a large amount is to avoid the possible scenario of having no cards when needed to call. So is that a crime or are you labelled a terrorist just because you wanna call your parents who happen to live in a country which is deemed a terrorist hide out?

Wsalaams

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Here is a scenario for you Mr Renak

Say you are an international student and your parents live in Pakistan. You go to Wal mart and buy a large amount of international calling cards to call your parents back home. The reason you buy a large amount is to avoid the possible scenario of having no cards when needed to call. So is that a crime or are you labelled a terrorist just because you wanna call your parents who happen to live in a country which is deemed a terrorist hide out?

Wsalaams

If the USA was committing terroristic acts against Pakistan, then I would not buy an enormous amount of calling cards. This would be considered suspicious. It just seems like common sense to me.

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Muslims need to accept that they are under more scrutiny for possible links to terrorism.

Muslims will never ACCEPT injustice, it's against our religion to do so. Of course, Muslims are AWARE of what's behind the dirty looks and suspicious startes they receive (especially when they can be "profiled" by their dress, complexion, etc.). This, however, does not mean that they will ever ACCEPT the prejudice and ignorant attitudes of such people as normal or O.K.

To put the "shoe on the other foot", many non-Muslims who come here claim that they are "interested in Islam" when they are, in fact, simply trolls or evangelists who are on a "fishing" trip. Based on your logic I should simply ban all non-Muslims based on my "suspicion". Fortunately this is NOT the logic used on this site, but rather, individuals are judges for THEIR OWN words and actions (not the words and actions of others).

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The boys lied about why they purchased the phones. Sounds fishy. Why are people still trying to defend them?

So you say if a westerner in Muslim land is arrested for suspicious activities, west would also not make a big deal ----- because lot of them are engaged in espionage.

Rules can apply both ways.

They were suspicious, taken into custody, they lied.

Muslims youth, buying a lot of pre-paid phone cards look suspicious. Hard fact for many to face, but it's true. I also admit that it's a sad fact to face. Not every muslim is a terrorist! However, people need to come to terms with the fact that the USA is battling Islamic terrorism.

I've come to terms with the fact that I can't go to Saudi Arabia and spread Christianity. Thus, I will not walk down Saudi Arabian streets with the holy bible, and various evangelical booklets. It wouldn't be a wise idea for me. I accept this. Muslims need to accept that they are under more scrutiny for possible links to terrorism.

What happened about "innocent until proved guilty", Don’t forget the people held in Guantanamo are not terrorist. They have not been found guilty. They are held under suspicion, for years now. And they are being tortured. If an American is held under same circumstance by the other countries would that be acceptable to you?

So what else do think Muslims should come to terms with and accept?

Is this what the new world order, democracy,free world and frrdom means?

BTW - what is US doing in Iraq -- the war was illegal -- and nobody wants them there. Don't you think, this American "holier then thou" attitude with the hypocrisy written in BOLD is a bit too much?

Edited by Ali Fazel

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Renaak why are you so sure the guys lied? Ok, the police said they lied, that's supposed to be proof? After all the other outrageous claims that the prosecutor's levied against them, I wouldn't be surprised if law enforcement just wanted to make them look guilty in the name of "catching a big fish" It's gone on through out American history and I for one am not going to rule out that this might have never happened.

Edited by onelove

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Extra: Statement by Osama Abulhassan

Posted on: 08/18/06 at 5:24am

By Outside Sources

Statement by Osama Abulhassan on behalf of himself and Ali Houssaiky, issued on August 17, 2006:

To begin I would like to thank all the members of my community in standing behind myself and Ali in these trying times. I am aware that everyone who knew us or our families did not question our innocence. The impact of their loyalty cannot be understated.

We were both born here in the United States. We are truly Americans in every sense, and we are proud of our heritage. As a proud Arab American, I’m only asking that we be afforded the same rights and protections of our fellow Americans. There is no justification for treating us as second class citizens. The past 10 days have been an incredibly difficult time for myself, my friend Ali, our respective families, and members of our community. There seemed to be no presumption of innocence regarding the baseless charges that were brought forth. We were nowhere near being placed on trial yet we were so readily associated with guilt and wrongdoing. Our reputations were tarnished, our names blackened, and our families left to suffer, all without any justification.

I hope this unfortunate turn of events will open some eyes and shed light on the paranoia and xenophobia that is gripping the country. These are serious issues and they need to be addressed. We can no longer turn and look the other way. There needs to be accountability. I would hope that police, prosecutors, and other law enforcement agencies exhibit a higher sense of responsibility in carrying out the critical functions that they serve.

I would also hope that the media is more responsible when reporting occurrences such as this one. Instead of sensationalizing these events and causing fear and mass hysteria, the media should be more vigilant and careful when reporting the news. It should pay close attention to occurrences of, or even the possibility of racial profiling, and the mistreatment of minorities in this country. As an expansive source of information, the media should educate people and help expose the negative aspects that linger in our justice system. By doing this, we can unite people, give them a true sense of security, and make sure that the interests of justice are truly served.

http://www.mariettaonline.com/news/news_detail.php?ID=6077

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