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Text Message Brands Quebec Man a Terror Suspect 451

Posted by Soulskill
from the rooting-for-the-habs-will-do-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Saad Allami likely never expected that a simple text message of encouragement would have turned his life upside down. But as seen in a similar case of absurd overreaction by authorities, a simple text message is all it takes to have yourself branded as a terrorist. From the article: 'The Quebec man says he was arrested by provincial police while picking up his seven-year-old son at school. A team of police officers stormed into his home, telling his wife she was married to a terrorist. And his work colleagues were detained for hours at the U.S. border because of their connection to him.'"
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Text Message Brands Quebec Man a Terror Suspect

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  • What was it? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:22PM (#38930755)

    What were the contents of the text message? That seems like sort of a key point.

    • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Informative)

      by guabah (968691) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:25PM (#38930781)
      He just wanted to "blow away" the competition
      • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rockoon (1252108) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:37PM (#38930861)
        A Connecticut Casino [mohegansun.com] has a set of 4 "core values" that its employees are supposed to emulate:

        Blowing Away the Customer
        Developing Passionate and Dedicated Employees
        Continuously Striving for Perfection
        Bottom Line Performance


        Is this out of a terrorist handbook?
        • by russotto (537200) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:10PM (#38931081) Journal

          Connecticut Casino has a set of 4 "core values" that its employees are supposed to emulate:

          Blowing Away the Customer

          I think that must have been done by a non-native English speaker. It's just a mistaken idiom; the correct "core value" is "Cleaning Out the Customer".

        • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:36PM (#38931229) Homepage Journal

          Blowing the customer. That's got to be a Nevada casino? No?

          • by jasno (124830)

            I think it's a reference to the complementary buffet...

            • by EdIII (1114411)

              If you mean violent liquid diarrhea, than that just depends where you went on the strip. Most are ok.

              On another note, I don't think the premise in your sig works. Otherwise I would have brought peace to the Middle East a long time ago.

        • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@ g m a i l.com> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:39PM (#38931249) Journal

          Ya know, we all make fun of them when they do obvious dumbshit like this, but how much of this is typical corporate CYA that always happens when somebody fucks up? I mean they ignored the guys learning to fly a plane and not land it which now looks pretty fucking stupid but at that time, when the only thing any terrorist had ever done with a plane was demand it take him to Cuba? Compared to what they had on their plates it probably wasn't seen as a big whoop.

          Well now here we are, and after millions spent in investigation on how they could have missed 9/11 i have no problem thinking they may go completely overboard in the other direction in a classic case of CYA. Again while not condoning this obvious dumbshit maneuver given the circumstances you can see why it happens, nobody wants to be labeled the next guy that "ZOMFG you fucked up and let them attack us you monster!" so here we go.

          • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Atzanteol (99067) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:02PM (#38931367) Homepage

            That's precisely part of the problem. Security isn't about CYA it's about catching bad guys and not arresting innocent people (the latter seems to be forgotten a lot). And this CYA behavior is being reinforced by "management" rather than discouraged. So if somebody find a battery on the ground near a building and suggests "it looks suspicious" then all the way up the line people are thinking "IT'S A BOMB DESTROY IT" without any justification or disagreement.

          • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by deanklear (2529024) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:47PM (#38931569)

            Compared to what they had on their plates it probably wasn't seen as a big whoop.

            Don't paper over our intelligence failures. The title of the memo to the President of the US was "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the US." Bin Laden was, at that time, the head of an organization that had already carried out terrorist attacks against the United States in Kenya, as well as the bombing of the USS Cole. He wasn't a sales manager in Montreal.

            If our governments are going to assume that we are all terrorists until proven innocent, the war on terror is over. We lost.

            • by Jawnn (445279)

              If our governments are going to assume that we are all terrorists until proven innocent, the war on terror is over. We lost.

              You must be new here. That truth has been well established. I can think of no finer illustration of that than TFA, wherein is the account of a man whose greatest "offenses" were his religion and ethnicity. Absent those two things, his "blow away the competition" message would not have been stretched to such ridiculous interpretation. Yes "ridiculous", as in "deserving of nothing but ridicule and scorn". Instead, the lawmakers and to a large degree, judges, continue to defend this kind of paranoid behavior

          • by kosty (52388) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:16PM (#38931739) Homepage

            You mean like THIS guy? http://img3.etsystatic.com/il_fullxfull.111497703.jpg [etsystatic.com]

          • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by dbIII (701233) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:26PM (#38931785)

            when the only thing any terrorist had ever done with a plane was demand it take him to Cuba

            It was so obvious it was in a Tom Clancy book and an X-Files spinoff. Both being unashamedly derivative products it came from a lot of other places before that.

            • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@ g m a i l.com> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:46PM (#38931895) Journal

              Yes but I wonder how much of it is 'pretend it isn't there and the monster might go away" wishful thinking? i mean in ANY small town you have enough chemicals that mixed in the right way would be an instant nightmare, see OKC for an example, yet we simply can't survive without those very same chemicals. Frankly I'm amazed we haven't had some nutjob set off a nuke yet as the gun design is VERY crude and with the fall of the USSR there have been plenty of reports of shit just turning up gone.

              Frankly I think the ONLY thing that has saved our asses so far is terrorists are like most criminals and REALLY fucking stupid. We are in serious fucking trouble if they ever figure out how to recruit people with a brain because frankly all this security theater crap would be trivially avoided by anybody with a brain, lucky for us what they get is morons like the underwear bomber. But if they had to actually lock down all the different things that could create mass destruction frankly the whole country would be in gridlock. The best they can do is hope they can trip over the right intel at the right time of they do something really fucking stupid like brag about their plans on some jihad channel on the net. Because the world we have now simply wasn't designed with "Hey can this be used by a nutjob with a cause against us?" in mind.

              • Re:What was it? (Score:4, Insightful)

                by ZorinLynx (31751) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @02:03AM (#38932651) Homepage

                >We are in serious fucking trouble if they ever figure out how to recruit people with a brain

                The thing is, 99.99% of "people with a brain" are smart enough to realize that terrorism is always a bad idea.

                The 0.01% who happen to be smart but not smart enough to avoid being terrorists tend to be the leaders like Bin Laden.

              • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Interesting)

                by rahvin112 (446269) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @05:15AM (#38933313)

                Nothing happened with the Russian material because the Russian military officers were consummate professionals interested in maintaining the integrity of their nuclear supplies EVEN when they weren't being paid. The US helped a bit by offering support in the form of money, tracking technology and basically secretarial assistance in tracking and verifying the integrity of the supplies but every goes back to the Russians and their professionalism.

                The few times a couple ounces of material disappeared it happened from commercial sources not weapons and even then it was quickly intercepted when they tried to sell it. This was all confirmed recently with recent books from people that have retired that were involved in the process, the Russians were always very professional. Hell its the reason we never ended up in a war with them, that same professionalism got Kruchef sacked and Stalin murdered by a Coumadin overdose. We might have some idealogical differences with the Russians on occasion but they've always been sane responsible people with integrity and honor.

              • Gun devices are not as easy as they look, and more importantly are woefully ineffective, meaning you need on the order of 10x more bomb grade material. They are more sensitive to contaminants as well.

                Despite what you read in books getting hold of bomb grade material is very very hard. First of all even a disenfranchised Russian is not stupid or completely amoral for example. Next is that it is not easy to hide for a number of reasons. Finally you have to be careful how you move it around or it will go "d
        • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Informative)

          by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:47PM (#38931297) Homepage

          Is this out of a terrorist handbook?

          In Portuguese the word "bomba" can mean "bomb", "pump" or "eclair", so you infer the meaning from context. Now, guess what happened to a not-quite-fluent-in-English Brazilian businessman when, passing through US customs a few years ago with a pump, and asked by the customs officer what that were, he replied with an epic mistranslated "a water bomb"?

          • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by ThePeices (635180) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:09PM (#38931387)

            And the moral of the story is?
            Dont travel to the US.

            The #1 reason why the US was quickly ruled out as my holiday destination this year is because of the horror stories like this.
            Im not a criminal hell bent on the cold blooded murder of thousands of people, im a tourist.
            I want to take photos of my trip, not take photos with the intent of bombing the place.
            I dont want to be fondled, radiated or seen naked on every plane trip, have guns pointed at me, screamed at followed or harassed.

            bah, fuck that, im going somewhere else.
            A real shame too, as genuinely I wanted to go there and see the sights.

            • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Informative)

              by CaptainAmerica1941 (689079) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:18PM (#38931435)
              Considering this story was about Canada, you must be really paranoid!
      • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @12:12AM (#38932013) Homepage Journal

        I like this guy, already. He isn't suing for millions, he is suing for $100,000. And, he wants a certificate of good conduct so that he can work in the field of his choosing. Obviously, he wants to embarrass the fools responsible. Sounds like a reasonable guy to me. I get so disgusted with people who have a legitimate greivance, but blow it all out of proportion by suing for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. It's like, "Oh, these guys insulted me - I should never have to work again! Set me up with luxury homes, luxury cars, furs, diamonds, yachts and private jets!"

        • by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @05:54AM (#38933429)

          I like this guy, already. He isn't suing for millions, he is suing for $100,000. And, he wants a certificate of good conduct so that he can work in the field of his choosing. Obviously, he wants to embarrass the fools responsible. Sounds like a reasonable guy to me. I get so disgusted with people who have a legitimate greivance, but blow it all out of proportion by suing for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. It's like, "Oh, these guys insulted me - I should never have to work again! Set me up with luxury homes, luxury cars, furs, diamonds, yachts and private jets!"

          (Emphasis mine.)
          You never learn, do you?!

    • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Squiddie (1942230) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:25PM (#38930783)
      The article says that he told his colleagues to "blow away" the competition, so most likely it read as, "Blow them away." And it was misinterpreted.
      • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jeremi (14640) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:28PM (#38930813) Homepage

        The article says that he told his colleagues to "blow away" the competition, so most likely it read as, "Blow them away." And it was misinterpreted.

        Indeed -- but misinterpreted by whom? His colleagues, or by someone who was spying on his text messages? And if it was the latter, did they have a search warrant, or is this another case of the government conducting warrantless wiretaps?

        • by Squiddie (1942230)
          The article doesn't say, but it was more likely that they were spying on him.
        • And if it is the former, that is even scarier. We can trust no one!
        • by AHuxley (892839)
          The NSA dictionary search was run by very smart people and the different federal actions never really got too public over many years.
          Now every federal, state and telco related agency is trying for the same easy telco feeds on cheap "super" computers after renting or buying dictionary search software.
        • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Seq (653613) <slashdot@chri s i r w in.ca> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:51PM (#38930967)

          Allami says he sent the text message in French and used the word ''exploser,'' a term he claims is commonly used in finance to mean grow or succeed.

          • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Rytis (907427) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:29PM (#38931179)
            It is indeed used very often in colloquial French. You can explode your budget, some limit/quota (overspend or overdo) and yes, you can explode your competition as the title of this article [premiere.fr] says.
            • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by geogob (569250) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @05:32AM (#38933359)

              Maybe its common in the french language in France. In Quebec, where most french speaking Canadians are, I don't think I've ever heard the word "exploser" in that context. If I did, it was only on very rare occasions.

              If I had been the analyst on the case, I would have raised a red flag too. What's missing is the whole context. You can't raise flags on single words without their context. Without the full text message, it's hard to get an opinion on the matter.

        • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by meerling (1487879) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:30PM (#38931195)
          "Allami says he sent the text message in French and used the word ''exploser,'' a term he claims is commonly used in finance to mean grow or succeed."

          Bet it was picked up by english keyword software or 'examined' by an english speaker that obviously doesn't understand french idioms/slang, so he googled it, and found the wrong definition.
          Basic moron level knee-jerking.
        • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by stephanruby (542433) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @02:55AM (#38932873)

          He said "exploser" which is French for "explode", which he interprets as "succeed" or "blow them away". I am originally from France and I can't say I'm familiar with that specific wording, but that's how I would interpret it myself if I ever received such a message from a co-worker (unless of course I was a terrorist, in which case context means everything).

          Indeed -- but misinterpreted by whom? His colleagues, or by someone who was spying on his text messages?

          This was a private text message directed _at_ his co-workers who were at a trade-show abroad. If that message had really been about a real bomb, it would imply that anyone it was directed at would have been an accomplice. Also, I doubt the authorities would have waited until the co-workers came back through border control to interrogate them if the complaints had really come from the co-workers themselves.

          And if it was the latter, did they have a search warrant, or is this another case of the government conducting warrantless wiretaps?

          My bet would be that they were using Blackberry's private BBMs network. In Europe (except for the UK), government officials and high ranking businessmen are told not to use Blackberries, because all the traffic is said to be shared de-encrypted with the US/UK/Canadian/New Zealand/Australian intelligence's echelon program as part of their anglo-security intelligence sharing pact. It is said that even if you're sending a text or an email to an office worker just standing in an office down the hall from you, it doesn't matter where you are in Europe, and even if you're not in the UK, the text or email will first go through the UK so that it can first be indexed and analyzed by the echelon program before it can make its way back to your country and be delivered to your co-worker.

          • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Informative)

            by compro01 (777531) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @03:32AM (#38933021)

            He said "exploser" which is French for "explode", which he interprets as "succeed" or "blow them away". I am originally from France and I can't say I'm familiar with that specific wording

            Being from France doesn't help you much with informal Quebecois French. It has deviated considerably in the past couple centuries.

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:03PM (#38931033)

        I understand a guy who does not have english as his first language using the phrase and not meaning it literally.

        BUT - what excuse is there for north american 'authorities' to misunderstand this very common expresssion ?

        there is no excuse. anyone in charge connected to this should be fired.

        or, blown away....

        • by Baloroth (2370816)

          This guy was from Quebec, whose official language is technically French, so it seems entirely possible that whichever law enforcement agent (the provincial police arrested him) heard about it was not, in fact, a native English speaker as such.

          Most Canadians do speak English, but Quebec is the primarily French section of Canada. Haven't been there, but from what I've heard about it from my Canadian friends, this seems possible. Still an over-reaction, obviously.

          • by Fjandr (66656)

            It is even worse if the law enforcement officers were native French speakers, because the text was in French and used a common idiom which would have been far less likely to be misinterpreted by a native speaker than someone speaking English as their primary language. On the other hand, if the law enforcement officers were English-speaking, the translator should probably be fired for incompetence. Knowledge of common idioms is absolutely essential when it comes to translations for any important purpose (suc

      • by lazarus (2879)

        It was also said in French. And Quebec French at that. So this would have had to have been translated by someone in the US before it was decided that this was a threat. Possibly poorly translated...

        But on top of that TFA is merely speculating about the cause of the arrest. Both the prosecutor and defendant are not talking specifics so we really don't know what the cause was. I doubt very much that the Americans built a terrorist profile from a single text message in a foreign language.

    • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:01PM (#38931027)

      "Salem, je serai à New York le 25 janvier, on va exploser ACN, si vous avez des contacts référez-les moi"

      http://www.aufaitmaroc.com/maroc/societe/2012/2/3/canada-un-entrepreneur-dorigine-marocaine-souhaitant-exploser-la-concurrence-ecroue

      • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Yvan256 (722131) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:20PM (#38931139) Homepage Journal

        Salem, je serai à New York le 25 janvier, on va exploser ACN, si vous avez des contacts référez-les moi.

        Translates to:
        Salem, I will be in New York on January 25h, we will explode ACN, if you have contacts refer them to me.

        So yes, if you only see that sentence alone by itself, it will make you want to go and arrest the man.

        The question is, why didn't they dig a bit deeper to get more information such as more details about the supposed bomb and other supposed terrorists *AND* why was his message intercepted in the first place? Welcome to 1984. The real terrorists did win, everyone in North America now lives in a police state.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So yes, if you only see that sentence alone by itself, it will make you want to go and arrest the man.

          Really? Seeing that would make you want to have this man arrested? You are just as bloody bad as the authorities there!

          Do you honestly think a genuine terrorist would right out say in a text message to an accomplice that they are going to blow something up? Do you honestly think they are that naive and that stupid?

          geez....

          • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by AHuxley (892839) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:22PM (#38931763) Homepage Journal
            A genuine bad person would have direct or 2nd gen state/covert training. They know to stay off any 'phone' due to voice prints, call logs, camera, gps, unique embedded photo codes and risks spyware been pushed onto the phone.
            A phone is an open mic, a log of all your contacts and links you to people who might have sold out, been turned or just been lazy or unlucky.
        • by zill (1690130)
          Your translation is wrong. As the article points out directly below the text message: [google.com]

          The term "blow" the competition is regularly used in motivational speech to mean a victory and thus does not cause confusion, according to the complaint.

    • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jamstar7 (694492) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:26PM (#38931165)
      With a name like Saad Allami you just know he was being profiled.
      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Not just profiling. Grossly lazy policing. It seems that many places in the world the police are simply getting lazier and stupider. Forget professionalism in policing, let's go right wing cheap and performance based.

        Instead of professional police officers, we are getting failed jock strap bullies, not good for much else and obviously have to rely on methods other than real detective sleuthing to pursue criminals.

        Idiots at keyboards, basically incapable of doing the job and relying on infantile data ba

    • I don't know, I live in Quebec and I speak french. I never ever heard about this story before and from TFA, it's more than one year old (21 January 2011). That's only now I am learning about it on ./, never ever read about it in our local, regional and national newspapers. So, this raises the question: What damages to his reputation can he really claim since nobody heard about it until he decided to sue the authorities?
  • Much worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Squiddie (1942230) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:23PM (#38930757)
    They arrested him because of a simple text message, not because any actions that he took. Just speech. That's a lot worse, if you ask me.
    • by timmy.cl (1102617)

      Also, he is Moroccan native, and his seemingly arabic name probably doesn't help him either. So much for racial and origin equity.

      • Re:Much worse (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:01PM (#38931023)

        You're all missing the obvious. Forget his religion, origins, looks or name. Look at this, FTA:
        "His case has surfaced after another story about an unexpected national-security case, triggered by what appeared to be a meaningless comment."
        And that bit about the two Britts a few days ago ...
        Doesn't that mean that every bit of data passing through the USA is monitored?

        • If you missed the bit about the secret rooms at the telephone exchanges, then yes they listen to everything. And as it is impossible to have humans handle that volume it means automated word/phrase monitoring. The intelligence agencies (foolishly) believe that with computers they can catch all the bad guys just by spying on everyone and letting the computers sort it all out. Eventually they will re-discover that effective intelligence gathering doesn't work like that. Until then we just complain and hop
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't matter. Here is how the average idiot American (the people who end up on JURIES - which is fucking TERRIFYING) perceives something like this:

      "He's obviously guilty - otherwise the government wouldn't be looking into him."

      • by Grumbleduke (789126) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:31PM (#38931511) Journal

        It doesn't matter. Here is how the average idiot American (the people who end up on JURIES - which is fucking TERRIFYING) perceives something like this: "He's obviously guilty - otherwise the government wouldn't be looking into him."

        Sadly I've had that argument used against me when discussing issues of detention without trial or charge (such as relating to this year's NDAA-thingamy, or a UK case a few years ago); the argument is something along the lines that it doesn't matter if the people 'arrested' don't get the right to a trial, or an opportunity to plead their case, because the government/state/police are only allowed to use the law on evil terrorists, so anyone picked up must be one - the government wouldn't arrest someone if they didn't know for sure.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:23PM (#38930765)

    He was actually charged with terrorism for not also send his message in French. This is Quebec after all.

    • Actually, from the article:

      "Allami says he sent the text message in French and used the word ''exploser,'' a term he claims is commonly used in finance to mean grow or succeed."

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:28PM (#38930815)

    But I'd really like to see the exact contents of the original text, as opposed to him giving us a vague description about how it mentioned "blowing away" the competition. That is, was it

    "Go to this trade show and do such a good sales job that the competition is blown away!"

    or a more hyperbolic comment like

    "Blow those guys away. Annihilate them. Don't stop until they're lying in a puddle of their own blood, begging for mercy."

  • Nations of Cowards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swbirding (2564493) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:33PM (#38930845)
    The US and Canada have become such cowardly nations that anything can be made into a threat.
  • by RenHoek (101570) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:41PM (#38930885) Homepage

    Knowing the DHS scrapes all of the social sites and sites like Slashdot, I would like to say that the DHS can 'blow me'.

    So there...

    • Knowing the DHS scrapes all of the social sites and sites like Slashdot, I would like to say that the DHS can 'blow me'.

      So there...

      You're doing it wrong. You're not supposed to tell DHS to blow you, you've got to threaten to blow them. But either way, just remember that you're on their watch list now. So if a guy solicits you in a bathroom, you'll have to assume it's a DHS agent.

    • I'm not sure how much of the following is true. Rumor had it that from the mid-90s on back, the NSA and FBI would monitor a random selection of local telco phone calls (analog POT line for the younger readers). The purpose was seek out certain key words by computer and then flag the call for further review by an agent eavesdropping on it. They say if you heard a "click" after speaking one of these key words or phrases, someone just tapped into your line due to the change in voltage caused by this.

  • by dgharmon (2564621) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:41PM (#38930891) Homepage
    "Telecommunications sales manager Saad Allami .. sent a text message to colleagues urging them to "blow away" the competition at a trade show in New York City"

    Well there you have it, an obvious prima facie case if there ever were one. An Arab sounding name next to the words 'blow away` and 'New York`. The computers at Fort Meade must have lit up like a Christmas tree ..
  • His name is Saad Allami and he sent your daughter a text message that said "Hello?"

    Book him, Danno.

  • by metalmaster (1005171) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:46PM (#38930937)
    - His name sounds Arabic
    - He wants his colleagues to "blow away competition"
    - The supposed target is in NYC
    - The supposed venue is hosting a trade show

    He is a terrorist QED.
  • by IonOtter (629215) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:49PM (#38930957) Homepage

    We need to be asking the right questions here:

    He made the tweet on Jan 21, and he was picked up three days later. That is an incredibly fast turnaround for law enforcement, even for the US or Canada. They were throwing the T-word around like it was a known fact, all while terrorizing his wife and co-workers.

    So, let's ask some useful questions.

    1. How long have the authorities been monitoring this man?
    2. WHY have they been monitoring him?
    3. WHY did they go after his co-workers?

    The answers are bound to be exceptionally interesting and frightening.

    • by quantaman (517394)

      We need to be asking the right questions here:

      He made the tweet on Jan 21, and he was picked up three days later. That is an incredibly fast turnaround for law enforcement, even for the US or Canada.

      We're talking about suspicion that there's about to be an attack, particularly one involving the T-word, frankly 3 days is a little slow (but who knows when the trade show was).

      They were throwing the T-word around like it was a known fact, all while terrorizing his wife and co-workers.

      Not the first time unfortunately [thestar.com]

      So, let's ask some useful questions.

      1. How long have the authorities been monitoring this man?
      2. WHY have they been monitoring him?
      3. WHY did they go after his co-workers?

      The answers are bound to be exceptionally interesting and frightening.

      1. He's Arab and presumably Muslim, he and a ton of people like him have probably been monitored to some degree for a while.
      2. see 1), particularly if he's part of a mosque you probably don't have to follow that many links to find someone with terrorist ties (you can do the same thing with Christian

    • by martin-boundary (547041) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:52PM (#38931321)
      He might not have been *monitored* at all. It's quite possible that a disgruntled neighbor/colleague/customer/acquaintance simply decided to accuse him anonymously. That would explain fast turnaround much more simply.

      1) Authorities don't know about man.
      2) Someone with a grudge against man sees tweet, and reports it to authorities.
      3) Authorities learn about tweet, Arab name, bomb action word, and decide to arrest the man.

  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:49PM (#38930959)

    ...there's no racial profiling going on here at all, no, no...

  • by rainwalker (174354) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:00PM (#38931015)

    ...is Canada intercepting every single text message sent in their country? TFA doesn't say, but frankly I'm pretty curious. The UK people banned for the Twitter comment actually makes a little sense, as Twitter is public, but AFAIK text messages aren't.

    • by russotto (537200)
      Even if Canada was intercepting every text message sent (not unlikely), they wouldn't admit it for this. He's a sales manager, he sent this message to several colleagues. One of them probably figured they could get ahead by turning him in.
      • by jamstar7 (694492)
        SMS goes through computer systems on the way to its destination. Every message has the phone number where it originated and its destination, otherwise you'd never know who sent you that sext wanting to meet you in the janitor's closet, and the sexts to that hot girl in Accounting won't get through. Telco programmers might be 2nd tier, but they'll know how to tell the computers to watch every text from, say, 212-555-1212 and scan it for key words. Reasonably trivial, since the message itself is in plainte
  • i am just smashed thermodynamically to pieces by the kind overreaction here

    one wonders if a complete shock wave of annihilation of common sense has occurred

    what do we do as a society if we utterly and eruptive eviscerate and detonate our sense of proportion?

    a violent cataclysm of frothing hysteria is bursting forth and is explosively convulsively disintegrating mental composure here in a frenzied fulminating volcano of bursting boiling meteoric rage and---

    [NO CARRIER]

  • by guttentag (313541) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:29PM (#38931175) Journal
    There are some things you just know better than to do. Don't yell "bomb" on a plane, don't point toy guns at people, don't joke about threatening a head of state, and don't send your buddies a text message about blowing people away as they are on their way to the airport.

    Here's the part of TFA that gets me:

    Allami says he hasn't been able to get a certificate of good conduct, which he would need in order to get a job working in finance.

    His allegations have not been proven in court and the application is to be presented at the Montreal courthouse on March 5.

    Provincial police spokesman Guy Lapointe says the force is aware of the case but will not comment as it is before the courts. A Justice Department spokesperson also declined to comment.

    Police had in Laval, Que., where he applied for the certificate, found terrorism accusations and public mischief on his file, even though his public file shows no signs of the allegations.

    "Without the certificate of good conduct, the plaintiff can no longer work in his profession," the document states.

    First of all, you need a "certificate of good conduct" from the police to work in the financial industry in Canada? On Wall Street, you almost need a certificate of unscupulous conduct to work in the financial industry.

    Second, Canadians have a "public file?" This sounds like something that was dreamed up to make people feel like they could access the government's information about them. But it implies that there's a private file as well that you will never see, which defeats the purpose of having a public file. In the U.S., you can request your FBI file for a fee [fbi.gov], but they can tell you they don't have anything on you when they do. And the best part is that one of the requirements for obtaining the file is that you have local law enforcement fingerprint all ten fingers and send that along with your $18 payment. "Mr. Smith, you didn't have a criminal record before we received your request. However, thanks to your voluntary submission of your fingerprints, we discovered you match some prints found at a crime scene that had us stumped 10 years ago. We're going to have to take you in for questioning."

    • by Sowelu (713889) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:57PM (#38931949)
      Don't send your buddies a text about metaphorically blowing people away at a trade convention, just because they're getting on a plane soon? You have to be shitting me. Sorry, I don't live in a reality where that's common sense. I won't stop flying because I'm afraid of terrorists blowing up my plane, and I won't stop sending perfectly ordinary text messages because I'm afraid of the authorities coming after me. You are a degenerate coward.
  • by Bigos (857389) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @04:53AM (#38933249)
    My name is Jack. People can get arrested just for saying "Hi" to me.

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