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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 @07:22PM (#38930755)

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

  • Much worse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Squiddie (1942230) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:23PM (#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.
  • Nations of Cowards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swbirding (2564493) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:33PM (#38930845)
    The US and Canada have become such cowardly nations that anything can be made into a threat.
  • Re:Much worse (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:39PM (#38930879)

    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."

  • Re:Much worse (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ark1 (873448) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:44PM (#38930921)
    I doubt it was simply a text message and more likely a chain of events that ended with the text message. Maybe this is a case of mistaken identity but I can bet someone with that name must have been on some sort of watch list for doing questionable activities or associating with questionable people. I doubt we will ever know the full story.
  • by IonOtter (629215) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:49PM (#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.

  • Re:Yup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:00PM (#38931013)

    So if a guy solicits you in a bathroom, you'll have to assume it's a DHS agent.

    the hell with that: if some guy approaches me in a restroom, I'm assuming he's a republican and I'm running for my life!

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

    by jamstar7 (694492) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:26PM (#38931165)
    With a name like Saad Allami you just know he was being profiled.
  • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meerling (1487879) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:30PM (#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, Insightful)

    by meerling (1487879) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:31PM (#38931205)
    more likely? Considering they went ballistic on one misinterpreted word in a text message, I'd say they it's 100% positive they were spying on him.
  • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @08:39PM (#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:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:18PM (#38931433)

    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....

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:21PM (#38931455)

    Well, anything except actual threats. We are continually told on Slashdot that they don't exist despite continuing arrests and convictions. The lack of terrorist attacks isn't because there aren't terrorists, or that they don't wish to attack, but because they have been generally foiled to date due to good intelligence, hard work, and luck.

    North of the border:
    Canadian Charged in Iraq Bombing [nytimes.com]
    Few Details Given as 4 Canadians Are Held in Terrorist Plot [nytimes.com]
    Alleged terrorist arrested at Pearson [torontosun.com]
    Canadian police arrest couple on terrorism charges [nwsource.com]
    Government links boat passengers to terrorism, arrests made [thewhig.com]
    Terror Arrests Reveal Reach of Canada's Surveillance Powers [nytimes.com]

    South of the border:
    FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 27, 2012 [fbi.gov]
    Denver: Man Arrested for Providing Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization
    Baltimore: Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction in Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center
    Washington Field: Man Pleads Guilty to Shootings at Pentagon, Other Military Buildings

    FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 13, 2012 [fbi.gov]
    Tampa: Florida Resident Charged with Plotting to Bomb Locations in Tampa
    Baltimore: Former Army Solider Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to al Shabaab

    FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending December 9, 2011 [fbi.gov]
    Seattle: Man Pleads Guilty in Plot to Attack Military Processing Center

    FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending December 2, 2011 [fbi.gov]
    San Diego: Woman Guilty of Conspiring to Provide Material Support to al Shabaab

    More here [fbi.gov].

    Keep in mind that Al Qeda has called off attacks that would have likely killed hundreds or thousands of people because they weren't spectacular enough for their tastes. ( New York Subway Plot and al-Qaeda's WMD Strategy [jamestown.org] )

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

    by deanklear (2529024) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:47PM (#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.

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

    by deanklear (2529024) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:18PM (#38931745)

    Yes, that's a much more plausible explanation than poorly trained terrorists trying the same plot again and succeeding because of a massive American intelligence bureaucracy that wasn't quick enough to adapt...

    Turn off the Alex Jones and go outside.

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

    by AHuxley (892839) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:22PM (#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.
  • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dbIII (701233) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:26PM (#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. .at. .gmail.com.> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:46PM (#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.

  • by Sowelu (713889) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:57PM (#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.
  • Re:What was it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:12PM (#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!"

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

    by ZorinLynx (31751) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @01:03AM (#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:4, Insightful)

    by cyber-vandal (148830) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @06:36AM (#38933813) Homepage

    I'm not gonna bother coming to the US from the UK either:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16810312 [bbc.co.uk]

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