This story has not be reported elsewhere.
November 6, 2001
Within a month after 9-11, I got a call from a friend in New England who grew up in Chicago.  Her family is well known in Chicago business.  This is what she told me:
Her cousin in Chicago has a pharmacy within the city.  The pharmacy is located on the ground floor of a three-flat he owns on a busy street; renting out the 2nd and 3rd floors to residential tenants.
Some months before September 11th the pharmacist rented a flat to four 'Arab' men.  They paid their rent in advance with cash.  A few days before 9-11, the men
moved out of the flat.  In an off handed comment, my associate mentioned that about a week before 9-11, FedEx attempted to deliver a number of cartons to the Arab tenants.  When no one answered, the FedEx driver asked
the pharmacist to accept delivery on the tenants' behalf.  Upon his acceptance, the pharmacist saw that the packages contained a total of 2,000 cell phone batteries.
The reason my associate told me of this was because, after 9-11, her cousin-pharmacist recognized three of the four former Arab tenants pictured in newspapers which published a picture gallery of possible terrorists sought by the FBI.  When the pharmacist notified the FBI of the above circumstances, they visited him and told him not to discuss the matter with anyone else. 

The central aspect of this entire story is that, when I heard about the delivery of 2,000 cell phone batteries I recognized that a major component of such batteries is Lithium.
A lithium derivative is lithium deuteride
, which is used in hydrogen bombs.
Lithium acquisition, by terrorists in the US, continues.
August 12, 2006 Update
NOTE: The original URL is now off the web. 
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(Flint, Michigan)

Three Middle Eastern Men Found With 1000 Cell Phones, Now Face Charges
   Aug. 11, 2006  4:49 PM

Written By Sam Licavoli II     Edited By Doug Moiles  

(TV5) -- The three suspects are now facing two counts each of Homeland Security Terrorism charges. All three suspects are due to be arraigned August 12th.

About 1:00am August 11th the three men purchased cell phones from the Wal-Mart store on M-81 in Caro. Wal-Mart places a limit of three on the number of cell phones that can be purchased at once. The men bought 80 by purchasing them three at time so an alert wouldn't be triggered by the register. They also paid cash.

A clerk grew suspicious and called Tuscola County dispatch. The Caro Police Department sent a unit and stopped the rented van on M-81 just east of Caro. The suspects were headed towards Bad Axe on M-81 where there is another Super Wal-Mart.

The three men are described as being of Palestinian descent but live in Texas.   Police say the three, ages 19, 22, and 23 appear to be naturalized citizens.

One man drove while the other two were in back opening the phone packages with box cutters throwing the phones in one box, batteries in another and the packaging and phone charger in another container. The suspects had 1000 other cell phones in the van. There was also a bag of receipts showing that someone was in Wisconsin the day before.

The phones were Nokia TracFones selling for $20 at Wal-Mart. For your twenty dollars you get a phone charger and 40 minutes of airtime. The phones do not have to be registered with a name. Also discovered was a laptop with store addresses and store logos.

Tim Nausler with the Michigan State Police bomb squad says this has all the tell tale signs of using cell phones to detonate bombs. He says you need two phones to detonate a bomb one to be with the explosive and the other to make the call to that phone. In some instances he says you can detonate with one phone using the alarm clock function.

The TracFones are a nationwide prepaid wireless phone service and are even offered with international long distance. These phones according to don't even have coverage in the Thumb area where they were purchased.

The men have been "cooperative, upfront, not hiding" anything according to police. They also told officers they get stopped frequently and say they buy the phones for $20 and sell them for $38. They sell them without the packaging or charger.

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(Fairmont, West Virginia)

Local Links to Terrorist Arrests   8/10/2006   6:12 PM

The Washington County Sheriffs Department in Ohio has arrested two men for their involvement in what police say could be aiding terrorists, and one man linked to them could have been doing the same in Taylor County.

Story by Sarah Kapis Email | Bio

This is a story you'll read about Only on 12 News.

Last week, the Grafton police pulled over 24-year-old Hashem Sayed for a routine traffic stop. But what they found in his car was far from routine. Patrolman Daniel Laymon recalls the scene, "There were multiple cell phones, roughly 150 to 200 cell phones from multiple retailers," he said.

Buying that many pre-paid phones is not a crime, but the police say it is unusual.

Less than a week later, the authorities in Marietta, Ohio, arrested 20-year-old Osma Sabhi Abulhassan and 20-year-old Ali Houssaiky. Washington County Sheriffs deputies seized several pre-paid cell phones and thousands of dollars in cash. Because of the incidents, Grafton police believe the events are connected.

"The department feels that there are a lot of similar circumstances and there are a lot of similarities between the activity there and the activity experienced here," said Patrolman Laymon.

The activity seems to be more than just a coincidence. All three men are from Dearborn, Michigan and all three gave similar reasons for buying the phones. Sayed said he was buying them to ship to California to sell for a profit. But Washington County's sheriff says that may not be the whole truth. "They are digital for detonating car bombs and they have a particular digital frequency and that's what they're using them for," said Sheriff Larry Mincks.

Mincks says the men also had instructions on how to obtain private flights and airplane passenger information.

"It also had some information concerning airport security and check points."

He says the two men apprehended in Ohio are linked to another man who is being investigated for possible terrorism. Now, police across the state have a warning for residents.

"Not that it's a crime," said Grafton Police Chief, Robert Beltner. "But we can check into it to make sure nothing illegal is going to take place with those phones."

March 8, 2014
440 pounds of lithium cell phone batteries disappear with Malaysia Air Flight 370
Also 'lost' were Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid,
227 passengers and 10 additional crew members.

Note: Captain Shah's wife & 3 kids moved out of their house
the day before Flight 370 took off.