Dearborn, Mich. Attorneys for two Arab-American college students accused of supporting terrorism through the sale of mobile phones said their clients were victims of discrimination, while authorities charged them Thursday with an additional felony.
"These are all-American kids that unfortunately, in this day and age since 9-11, have names that call them into question," said defense attorney Rolf Baumgartel.
Authorities stopped Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, 20, and Ali Houssaiky, 20, both of Dearborn, Mich., on a traffic violation Tuesday in Ohio. Authorities said they found airplane passenger lists and information on airport security checkpoints, along with $11,000 cash and 12 phones, in their car.
Prosecutors said investigators also found a map that showed locations of Wal-Mart stores from Ohio through Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas.
Prosecutor Susan Vessels said the prepaid mobile phones they bought can be used to make hard-to-track international calls and have been linked to use by terrorists.