Ali Houssaiky and Osama Abulhassan of Dearborn, Mi., were freed yesterday from an Ohio jail after they had been charged with terrorism for buying hundreds of cell phones, reports the Detroit Free Press. Authorities had said the phones could have been used to detonate bombs on airplanes. “I couldn’t tell you for sure whether it was racial profiling, but it definitely felt that way,” Abulhassan said.
Last week, the two American-born friends left Dearborn to buy hundreds of cell phones that they planned to resell for a profit. It’s a common practice among Arab-American businessmen to load up on particular products and resell them to distributors, gas stations, and stores. Police were suspicious because in their vehicle was a security guide for Royal Jordanian Airlines that contained information on passenger lists. Houssaiky’s mother works in the airline industry.