July 4, 2007
Mobile phones 'crucial' in terror arrests
The Telegraph details how cell phones were instrumental in tracking down the terrorists in the London and Glasgow attacks.
"Police recovered phones from the two Mercedes cars which had been left in the centre of London. They are thought to have been left in the vehicles as detonators for the bombs.
This could have been done by setting the phone’s alarm or by ringing the handset from some distance away.
But for the phone to work it had to have a Sim card – the small chip provided by the phone company to the subscriber. It carries a wealth of information, such as whether it is on a pay-as-you-go contract or monthly subscription.
It also carries the phone number, enabling police to get details of calls made from the carrier.
It is believed that this could have helped police identify the address in Glasgow, which was raided just ahead of the attack on the city’s airport.
But the role of the mobile phone does not stop at identifying suspects, the signals they send also enabled police to track their movements as they passed the nationwide network of masts.
This network is so extensive that it is being considered as a potential option for a national road pricing scheme, because it makes it possible to track the movements of a car remarkably precisely."
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