Counter-Terrorism: Anonymous SIMs Stopped


June 12,2008: Algerian counter-terrorism commanders convinced their government to ban the use of unregistered (anonymous) SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards for cell phones. In most parts of the world, you can move your cell phone service from one phone to another by simply removing the small (25x14mm) SIM "card" from one phone and inserting it in another. SIM cards can also be bought just for the minutes stored on them, and these "anonymous" SIMs are popular with gangsters, and terrorists. Algerian police noticed, when examining terrorist bombing sites, that the explosives were often set off using a cell phone with an anonymous SIM card. In one case last year, police searching a captured terrorist hideout found 300 anonymous SIM cards.

About fifteen percent of the 28 million cell phones in Algeria use anonymous SIMs. Everyone using the anonymous cards were given several months to register them. Most users did not, and now some three million of those cards have had their service cut off.


Article Archive

Counter-Terrorism: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close