Do you know why Great Britain had to stop putting so much copper in the two pence (2p) coin?
The copper in the coin was worth more than two pence when melted down, so that’s what people started to do (allegedly). This caused the British mint to issue a warning about melting them down. So the answer to your burning question is that the newer coins are copper-plated steel in order to foil the sort of person who would gather up copper and melt it down and take it to a bulk metal recycling facility.
When I see a story like this, I have to believe it was more about stealing metals or some other material and not so much about terrorism, although I could be wrong on that front:
Effingham County sheriff deputies have reported the early Sunday morning arrest of three men to the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force.The men, two from Russia and one from Kazakhstan, were found near Georgia Power’s Plant McIntosh on Old Augusta Road about 1 a.m. Sunday after a ranger with the Department of Natural Resources reported a suspicious vehicle, Effingham County sheriff’s spokesman David Ehsanipoor said.Deputies reported the men, who were inside a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder, had a machete, shovel, wire cutters and ski masks. One man also had black silk stockings in his front left pocket.Arrested were Evgeniy Luzhetskiy, of Kazakhastan Nail Idiatullin and Rustem Ibragimov of Russia. All three reported they lived in Charleston, S.C., deputies reported.
Now, if this was an incident of terrorism, that’s a bad mark against my skills of analysis. But, I have to tell you that it is entirely plausible that they were just out there trying to steal some metal or something of value. It is not unheard of to break into industrial sites and steal metals for recycling. This sounds like a simple crime of theft, not terrorism.