The FBI again thwarts its own Terror plot

Glenn Greenwald
Sep. 30, 2011

Note: I linked to the print version of this article, so you'll have to hit cancel. I got a full page redirect hijack advertisement when I visited the main site, so I don't think it's safe to link to. - ChrisThe FBI has received substantial criticism over the past decade -- much of it valid -- but nobody can deny its record of excellence in thwarting its ownáTerrorist plots. áTime and again, theáFBI concocts a Terrorist attack, infiltrates Muslim communities in order to find recruits, persuades them to perpetrate the attack, supplies them with the money, weapons and know-how they need to carry it out -- only to heroically jump in at the last moment, arrest the would-be perpetrators whom the FBI converted, and save a grateful nation from the plot manufactured by theáFBI.á

Last year, the FBI subjected 19-year-old Somali-American Mohamed Osman Mohamud to months of encouragement, support and money and convinced him to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas event in Portland, Oregon, only to arrest him at the last moment and then issue a Press Release boasting of its success.ááIn late 2009, theáFBI persuaded and enabled Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year old Jordanian citizen, to place a fake bomb at a Dallas skyscraper and separately convinced Farooque Ahmed, a 34-year-old naturalized American citizen born in Pakistan, to bomb the Washington Metro.á And now, theáFBI has yet again saved us all from its own Terrorist plot by arresting 26-year-old American citizen Rezwan Ferdaus after having spent months providing him with the plans and materials to attack theáPentagon, American troops in Iraq, and possibly the Capitol Building using "remote-controlled" model airplanes carrying explosives.

None of these cases entail the FBI's learning of an actual plot and then infiltrating it to stop it. áThey all involve the FBI's purposely seeking out Muslims (typically young and impressionable ones)áwhom they think harbor animosity toward the U.S. and who therefore can be induced to launch an attack despite having never taken even a single step toward doing so before theáFBI targeted them.á Each time the FBI announces it has disrupted its own plot, press coverage is predictably hysterical (new Homegrown Terrorist caught!), fear levels predictably rise, and new security measures are often implemented in responseá(the FBI's Terror plot aimed at the D.C. Metro, for instance, led to the Metro Police announcing a new policy of random searches of passengers' bags). ááI have several observations and questions about these matters...

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