Is the FBI Encouraging Terrorist Plots In Order to Stop Them and Boost Their Success Rate?
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has praised its agents numerous times for thwarting terrorist plots. Some of these conspiracies, however, have been aided, if not encouraged, by FBI agents accused of practically putting explosives into the hands of those arrested.
In an opinion piece published by The New York Times, David Shipler, author of The Rights of the People: How Our Search for Safety Invades Our Liberties, cites several examples of culprits provided phony missiles or explosives by undercover FBI officials.
“This is legal, but is it legitimate?” wrote Shipler. “Without the F.B.I., would the culprits commit violence on their own? Is cultivating potential terrorists the best use of the manpower designed to find the real ones?”
Some suspects “naïvely played their parts,” according to Shipler. Others were “ambivalent, incompetent and adrift, like hapless wannabes looking for a cause that the informer or undercover agent skillfully helps them find.”
In one case, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a college student in Oregon, tried to blow up a Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in Portland using a van loaded with fake explosives, all of which the FBI gave him. In addition, the bureau had an undercover agent drive the vehicle, leaving Mohamud to ride along with his hand on the trigger. Unbeknownst to Mohamud, the cell phone he tried to use to set off the bomb could no nothing but get him arrested for trying to commit mass murder.
In the case of drug dealer James Cromitie, it took the FBI and its informer 11 months to finally convince him to plant fake bombs at two synagogues in the Bronx. Although Judge Colleen McMahon sentenced Cromitie to 25 years in prison, she added, “Only the government could have made a ‘terrorist’ out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope.”
To Learn More:
Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I. (by David Shipler, New York Times)
Homegrown Terrorism or Entrapment? (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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