May 13, 2012
(NaturalNews) If it seems as though the FBI is making a large number of terror busts these days, maybe it’s because the agency itself is at least partly responsible for hatching the plots. That has some political observers wondering if the FBI’s strategies are making the best use of the nation’s limited counterterrorist resources.
In recent months, FBI agents have arrested suspects who were planning a range of terrorist attacks, from shooting Stinger missiles at military aircraft to driving vanloads of explosives into crowded events. But these amazing cases might not have ever been made if the FBI itself wasn’t themselves planning the attacks.
A number of these cases were profiled recently in a New York Times op-ed column, which noted that the so-called plots were devised by an agency that seems to be operating as if the nation is so devoid of legitimate threats that it needs to manufacture some in order to seem relevant.
Withstanding legal scrutiny, but still questionable
Consider the case of Oregon college student Mohamed Osman Mohamud. He thought about using a car bomb to attack a well-attended, festive Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland. The FBI gave him a van packed with inert explosives consisting of some real, but inactive, detonators and six 55-gallon drums, along with a gallon of diesel fuel. An FBI agent even drove the van. When Mohamud called the cell phone number that was supposed to trigger the explosion, nothing explosive happened, except that he got arrested.
Was Mohamud seriously considering such an attack prior to the FBI involvement? If so, could he have put it together by himself? Was he working with someone else the FBI doesn’t know about who is more of a legitimate threat?
It’s hard to say. Obviously Mohamud was at least having bad thoughts, and that’s disconcerting in and of itself (though not criminal). But if the FBI had not manufactured an attack, would he have gone through with anything?
Mohamud’s case is far from the only one manufactured by the FBI, and it is certainly not the only one that has held up in court. In fact, such operations are not only legal but they are a common counterterrorism tactic employed by the agency in the post-9/11 world. Terror defendants most often try to claim entrapment, but they also most often lose because the law says as long as they showed at least some intent to commit a terrorist act, even if tempted to do so by undercover agents, they are guilty.