Soon after the execution style assassination of low-life caricaturists of the French weekly Charlie Ebdo, the FBI claimed that it has foiled a terrorist plan in the USA. From the off-again and on-again released reports, since 9/11, the FBI and the Homeland Security Administration seem to have gone to great lengths to 'save the country' from such potential threats of terrorists 'bent on harming' the country. Very little debate has occurred about the policy of the agency as to how it does such foiling activities.
However, thanks to truth-seeking journalists and human rights activists, what we are learning is something sinister and chilling. In many such cases of foiled plots, the agency is planting such plans in the mind of very vulnerable loners, who may have some sympathy for the drone-victims in the Muslim world, and/or grudge and anger against the criminal activities of the USA government which terrorize millions of people in vast territories of the Muslim world.
This latest case seem to fit well within a now-familiar FBI pattern whereby the agency does not disrupt planned domestic terror attacks but rather creates them, then publicly praises itself for stopping its own plots.
First, they target a Muslim: not due to any evidence of intent or capability to engage in terrorism, but rather for the “radical” political views he expresses. In most cases, the Muslim targeted by the FBI is a very young (late teens, early 20s), adrift, unemployed loner who has shown no signs of mastering basic life functions, let alone carrying out a serious terror attack, and has no known involvement with actual terrorist groups.
They then find another Muslim who is highly motivated to help disrupt a “terror plot”: either because they’re being paid substantial sums of money by the FBI or because (as appears to be the case here) they are charged with some unrelated crime and are desperate to please the FBI in exchange for leniency (or both). The FBI then gives the informant a detailed attack plan, and sometimes even the money and other instruments to carry it out, and the informant then shares all of that with the target. Typically, the informant also induces, lures, cajoles, and persuades the target to agree to carry out the FBI-designed plot. In some instances where the target refuses to go along, they have their informant offer huge cash inducements to the impoverished target.
Once they finally get the target to agree, the FBI swoops in at the last minute, arrests the target, issues a press release praising themselves for disrupting a dangerous attack (which it conceived of, funded, and recruited the operatives for), and the DOJ and federal judges send their target to prison for years or even decades (where they are kept in special GITMO-like units). Subservient U.S. courts uphold the charges by applying such a broad and permissive interpretation of “entrapment” that it could almost never be successfully invoked. As AP noted last night, “defense arguments have repeatedly failed with judges, and the stings have led to many convictions.”
Investigative reporters Greenwald and Fishman review the latest case involving 20-year-old Christopher Cornell. You can read their report by clicking here.