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NY Times: 'FBI Foils Its Own Terrorist Plots' 573

Fluffeh writes "Breaking up terrorist plots is one of the main goals of the FBI these days. If it can't do that, well, it seems making plots up and then valiantly stopping them is okay too — but the NY Times is calling them on it. 'The United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts. But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.'"
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NY Times: 'FBI Foils Its Own Terrorist Plots'

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  • It's not Entrapment. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @07:04PM (#39862789)

    It's encouragement.

    Very different. For one thing, the movie stars Jessica Alba instead of Catherine Zeta-Jones.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @07:08PM (#39862843)

    They kill you: -- Call it whatever buzzword you want (the C word), but there is some very dark stuff behind the FBI. And the footage from OKC has yet to be revealed to the public, despite numerous FOIA requests.

  • Re:Odd... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wovel ( 964431 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @07:16PM (#39862915) Homepage

    Did you read the story? The guy said no like 100 times. They pushed on him for 11 months, paid him $250k and promised him no women or children would be hurt. Hard for me to call that willing. If the catch a predator people offered the perps $50k to come have sex with them, you might have a similar situation.

  • Re:Odd... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Wovel ( 964431 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @07:25PM (#39862997) Homepage

    Actually we do. They did 11 months of pushing and pulling. Then they offered the guy $250k.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @08:03PM (#39863343)

    Used to?

    In case you haven't heard one of Obama's admins was selling guns to drug dealers in Mexico, and then when those U.S. guns turned-up in southern border states, justified passage of anti-gun laws to limit them. It's the new trick of false-flagging a U.S. operation to achieve the desired ends.

    I know the right-wing blogosphere decided to concoct their own version of that operation but it wasn't even close to that.

    The intent was to determine the paths by which guns were unlawfully traded to Mexico from the US. Something clearly within federal purview. This was focused on a fuller understrdanding of the process because of a complaint about not enough focus on the big fish.

    Get your conspiracy theories and put them where they belong.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @08:25PM (#39863501)

    When Bush was doing it, there was coordination with the Mexican government. When Obama was doing it the guns were used to kill Boarder Patrol agents.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @08:29PM (#39863531) Homepage

    In case you haven't heard one of Obama's admins was selling guns to drug dealers in Mexico, and then when those U.S. guns turned-up in southern border states, justified passage of anti-gun laws to limit them.

    What onerous anti-gun laws were you referring to, exactly? The only thing I could turn up was that when a gun dealer sells more than 1 assault rifle in a state bordering Mexico, they have to report it (the NRA's take []). It's not illegal to sell a bunch of AK-47s to somebody, it's just that in 4 states you have to fill out a form that says "Hey, this guy came into my store and bought a bunch of AK-47s".

    Yes, there's a tradeoff: Downside of having to explain to an ATF agent why you just bought 35 assault rifles. Upside of "Hey, this guy is crossing the border here, stopping by each of the gun stores within this 300-square-mile area here here and here, and crossing the border again." Additional upside: "Hey, this guy is collecting a lot of AK-47s, and doesn't have any sort of legal use for those guns, and after further investigation seems to have this idea about starting a revolt against the US government. Maybe we should watch him a bit more closely."

  • Re:The best one... (Score:4, Informative)

    by phriedom ( 561200 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @08:36PM (#39863573)
    I agree that it is an interesting coincidence that Portland City had declined to joint the Joint Terrorism Taskforce and so the mayor was just as surprised as anyone when the FBI announced the arrest. But I think your characterization of the 19 year old "boy" is a bit off. The article you linked to describes someone who had been interested in joining jihad since he was 15 and had tried to go to Yemen and join the cause the previous year. He was only mad at his family because they had notified law enforcement that he was trying to join jihad. Bombing the Christmas tree lighting ceremony was his idea, he wasn't steered towards it by some informant. He hadn't done anything yet, but not for lack of trying, and he seemed pretty determined. I don't think it is fair to pretend that the FBI manufactured this threat.
  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @08:36PM (#39863577)
    bin Laden was a friend of the CIA and CIA trained and a former CIA operative. Who can prove that bin Laden didn't agree to stage 9/11 in return for immunity? He funds and performs the attack, under CIA supervision. Then the US gets a good excuse to go in and finish off Saddam, which Bush wanted to do since 1992, when Daddy lost re-election and blamed Saddam and the Gulf War because Daddy was too smart to start a ground war in the middle east. Though Jr. doesn't call the shots, and Cheney and Co went along with it because of the power they'd gain and the funnel of money to their friends in oil and defense. Eventually, the pressure for a body increased enough that they staged bin Laden's death and disposed of the body with no proof it was ever him. He's in a palace in Saudi Arabia now, back with his family, living it up (while keeping a low profile, as if he's discovered, the CIA will execute him and pass it off as a body double of his).

    God I love the conspiracy theories. Where's Oliver Stone when you need him?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @08:40PM (#39863605)

    Might want to go back and look at that stuff. Because it was holder who authorized the selling and NOT tracking of the guns sold.

    Bush however did, and didn't let them walk. Figure out the difference yet? A walking gun is one where you don't track it.

  • by jamesmusik ( 2629975 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @10:00PM (#39864135)
    It took a constitutional amendment to ban liquor, because the Supreme Court at the time did not interpret the Commerce Clause as expansively. After Wickard v. Fillmore, banning liquor or drugs would be perfectly within Congress' powers. The fact that Congress delegated some power to the DEA is perfectly in line with a number of precedents on agency powers.
  • by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @11:18PM (#39864521) Homepage

    You seriously haven't heard of that? Assuming you're not a troll: [] [] []

    Terrorists include those who:
    -Defend the constitution
    -Attempt to police the police (taping the police?)
    -Lone individuals
    -Non-lone individuals (members of groups)
    -Pay in cash
    -Attempt to hide passwords
    -Take pictures

    This basically just confirms what has been the philosophy of the FBI for a long time (since its founding), including harassment of MLK and the civil rights movement.

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @12:33AM (#39864919)

    Anyone with a brain is immune to this nonsense.

    Anyone with a brain and a passing familiarity with the news knows your post is nonsense. Three weeks ago a notorious Russian arms dealer was convicted in US Federal court. Guess how they got him? If stings are good enough to take down experienced international arms traffickers, and organized crime figures [], public officials [], embezzlers [], and others, they are good enough to take down potential terrorists. If you don't think so, please tell us why? And please, please tell us that you really believe that everyone taken down in a sting is no brighter than a hick good 'ole boy complaining about the "gubermint" and that it never works on anyone more sophisticated, and what your "reasoning" is?

    Russian arms dealer sentenced to 25 years in prison []

    Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer* caught in an undercover sting by U.S. agents posing as Colombian guerrillas seeking weapons, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday by a U.S. judge in New York. . . .

    Two DEA informants who posed as FARC leaders testified for the prosecution at Bout's trial. A former Bout business associate, Andrew Smulian, also testified for the government after pleading guilty to participating in the FARC deal.

      According to prosecutors, in a meeting at a Bangkok hotel with the supposed FARC representatives, Bout agreed to sell the 100 advanced man-portable surface-to-air missiles or the approximately 5,000 AK-47 assault rifles that were discussed.

      Bout was charged only in connection with the suspected arms deal, but U.S. authorities have said he has been involved in trafficking arms since the 1990s to dictators and conflict zones in Africa, South America and the Middle East.

    Said to be the inspiration for one of the chief bad guys in Act of Valor []

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @04:10AM (#39865623) Homepage Journal

    The real morons are the ones who can't tell the difference between a sting and entrapment.

  • by CarlCotner ( 156175 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @05:12AM (#39865817)

    In 2006.

    When Obama was secretly President.

    God damn him and his time machine.

    Operation Fast and Furious [] began in 2009. I believe Obama was president sans time machine.

  • Re:The best one... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Raenex ( 947668 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @08:14AM (#39866451)

    There's a big difference between the scenario you originally presented and what actually occurred. His own family alerted authorities (which you twisted into "more angry at his parents than the US or any 'infidels'"), and he was actively seeking outside help (which you misrepresented as "by all accounts had no prior involvement in anything radical beyond browsing the internet"). When somebody calls you on that it's poor form to complain about how far they went along before they arrested him.

    But whatever, your original, mistaken post went to +5, and your followup post went to +3. Good for you and the dumb moderators who modded you up.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @08:45AM (#39866715)
    I didn't say "Dumb" I said Mentally handicapped. Retarded. The guy they arrested for trying to buy a fake stinger missile claimed to be friends with the president and hang out with Arab kings. He was an old man, barely in control of his own faculties, and a pathological liar. He was basically arrested for introducing 2 FBI agents to each other. One pretending to be the buyer and the other pretending to be the seller.
  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:24AM (#39867707) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:

    Take the Stinger missile defendant James Cromitie, a low-level drug dealer with a criminal record that included no violence or hate crime, despite his rants against Jews. "He was searching for answers within his Islamic faith," said his lawyer, Clinton W. Calhoun III, who has appealed his conviction. "And this informant, I think, twisted that search in a really pretty awful way, sort of misdirected Cromitie in his search and turned him towards violence."

    THE informer... was being paid by the F.B.I. to pose as a wealthy Pakistani with ties to Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist group that Mr. Cromitie apparently had never heard of before they met by chance in the parking lot of a mosque.

    "Brother, did you ever try to do anything for the cause of Islam?" Mr. Hussain asked at one point.

    "O.K., brother," Mr. Cromitie replied warily, "where you going with this, brother?"

    Two days later, the informer told him, "Allah has more work for you to do," and added, "Revelation is going to come in your dreams that you have to do this thing, O.K.?" About 15 minutes later, Mr. Hussain proposed the idea of using missiles, saying he could get them in a container from China. Mr. Cromitie laughed.

    Reading hundreds of pages of transcripts of the recorded conversations is like looking at the inkblots of a Rorschach test. Patterns of willingness and hesitation overlap and merge. "I don't want anyone to get hurt," Mr. Cromitie said, and then explained that he meant women and children. [What kind of terrorist cares about women and children?] "I don't care if it's a whole synagogue of men." It took 11 months of meandering discussion and a promise of $250,000 to lead him, with three co-conspirators he recruited, to plant fake bombs at two Riverdale synagogues.

    "Only the government could have made a 'terrorist' out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope," said Judge Colleen McMahon, sentencing him to 25 years. She branded it a "fantasy terror operation" but called his attempt "beyond despicable" and rejected his claim of entrapment.

    They spent almost a year trying to convince the guy, as well as paying him a quarter of a million dollars? Sure as hell sounds like entrapment to me; of course, when you consider who gets to decide what "entrapment" is the same government the FBI happens to work for, I can see how nothing the feds ever do could be considered entrapment in a legal sense - all they have to do is move the goalposts.

    Side note: you said

    Just yesterday such a event happened, a group of OWS protesters planned to bomb a bridge

    No they didn't - a group of radical anarchists, who happened to have attended an OWS rally at one point, tried to blow up a bridge. FYI, you shouldn't believe everything you read on FreeRepublic and InfoWars.

    Personally, I always thought the only thing metrosexual hipsters ever tried to blow up were their girlfriends.

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.