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Glenn Greenwald |The FBI again thwarts its own Terror plot

Published

Salon.com

The FBI has received substantial criticism over the past decade — much of it valid — but nobody can deny its record of excellence in thwarting its own Terrorist plots. Time and again, the FBI 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 the FBI.

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. In late 2009, the FBI 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. And now, the FBI 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 the Pentagon, American troops in Iraq, and possibly the Capitol Building using “remote-controlled” model airplanes carrying explosives.

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None of these cases entail the FBI’s learning of an actual plot and then infiltrating it to stop it. They all involve the FBI’s purposely seeking out Muslims (typically young and impressionable ones) whom 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 the FBI targeted them. 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 response (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). I have several observations and questions about these matters:

(1) The bulk of this latest FBI plot entailed attacks on military targets: the Pentagon, U.S. troops in Iraq, and possibly military bases. The U.S. is — as it has continuously announced to the world — a Nation at War. The Pentagon is the military headquarters for this war, and its troops abroad are the soldiers fighting it. In what conceivable sense can attacks on those purely military and war targets be labeled “Terrorism” or even illegitimate? The U.S. has continuously attacked exactly those kinds of targets in multiple nations around the world; it expressly tried to kill Saddam and Gadaffi in the wars against their countries (it even knowingly blew up an entire suburban apartment building to get Saddam, who wasn’t actually there). What possible definition of “Terrorism” excludes those attacks by the U.S. while including this proposed one on the Pentagon and other military targets (or, for that matter, Nidal Hasan’s attack on Fort Hood where soldiers deploy to war zones)?

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Muslim American born in Brooklyn, NY with Guyanese parents currently living in Virginia working full-time as a web developer.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Umm Sulaim

    September 30, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    ALLAH AKBAR.

    I am genuinely surprised to read this on MM (smiling).

    I shall research the issue before commenting further.

    Umm Sulaim

  2. Swarthmoor

    October 1, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Just curious: how are these cases not considered entrapment?

  3. Hassan

    October 1, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    It is very unfortunate dilemma living in west to be appreciating someone who is openly gay because he may be of the few defending muslims and their rights. And in return they expect same from us for them.

    He also wrote following for assassinating AA and SK (keyboard warrior as known as in muslimmatters):

    http://politics.salon.com/2011/09/30/awlaki_6/

    Muslimmatters has been in forefront for intellectually fighting deviant ideologies of AA and SK, and same time fighting for civil liberties of muslims.

    How do you assess your progress in both?

  4. Pingback: Congress Doesn't Applaud Muslim Tolerance at State of the Union

  5. Pingback: What is “Islamic”? A Muslim Response to ISIS and The Atlantic - MuslimMatters.org

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