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FBI 'Stops' Yet Another Of Its Own Terrorist Threats

from the playing-dress-up dept

Well, there they go again. We've talked a bunch about how the FBI has gotten really good at stopping its own terrorist plots and they've gone and done it again. Right here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the FBI has gleefully announced how they've stopped an attempt to bomb a Bank of America building in Oakland. The details are familiar: random guy with no actual connection to terrorists, and no actual way to build a connection with terrorists, is taken in by an FBI undercover agent who works with him to build a "bomb" that was never a bomb. In other words, there was no plot. There was no bomb. There was just a bunch of undercover agents playing dressup, and one Joe Schmo who thought it was all real. Maybe next time, the FBI can turn it into a reality TV show on Spike. Ralph Garmin as... a fake terrorist. I'd watch it.

This all comes just a week after On the Media profiled a new book called Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War On Terrorism. That book appears to collect a bunch of these stories, talking about how this is a major effort in the FBI these days: making up fake terrorist plots in order to stop people they themselves convinced to take part in the "plots" and then generate big headlines around them:
The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terror shows how the FBI has, under the guise of engaging in counterterrorism since 9/11, built a network of more than 15,000 informants whose primary purpose is to infiltrate Muslim communities to create and facilitate phony terrorist plots so that the bureau can then claim victory in the war on terror.
Think of just how many resources are wasted in entrapping random people, rather than stopping real crime. I don't see how this makes us any safer at all. Frankly, it makes me a lot more terrified.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 4:34pm

    Frankly, it makes me a lot more terrified.

    And what ink the do you think the purpose is?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    weneedhelp - not signed in, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    The purpose is to keep funding the never ending war on terror, and to have an excuse to keep eroding are rights, just to name a couple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    weneedhelp - not signed in, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re:

    our.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 8th, 2013 @ 4:48pm

    The purpose is to seek out the most gullible among us and put the behind bars.

    Wait until they find out how gullible the elderly are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 5:04pm

    We pay the government money to entertain themselves.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 5:06pm

    Re:

    The purpose is for government agents to get paid to do nothing useful and to have an easy job of entertainment. Going after actual criminals and terrorists would require actual work and they don't want to get paid to do any of that, they want to get paid to engage in harmless, non-dangerous entertaining activities that require no real work or thinking. The point is for them to take our money (and give us nothing useful in return).

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 5:17pm

    The Boogieman Factory - coming up with more reasons for their existence and continued funding. It would be novel if they investigated real criminals, like oh idk ... banksters maybe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Cerberus (profile), Feb 8th, 2013 @ 6:27pm

    FBI spreading terrorist ideas among Muslims?

    Not only may this hurt and anger Muslims, but they are also spreading terrorist ideas among those groups deemed most likely to include terrorist. Are they not breeding terrorists besides their specific targets this way? Unwise.

     

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  9.  
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    anonymouse, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 6:56pm

    WOnderful;

    I wonder how long it will take before someone approaches the police, and the police being the police open fire before asking questions, a few FBI deaths, now that would teach both sides a valuable lesson in playing games with Bomb threats.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 7:00pm

    Re: WOnderful;

    Well, the police shot up the wrong truck here, it wasn't even the right color, in an effort to go after someone.

    http://www.texashuntingforum.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4035093/Re_L_A_police_offic ers_shot_up

    They took the shoot first, ask questions later, approach instead of first giving the people in the truck a chance to come out with their hands up and identify themselves. They ended up shooting two women. The keystone cops, to serve and protect ...

     

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  11.  
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    k, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 8:19pm

    Too bad...

    Too bad they can't stop any of the shootings in the past year.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Too bad...

    Too bad the didn't stop any of the stabbings in the past year. Too bad they didn't stop any of the DWIs in the past year. Too bad they didn't stop any of the idiotic posts in the past year.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 8th, 2013 @ 9:58pm

    And eventually they will hit a patsy who is smarter than them, and they will have made material available for a real terrorist event to happen.
    We'll have hearings, public outcry, lip service, and not much else.

    When you have to manufacturer the plots to stop the huge bad thing, it might be time to consider that the policies are wrong. We need to move past the fear of a soundbite calling our leaders "soft" on terrorism for daring to question these stupid invented 'plots'. We need to focus much more on why specific groups are being targeted because of skin color or religious beliefs to appease a public sentiment crafted by our leaders blaming easy stereotypes rather than individuals responsible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 9th, 2013 @ 1:51am

    Re:

    Are you kidding. This is all a magic trick ... look something shiny (see we caught a terrorist) there is nothing to see over there (bankers, banking, and government corruption).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 3:12am

    Re: Re: WOnderful;

    The Keystone Cops never hurt anyone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 4:39am

    Isn't this called entrapment?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    The Real Michael, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re:

    There are no terrorists running around in America, so the FBI has to manufacture plots in order to fool the public into thinking there are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    The Real Michael, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re:

    Correct.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They are also teaching potential terrorists to work alone, as their are more FBI agents pretending to be terrorists that real terrorists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    johnjac (profile), Feb 9th, 2013 @ 7:39am

    Crime vs Intelligence goals

    In the new book, "The Org" by Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan, they talk about how pre 9/11 the FBI had clear and measurable goals and objectives. Catch bad guys, and assit DOJ in winning cases.

    Post 9/11 domestic intelligence became their #1 objective. The problem becomes how do you measure and reward staff for doing well at intelligence gathering? Compounding this was
    *everyone in the agency has been hired and promoted based on their crime fighting skills not intelligence gathering skills
    * because crime is mostly regional, offices are NOT used to working together

    The book doesn't talk about these fake plots, but I'm going to imagine that this is what crime fighters do to make it look like they are doing the work of domestic intelligence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    Resources aren't being wasted, because the point of these exercises isn't to make the general population any safer. Thousands of years of history has shown that over time governments invariably shift towards a totalitarian/authoritarian form of control unless/until opposed by a countering force. As freedoms are slowly repealed, as is the case that is happening now, resistance will invariably build. The point of these exercises is to help hone the governments skill in ferreting out potential (early) supporters of the sort of people who led the American Revolution. Too many people seem to blissfully believe this can't possibly happen in America, but the fact is, if you really look around, the symptoms are all there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: WOnderful;

    From what I read, it appears to be an execution squad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    Re: Too bad...

    I wouldn't be surprised if they were handing out weapons with disabled firing pins, loaded with blanks, to known mentally challenged people and then following them around telling them to do bad things just so they could stop them at the appropriate moment. Pats on the back were had all around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 9:53am

    Re: Crime vs Intelligence goals

    Not only that, but there are accounts of prior knowledge which had they been followed up would've led to the plot prior to 9/11.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    Thomas (profile), Feb 9th, 2013 @ 2:15pm

    Just shows...

    that it's a lot easier to find fake terrorists than to find real ones. After all, fake terrorists aren't going to shoot you or blow things up. Has the FBI and DOJ become too cowardly to find actual terrorists or are there actually too few terrorists for the FBI to find? I keep thinking the DOJ doesn't really care about keeping Americans safe anyway; only about promoting their own "success".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 5:50pm

    Re:

    I don't think my grandmother is gullible enough to try to blow people up. And if she is, she should probably be in some kind of custody.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2013 @ 1:55am

    I saw this story in my local newspaper in Australia. My first thought was: "TechDirt will have a post on this".
    Thanks for not disappointing. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    hjumper, Feb 10th, 2013 @ 6:18am

    I think I saw this movie

    The main actor's names are: Graham, John, Terry #1, Terry #2, Eric and Michael. The Feds mindsets appear to have certainly changed. "If we can't find any real crime, let's make some up. Think of the book deals and movie rights. I tell ya we're onto something big here."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2013 @ 7:15am

    Re: I think I saw this movie

    "If we can't find any real crime, let's make some up. "

    I doubt they are looking

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    Raybone (profile), Feb 10th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    Re:

    "they will have made material available for a real terrorist event to happen." look up details on the '93 WTC bombing where FBI provided the explosives.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Mordreas, Feb 10th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

    think the idea is to terrefy the terrorist and make them suspicious of coorperation.

    I wonder what happens when you scare a religious nut

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    ahow628 (profile), Feb 11th, 2013 @ 6:56am

    Overheard on the tapes...

    "What is going ON!?!?!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    me, Feb 11th, 2013 @ 8:31am

    short-sighted

    if you cannot see the reason to infiltrate the Muslim community to identify radical elements then you do not have the experience to judge the tactics used. No one seems to have an issue when the fake hitman is used to get evidence against someone trying to hire an assassian.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Tex Arcana (profile), Feb 11th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re:

    In other words, we're talking about a bunch of budding CEOs that are practicing doing nothing for obscene amounts of cash, while destroying the very thing that supposedly keeps them employed?

    I guess that FBI virus is real...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 13th, 2013 @ 7:26am

    Last time I checked this was called Schizophrenia.

    I admit I've never heard of a collective form of this mental disorder.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re:

    Sounds like a John Scalzi sequel! Old Man's Terrorism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Response to: That Anonymous Coward on Feb 8th, 2013 @ 9:58pm

    that already happened - in 1993 the FBI provided a real device, lost control and the result was the 93 WTC basement bombingg. not a theory, this is officially on record.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Head Tech, Jul 17th, 2013 @ 12:56am

    FBI Virus Removal Service (Recommended)

    Services from Tech Support Heroes for fbi virus removal are what I see a majority of consumers with this problem checking out. They remove the infection for a low flat fee, and if they can't remove it, you don't pay a dime!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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