from the feeling-safer? dept
Of course, this is hardly new. There appears to have been a very similar story just a month ago, involving a guy in DC who wanted to bomb Metro stations, but the only actual plotting he was able to do was after federal authorities stepped in and helped him plan everything.
Even that is hardly new. I remember a fascinating episode of This American Life back from the summer of 2009 describing (in great detail) a very similar story of a supposed "arms dealer" that the Justice Department championed as a success story when it arrested and prosecuted him for selling missiles to terrorists. The only problem is that the deeper you dig, the more you realize that the whole plot was also set up by the feds. The guy had no way to get a missile. It was actually provided by the feds themselves.
As that report notes, this is how the government has acted since 9/11. It basically creates its own terrorist plots, and then searches for willing participants... and then arrests them, and hypes how it prevented a terrorist attack, even if there's absolutely no indication that anyone involved would have actually been able to carry out any sort of attack (or arms deal) without the aid of the US government.
We've talked about "security theater," but this appears to be law enforcement theater, complete with actors and props. Feel safer yet?