Yet Another Of The FBI's Own Terrorist Plots… Involves A Group Of Senior Citizens

from the grump-old-terrorists dept

The latest Radiolab “shorts” episode, entitled Grumpy Old Terrorists, seems like a bit of a departure in subject matter for that program — but fits right in with something we’ve been talking a lot about lately. Over the past few years, we’ve noticed the rather disturbing trend in how the FBI keeps publicly celebrating stories about stopping terrorist plots — but in almost every case the details show that it was actually just stopping its own terrorist plots that it feeds to hapless individuals, often nudging them and pushing them down the road to “become” terrorists, despite commonly displaying little to no aptitude for actual terrorism.

In the last few weeks, the mainstream press has started to notice this as well, with stories about it appearing in both the NY Times and Rolling Stone. However, the Radiolab episode highlights a similar, but slightly different story, that was actually covered in great detail in an article in Esquire a few months back, entitled Waffle House Terrorists — which includes the mugshots of the four “terrorists.”

The youngest one of that bunch is 65-years old. The oldest is 73. As the Radiolab episode and the Esquire piece detail, while these guys do seem hateful, they also seemed absolutely unable to do anything… until an “FBI informant” joined their pack and pushed and prodded them along, introducing them to the “contacts” to get weapons and even providing “the money” to buy said weapons. The Esquire article goes into great detail about the “informant” and his rather questionable legal history (he first contacted the FBI while in jail for molesting his wife’s daughter from a previous marriage).

On Radiolab, they play the audiotapes the guy made of the plotting — and there’s obviously some crazy stuff being said. But, as they look deeper into the role of the informant, the Radiolab hosts conclude the episode by noting that the whole situation doesn’t really make them feel any safer. Yes, these old guys were hateful and helped join in this plan to cause lots of death and destruction. But, so much much of the plot and the participation of these guys really does seem driven by the “informant,” who does not seem like the most credible of guys. And it’s this exact scenario that we keep seeing over and over again. It may not reach the level of entrapment, and it may put some people really ignorant and crazy people in jail — but is this really the best use of the FBI’s time and efforts? Creating bogus “terrorist” plots involving people who had no real means to actually do anything?

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Comments on “Yet Another Of The FBI's Own Terrorist Plots… Involves A Group Of Senior Citizens”

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Noah Callaway says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Language evolves over time. Things that were not words can become words, and things that were words can lose their meaning.

For the most part I’ve accepted this, and I acknowledge and appreciate that if a word has entered common usage it _IS_ a word regardless of its correctness.

That said “irregardless” is one of the few that grates on me every time I hear it. It’s totally redundant with “regardless”, and adds a negative prefix to it. It’s definitely not a word that brings a big value proposition to the English language.

Anonymous Coward says:

All About Intent

Consider four types of groups:

No intent to commit terrorists acts – No capability (knowledge & resources).
Just regular folks.

No intent – Has capability
Regular folks with the knowledge and resources needed to carry out a terrorist attack, but no intent to do so.

Has intent – No capability
Wannabee terrorists, but clueless as to how to proceed.

Has intent – Has capability.

I believe the FBI would be happy to go after Group 4, is not interested in Group 1, uses Group 2 as subject matter experts, and convinces Group 3 that they have acquired capability (when they have not) then pounces on them.

It is the prexisting intent of those in Group 3 that gets them into trouble. The FBI is just making sure they don’t become members of Group 4 – good job!

Noah Callaway says:

Re: All About Intent

Have you read 1984? “Preexisting intent” is the same as thought police.

It’s a dangerous line to say someone is guilty of something because they would (or _might_) do that thing.

No, we’re not too concerned about the FBI arresting people who would’ve been willing to kill lots of civilians; but we should be wary any time the government uses “terrorism” as a way to encroach on our civil liberties.

anonymouse says:


Yes these guys may be angry at the government or whatever andthey might have sat talking about how they hate everyone for supporting the governement but to be honest they would probably have not gone any further with there hate if the FBI had not encoraged them to. This is entrapment, plain and simple but in the eyes of the FBI they have removed people from the streets that might have commited a terrorist act.
So lets say someone comes to you and offers you a job where you can make $1 million , all you have to do is drive someone across the border into Mexico. I bet there are a lot of people that would do it, it would not be illegal in itself but the FBI could very easily set this up and accuse you of assisting in the movement of a terrorist, it makes no difference if you did not know he was a terrorist you would still be guilty. This is the same thing.
The rule of law does not exist in America any more , entrapment is used and anyone saying it is entrapment is told they are uneducated on the laws.
Giving someone the power to do something they would never have had the power to do is the same as giving a kid a gun, someone is going to get hurt.

Jeremy Lyman (profile) says:

Witch Hunt

Look, until we get some kind of Minority Report thought-crime machine we’re going to have to keep creating fictitious plots and talking people into joining them. How else will we know about (and punish) the anti-American thoughts that are surging through so many American’s minds? If you don’t like it, please notify the nearest FBI anti-American-frameup unit so they can… ‘respond’ you your concerns.

BinaryRecoil says:

Real Terrorists

If the FBI is responsible for ANY Planning of an attack AGAINST Citizens of the United States of America- It’s not entrapment. It’s the FBI Acknowledging they’re a Terrorist Organization, and OPENLY PLANNING THIS CRAZY NONSENSE.

Their job is to put people responsible for this behind bars- they’re instigating it, they’re planning it, they’re making the deals Happen- THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE AND GUILTY OF ATTEMPTED GENOCIDE.

wakeup says:

You make a very good point here. About a month ago, an FBI informant tricked a high school student into falling in love with her and persuaded him to buy drugs for her, which led to his arrest. It makes me sick to my stomach that the FBI is using such questionable tactics to target people of all age groups, no matter how young or old. We are slowly becoming a security-paranoid state.

Jim O (profile) says:

If you’re upset by the FBI’s actions (or the DEA’s for that matter) you should make sure you’re on the list of potential jurors in your area.

Jurors can decide whatever they want without regard to the written law. If you think something is wrong (entrapment, drug enforcement, etc) do your best to get on a jury and don’t agree with the government’s charges.

Make sure everyone you know is registered and understands their rights as a juror.

Loki says:

but is this really the best use of the FBI’s time and efforts?

I guess that would depend on the purpose of the FBI’s efforts.

If the goal is really to stop terrorism, than I’d say probably not.

If, on the other hand, it is to lay the groundwork to further reduce the civil liberties of our society than it might very well be good use of their time.

Fresh off the Press says:

haplessly hanging out in waffle houses

but in almost every case the details show that it was actually just stopping its own terrorist plots that it feeds to hapless individuals, often nudging them and pushing them down the road to “become” terrorists, despite commonly displaying little to no aptitude for actual terrorism.

Once again, not knowing all the details, if any, I comment shortly on the “hapless” individuals involved in this article..

In so much as they didn’t kick the byjesus out of this informant from the git go, and became deeply involved with him instead, doesn’t that becry fowl and in the very least make them extremely S T U P I D ?? I had to get this in.. sorry if redundant, I didn’t read other comments.

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