FBI Continues To Foil Its Own Devised Terrorist Plots

from the sarcastic-golf-clap dept

It seems there's a new pattern showing itself every time I read a news report in which the FBI proudly announces it foiled a terrorist plot. That pattern goes something like this: hear that a huge explosion was averted and lives were saved, find out the plotter was an American citizen, find out he was under investigation by the FBI for several years, and then finally find out that it was the FBI that egged on the suspect and built his “bomb” for him. In other words, the only way these things could become less impressive is if the FBI actually decided to quit finding these loner folks to urge into violence and just built their own physical straw man to parade in front of the cameras.

This whole game of pretend law enforcement showed up at my doorstep this weekend, when the FBI announced yet another arrest of a potential terrorist, this time an 18 year old suburbanite whom the FBI (you guessed it) encouraged to try to bomb a downtown bar in Chicago.

Adel Daoud, 18, was arrested following a months-long FBI undercover investigation. He was taken into custody after he parked a Jeep Cherokee in front of the bar Friday night and walked into a nearby alley where he tried to detonate the device, court documents allege.

The bomb, which was inert and had been constructed by FBI technicians, didn't explode, according to federal authorities.

Oddly, the article notes that Daoud allegedly gave the FBI more than two dozen high profile Chicago targets to 'splode, but decided eventually on this unnamed bar instead, perhaps because they had, like, totally taken his fake ID that one time. Actually, I just made that up because I can't think of a single reason why a supposed terrorist would settle on a drinkery as their target.

Now, it is true that Daoud professed his wish to participate in jihad. It is true that he attempted to set off this pseudo bomb. He does indeed sound like a disturbed kid that needs to be dealt with in some fashion. But would he have participated in any of this without the urging of the FBI?

Perhaps more importantly, is foiling their own plots the best use of law enforcement in Chicago, a city that appears to be engaged in a concerted effort to have the most murders ever in a calendar year?

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Comments on “FBI Continues To Foil Its Own Devised Terrorist Plots”

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Lord of the Files says:

Re: Amazingly fun game!

I lol’ed because I’m playing that game right now. First one that’s ever made me teary eyed.

On topic; I’m actually getting a bit worried. If the FBI are continually focused on terrorist plots of their own creation, won’t they be too busy to notice the ones they’re not a part of? Seems like a waste of resources to go after would be terrorists instead of the real ones whom are an actual threat.

Trails (profile) says:

You fool!

I suppose you WANT Americans to die, eh Mike? Look, if the FBI didn’t foil their own plots, then their own plots might be successful. What if the FBI technician got confused and in a Fire-Marshall-Bill-esque moment of mental absentia, gave some impressionable kid they had manipulated and groomed a real bomb. Given how some of these zany law enforcement schemes have ended up, I for one am glad the FBI is protecting us.

In the end, what I’m saying is thank you, FBI. If not for the FBI, who would foil the dastardly plots of the FBI?


Re: You fool!

Clearly, some loser that needs to have his explosives provided to him by the FBI is no real threat to anyone.

On the other hand, it would be useful to determine if some other entity might be in a position to supply this guy with what he needs. THAT might have been something.

As it is, the FBI gets more credit for this “conspiracy” then the perp does.

Digger says:

The FBI is now the terrorist organization...

It’s entrapment and the FBI agents and their superiors should be imprisoned for terrorism and inciting terrorist acts.

Everyone who knew about this hideous FBI plot to blow things up through innocent people cajoled into action by FBI personnel should be sent to gitmo for life without possibility of parole. Oh, the President should go too, since it happened on his watch and he’s responsible for what the FBI does.

Pseudonym (profile) says:

Re: The FBI is now the terrorist organization...

Once again, imagine if the FBI did this with crimes other than terrorism.

Suppose that some young, poor, lonely, disenfranchised kid sees other people selling drugs and thinking that might be a way out. So the FBI forms a fake gang for the kid to join, provides him with a circle of “friends” (all FBI or informants), gives him some fake drugs, and arrests him just as he tries to sell them to a fake customer (also FBI).

Ridiculous, right?

It is a fundamental principle of modern policing, supported by decades of sound research, that the best way to stop a crime is to make sure it never happens in the first place.
If there is some segment of the population who are at risk of entering a life of crime, you need to steer them away from it, not towards it!

This kid could have become a life-changing social worker or activist, working with and advocating for the people in his community who grew up like him. But that will never happen, because he now knows he can never trust the authorities who betrayed him.

Berenerd (profile) says:

Re: Re: The FBI is now the terrorist organization...

“This kid could have become a life-changing social worker or activist, working with and advocating for the people in his community who grew up like him.”

This is exactly what they are trying to prevent! If more people turned out this way, why would the FBI need to be around? FOR GOD SAKES THINK OF THEIR PAYCHECKS!!!!

Fake Facts says:

Way to make up fake facts to suit yr own strawman...

Please show the quote in a real news report (not where you made it up) where the suspect was “urged” or “egged on”.

I wouldn’t doubt they might do something like this, but you show no evidence of it. It’s just assumed so you can downplay the threat this person clearly was.

Sounds you just want to downplay that there is any real threat.

What are the FBI supposed to do exactly to deal with people like this? Arrest them for nothing? Just let them go on with their plans without FBI intervention for fear of being accused of “egging him on”?

He’s ready and willing to blow up a bar full of innocent people and all you can do is mock the whole idea that a person like this is any danger at all? He’s not a real terrorist because why again?

I guess to satisfy you the FBI would have to let him actually murder people otherwise he’s just a bumbling idiot who’s no real threat to anyone?

You’d prob be the first one denouncing the FBI if they let this guy actually blow something up, but apparently anything short of that is all a scam strawman.

You’ve already decided that there is no threat it’s all just made up, prob think the world trade center was blown up by the FBI to frame some poor innocent people too…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Way to make up fake facts to suit yr own strawman...

If I had the means I would overthrow the US government in order to reinstate the Constitution and wipe out all the bad laws that have been passed over the last fifty years. In your eyes it should be entirely acceptable for them to give me the tools to do so just so they can arrest me, but that isn’t how our justice system is supposed to work.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Bugfix constitution

If you do have revolution, you should probably patch the constitution to fix some of the more blatant loopholes.

  1. Add a clause that requires that powers granted to Congress be used only for the stated purpose. (“To promote the sciences and useful arts”, anyone?)
  2. The second amendment needs clarifying (it is perfectly clear, its meaning is exactly what I think is sensible gun policy?)
  3. The commerce clause is a ridiculous loophole
  4. The federal government should be explicitly forbidden from paying or withholding money (or other benefits) to other entities on any basis which would create a requirement to act in a way which it cannot force with primary legislation (E.g. drinking age)
  5. The government should be prohibited from engaging any other person to perform an act which would be unconstitutional for it to do itself

Fixing the second is effectively impossible since it would basically mean deciding to replace it with a new amendment, and most people would oppose it for either being too tight or too lax. The rest would be impossible to fix now because of the huge amount of current law it would invalidate.

Pseudonym (profile) says:

Re: Way to make up fake facts to suit yr own strawman...

What are the FBI supposed to do exactly to deal with people like this?

As I noted elsewhere, if this were any other young person at risk for getting mixed up in a life of crime, we would try to steer them away from that.

First off, this approach is a hell of a lot cheaper. Secondly, it maximises our chances of gaining a productive member of society. Thirdly, it gives us an opportunity to build bridges with the community in which that person finds themselves. All we lose is the opportunity to say “look, we foiled a terror plot that we created”. Sounds like win-win-win to me.

DannyB (profile) says:

It’s difficult to know where to draw the line in what the FBI is doing. Clearly doing nothing at all doesn’t seem like a good idea. But what should they do?

I may be unhappy with how things are going. Unhappy with government with certain people / parties are in power. I may be unhappy with Congress all of the time. I may sometimes think the entire thing should be nuked and we start over. [Include nuking the RIAA, MPAA, Microsoft and Apple. 🙂 ]

But if someone approached me with plans to bomb something, I would turn them in to the FBI myself. And I have no particular love (or hate) for the FBI.

So why didn’t Daoud do this?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

‘But if someone approached me with plans to bomb something, I would turn them in to the FBI myself.’

Just remember, the ‘reward’ for an action like that is being investigated by, and threatened by, the FBI. They really don’t like it when someone else tries to wear the ‘terrorist fighter’ hat, and tend to thrown tantrums when it happens.

Pseudonym (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So why didn’t Daoud do this?

Hell, why do some young African-American kids join gangs instead of turning them in to the cops?

Could it be that Daoud was disenfranchised from the wider society, perhaps due to the hard time that Muslim people have thanks to all the paranoia, and so was ripe for exploitation by any group who offered him friendship and inclusion?

By the way, if someone approached you with plans to bomb something, you might not turn them into the FBI if they had a history of being two-faced with your community on multiple occasions? If you thought there was a significant risk that by doing the right thing you could get arrested on trumped-up charges and threatened that if you didn’t become an overseas agent in a war zone they would make your life a living hell, would you honestly do it?

I don’t know about you, but I’d have to think long and hard about it, and I have the benefit of being white, almost 40, educated and middle class. (Oh, and I don’t live in the US, which is another distinct advantage.) I don’t know what chance someone in Daoud’s position would have.

DannyB (profile) says:


You have a point. However if they are easily swayed into bombing something, I would have to entertain the idea that maybe they are genuinely dangerous.

OTOH, if an easily manipulated person were swayed by someone (not the FBI) into bombing something that they otherwise wouldn’t have, then I would say the real crime was done by the manipulator.

It might be possible to sway an impressionable 12 year old boy into bombing something, with sufficient manipulation. (See: pedophiles) But the FBI seems to be targeting adults who should know better — or who maybe should have a guardian.

So I’m not sure what to think. Again, I have no particular love for the FBI. But they’re not the TSA. Or the copyright criminal cartel.

monkyyy says:

Way to make up fake facts to suit yr own strawman...

“He’s ready and willing to blow up a bar full of innocent people and all you can do is mock the whole idea that a person like this is any danger at all? He’s not a real terrorist because why again?”
honesty i would expect him to make friends w/ meth heads when trying to get stuff for explosives, a thus lower his chances of surviving his first bomb creation w/o professional training

Anonymous Coward says:


“OTOH, if an easily manipulated pony were swayed by somepony (not the FBI) into bombing something that they otherwise wouldn’t have, then I would say the real crime was done by the manipulator.”

I would say they’re both responsible. I don’t care how easily swayed somebody is. If they’re willing to blow people people up for no good reason at all, then they don’t need to be on the streets.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: The FBI is now the terrorist organization...

Seriously, you have to ask? This isn’t the first time this has happened. The FBI are the ones telling the suspect to go ahead and blow something up and supplying the equipment necessary to do so.
Last time there was an article on this, the members of the Muslim mosque whom the FBI infiltrated actually reported their own inside man TO THE FBI, being concerned with how much he was constantly calling for a jihad.
Entrapment is when law enforcement are the ones planning and executing the crimes through proxies.

Lord Binky says:

Way to make up fake facts to suit yr own strawman...

“What are the FBI supposed to do exactly to deal with people like this? Arrest them for nothing? Just let them go on with their plans without FBI intervention for fear of being accused of “egging him on”?”

Well, yeah. They can stop him after he initiates the illegal actions without the FBI’s influence. If he begins work on making an explosive device, you have evidence. If he is looking for someone to tell him what to do, the FBI would be better off, I don’t know, maybe surveying him, or investigate? If he finds a group/person to get together with, then they can slowly try to pick apart organizations, instead of find one easily manipulated 18 year old. It works better that way to protect people too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Way to make up fake facts to suit yr own strawman...

So you find a guy claiming he wants to kill innocent people for his cause and the solution is 24 hour surveillance for life?

And if you say no keep in mind that if they surveill him for a shorter period of time and he later kills innocent people tech dirt and the other mocking the FBI will mock them again for not doing enough to stop this now “real” terrorist”.

He was under surveillance and still managed to kill people? Well we had to cause techdirt will otherwise whine that we are egging people on and we can’t have that? We have to wait till there are actual dead people? Or surveill him for life? It don’t make any sense at all to me.

The author of this article clearly just doesn’t feel there is a real threat, and if there is it’s a very small threat.

This guy does have rights, but the constitution isn’t a suicide pact, we aren’t required to wait till he actually kills people to do something.

He was willing to kill innocent people, but it’s all the FBI’s fault? They egged him on? No they didn’t…

I’m calling BS…

Lord Binky says:

Re: Re: Way to make up fake facts to suit yr own strawman...

He wasn’t just trying to kill people, he was trying to become part of a group. If he was trying to simply kill people why had he not before the FBI caught him? Because he wasn’t a lone actor, he needed the group. If he never found the group, he wasn’t doing anything. The FBI helps nobody when they pose as that group instead of trying to actually uncover that group, it’s wasteful crap and this is why their budget needs to be cut. Yay you got a henchman wannabe with zero chance of uncovering any active terrorists.

People claim they want to kill others all the time. Most of it goes ignored, or are just put into a log/report. If someone is sufficently unstable they should be treated medically, not tricked and put into jail.

They should wait because that’s the law. This isn’t the same as getting busted trying to buy drugs where the cop poses as a dealer. If at any point he had second thoughts, and they re-assured him it will be ok and encouraged him in any way, they crossed the line to entraptment. With how much they interacted with the guy it sounds less like the FBI just said, hey you wished for a bomb? here it is, go have fun. Based off his actions, he was trying to be a part of the group for whatever ego reasons. He’s 18, like just out of highschool/senior 18. He could have gotten a motorcycle the next month and think the whole idea was stupid. Based on his actions, before the FBI gives him fake stuff, he was just trying to be a periphial part of the group providing information. He gave information on bigger places, but he only went to bar? He was obviously scared or he would have done the bigger places right?

What if he went to one of those bigger places and caused a panic? People do die in those trying to escape, then how would the FBI be? Oops, it was just a sick joke on this guy to make him try to do something illegal? Or would they be like It’s ok! We’re heros! It was fake the whole time.

It’s a waste of limited resources to pick out this one guy.

Lord Binky says:


Not when it is the government that tries to get you to do it or actively plots with you, encouraging you, and then provides the means that are outside of your capability.

Luckily we don’t have people just handing out explosives on the street like fliers. Besides a bomber without a bomb being a non-issue, finding people willing to blow stuff up isn’t as important as finding someone making explosives now is it?

weneedhelp (profile) says:


It is very easy to manipulate people, intelligent or not. Its even easier when someone has low intelligence. Ever been talked in to doing something stupid to impress friends or a girl?

“However if they are easily swayed into bombing something, I would have to entertain the idea that maybe they are genuinely dangerous.”
Agreed, but how willing and how much was he pushed? Acceptance by a group (see college frats for one) can be an extremely motivating factor causing PPL that appear to be normal intelligent and smart, to do absolutely stupid asinine stuff.

Here is the FBI agent claiming to be from the mighty alCIAda and YOU sir, DannyB, will be the absolute man in our org if you do this. We will accept and love you and you will be hailed a hero jihad master.

To a lonely mentally disturbed socially awkward individual, nirvana has just been handed to them.

The same ppl FBI targets, cults would target as well.

Just look at all of the “intelligent” ppl that are in the Scientology cult. (Oh shit no I didnt)

Anonymous Coward says:


Explosives are easy as fuck to make. I’ve known a few people in my time who have made explosives as a form of entertainment, blowing up stumps and whatnot on their own land. And these are not bright people I’m talking about. The difference is that if you said to one of these people “hey, let’s go blow up a random building and kill people for Allah,” they’d probably punch you in the face.

John Fenderson (profile) says:


Sure, but when law enforcement is enticing people into it then the question becomes: would they ever have done it if law enforcement wasn’t providing the means & encouragement?

It seems to me it would be better if the FBI found people who not only want to do something heinous, but actually attempt to do it without being actively aided by law enforcement.

The problem is that lots of people may have a latent desire to do something nefarious, but very few of them actually will. It’s better to try to find the ones who are truly dangerous rather than the ones who merely want to be dangerous. If the cops are making it easier for a kook to act on latent desires, it becomes impossible to know if they would ever have really been a danger at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Better yet… go after “somone real.”

Or, building off the AC comment… go after the “group that [could] push him to do this and [give] him the same level of help.”

What group could that be?

Not sure there is a comparable group to the FBI on this matter, but even if there was a “group” that was not quite so good, why not go after them instead of recruiting somone that might be influenced by a group that may or may not exist for the sake of removing all citizens that could be influenced?

Lord Binky says:


You think this suburban 18-yr old can even do that little on his own, or would even put the effort in? And where these people you know getting the supplies? They obviously don’t live in city limits if they are blowing up stumps, where it’s usually illegal to even set off fireworks.

Farmers/ranchers have access to things that while to them are common sense, a little bit more difficult to obtain than others. This would also single out a suburban guy buying it out of nowhere. So, are you talking household items? And these would do serious damage to a bar like a movie explosion that I’m sure this guy was thinking of?

Joe Dirt says:

I find it amazing that the FBI can do this legally.
If Joe Dirt the Racist or Ahmed Ahma-Dickhead the Terrorist were doing the same cajoling, planning and helping to manufacture a bomb, real or fake, that person would be charged with conspiracy to commit…
But since the FBI does it and their intentions are for the good of all(subjective opinion… not mine), then it’s all OK and we should thank them for saving the American way of life?

DannyB (profile) says:


> Ever been talked in to doing something stupid to impress friends or a girl?

There are levels of stupid. And girls, no.

> To a lonely mentally disturbed socially awkward individua

I would have to question whether that person is actually dangerous and whether they should be free. Plenty of loney mentally disturbed socially awkward individuals seem to go on shooting sprees. Why not bombings? The question arises, how do you catch them?

Maybe my concern with the FBI might be how much manipulation does it take to induce someone into bombing people?

> Cults

Cults are still a stretch from bombing someone. I would suppose that most of the “intelligent” people in cults would not bomb people. (But a few?)

So where I originally started. I’m not sure where to draw the line. But doing nothing is as bad as being overzealous — innocent people get hurt.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

There is a place between nothing and borderline entrapment. They knew this guy had problems, they knew this guy thought the way he did. Why didn’t they try to get him help? Why didn’t they try to show him that the US isn’t as bad a place as he thought it was? It would be cheaper in the long run and it would make the FBI look better.

But no, we get the FBI stalking people, setting them up, and throwing them in jail for god knows how long. How much money does that waste? And it’s not correcting the problem, it’s just throwing the problem somewhere where it can fester.

Mike Oxlong says:

The CSIS (canadas CIA) set up two crackheads as terrorists in British Columbia

This same thing is happening in Canada all the time. The details that came out about the case against two accused named Nuttall and Korody for attempting to bomb festivities on Vancouver Island in the provincial capital, describe how the two accused were crack addicts who did everything for drugs and had to be constantly redirected and brought back on task by their handlers. There is a very good account of this if you look up “Nuttall Nonsense” on BC’s ” gangsters-out-blog “

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