Report: All But Four Of The High-Profile Domestic Terrorism Plots In The Last Decade Were Crafted From The Ground Up By The FBI

from the the-FBI:-rolling-its-own-since-2001 dept

Human Rights Watch has just published a report containing the facts needed to back up everyone’s suspicions that the FBI counterterrorism efforts are almost solely composed of breaking up “plots” of its own design. And the bigger and more high-profile the “bust” was, the better the chance that FBI agents laid the foundation, constructed the walls… basically did everything but allow the devised plot to reach its designed conclusion. (via Reason)

All of the high-profile domestic terrorism plots of the last decade, with four exceptions, were actually FBI sting operations—plots conducted with the direct involvement of law enforcement informants or agents, including plots that were proposed or led by informants. According to multiple studies, nearly 50 percent of the more than 500 federal counterterrorism convictions resulted from informant-based cases; almost 30 percent of those cases were sting operations in which the informant played an active role in the underlying plot.

Of those four exceptions, two (Boston Bombing/LAX shooting) were successfully pulled off. Feeling safer with the g-men’s increased focus on preventing terrorist attacks?

Within the report is even more damning information that shows the FBI preyed on weak individuals in order to rack up “wins” in the War on Terror.

Although an FBI agent even told Ferdaus’ father his son “obviously” had mental health problems, the FBI targeted him for a sting operation, sending an informant into Ferdaus’ mosque. Together, the FBI informant and Ferdaus devised a plan to attack the Pentagon and US Capitol, with the FBI providing fake weaponry and funding Ferdaus’ travel. Yet Ferdaus was mentally and physically deteriorating as the fake plot unfolded, suffering weight loss so severe his cheek bones protruded, loss of bladder control that left him wearing diapers, and depression and seizures so bad his father quit his job to care for Ferdaus. He was eventually sentenced on material support for terrorism and explosives charges to 17 years in prison with an additional 10 years of supervised release.

Those that weren’t weak enough were broken.

Abu Ali, a US citizen, was swept up in a mass arrest campaign in Saudi Arabia in 2003. Ali alleged being whipped, denied food, and threatened with amputation, and ultimately provided a confession he says was false to Saudi interrogators.

Ali was given a life sentence and is currently serving it at a Supermax prison.

Uzair Paracha was held in solitary confinement for nearly two years before he was convicted on charges of material support. Nine months after his arrest and while he was refusing to take a plea deal, the federal government moved Paracha to a harsh regime of solitary confinement pursuant to Special Administrative Measures (SAMs)—special restrictions on his contact with others imposed on the grounds of protecting national security or preventing disclosure of classified material—ostensibly due to ties with Al-Qaeda. For a time, Paracha was only permitted to speak to prison guards.

As much as the DHS and FBI have stated concerns about “radicalization” and domestic terrorism, those captured in FBI sting operations were strongly pushed in that direction by informants and undercover agents. The FBI created threats where none existed.

In many of the sting operations we examined, informants and undercover agents carefully laid out an ideological basis for a proposed terrorist attack, and then provided investigative targets with a range of options and the weapons necessary to carry out the attack. Instead of beginning a sting at the point where the target had expressed an interest in engaging in illegal conduct, many terrorism sting operations that we investigated facilitated or invented the target’s willingness to act before presenting the tangible opportunity to do so. In this way, the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals.

This sort of activity should have been treated as “own goals” by the agency and some of the more credulous press. Instead, these busts are touted as evidence of the agency’s superior skill and effort, something more closely related to extolling the prowess of someone who has just scored on an empty net.

The FBI took a man whose main hobbies were “watching cartoons” and “playing Pokemon,” a man who a forensic psychologist described (during the trial) as “highly susceptible to the suggestions of others” and fashioned him into a supposed terrorist. The planned subway bombing never happened, thanks to the FBI’s keenly-honed ability to capture terrorists it created. Arrested with the would-be subway bomber was his “co-conspirator,” a high school dropout with drug problems and clinically-diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia.

There’s much, much more in the report. Human Rights Watch’s investigative work was made extremely difficult by the FBI’s disingenuous counterterrorism efforts over the last decade, which made many in the Muslim communities affected deeply suspicious of people who asked too many questions.

There’s nothing to celebrate about victories like these. The emphasis on creating plots just to shut them down diverts resources from actual threats — ones arising without huge amounts of FBI prompting. All this does is ensure the agency’s anti-terror funding remains intact — money that will be largely wasted on the FBI’s sting operation Ouroboros. And while the FBI plays with its terrorist dress-up dolls, the real threats will go undetected.

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Comments on “Report: All But Four Of The High-Profile Domestic Terrorism Plots In The Last Decade Were Crafted From The Ground Up By The FBI”

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Anonymous Coward says:

i wonder which group was responsible for the recent ‘imminent terrorist threat’ release that gave the UK government the needed bullshit excuse to be able to force through, under ’emergency need’ the latest data retention law that completely screws the freedom and privacy from citizens everywhere (i am sure that GCHQ will use this law to do exactly the same as the NSA and collect everything, from everyone, everywhere under every possible scenario!), removing democratic process yet again and enforcing the Internet censorship that the same government instigated earlier?

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:

  1. could be, may be, might be…
    2. spooks like to get at least a twofer: so, discredit anyone/everyone speaking against the gummint by associating them with these gullible/desperate fools; and manufacture the ‘need’ for more GWOT lucre…
    3. except it seems it was more desperation, low IQ, and hanging out with someone providing everything, AND cash in your pocket ? sure, achmed, sign me up for gee-had, now pass me a beer…
    i’m betting these guys thought this was all bullshit, and they humored whoever was talking big, with no real thought of anything real becoming of it…
    4. i’m betting there are any number of real plots by mostly reichwingers which go -not unnoticed- unscathed because they are reichwingers who still support Empire…
Anonymous Coward says:

As much as the DHS and FBI have stated concerns about “radicalization” and domestic terrorism, those captured in FBI sting operations were strongly pushed in that direction by informants and undercover agents.

They are playing with fire. Such operations are likely to radicalize people who otherwise would have been peaceful citizens. Further these people, having learnt from the sting operation, are more likely to carry out a successful attack.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What if they set up someone to conduct a terrorist plot but gave them fake guns. What if that person discovered those guns were fake and replaced them with real guns. Wouldn’t that make the FBI partially responsible and possibly accomplices to the plot when something bad really does happen? At the very least the public backlash against something like this would be huge.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Fake guns

Considering that ATF got away with Operation Fast & Furious, where they intentionally gave real guns to known violent criminals with the stated belief that they would be able to track the guns and recover them at the right time, I think expecting any sense of justice to be applied to federal agents who were “just following orders” is expecting way too much of the government’s internal accountability mechanisms.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Why would they care if a real attack happened, they’d just use it to justify their actions and demand even more funding and power

Case 1: no attacks

Response: See how well this is working? Keep giving us more power and money, so we can keep protecting you.

Case 2: some attacks

Response: Clearly we need more power and money so that we can prevent these terrible attacks.

I’m really not sure the people at the top care too much whether people die, as long as they’re not blamed for it.

Whatever parody says:

but … but … but … the courts disagree with you and since the courts side with me they must be right!!! I ABSOLUTELY INSIST!! (Closes ears and shuts eyes), the courts said you are wrong!!!!! There is no sense in discussing this any further because the courts already definitively decided that your opinion is soundly rejected!!! Unless someone comes up with another compelling case and a better argument, that judgement stands!!!! END OF STORY!!!!!

AricTheRed says:

Re: Re:

“With this evidence I hope a mistrial is declared.”

Silly citizen, “this evidence” was presented at his TRIAL. It is what got him CONVICTED. The fact the it was an FBI plot all along to catch a Muslim “Terrorist” was known to the Judge and Jury, and they did what nearly every other “reasonable person” would do. They CONVICTED him of a crime that the government invented to “protect” us from terroists.

The DOJ, local cops, state police, FBI, the entire machine, is there to CONVICT people of crimes. Not to protect anyone. The sooner We The People figure this out the better off we will all be.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If the FBI instigates an act of terror then the FBI is equally responsible as the material perpetrator. So why condemn the perpetrator and let the FBI go scot-free? They are both terrorists. How can a large organisation funded by the American people systematically promote terror against the American people and still escape a conviction? But the seriousness of this kind of behavior is that it casts even September 11 in a much shadier light as it shows that government agencies are really into the business of creating terror to further their specified or unspecified agendas.

Edward Teach says:

FBI jealous of TSA "successes"

The FBI is jealous of the amount of “good press” that the TSA generates with its Nudatron scanners, invasive groping, and water bottle confiscating programs.

The problem with drumming up your own terrorist plots, vs the TSA’s schemes, is that (a) you don’t get the kind of great schwag that the TSA gets (how many leatherman tools a day does the TSA “confiscate”?) and you don’t get the weird silver porn that the TSA gets from the Nudatrons.

TSA:2, FBI:0

You’ll have to try harder, FBI.

Truth is a 4-letter word says:

And I have questions about those remaining 4...

All but four? Let’s take another look at the three of the four outstanding:

Boston Marathon Bombing:

Times Square bomber:

NYC subway bombing:

I notice the report didn’t mention the underwear bomber. Probably didn’t want to embarrass the government too much pointing out that without a passport he bypassed security and was escorted onto the plane with the help of a well-dressed man. and older stories.

These plots are a raging success for the evil US government. They get to grow their power and budgets all at the expense of our tax dollars and rights.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: And I have questions about those remaining 4...

All but four? Let’s take another look at the three of the four outstanding:

I didn’t have time to watch all of them but for the Boston bombing one, as far as I could tell the entirety of their evidence that it was organized by the US government is that the bomb was in a black backpack, and there were numerous military personnel in the area before the bombing and they all had… wait for it… BLACK BACKPACKS!

I’ll just assume the others are bullshit too.

Raging Alcoholic (profile) says:

Nazi spymasters post WWII

Shortly after WWII the US began using former Nazi spies to keep track of the Russians. Spies don’t like to meet new people so the US only had the word of the Nazi spies about what the Russians were doing.
Many people at the time believed the Nazis were making stuff up to keep getting paid and so they could still be considered useful.
The US decided they had to take the Nazis intelligence as credible because the risk of not doing it was just too high.

The situation you describe reminds me very much of those Nazi spies. Making things up to get paid and appear useful. It would appear the Nazi spies and our current FBI have a lot in common.

The worst thing is that the FBI won’t be smart enough and ethical enough to realize they have done something wrong.

Steve Day says:

I wouldn’t rule out the Boston bombing either.

The fact that the FBI killed the Tsaernayev’s cousin while he was unarmed and being “questioned” in his own home is highly suspicious. He probably knew of the FBI’s involvement and wasn’t playing along with the cover-up, so he was eliminated.

Tin foil hat time? Perhaps, but this government just can’t be trusted, so I wouldn’t put anything past them. They were caught smuggling guns to Mexican cartels, Congress found Eric Holder in contempt, so his buddy (Obama) gave him a “get out of jail free card”.

TestPilotDummy says:


Okay FBI Recruit, Raise Your right hand.

I will support and defend the Constitution of the
United States against all enemies, foreign and
domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to
the same; that I take this obligation freely, without
any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that
I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the
office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Not willing to obey your oath of office?
Don’t take the oath of office.
Here lay the nucleus of all these problems.
Oath Breakers.
With Oath Breakers, the US Constitution will NEVER be obeyed. Banksters will never go to Prison, The FBI itself will continue to spy and break their sworn oaths not to be doin that stuff.

Toss in some kangaroo courts, yee haa off to FASCISM-VILLE
Hey, we already are paying to support NAZI’s and KILL GAZAN’s and Ukranians through this FASCIST system, with it’s criminal Mafia Monetary system of un-prosecuted Banksters and wrist slaps.

Fair warning: Don’t EVER call me for jury duty on one of these unconstitutional cases, I’m nullifying your junk, and if possible removing the entire harmful law. Basically I am goin to hold a mirror up and reflect your EVIL.

Bottom line is, Obey your Oath, Get a Warrant (and be sure that warrant is not from a Kangaroo Court)

Until then…
As a USAF Veteran I took an oath Way Earlier than your Crap Kangaroo Court Judges Oaths. You would be wise to remember that when you CALL me for Jury Duty. I am going to SLINK in quietly through voir dire, and then Bite your Evil Head off when it matters most.

In my opinion, if people don’t start taking this attitude we’re all toast, we’ll all HANG separately, if we do not hang together–and at the rate of the gun grabbing and financial fraud, we will be waiting to HANG while defenseless, homeless and hungry.

I am pretty sure even the most irresponsible drunken Moron in this country is starting to see this outrageous EVIL, and as the lies perpetuate you can see the disconnect plain as a Billboard. While they drone on about truth, integrity, Journalism, and spew out there Jingles reminding us all that they are where “News you can count on” , “News that comes first”, and all the other little lies. The disconnect can be seen by any who care to look now.

Hows that GOLD doin? No not paper gold.. Actual.
Again — Disconnect.

Just remember the FBI will come out of the woodworks again, when the next snafu goes down, if you want an FBI that does not obey the Constitution— Then YOU are doomed.

If you truly believe none of this matters.

You might as well sign up to work for the TSA so you can learn all the tricks of the “rogue cop trade” before you apply at the FBI. After all being rogue and breaking your sworn oath, isn’t for everyone.

KevinEHayden (profile) says:

This will backfire - BIG TIME!

Eventually, this will backfire.
Just suppose that some ‘real’ terrorists realize what’s going on and scam the FBI. They could become equipped with real weapons, or at least some stuff that they could easily convert to work properly. Now, let’s say they misdirect the FBI by pretending to go along with the plot, but secretly have a second operation going to target something else. The FBI’s resources will be so focused on targeting their own fake plot, that the terrorists should be able to pull off their second ‘real’ plot without anyone catching on. I can’t wait for the fallout on that one!

GEMont (profile) says:

Maintaining Terrorism for Fun and Profit

The 4 phony terrorist plots that were not set up by the FBI, were in fact, set up by the CIA. The CIA uses real bombs and real weapons and lets their patsies carry out real assaults. After all, you have to have a few “terrorist” attacks succeed, for effect.

You see, there really are no terrorists, just American and British Special Ops personnel in “raghead drag”, blowing shit up to keep the lucrative tax-draining sham alive.

Aside form cancer, Terrorism is the best money maker ever invented, and is absolutely necessary to the process of finding ways and means of redistributing the wealth produced by Americans and Brits – from the citizens to the rulers.

Ask the powers that be just how much money they divert towards anti-terrorism, then double it to include the secret budgets of the NSA, FBI, CIA and HSA and then double that again to include the Brits, then close your mouth…. before the flies get in.

The last thing a fascist regime wants is a healthy public with time and money on their hands. Sick, frightened and poor enough to have no spare time or hobbies beyond booze and TV, now that’s the ticket.

Normally, to eliminate unwanted civilians, they’d just start a war somewhere, but cheap nukes and cheaper bio-weapons have pretty much ended that easy route, so now its necessary to feed your peasants sucrose, penetrating oil and curdled milk, if you want them to be immune-system compromised and susceptible to the diseases that will soon be creating the next international crisis.

You really cannot blame the Agents for the directives they carry out though. After all they are just employees, feeding their families and following the orders that pay the rent, while fervently praying that they’re on the winning side.

It is those who give the orders that you need to focus on, not their soldiers and assassins.

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