One Year Ago, FBI Insisted That 'Terrorist' Guy It Arrested Last Week Was No Threat At All

from the look-at-that... dept

Last week, we wrote about the FBI arresting John Booker, who was involved in yet another of the FBI’s own plots. At the beginning of our post (and the criminal complaint) against Booker, we noted how a year ago Booker had tried to join the army, and had then been denied after posting stuff to his Facebook page about how he was going to “wage jihad” and planned to die. It was noted that the FBI visited him at that time, and we found it odd that if he was such a threat, why wasn’t he arrested then. Instead, it appears that months later, the FBI got together and concocted a ridiculous plot for Booker to join, in which the FBI itself did all the planning.

What he hadn’t realized was that when the incident happened last year with Booker and his Facebook page, there was actually news coverage about it, with the FBI actually saying that they had investigated and Booker was no threat at all:

The alert, which was sourced to ?an FBI agent,? stated it was distributed to ?inform and protect officers who may encounter this individual or others exhibiting the same aspirations.?

Four days later, on Tuesday, the FBI downplayed the “routine” alert, saying it was not actively searching for Booker. The agency said it did not believe he posed an “imminent threat,” despite the original alert’s invocation of the Fort Hood shooting, where an Army psychologist killed 13 and wounded more than 30 on a Texas military base in 2009.

?We have interviewed this individual,? an FBI spokesman said. ?There is not a manhunt and there never was one. There is no imminent threat to public safety, nor should the public be concerned that this threat exists from an individual at large.”

The reporter who wrote that above now works at the Intercept and has revealed more details, including the FBI’s Situational Information Report after it had interviewed Booker a year ago. It notes that not only had Booker checked himself into a mental health facility a month earlier, but also that he basically had no way of carrying out any threat:

BOOKER does not have access to a vehicle or other form of transportation at this time, nor is there evidence he possess firearms.

It appears that Booker only became a real threat… once two FBI informants showed up and created the plot for him.

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Comments on “One Year Ago, FBI Insisted That 'Terrorist' Guy It Arrested Last Week Was No Threat At All”

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Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Entrapment?

Uh, no. Undercover cops gather information until they have enough to make an arrest and process it until they can secure a conviction, in theory.

Entrapment is when they supply the information and dupe some poor fool into taking part in a plot they have cooked up themselves.

See the difference? Right = spot and record the details of the plot.

Wrong = invent and facilitate the plot and convince some poor sucker to take part in it.

OldGeezer (profile) says:

In this case I think they might have actually done a good thing in creating a way to get this dumb shit off the streets. He seemed hellbent on committing some kind of terrorist act and willing to die in the process. He obviously wasn’t very bright posting his intentions online and admitting that he only wanted to join the service to kill people. Real terrorists operate under extreme secrecy and often cells working on the same plot don’t even know the identity of the other participants. As ignorant as this guy is, he likely would have eventually done something stupid and killed somebody. The statements that he wasn’t a threat probably were a diversion and the FBI intended from the beginning that they would do something to get him locked away. Many criminals that commit violent acts are just as dumb as this guy yet they still find some way to carry it out.

OldGeezer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

If someone threatens to kill me I can have them arrested. The threat alone is a crime. Just because he did not name a specific target does not make him any less potentially dangerous. He made it very clear that he wanted to kill people and become a martyr. Just try making a statement that you intend to kill the president and see how long it takes before SWAT is kicking down your door. Even if you are a total whack job and not stand the slightest chance of getting past the president’s security you will still go to jail.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, making a threat is against the law — but there are certain characteristics that have to be met to be considered an illegal threat.

Since this guy was not in fact arrested for making an illegal threat, I have to assume that wasn’t a law he broke.

“Even if you are a total whack job and not stand the slightest chance of getting past the president’s security you will still go to jail.”

In the first place, a threat against the president is a specific threat, not a general one. I think the difference is critically important. In the second place, what you wrote here isn’t true. If you threaten the president, you will get a visit from the secret service. They will be there to determine if the threat is genuine. If it’s not, then you are unlikely to go to jail.

OldGeezer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It is true that a lot of people at times have been angry enough to experience the urge to kill. For normal people reason takes over before they get the gun or ball bat. Thankfully very few want to die killing others but this guy made his intentions very clear. He was quick to jump at the chance when the undercover agents recruited him. Maybe this idiot couldn’t get laid so he wanted his 72 virgins. Personally I am glad this guy is behind bars. Whether he had a lot of means makes little difference. It just is not that hard to get your hands on a gun or other weapon.

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