We've pointed out, more than a few times, that it seems like so many of the big "terrorist plots" that the FBI has been "breaking up" (to tremendous fanfare and press coverage) really appear to be the FBI's own terror plots
. It appears we're not alone in that assessment. The Guardian recently had an excellent article highlighting these same concerns
Critics say the FBI is running a sting operation across America, targeting – to a large extent – the Muslim community by luring people into fake terror plots. FBI bureaux send informants to trawl through Muslim communities, hang out in mosques and community centres, and talk of radical Islam in order to identify possible targets sympathetic to such ideals. Or they will respond to the most bizarre of tip-offs, including, in one case, a man who claimed to have seen terror chief Ayman al-Zawahiri living in northern California in the late 1990s.
That tipster was quickly hired as a well-paid informant. If suitable suspects are identified, FBI agents then run a sting, often creating a fake terror plot in which it helps supply weapons and targets. Then, dramatic arrests are made, press conferences held and lengthy convictions secured.
But what is not clear is if many real, actual terrorists are involved.
While we always get attacked whenever we use the word "entrapment" to describe these kinds of cases, it appears that at least some of the folks charged in these cases are going to try to claim entrapment in court. It may be tough to find a sympathetic court, considering many of those involved did
effectively say they would take part in an attack. But if every part of it was orchestrated and paid for by the FBI... then the whole operation seems questionable. The real issue is why this is a tactic the FBI uses. It's almost as if they feel the need to "create" fake plots to stop just to justify their existence (and very, very large budget).