Overhype

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
fbi, terrorist threat



FBI 'Stops' Yet Another Of Its Own Terrorist Threats

from the playing-dress-up dept

Well, there they go again. We've talked a bunch about how the FBI has gotten really good at stopping its own terrorist plots and they've gone and done it again. Right here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the FBI has gleefully announced how they've stopped an attempt to bomb a Bank of America building in Oakland. The details are familiar: random guy with no actual connection to terrorists, and no actual way to build a connection with terrorists, is taken in by an FBI undercover agent who works with him to build a "bomb" that was never a bomb. In other words, there was no plot. There was no bomb. There was just a bunch of undercover agents playing dressup, and one Joe Schmo who thought it was all real. Maybe next time, the FBI can turn it into a reality TV show on Spike. Ralph Garmin as... a fake terrorist. I'd watch it.

This all comes just a week after On the Media profiled a new book called Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War On Terrorism. That book appears to collect a bunch of these stories, talking about how this is a major effort in the FBI these days: making up fake terrorist plots in order to stop people they themselves convinced to take part in the "plots" and then generate big headlines around them:
The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terror shows how the FBI has, under the guise of engaging in counterterrorism since 9/11, built a network of more than 15,000 informants whose primary purpose is to infiltrate Muslim communities to create and facilitate phony terrorist plots so that the bureau can then claim victory in the war on terror.
Think of just how many resources are wasted in entrapping random people, rather than stopping real crime. I don't see how this makes us any safer at all. Frankly, it makes me a lot more terrified.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    johnjac (profile), 9 Feb 2013 @ 7:39am

    Crime vs Intelligence goals

    In the new book, "The Org" by Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan, they talk about how pre 9/11 the FBI had clear and measurable goals and objectives. Catch bad guys, and assit DOJ in winning cases.

    Post 9/11 domestic intelligence became their #1 objective. The problem becomes how do you measure and reward staff for doing well at intelligence gathering? Compounding this was
    *everyone in the agency has been hired and promoted based on their crime fighting skills not intelligence gathering skills
    * because crime is mostly regional, offices are NOT used to working together

    The book doesn't talk about these fake plots, but I'm going to imagine that this is what crime fighters do to make it look like they are doing the work of domestic intelligence.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.