FBI Closes Out 2015 With Another Questionable Terrorism Bust

from the 2016-Goal:-Stay-the-Course dept

The FBI has managed to get one more terrorist bust on the books for FYE 2015.

Emanuel L. Lutchman, 25, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to the complaint, Lutchman had big, violent plans for New Year's Eve.
LUTCHMAN discussed with CS-2 [FBI informant] doing assassinations and using a pressure cooker bomb. LUTCHMAN said that he wanted to execute the plan so they could be "in and out," noting that they should make it "quiet and simple" so they can go about doing what they need to do to make hijra [leave the US and travel to Syria]. He also said that, after the operation, "they're going to be hunting for us," meaning that law enforcement authorities would be seeking to capture them. CS-2 asked LUTCHMAN if they would use a knife in the event they could not use a pressure cooker bomb or firearm(s).
While Lutchman may have had big plans, he really didn't seem to have any of the necessary ingredients. He had occasional contact with a self-professed ISIL member overseas, but 99% of his planning was done with the assistance of three FBI informants. While he did profess a desire to perform an act of terrorism, nearly everything he needed to carry this out was going to need to be obtained from someone else.
LUTCHMAN stated that they would use knives during the attack, noting that he knew someone with a machete and that his wife has a dagger.
And:
LUTCHMAN stated that they would need to wear masks during the operation so they would not get caught by law enforcement authorities, noting that he had a "brother" who would sell the masks for $5.
Do you really need a "connect" for ski masks? I mean, maybe in Arizona. But upstate New York?

Both of these "sources" failed to produce the needed items, so Lutchman and an FBI informant headed to the nation's largest terrorist outfitter, Walmart. Even with the retail giant's famous low prices, Lutchman still needed seed money for his foray into terrorism. Fortunately, the FBI was there to help.
In the evening on or about December 29, 2015, LUTCHMAN met with CS-2 During the meeting, LUTCHMAN and CS-2 went to a Walmart store on Hudson Avenue in Rochester, New York, to purchase supplies for the operation. While there, they purchased 2 black ski masks, zip-ties, 2 knives, a machete, duct tape, ammonia and latex gloves. Due to the fact that LUTCHMAN did not have any funds with him at the store, CS-2 paid approximately $40 for these items.
Had it been left to Lutchman to carry out this attack, he may have been able to come up with a knife or two. The $5 ski masks apparently would have been out of his price range.

To be sure, Lutchman did make plenty of disturbing statements to the FBI informants, as well as to the overseas provocateur. He may truly have desired to commit an act of violence. But it does seem apparent he was pretty much incapable of moving forward with his plans on his own. Maybe he was just looking for a few people who would listen to him rant and never call him on his bullshit -- a position filled by competently by the three FBI informants.

The fact that he couldn't even come up with the $40 needed to fund a two-man knife attack makes the charge of "material support" somewhat laughable. Perhaps that's why the complaint makes it clear the "material support" being "provided" by Lutchman was very specific -- and, presumably, of limited use.
Attempt to provide material support and resources, namely, himself as personnel and services, to a designated foreign terrorist organization…
"Himself" being the only thing anyone could count on Lutchman being in possession of when the time came to carry out the attack.

Then there's Lutchman's rap sheet:
EMANUEL L. LUTCHMAN is a 25~year old United States citizen, who currently resides in Rochester, New York. He is a self~professed Muslim convert with a criminal history dating back to approximately 2006 (which includes a New York state conviction for Robbery 2 from 2006, for which he served approximately 5 years in prison), as well as previous state Mental Hygiene arrests.
The mental hygiene arrests suggest Lutchman could be a dangerous person -- not because of his allegiance to ISIL -- but in general. Mental hygiene arrests occur when a person is considered to be a danger to themselves or others. He may have been a threat, thanks to his mental issues, but a terrorist? Certainly, the mental instability could have made Lutchman much more susceptible to outside suggestions that he commit violence, but his arrest record suggests Lutchman didn't have the mental (and, apparently, financial) capacity to provide much "support" for the Islamic State's violent aims.

It may be safer now that Lutchman is off the streets, but this arrest doesn't really gain us any ground in the War on Terrorism. A majority of the FBI's busts have been just as dubious, suggesting the agency values quantity over quality when it comes to arresting suspected terrorists.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Berenerd (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 6:52am

    Meanwhile in another part of the country....

    Armed militia or group of radicals occupy a government building and threaten to return force if someone tries to remove them. This group is all US citizens and the leader has a past of being a little forceful with his protests, and the FBI completely missed this and is playing catch up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 7:04am

    Mental hygiene? That is a really strange term. It implies that he forgot to brush his brain or wear mind-deodorant or something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 7:20am

    Re: Meanwhile in another part of the country....

    Check again: they don't want to use force, but the protest does have a point. This involves a case that 2 people served their jail time but a judge has now ruled that their jail sentences were NOT long enough!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Machin Shin (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 7:26am

    Re:

    Didn't you know? That is what is wrong with the world today, not enough mental flossing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 7:31am

    Amazing how The FBI has made itself above the law in regards to being involved in terrorist acts against America. We have only have their word which is useless and untrustworthy that this all they did in regards to this "plot".

    Since if you or I did this we would be branded as terrorists and not patriots for entrapping and arresting feeble minded fools as would terrorists.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 7:56am

    Re: Meanwhile in another part of the country....

    From a CNN article:
    "A national security analyst says there's no doubt the gunmen are "domestic terrorists""

    Makes me wonder to whom that national security analyst was referring, the protestors or the FBI?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Meanwhile in another part of the country....

    'National security analyst', that being one of those people with a vested interest in the perception that there's lots and lots of criminals and/or 'terrorists' kicking around?

    ... nah, I'm sure that wouldn't bias their statements at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    GMacGuffin (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 8:49am

    ... not to mention he was essentially 86'd from his "target"

    Another fun bit is that the bar Lutchman was allegedly going to terrorize considered him an "aggressive panhandler" and had kicked him out more than once. He probably couldn't have gotten in the door as himself.

    I guess that explains the ski masks...

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/bar-owner-suspect-terror-plot-panhandler-36049212

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 9:15am

    It may be safer now that Lutchman is off the streets

    Sadly for the wrong reason and only to overinflate the abysmal low numbers the FBI has to present to justify the billions spent on a bogeyman.

    We do need better mechanisms to keep such mentally ill people from harming themselves and others AND we need to provide better environment for society overall, including those that don't fit on societal standards but this certainly isn't a step forward.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 9:34am

    It looks like anyone with half a brain is pretty safe from these professional terrorist hunters.

    http://www.indystar.com/story/news/crime/2016/01/03/business-usual-despite-new-plainfield-hi gh-school-threats/78227698/

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Max (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 9:35am

    Re:

    Wait, you mean you _don't_ put all your daily thoughts neatly in order side by side every evening then pick which one to keep and which one to throw away, according to what the voices are telling you?!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Chris Brand, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 9:47am

    The real problem

    Seems that Walmart provided more "material support and resources" than anyone else...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 10:16am

    Re: The real problem

    But...But...But...it's just bidness!

    What do you mean they weren't going skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, ice skating?

    Or how the government got everything declared illegal while forgetting who their corporate masters were until, donation time when it became illegal not to buy; except for those things that might help terrorists, which is everything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 11:09am

    Re: Meanwhile in another part of the country....

    YallQaeda and VanillaISIS are waging YeeHawd

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Whoever, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 11:18am

    "Connect" for ski masks

    Do you really need a "connect" for ski masks?

    To buy them for $5 each -- definitely. Ski masks cost far more.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    That One Other Not So Random Guy, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 1:25pm

    Patsies...

    are always of low intelligence and questionable mental status.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Personanongrata, Jan 4th, 2016 @ 2:16pm

    And The Common Denominator Is:

    In the vast amount of federal cases involving the domestic terrorist label the dupes (the majority are cretins) individual or group have been infiltrated by government agent provocateurs who provide funding, logistics and even the modus operandi for the planning and operational aspects of the governments entrapment scheme.

    Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?
    Glenn Greenwald Feb. 26 2015, 7:19 a.m.

    But how serious of a threat can all of this be, at least domestically, if the FBI continually has to resort to manufacturing its own plots by trolling the Internet in search of young drifters and/or the mentally ill whom they target, recruit and then manipulate into joining? Does that not, by itself, demonstrate how over-hyped and insubstantial this “threat” actually is? Shouldn’t there be actual plots, ones that are created and fueled without the help of the FBI, that the agency should devote its massive resources to stopping?

    https://theintercept.com/2015/02/26/fbi-manufacture-plots-terrorism-isis-grave-threats/

    The US governments domestic terror campaign can be summed up by borrowing a bit from the Fermi paradox in which physicist Enrico Fermi asked (to paraphrase):

    If there are extraterrestrials visiting Earth where are they?

    Well then let us apply Fermi's paradox to terrorism:

    If there are terrorists operating within the US where are they and why haven't they attacked?

    Remember dear reader the US has wide open and porous borders both north and south with hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants/refugees crossing yearly. The sea ports on either coast are also wide open and ripe for infiltration with less than 1% of all containers being screened for contraband or terrorists. Additionally if there were terrorist sleeper cells capable of doing the nation harm there are oodles and oodles of soft infrastructure targets galore. But alas we have nothing but FBI agent provocateur entrapment schemes of mentally defective persons.

    PS The terrorists can be found at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave next door on Capitol Hill and across the mighty Potomac in Arlington (US Department of War) and Langley (CIA). These terrorist have destroyed the US Republic, stolen tens of trillions of US dollars, murdered tens of millions of innocent human beings etal.

    If we end the global reign of terror emanating from Washington DC then we can stop aggrieved and desperate persons from committing acts of terror in response (blow-back).

    Regardless of such as Stanley Baldwin put forth in a speech before the British House of Commons, London, UK - November 10, 1932:

    The Bomber Will Always Get Through

    http://www.emersonkent.com/speeches/the_bomber_will_always_get_through.htm

    That holds true for both jet bombers and suicide bombers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 7:09pm

    Who's worse - the FBI or ISIL?

    So, the FBI arrests another wacko nut job who they enticed into doing stupid stuff. He should be in a funny farm, not jail. ISIL? They are not doing such a great job stopping those assholes! The FBI can't even shut up their twitter and facebook feeds!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    Kurt Mosiejczuk (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 8:44pm

    They cancelled NYE fireworks in Rochester too

    Don't forget that the powers that be in Rochester were so scared because of this FBI "bust" that they cancelled the New Year's Eve Fireworks.

    *sigh*

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Alien Rebel (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Meanwhile in another part of the country....

    Maybe the Oregon thing will all blow over once it's explained to the protesters that our for-profit prison industry is based on keeping as many people locked up for as long as possible, and that sending the two guys back to the slam is simply the good ol' American way of doing things. Go home boys, nothing more to see here.

    Oh, right, in this case it's happening to "us" rather than "them." Glad to see you're awake now. Maybe we can open up the discussion to include the vast number of Americans who've already discovered that our criminal justice system, and prison industrial complex in particular, are a little lacking in the fairness department.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    Tobias Harms (profile), Jan 4th, 2016 @ 11:14pm

    The danger of the mentally ill.

    The greatest risk in regards to the mentally ill is that they will be the victim of a crime and/or be taken advantage of from a gang like the FBI.

    It seems like the US could have use of laws against crime provocation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    x, Jan 5th, 2016 @ 7:49am

    So....terrorists are so hard to come by that the FBI is now reduced to setting up mentally incompetent morons who want to attack people with knives....so they can charge them with terrorism?

    The FBI is so incapable of arresting actual terrorists that they have to resort to entrapment of retards?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    FBI= Fucking Bunch Of Idiots

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Rekrul, Jan 5th, 2016 @ 11:19am

    Emanuel L. Lutchman, 25, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    Is anyone else bothered by the fact that his potential sentence is lighter than what Aaron Swartz was potentially facing?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    oliver (profile), Jan 5th, 2016 @ 1:25pm

    Meanwhile, at the check-out counter in Wal-Mart...

    "While there, they purchased 2 black ski masks, zip-ties, 2 knives, a machete, duct tape, ammonia and latex gloves."

    LOL! Nahhh, nothing unusual or supicious going on here... move along.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    GEMont, Jan 6th, 2016 @ 6:45pm

    Yeah sure its phony, but hell it did the job...

    Methinks ye all might be fergettin' one very important thingie in all of this.

    Even though the story - once parsed for BS by those capable of the feat - is utterly goofy and obviously just a scam to make the domestic idjits tremble, 90% of those who read this or hear about it on Fox or from others who read it or heard it on Fox, will actually believe, 100%, that the heroes at the FBI did indeed save their worthless butts from another violent and evil "muzlum terrist", praise the lord.

    You might want to dismiss all of these manufactured terrorist stories, if you're smart enough to see the obvious, but you can rest assured that most Americans would not know the obvious from a truck tire, and will swallow this BS whole, without ever questioning anything, or even examining the details provided in the story, beyond the scary bits.

    In that respect, all of the home made terrorist stories are doing exactly what your leaders want then to do - scare the bejezzuns outta "most Americans all of the time".

    Not sure of the vernacular, but a conman needs to keep the mark off-guard via many trick diversions, so that the mark continues to follow the steps that lead to their own loss and the conman's reward.

    This is, believe it or not, an entirely effective means of keeping the vast majority of Americans hiding under their beds and supporting hopeful heroes who claim they will slay the evil "terrists" for America, Mother, and Apple Pie, like the Trumpette, or Hillarious.

    Intellectuals and smarty-pants who see thru the crap, like alla you folks out there in techdirt land, will be the first people executed when the "Ruler" dons his crown anyways, so don't be so smug just cuz its obviously a scam to you.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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