Friday, May 22, 2009

Fully Controlled at All Times (Updated)

Scroll down for Update.

"They could get lucky... they could have easily got a hand gun... they could get lucky, you just never know. Who knows with these guys... just because they may be incompetent, doesn't mean something couldn't have happened. We shouldn't exaggerate the threat coming from home-grown groups." -- Lydia Khalil, former counter terrorism analyst for the NYPD from 2006 to 2008, on the Riverdale plotters, in NPR's The Takeway morning program segment, "New York City Terrorism and Security."

Here's Ethan Brown's diary in TalkLeft, talking about "thin, informant-driven" past terror plots (Sears Tower, Fort Dix and the 34th Street subway station in Manhattan) which resulted in guilty verdicts. The TL piece ends with:
These so-called "preemptive indictments"--in which defendants are charged based on their intentions and not their actions--are a perversion of justice and a cruel joke, every bit of a joke as the theory of "preemptive war" that led us to Iraq. And yet it is this legal theory that drives our anti-terror strategy in the U.S.
From Medialens Message Board [emphasis Medialens]:

Questions about the "Temple Plot"

The FBI and and media are going ape over this alleged "Temple bombing" plot in which four men from Newburgh, New York, planted what they thought were bombs outside a Jewish temple. Also, these "domestic terrorists" were planning to obtain Stinger missiles to shoot down U.S. military planes.

Interestingly, we see that the entire "plot" was hatched by an FBI informant:

The defendants, in their efforts to acquire weapons, dealt with an informant acting under law enforcement supervision, authorities said. The FBI and other agencies monitored the men and provided an inactive missile and inert C-4 to the informant for the defendants, a federal complaint said.

In June 2008, the informant met Cromitie in Newburgh and Cromitie complained that his parents had lived in Afghanistan and he was upset about the war there and that many Muslim people were being killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan by U.S. military forces, officials said.

Folks, let's take a hard look at this one, please. It is not as though C-4 explosives and Stinger missiles are available at every neighborhood drug store. Had any of the four "terrorists" ever obtained explosives or anything similar on their own? Somehow, I seriously doubt it. The New York Times pretty much gives it away, although unintentionally:

A federal law enforcement official described the plot as “aspirational” — meaning that the suspects wanted to do something but had no weapons or explosives — and described the operation as a sting with a cooperator within the group.

“It was fully controlled at all times,” a law enforcement official said.

Indeed, this Freudian slip perhaps is the most truthful line in the entire article.
More from the same Medialens MB thread:

Like Miami 7, New York Terror Plot Funded And Uncovered By The FBI

At the top of today’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez reported:

"We know that they had been working with an FBI informant for quite awhile. And they purchased inactive missiles and inert C-4 explosives from them. I wonder where they got the money. Who's funding these things?...Would you say that home-grown terrorists are a bigger threat now to us than foreign terrorists?"

Again, an FBI informant led these “home-grown” “Al-Qaeda-Wanna-Be” losers to purchase explosives and probably provided the money and the expertise, as they did in the Miami Seven “terror plot” to blow-up the Sears Tower.

In other words, these “terror cells” have been created, engineered and funded by the FBI.

In the Miami Seven case, defense attorneys said the group had no links to al-Qaida and were probably set up by a government informant.

After two hung juries, 5 of the Miami 7 were found guilty this month. To make their case, the government would have tried these losers twenty times until they got a conviction. They can afford to do it with our money.

These Miami 7 losers were promised money by an FBI informant to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, and despite the fact that they did nothing but try to extract money from the informant, the Jury convicted 5 of the remaining 6 defendants, one had been acquitted in an earlier trial.

I expect to see the same exact story line develop in the New York case.

Without the help of the FBI, there would have been no terror plot.

The Bush machinery is still in place “creating” terror to keep Americans in constant fear and to give Dick Cheney more credence while he defends torture.
The ML thread ends with exerpts from an article in the Independent:
Kim Sengupta: Official hype on terrorism will only stoke Islamic resentment
… The suspects were Muslim converts who had talked loosely about carrying out attacks. But they were also petty criminals who had no links with known terrorists and had no expertise or weaponry to carry out such acts. The C-4 plastic explosive "bombs" they placed outside the synagogues in the Bronx were duds, as were their Stinger missiles. They all were supplied by the FBI, who monitored the "plot"throughout.

This kind of official hype regarding terrorism is hardly confined to the other side of the Atlantic. Last month, the arrest of 12 terror suspects in the north of England took place amid massive media coverage and the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, declaring that Britain faced a "very big" threat. All that unravelled fairly swiftly and embarrassingly with the admission that no evidence of terrorist plotting had been found.

What these cases do, however, is heighten public fear about Islamist terrorism.

…The four men arrested in New York have been charged with, among other things, conspiracy to use "weapons of mass destruction" – ironic in the context of the falsehoods used to justify the Iraq invasion, which a senior British diplomat called "a recruiting sergeant" for insurgents.

Commissioner Kelly described the FBI sting operation as showing "Our concern about homegrown terrorism".

…By treating the hapless New York plot as a huge domestic chapter of global jihad, the authorities risk fuelling the sense of resentment which may, indeed, help create the homegrown terrorism they say they are seeking to counter.


Ethan Brown at TL:
The New York Post has a useful little primer on the informant at the center of the alleged plot to bomb a Bronx synagogue. According to the Post, the informant is an upstate New York motel owner named Shahed Hussain.

Hussain became an informant after being busted on fraud charges; Hussain worked as a translator for the DMV and helped immigrants cheat on driver's tests. His bid to become an informant, according to the Post, was driven by a desire to win leniency on the fraud charges and avoid being deported to Pakistan. [MORE]
With two astute TL commenters [my emphasis]:

"[S]pending a year talking some clowns into doing something violently stupid isn't preventing terrorism in the the rest of our anti-terror policies, its only to make us feel better or safer...nothing is being accomplished. It's illusionary "feel good" nonsense that does more harm than good."

"But this way they get to time the arrests to fill a need in keeping the public scared of terror attacks and thinking the techniques being used (spying on us all, and torture) are keeping us safe."

(Cross-posted at Antemedius.)

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