When it comes to stopping fake terror threats, the FBI is like the Harlem Globetrotters taking on the Washington Generals — the outcome is already known before the game is even played.
A new study, “Inventing Terrorists: the Lawfare of Preventive Prosecution” by Project Salam and the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, shows almost every domestic terrorist plot from 2001 to 2010 was in some way cooked up or assisted (and eventually “busted”) by the FBI. (Full disclaimer, DDF is a member of the National Coalition)
The report analyzed about 400 domestic terror cases and found evidence of “preemptive prosecution” in nearly 94 percent of them, meaning the FBI has perfected foiling its own entrapment plots. Only four cases during that period were initiated or driven without the encouragement by the bureau. Despite this shoddy track record, Attorney General Eric Holder has started encouraging our allies to adopt the tactic.
Preemptive prosecution is defined in the report as “a law enforcement strategy, adopted after 9/11, to target and prosecute individuals or organizations whose beliefs, ideology, or religious affiliations raise security concerns for the government.” Most of these so-called “terrorists” were never really a threat to the public. Their arrests came after undercover FBI agents or informants goad them into hostile intentions with the bureau providing fake bombs, plans, and in some cases, thousands of dollars.
For example, an undercover informant offered $50,000 to Mohammed Hossain, an Albany-based pizzeria owner as part of a plot to kill a Pakistani diplomat in New York with a shoulder-launched missile. Even after FBI agents “concocted the assassination plan and furnished the weapon,” Harper’s reports, it was unclear whether the man “even knew he was involved in a terrorist plot.”
Hossain and another man were later sentenced to 15 years each in prison. “The (US) government uses agents provocateur to target individuals who express dissident ideologies and then provides those provocateurs with fake (harmless) missiles, bombs, guns, money, encouragement, friendship, and the technical and strategic planning necessary to see if the targeted individual can be manipulated into planning violent or criminal action,” the report concluded.
Fake FBI terror plots ensnaring Muslim-Americans make up the bulk of the report’s findings and are the focus of Trevor Aaronson’s book, titled, “The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism,” which reveals that the FBI “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 it is winning the war on terror.” With news reports now saying the White House wants to export these types of tactics overseas, it’s well past time to reevaluate the way law enforcement carries out its mission and undermines our liberties.