FBI agents claim they prevented a potential terrorist attack in Oregon. Right? Well, Not Really.
FBI agents claim they prevented a potential terrorist attack in
downtown Portland on Friday. A Somali-born teenager - Mohamad Osman
Mohamud - parked a van packed with explosives near a large crowd
gathering to watch a Christmas-tree lighting ceremony. When he then
tried to detonate the explosives with a cell phone - FBI agents swooped
in and arrested him. Job well done, right? Well- not exactly. In reality
- the FBI had been monitoring Mohamud for years when they discovered he
had been emailing a friend in Northwest Pakistan - a known terrorist
safe haven - back in 2008...when his concerned father provided the FBI
with the tip about the people his son was visiting in cyberspace.
Instead of talking to or helping Mohamud, the FBI agents decided to
conduct a sting mission on him - reaching out to him - proposing the
terrorist attack - assembling a fake bomb - providing the van - and
setting Mohamud up to carry out the task.
When he did - he was arrested.
So is this really a success story? Or did Federal agents find a lonely,
disaffected teenager - successfully radicalize him - and then arrest
him to tout the Federal government's counter-terrorism expertise.
are still a lot of questions left to be answered in this case. One in
particular - in order for the sting to not be considered entrapment - it
must be proven that the individual - "was independently predisposed to
commit the crime for which he was arrested."
In other words - agents
must have presented Mohamud with choices that did not involve violent
crimes and see if he would choose to commit terrorism. However - of the
multitude of recorded meetings and documents the FBI has released - the
crucial meeting in which Mohamud is given these choices was not
documented - apparently due to a technical error with the recording
device. Seems pretty convenient.
So what has been the result of the FBI
saving the lives of hundreds of people in downtown Portland who were
never in danger and also arresting a teenager trying to commit a crime
that they completely set up? More terrorism. In a backlash against
Mohamud and Islam - the mosque he frequently attended in Oregon was a
victimized by arson. On top of that - DC metro police announced a new
policy to start randomly searching metro riders' bags. So a religious
building is actually burned down - and an important civil liberty is
struck down by police here in DC.
Is this really a responsible approach
to stopping terrorism?
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