Saturday, February 18, 2012

FBI = Forever Bustin' Idiots

Foreign Policy's Passport blog asks a good question after this week's arrest of yet another hapless jihobbyist: how many more times can the FBI get would-be terrorists to fall for this?

We may well have an inexhaustible supply of domestic and imported Islamists who are willing, but not quite able all by themselves, to bomb our government buildings, metro stations, and public gathering places. But will they keep relying upon helpful strangers who offer to equip them with inert explosives and non-functional firearms?

I think they will, indeed, keep falling for the FBI's act. First of all, it is a plain statistical fact that fifty percent of every group will be below average. (Try to find an exception to that rule.) And, in the cases we've seen so far, the FBI's stingees seem to have come from somewhere on the left-hand side of the I.Q. curve. But I wonder if it's the best use of USG resources to play out these undercover comedies for months or years before arresting, or even just deporting, the dim bulbs.    

A would-be suicide bomber was arrested on Capitol Hill today after accepting what he thought was an explosive vest from undercover agents.

-- snip --

Roll Call notes that the story is similar to that of Rezwan Ferdaus, who was arrested last September in the midst of a plot to attack the Capitol with a remote-controlled aircraft. Ferdaus was also in communication with FBI agents posing as al Qaeda members.

The case is also similar to that Farooque Ahmed, who thought he was going to blow up the DC Metro system in 2010, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who thought he was going to blow up a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland Oregon in 2010, David Williams, who thought he was going to blow up a Bronx synagogue in 2009, and the "Fort Dix Five," who thought they were going to attack a New Jersey military base in 2006.

 In each case, undercover FBI agents spent months communicating and providing fake resources to the suspects before springing the trap. (This isn't even addressing the numerous sting operations run by the NYPD without the FBI's help, described by Louis Klarevas in his piece, "The Idiot Jihadist Next Door.")

The increasing frequency of these operations is bound to raise some questions about whether law enforcement agencies are pushing along the development of plots that the individuals involved might never have acted on without the longterm encouragement of their "al Qaeda contacts."

The other question is just how many times the FBI can get would-be terrorists to fall for this.

Read the entire Passport post here:

In this week's case, the martyr manqué was a Moroccan who entered the U.S. on a short-term tourist visa in 1999 and never left. Evidently, he is touring still. According to the criminal complaint, he came to the FBI's attention one year ago, at which point he was living in a rented room on a dead-end street in Arlington, Virginia, and probably couldn't have afforded a good meal of kabobs and rice.

It must have become clear to the FBI after just a few weeks that this sad-sack shahid had no intelligence value. If he could have come up with any genuine al Qaeda contacts, he wouldn't have needed to be spoon-fed every part of his planning, targeting, and weapons by his FBI handlers.

As a taxpayer, I say let's stop toying around forever with these guys. Charge them with conspiracy, or crossing a state line with intent to commit mopery, or any of a thousand other potential offenses, and be done with them. The FBI must have better things to do with its time and manpower. 


Anonymous said...

But most people have more than the average number of legs....

TSB said...

Ah-ha! I see what you mean. If even one person has lost a leg, then the average number of legs in the overall population is indeed lower than 2.

Thanks. I always appreciate good quantitative reasoning.

The Snake's Mommy said...

Yet another setup that feels like something that would never ever have amounted to anything without excessive USG encouragement. Is this what we have to go to in order to justify the budget? Thanks TSB!

TSB said...

We see this prolonged patsy development in so many domestic terrorism cases. Congress really ought to question the FBI's judgment as well as its budget.

WhoWhatWhy said...

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Anonymous said...

TSB: Snake's Mommy nailed it! Plus this is perfect work for about 15% of their agents. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: I'm listening to Candy Crowley interview Michael Hayden. She just mentioned "NUCLEAR MISSILE FUEL RODS" that Aukmujinijab was showing on tv.

I am really afraid of "nuclear missile fuel rods" but I don't know what they are. Is there any known defense against them besides turning off the TV? Thanks! gwb

TSB said...

GWB: It's even worse than I'd feared if the Iranians have rods full of nuclear missile fuel. The embargo must not be working. I'm going to look for my old helmet in case I guess called up for the next war.

Anonymous said...

TSB: Good idea about the helmet cause I didn't mention this but I saw an evil half-smile cross Hayden's face when she said that! I told my friend in Iowa and she suggested just listening to NPR.

Anonymous said...

TSB: I sent this exchange to The Daily Show suggestion box. Let's see if it makes the show on Monday or Tuesday. I had to give my email address so I will be out of town for awhile if it airs. gwb

Anonymous said...

US wants SWIFT war on Iran
By Pepe Escobar
Excellent humor ridden analysis on the same subject. gwb

Anonymous said...

Two more important points are who approved this moron's visa application? 16 years old and he got a NIV? Where are his parents? Are they here illegally as well? Total Consular Officer fail.

Then there is ICE, missing in action again. I thought one of their priorities was tracking down illegal alien terrorists?

TSB said...

He must have come over with his parents or family, I'm assuming.

Did they ever go back, or become legal residents? Good question. I've seen nothing about them in the local news stories. I haven't even seen the question raised by the local press.