So, if anyone is keeping score, in a few short days we have seen a sensational and brutal terror attack in Paris, followed by an alleged plot filled with intrigue to poison Speaker of the House John Boehner, and now a thwarted effort to wage a full on jihadi assault against the U.S. Capitol with machine guns.
The only problem with this is that at least half of it is fiction.
An Ohio man who allegedly wanted to set up an ISIS cell in the U.S. was arrested Wednesday and accused of planning to attack the U.S. Capitol. But U.S. officials told NBC News the man was dealing with a government informer working undercover the entire time and was never in a position to carry out his plan.
Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, of Green Township, near Cincinnati, was arrested after he bought two M-15 semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition as the undercover operative watched, according to an FBI affidavit.
Cornell’s father, John Cornell, said the family was blindsided by the arrest.
“He never showed any signs of violence or anything,” John Cornell said of his son.
Classic drama to sow fear among the public, and revive support for the surveillance state in the post-Snowden world where many are disillusioned and everyone knows the government is spying on their phone calls and Internet activity.
Activist Post noted:
The FBI is at it again. Creating fake terror plots to justify their existence. And this plot hits on all the themes one would expect from a good fake terror plot.
The FBI initially found a patsy by trolling Twitter for support of ISIS. That’s exciting because finding someone retarded enough to admit support for murderers is really difficult. Then they sent an in-house jihadist to team up with the patsy to plan a grand terror attack on the nation’s Capitol. Heroically, the moment the 20-year-old patsy said he would “go forward with violent jihad” the FBI steps in and declares a victory in the war on terror.
Now, thanks to the media, new found support for surveillance is again being drummed up in Europe and at home. As Melissa Melton pointed out, former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden was playing up the value of metadata the day after the Hebdo Charlie attacks:
You know, I was talking to you guys about 12 months ago, about these massive amounts of metadata that NSA held in storage. That metadata doesn’t look all that scary this morning and I wouldn’t be surprised if the French services pick up cell phones associated with the attack and ask the Americans, ‘where have you seen these phones active globally?’.
And there’s plenty more support for spying in the works at the moment, and in the immediate future.
Since 9/11, the FBI has admittedly set-up phony terror plots again and again, only to bust them in sting operations.
A recent report put together by Mother Jones and the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkley analyses some striking statistics about the role of FBI informants in terrorism cases that the Bureau has targeted in the decade since the September 11 attacks.
The report reveals that the FBI regularly infiltrates communities where they suspect terrorist-minded individuals to be engaging with others. Regardless of their intentions, agents are sent in to converse within the community, find suspects that could potentially carry out “lone wolf” attacks and then, more or less, encourage them to do so. By providing weaponry, funds and a plan, FBI-directed agents will encourage otherwise-unwilling participants to plot out terrorist attacks, only to bust them before any events fully materialize.
The FBI has used those informants to set-up and thus shut-down several of the more high profile would-be attacks in recent years. The report reveals that the Washington DC Metro bombing plot, the New York City subway plot, the attempt to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower and dozens more were all orchestrated by FBI agents. In fact, reads the report, only three of the more well-known terror plots of the last decade weren’t orchestrated by FBI-involved agents.
The report reveals that in many of the stings, important meetings between informants and the unknowing participants are left purposely unrecorded, as to avoid any entrapment charges that could cause the case to be dismissed.
“The problem with the cases we’re talking about is that defendants would not have done anything if not kicked in the ass by government agents,” Martin Stolar tells Mother Jones.
As Michael Krieger noted, the FBI is creating these problems – paper tigers:
Turns out the FBI is better at radicalizing Muslims to violence than any genuine terror network on planet earth.
Nearly every major post-9/11 terrorism-related prosecution has involved a sting operation, at the center of which is a government informant. In these cases, the informants — who work for money or are seeking leniency on criminal charges of their own — have crossed the line from merely observing potential criminal behavior to encouraging and assisting people to participate in plots that are largely scripted by the FBI itself.
Under the FBI’s guiding hand, the informants provide the weapons, suggest the targets and even initiate the inflammatory political rhetoric that later elevates the charges to the level of terrorism.
Though they are admittedly plots that never posed real danger to the public, the purpose is to grab headlines, make terrorism look rampant, and cast the feds, again and again, as the saviors.
Keeping us safe with more safety and fewer liberties. Never mind the strong armed tactics used in many of these cases of provoking the allegedly radicalized suspects into action, often giving them weapons, cash and dangerous ideas. As for the other plots, believe what you read in the papers and see on TV, I guess. This one, however, is pure spectacle.