Saturday, 15 October 2011

A Closer Look at Selected Domestic "Terrorist Attacks" From The Past Decade

by Kurt Haskell

Over the past 21 months, I have come into contact with many people that fail to even consider the possibility that U.S. intelligence agents could have been involved in the underwear bomber plot. It is with these people in mind that I decided to write the following article. I have noticed that recent terrorist attacks within the United States have many similar characteristics. If you look at these plots together as a series of attacks, the modus operandi of U.S. intelligence agencies begins to develop. For this article, I have decided to look at only "terrorist attacks" from January 1, 2002, to the present.

1. Mohamed Mohamud (The Portland Christmas Tree Bomber)
Date Of Incident: November 26, 2010.

The 2010 Portland car bomb plot involved an incident in which Mohamud, a Somali-American student, was arrested in an FBI sting operation, after attempting to set off what he thought was a car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Oregon.
Mohamud had been monitored by the FBI for months. Prior to Mohamud's arrest, an undercover FBI agent, posing as a terrorist, had been in contact with him since June 2010 (A 5 month period). In preparation for the planned bombing of a public gathering, Mohamud and undercover FBI operatives drove to a remote area of Lincoln County, Oregon, where they conducted a test run on November 4, 2010 by detonating a real bomb Mohamud believed to have been hidden inside a backpack. The fake bomb was in a white van that carried six 55-gallon drums with what appeared to be real detonation cords and plastic caps. Mohamud tried to detonate the bomb by dialing a cell phone that was attached to it. When the device failed to explode, the undercover agent suggested he get out of the car to obtain better reception. When he did so, arresting agents moved in. According to the FBI, the device it provided to Mohamud had no explosive components (even the detonating caps were inert) and the public was never in any danger.

2. Sami Samir Hassoun (Wrigley Field Bomber)
Date of Incident: September 19, 2010

Hassoun placed a backpack authorities say he thought contained a bomb near Chicago's Wrigley Field. The fake but ominous looking device (a paint can fitted with blasting caps and a timer)was given to him by an FBI undercover agent. According to Hassoun's attorney, Hassoun didn't bring anything of his own making to the incident. All materials were given to him by an under cover FBI agent. Hassoun also had no apparent affiliation with extremists. The complaint alleges he raised the specter of terrorist groups only by suggesting it would be helpful to blame them for any attacks he staged. At least two FBI undercover agents got in touch with Hassoun, posing as co-plotters and eventually helped to deliver the bogus bomb.

3. Bronx Terrorism Plot
Date of Incident: May 20, 2009

On May 20, 2009, US law enforcement arrested four black Muslim men in connection with a plot to shoot down military airplanes flying out of an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, New York and blow up two synagogues in the Riverdale community of the Bronx. The events leading up to the attempted attack began in June 2008. Shahed Hussain, an Albany hotel owner and FBI informant, showed up at the Masjid al-Ikhlas mosque under the name "Maqsood", talking of jihad and violence. Hussain, a Pakistani immigrant, agreed to serve as an FBI informant after being arrested in 2002 over a scam involving driver's licenses. Four men expressed interest to Hussain. They planned to both bomb the Riverdale Temple and nearby Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx, and, using Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles, shoot down military planes flying out of a nearby air base. On May 6, 2009, the men traveled to Stamford, Connecticut, to pick up what they believed to be a surface-to-air guided-missile system and three improvised explosive devices, all of which were incapable of actually being used. The men placed fake bombs wired to cell phones in three separate cars outside the Riverdale Temple and nearby Riverdale Jewish Center, both in the Riverdale community of Bronx. The FBI informer also served as the driver of the suspects’ vehicle. Both the car bombs and the missiles were actually fakes given to the plotters with the help of an informant for the FBI. Each of the two homemade bombs was equipped with about 37 pounds of inert material designed to look like C-4 plastic explosive, and "there was no danger to anyone," according to the FBI. The men were returning to their vehicle and heading to attack aircraft at the Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, with the fake Stinger missiles when law enforcement stopped them.

4. Antonio Martinez
Date of Incident: December 8, 2010

Martinez was arrested in an FBI sting after agents said he tried to detonate a phony bomb outside a Maryland military recruitment center. The FBI began investigating Martinez in early October 2010 after an informant pointed out postings on Martinez's Facebook page. Martinez's attorney said the lack of a recording of the informant's initial three conversations with Martinez is a sign the government was trying to obscure its role in developing the plot. It was in those conversations that Martinez first mentioned attacking the recruiting center, according to a criminal complaint. Also according to his attorney, the government "induced him to be involved in an act which was clearly the design of the government and provided Martinez with the fake bomb".

5. Rezwan Ferdaus
Date of Incident: September 28, 2011

Federal prosecutors allege in court documents that Rezwan Ferdaus outlined an elaborate plan to undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaeda operatives that involved the use of three drone aircraft carrying deadly payloads to attack and destroy federal government landmarks. Ferdaus was arrested after allegedly accepting delivery of materials, including three grenades, six Ak-47 assault rifles and a quantity of what he believed to be powerful C-4 explosives. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said all of the weaponry was in the control of undercover agents who were closely monitoring the plot's developments. She said the public was never in danger.
However, some legal organizations and Muslim groups have questioned whether Ferdaus, whose activities were carried out with two undercover FBI agents posing as terrorists, would have been able to carry out such a sophisticated plot if left to his own devices. In numerous previous cases in the US, the FBI has been accused of over-zealousness in its investigations and of entrapping people into terror plots who might otherwise not have carried out an attack. On April 19, 2011, undercover agents met with Ferdaus and questioned the "feasibility" of his plan. That raises the prospect that the FBI agents were somehow goading Ferdaus into more action.
At the same meeting the undercover agents also gave financial assistance for Ferdaus to travel to Washington on a scouting trip: a fact that raises the question of whether he would have made the trip without that financial help. The undercover agents also supplied thousands of dollars in cash for Ferdaus to buy the F-86 Sabre miniature plane to be used in an attack.

Analysis Of These 5 Attacks:

When looking at these plots, the most obvious connection between them (Other than the Muslim male connection) is that the FBI provided each of these "terrorists" with fake weapons, including fake explosives, to carry out the plots. Also, each of the terrorists attempted to carry out the plots with the aid of undercover FBI agents. It is unclear to what extent the FBI agents came up with the initial idea. However, it certainly is questionable whether any of these attacks would have occurred without the aid of the undercover FBI agents. Before meeting up with the undercover FBI agents, most of these men had little to no criminal record and were guilty of no more than random terroristic thoughts. It is also very apparent that the undercover FBI agents allowed the "terrorists" to conclude a significant portion of the plots including attempting to detonate fake bombs. While researching these and other "terrorist" attacks, I could not help but notice the lack of "terrorist" attacks from 2002-2008. I can't help but question whether the increase in these attacks is related to the term of office of President Obama, which began in January 2009. As I chose to not make this article poilitical, I won't delve into such aspect any further. During this same time period, on December 25, 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab,the "Underwear Bomber" attempted to detonate an explosive in his underwear as he sat 8 rows in front of me.


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