There was a news story yesterday about a Muslim man who was arrested for trying to plant a bomb in the Federal Reserve. There is no evidence the guy is a Ron Paul voter, but the FBI provided the guy with the fake explosive then arrested him. This is like the fifth plot of this kind that the FBI has uncovered, and while I don't think its entrapment it does make me uncomfortable. I can just imagine the scenario unfolding something like this:
UNDERCOVER FBI AGENT: You know, Ahsan, we've known each other a few months now and I can't help but see you are just as upset as me at the great Satan.
QUAZI MOHAMMAD REZWANUL AHSAN NAFIS: Oh yes, it makes me so mad sometimes I just want to punch something.FBI: Well, I think we all feel the same way. I sometimes wonder if we shouldn't be more bold about our feelings.AHSAN: I have written several angry comments on message boards and facebook!FBI: We know... I mean, I bet.AHSAN: I wish I had a beard like yours, its so sleek and luxurious, almost like a wig.FBI: Don't be ridiculous! I - I... just comb it and use Pert Plus with conditioner.AHSAN: Maybe I should try that.FBI: But online comments, that just doesn't seem strong enough to express my rage at the bombing of fellow Muslim brothers by the evil US military!AHSAN: Indeed, better they die by Muslim bombs.FBI: And the insults we must endure to Muhammad by cartoonists, it makes me mad enough to, you know, want to blow something up!AHSAN: I don't want to die, I can't figure out those suicide bombers. Where do you find someone who'd do that?
FBI: Well it wouldn't have to be suicide, maybe a carbomb or something.AHSAN: Hey, you're right, I hadn't thought of that. But I need my car.FBI: Perhaps one could be found, maybe I could find one...AHSAN: No, that doesn't sound good to me. I mean it blows up on the street, Allah forbid some poor Muslim child walks by. My own son could be killed.FBI: Well maybe not a car bomb then. But a well-placed bomb somewhere.AHSAN: I don't have time for that, I mean I have a convenience store to run, kids to teach to memorize the Koran, prayers five times a day, and now I have to shampoo my beard.FBI: It would only take a few minutes.AHSAN: Oh sure, easy for you to say, I never see you working. Where do you work anyway?
FBI: Oh, my uncle has lots of oil.AHSAN: Must be nice, mine is just oily. But he drives a taxi, so he gets to see more of the city. All I get to see is my store.FBI: That must really enrage you!AHSAN: I don't know, back when I was living in Yemen all I saw was a camel's butt.FBI: What about the drone attacks in Pakistan, doesn't that make you mad?AHSAN: I had a cousin tell me about those, he said it kept him up at nights.FBI: Boy that would make me mad enough to blow something up, in Allah's name, of course.AHSAN: I suppose, but where am I supposed to get a bomb? I have to work. You want to see some pictures of my kid?
FBI: Maybe I could find you a bomb.AHSAN: Why should I do it? You seem to be the one that's so upset and has all the contacts. See, he's six now, he tried to glue hair to his chin so he'd have beard. They grow up so fast...FBI: Oh I couldn't do it, the government knows too much about me. They'd catch me.AHSAN (looking around nervously): Are they watching you now?FBI: Oh noooo, nobody watching me now, or recording anything, no way.AHSAN: ...FBI: I'm just saying I couldn't get away with it, but nobody watches you, Ahsan. In the name of Allah, you could do it.AHSAN: When am I supposed to get time off? I'd have to blow up my own shop and what would that do? Where would I work then?FBI: Hey, I bet your brother-in-law could cover for you.AHSAN: Mahmoud? All he does is sit around browsing porn, I don't think he knows how to work.FBI: Well what about Yaziri, your neighbor? I thought he needed a job. Maybe just for a day he could cover for you.AHSAN: Hmm, yeah he's a pretty good guy, even if he does look at my son in that creepy way. His Felafel is great. And his wife makes this houmous, you wouldn't believe. We had a party on September 11, you know to celebrate, and she brought over--
FBI: so look, getting back to the plot, er, protest. I can get you a bomb and you could set it somewhere, really make the great Satan pay for what they've done!
AHSAN: I wouldn't know where to start, where would I put it? We already blew up the World Trade Center and trade didn't even slow down. Hey, how about that president guy, he's the one that keeps ordering drone strikes. What's his name again?FBI: Obama? Um, no he's too hard to get to and that would make him mad at my boss, I mean, uh, he'd get mad, not scared.AHSAN: Yeah maybe so. You should leave this to someone else who knows what they are doing. My wife would never understand. I mean, I beat her and everything but she still seems to know how to make me suffer.FBI: How about another building? Something big and important.AHSAN: The Empire State Building?FBI: No, somewhere more governmental, so it seems more impressive. Something that would get headlines and promotions, uh, make a statement. How about the (checking notebook) Federal Reserve?AHSAN: I don't even know what that is. Do they reserve federations?FBI: No, its, uhh... like a big bank for the government. Sort of. Honestly I don't really know what it is either, but its a big government building and it hasn't been targeted yet, so they wouldn't expect anything.AHSAN: So there would be lots of money in it? Shame to burn it all, maybe in the confusion...FBI: I don't think they actually have any money in there, its all on computer.AHSAN: Computers. I can't spend computers.FBI: This would really terrorize them, they'd have to change their policy! No more drones keeping your cousin awake at night!AHSAN: I guess, but how would I get there? I can barely afford to fill my tank these days, and all those toll bridges.FBI: Well, maybe I could donate a bit of money, you know to help with expenses.AHSAN: Really? That would be great! My wife could use a boob job too...FBI: Only for the Jihad.AHSAN: Well, it was worth a try.FBI: Its a date!
I like to see bad guys get arrested. I like to see the FBI catch terrorists, and its great that plots are being foiled but it always seems like they only foil plots involving guys they supply with the plot. This guy supposedly wanted to go after Obama originally (yeah, smart diplomacy, Muslims will love him and all that), and they convinced him to go for the Federal Reserve building instead.
Are these people who were a genuine threat before the undercover FBI guys showed up? Were they just angry and disgruntled then given an outlet? How far were they willing to go before they were assisted by the FBI? Are there other groups like this, with radicals who are angry and upset but don't do anything, that the FBI could tap into, say, animal rights activists, Black Panthers, etc? It just makes me sort of uncomfortable at best.