One neoconservative argument against American Muslims is that there is a correlation between mosques and FBI terror investigations. But that may be circular logic since the FBI targets mosques with paid informants trying to detect potential “lone wolves” and lure them into terrorist acts, as Lawrence Davidson observes.
By Lawrence Davidson
Here is an important question: What single organization is responsible for more terror plots in the USA than any other?
Possible answers: Al Qaida. That would no doubt be the popular answer but it would be wrong. The KKK. Way past their prime, so that is not it. The Jewish Defense League. Good guess, but still not it. So what is the correct answer?
It is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, AKA the FBI. Don’t believe me? Well, just read Trevor Aaronson’s expose entitled “The Informants” published in the September/October 2011 issue of Mother Jones.
Aaronson looked at over 500 terrorism-related cases taken up by the FBI and found that over half of them involved the Bureau’s stable of 15,000 informants. Many of these are ex-felons and con men who are often paid well if their efforts result in an arrest and conviction.
So what, you might say. Using informants to obtain information about criminal activity is an old and legitimate tactic. Yes, however, that approach to information gathering is not exactly how the FBI uses all of its informants.
Indeed, the Bureau has a program, misnamed “prevention” which encourages its agents to get creative in the use of informants. How creative? Well, if they can’t find any terrorist activity going on, they have their informants instigate some. Where are they doing this? Mainly in our country’s Muslim communities.
According to the Mother Jones story, the FBI has concluded that Al-Qaeda as an organization is no longer a major threat to the US. The threat now comes from the “lone wolf,” the person who is angry at or frustrated by their life situation and open to the influence of terrorist rhetoric.
Allegedly, the American Muslim community is full of these “lone wolves” just sitting out there fuming, aching to vent their anger on a myriad array of significant and insignificant targets.
As the FBI’s logic goes, sooner or later a lot of these people will find the courage to act. So, the role of the informant is to find these folks and nab them before they blow up a Christmas tree in Portland, Oregon. Here is a typical scenario:
First, FBI informant A is assigned, in Aaronson’s words, to “troll the mosques” of some American Muslim community. They might work this area for months looking for those angry, frustrated types.
Gadeir Abbas, Staff Attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), says they may hit upon some fellows living “on the fringes of society.” These people are often poor and unsettled, with only a rudimentary knowledge if Islam, and usually quite gullible.
Second, having spotted a candidate B, informant A befriends him and encourages B to vent his anger and dissatisfaction. At one point informant A might suggest to B that Allah put him on this earth for better things and what would he like to do about all that anger and frustration?
Third, now we are at the seminal moment. What if B has no idea what he would like to do?
At this point informant A (carefully turning off his hidden recording device) transforms himself into an agent provocateur (remember he has a financial incentive to entrap this guy) and comes up with a suggestion. Why don’t we go blow up an army recruitment center?
In other words, A is a confidence artist, a con-man (one of these informants boasted that he could con the kernels off a cob of corn) and is using his “talent” to maneuver his victim, who as yet has done nothing illegal, into an incriminating situation.
Fourth, if B takes the bait, then A leads him on, concocting a plot, perhaps informing B that he A is an agent (not of the FBI of course) of some Pakistani terrorist organization come to the US to wage Jihad. He can supply B with weapons, explosives, vehicles and money.
In other words, all the things that B could never have reasonably procured on his own (such as the necessary money or appropriate vehicles). All the things that B has no knowledge how to construct (like a bomb).
Fifth, eventually B is led to enact the crime, usually using a fake bomb. Then, of course, he gets arrested. Typically, he is sent to jail for decades. A gets paid up to $100,000 by the FBI. Voila, another terrorist plot foiled.