On right wing blogs today, they’re touting the “capture” of Cleveland anarchists who supposedly planned to bomb a Cleveland bridge. A plot thwarted.
But when one actually gives this case a second look, it’s easy to discern that the only plot afoot was one by the F.B.I.
As CBS news reports, “the sting operation supplied the anarchists with what they thought were ‘explosives’ and bomb-making materials.” If true, this would not be the first time the F.B.I. designed a terror plan, handed it over to people it deemed as potential terrorists, and then arrested them. In an article entitled The F.B.I. Thwarts Its Own Terror Plot, Glenn Greenwald reported on the case of19-year-old Somali-American, Mohamed Osman Mohamud:
….it may also just as easily be the case that the FBI — as they’ve done many times in the past — found some very young, impressionable, disaffected, hapless, aimless, inept loner; created a plot it then persuaded/manipulated/entrapped him to join, essentially turning him into a Terrorist; and then patted itself on the back once it arrested him for having thwarted a “Terrorist plot” which, from start to finish, was entirely the FBI’s own concoction. Having stopped a plot which it itself manufactured, the FBI then publicly touts — and an uncritical media amplifies — its “success” to the world, thus proving both that domestic Terrorism from Muslims is a serious threat and the Government’s vast surveillance powers — current and future new ones — are necessary.
… there are ample facts that call into question whether Mohamud’s actions were driven by the FBI’s manipulation and pressure rather than his own predisposition to commit a crime. In June, he attempted to fly to Alaska in order to work on a fishing job he obtained through a friend, but he was on the Government’s no-fly list. That caused the FBI to question him at the airport and then bar him from flying to Alaska, and thus prevented him from earning income with this job (para. 25). Having prevented him from working, the money the FBI then pumped him with — including almost $3,000 in cash for him to rent his own apartment (para. 61) — surely helped make him receptive to their suggestions and influence. And every other step taken to perpetrate this plot — from planning its placement to assembling the materials to constructing the bomb — was all done at the FBI’s behest and with its indispensable support and direction.
Handing someone a ready made plot and encouraging them to follow through isn’t the same as thwarting an independent terror plot. It’s not clear yet whether this is exactly what happened to the anarchists, but it’s already suspicious.