That bogus “terrorist plot” in New York has fallen from the headlines, but its pernicious impact lingers on. My earlier piece on this story, written late last week, drew a lot of comments, and a number of people contacted me about the story, too.
Here are a few updates.
First, a sensible AP story puts it in perspective, emphasizing the role of the FBI’s agent-provocateur who entrapped the four men now charged in the “chilling” terrorism plot:
What happens to these cases after the media spotlight fades and the noise dies down? And are the snitches involved reliable?
“Most of these guys don’t get tried,” said security analyst Bruce Schneier. “These are not criminal masterminds, they’re idiots. There’s huge fanfares at the arrest, and then it dies off.”
The New York men arrested last week were ex-convicts down on their luck. In federal court, one admitted that he’d recently gotten stoned. “I smoke it regularly,” he told the judge. Not to worry, he added, “I understand everything you are saying.” …
However, court statistics show that most domestic terrorism cases never make it to trial.
And why don’t then make it to trial? Because nearly every one of them is utterly bogus.
A reader of The Dreyfuss Report forwarded an interesting piece that reveals some information about the FBI’s agent-provocateur in the New York case, apparently a Pakistani immigrant who’d been busted for felony fraud and then recruited by the FBI to go around searching for domestic “terrorists.” He was involved in a case in upstate New York several years ago, helping to frame an Iraqi Kurd named Yassin Aref in an unrelated “terrorism” plot:
When illegal eavesdropping failed to turn up any improper activity on Yassin’s part, the FBI engaged a Pakistani immigrant named Malik, who already had been convicted of 80 to 100 felonies in a scheme to market fraudulent drivers licenses, and essentially told him that the government would make all of his legal troubles go away (and cancel his scheduled deportation) if he could entrap Yassin into terrorist activity by means of a concocted “sting.”