Didn’t take long for the conspiracy theorists to turn the FBI‘s latest bust of an allleged would-be terrorist in Oregon into a purported government-sponsored hoax designed to drive fear into the hearts of Americans as they head into the holiday season.
Depending on who you talk to, Mohamed Osman Mohamud is either a Somali-born university student who planned to blow up Portland’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremonies — killing hundreds of attendees — or he is just another dupe of of a government that manufactures such plots and then finds idiots like himself to be an unsuspecting part of an elaborate part to drive up the fear quotient.
The Associated Press writes that “Yosof Wanly, imam at the Salman Afarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis, Oregon, says Mohamud was a normal student who went to athletic events, ddrank the occasional beer and was into rap music and culture.”
And FBI authorities have not yet explained how a young Muslim man described by friends as an average university student tho strank an accasional beer and hunt out with fraternity friends suddenly became a radical bent on bombing the United States.
FBI statements make it clear that undercover agents recruited the young man and played on his uncertainty about the U.S.
Every time FBI undercover operatives seduce a dim-witted wannabe terrorist with promises of jihadi glory, there’s a tendency among the civil liberties crowd and the hate-all-government contingent to see the aspiring bomber as a victim.
The magazine continues
Sowing distrust among the bad guys is a vital element in the disruption of terrorist plots and organizations. But one risk as the FBI cranks out these sting operations (there have been dozens in the last few years), is that the cases will create a false impression of what these would-be terrorists really want to do, and thus distort the way we analyze the enemy’s thinking.
Which raises the question: Are we preventing terror? Or providing the fertile ground that allows it to grow?