It's no longer possible to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going. If you believe in why Films For Action exists, we hope you'll become a supporter on Patreon. A monthly donation of $1, $3, $5 or more per month will really help!
Why Are the Feds Cultivating Their Own "Homegrown Terrorists"?
Why Are the Feds Cultivating Their Own "Homegrown Terrorists"?
By Seth Freed Wessler / colorlines.com
Dec 13, 2010

The FBI caught another homegrown terrorist this week, except like many recent plots the agency has “uncovered,” the attack was a plant, a plan concocted by the FBI itself. It’s the latest in a growing number of terrorism plots that the FBI stirs up by infiltrating communities and helping to devise attack plans. The practice raises serious questions about the government’s implementation of it’s ongoing war on terror.

The recent case involves 21-year-old from Baltimore named Antonio Martinez, who’d reportedly converted to Islam, changed his name to Muhammad Hussain and planned to blow up a bomb outside a military recruitment center in Baltimore. None of the plot, however, existed before the FBI instigated it and Martinez had no contact with any real terrorist organization.

The FBI deployed an informant to pose as an accomplice by adding Martinez as a friend on Facebook and communicate with him through Facebook messages. Martinez reportedly updated his status with comments about his devotion to Jihad. Once the young man had been identified as a target, the FBI informant helped imagine and orchestrate the plot, and supplied Martinez with a fake bomb and a vehicle to transport it. After he attempted to detonate the explosive remotely, the FBI arrested Martinez. If convicted of charges, he could face life in prison.

The case is the second since Thanksgiving and one of many more over the past decade, in which the federal government has deployed informants to “catch” terrorists inside the country. It’s all part of the FBI’s wider practice of targeting American Muslims—largely, according to some reports, Muslim converts as well as American born black Muslims. But far from stopping ongoing plots and interrupting “radicalization,” the FBI is fabricating plans, providing the tools to carry out attacks and inciting suspects to do so.

As U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein told the AFP, “There was no actual danger,” because the people posing as accomplices were FBI employees.

Nonetheless, the FBI claims that Martinez posed a real threat because, according to Richard McFeely, an FBI special agent, the young man was “absolutely committed to carrying out an attack which would have cost lives.”

“The case,” reports the AFP:

bore a striking resemblance to that of a Somali-American arrested in Portland, Oregon, last month after trying to set off what he thought was an explosives-laden van parked near a Christmas tree ceremony.

The device was actually a dummy bomb supplied by undercover FBI agents who had contacted him months before and pretended to be accomplices, and the would-be attacker, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was charged with “attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.”

The informant program targeting American Muslims is part of a larger and developing FBI policy. As I wrote in October:

An extensive investigation, Anjali Kamat reports that the FBI has repeatedly used secret informants to gather questionable information and even entrap groups of people into supporting acts of terrorism. These informants are often Muslim men found guilty of non-terrorism related crimes and who face deportation or jail time.

In numerous cases, documented at length by the DN investigation, there are serious questions as to whether the tactic is creating crimes out of thin air. In one case, an FBI informant befriended a Muslim business owner. When that business started failing, the informant, who was himself facing deportation, offered the other man a loan that was allegedly laundered for weapons buying. The exchange led to terrorism convictions.

Karen Greenberg of the NYU Center for Law and Security explains, “the conviction rate for cases that involve informants is almost 100 percent.” But according to James Wedick, a former FBI agent, “90 percent of the cases that you see that have occurred in the last 10 years are garbage.”

Wedick also says that economic strains are often the way that informants entrap others. In Newburgh, NY, an FBI informant allegedly entrapped four black Muslim men from a poor neighborhood, pushing them to participate in an attempted attack on a synagogue in the area

High profile domestic terrorism plots appear to have increased in recent months, but they’ve been largely concocted. As the 10th anniversary of September 11th approaches, the government appears to be one of the key players in the maintenance of a believable terrorist threat.

Amna Akbar, fellow at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice of New York University School of Law, says, “What’s really interesting is that there’s been a significant increase in high profile so-called homegrown terrorism cases recently where the the actual threat is constructed by the government. There does not seem to be very much actual threat to justify the ongoing ‘war on terror’ and there are serious questions about why the government is going to such lengths in these cases.”

4.6 ·
4
Featured Films
The Staging Post: Courageous People Never Give Up! (2017)
61 min The Staging Post follows two Afghan Hazara refugees, Muzafar and Khadim. Stuck in Indonesia after Australia 'stopped the boats' and facing many years in limbo, they built a community and started the school which inspired a refugee education revolution. A real-life...
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our...
Within Reach (2013)
87 min Within Reach explores one couple's pedal-powered search for a place to call home. Mandy and Ryan gave up their jobs, cars, and traditional houses to 'bike-pack' 6500 miles around the USA seeking sustainable community. Rather than looking in a traditional neighborhood, they...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it forced Native American children into government boarding schools. Today, volunteers...
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years, director Matt Anderson traveled 16,000 miles to document firsthand our modern industrial world and the...
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There...
Trending Today


Love Films For Action? Become a Patron!

Our Patreon campaign is now live! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year, and become 100% member supported. A monthly pledge of just $1 -5 dollars per month x a few thousand awesome people will ensure we can continue our work and grow our impact across the world. Click here to join.

Join us on Facebook
Why Are the Feds Cultivating Their Own "Homegrown Terrorists"?