Impressionable Malcontents, Jihadi Wannabes, and FBI Stings

Joshua Keating on the FBI sting that led a 21-year-old Bangladeshi to attempt to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York:

The FBI report on the Federal Reserve plot is here.  Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis had been in touch with the FBI’s undercover informant since July. Nafis apparently came to the U.S. with the intention of waging jihad, and — according to the report — came up with the idea of bombing the Federal Reserve himself, after first considering the Stock Exchange.  But it’s pretty clear that he was nudged along in his plan by the agent posing as an al Qaeda member and facilitator, who gave him the impression that his actions were approved by al Qaeda leadership.

For instance, in September, Nafis said he wanted to return to Bangladesh prior to the attack, but was told by the agent that while he was “free to return home at any time, NAFIS could not travel internationally if NAFIS truly intended to carry out his attack with al Qaeda’s assistance.” The source even accepted an article from Nafis, giving him the impression that it would be published in Inspire magazine.

This is going to raise more questions about the degree to which law enforcement agents are actually the ones concocting these plots by Muslim immigrants who did not, actually, have any connection to al Qaeda —  though Nafis seems to have been a more active participant than some of his predecessors.

He’s right to point out that this case follows a pattern of FBI targeting of impressionable malcontents with zero connection to al-Qaeda:

the story is similar to that of Rezwan Ferdaus, who was arrested last September in the midst of a plot to attack the Capitol with a remote-controlled aircraft. …The case is also similar to that Farooque Ahmed, who thought he was going to blow up the DC Metro system in 2010, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who thought he was going to blow up a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland Oregon in 2010, David Williams, who thought he was going to blow up a Bronx synagogue in 2009, and the “Fort Dix Five,” who thought they were going to attack a New Jersey military base in 2006.

  • Walter Cole

    Is there one case where the FBI stopped a terrorist attack where the FBI itself wasn´t directly involved in the plot? It would be laughable if it were not for the lives they are ruining.

  • boom

    so. all these alleged ‘terrorist’ plots were instigated or nudged along or assisted by homeland security and associated agencies. the bridge plots, times square, the saudi ambassador, etc. and let’s not forget the “fast ‘n furious” debacle!

    but has anyone bothered to ask…….was oklahoma city another case of fbi-instigated terror? one that like fast and furious, got out of control. there were so many questions at the time, so many things that didn’t add up. sure, we all laughed at the conspiracy theorists, but…..

  • Alan Bickley

    If the press, radio, and TV outlets have a scrap of intellectual honesty, they will label these episodes FBI Bomb Plots. The common elements are an FBI informer, FBI money, FBI materials, and the investment of months and years of FBI time in their preparation and denouement.

  • Sum Won

    sue the Federal Bureau of Insinuation for peace.

  • Chris Mallory

    If we had a sane immigration policy this would not be an issue. That being said, we need a law banning the use of undercover agents and sting operations.

  • But it’s pretty clear that he was nudged along in his plan by the agent posing as an al Qaeda member and facilitator, who gave him the impression that his actions were approved by al Qaeda leadership.

  • John_Muhammad

    Okay, so the message to jihadists/terrorists/malcontents of all stripes is clear: don't talk to anyone, don't accept help from anyone, and just do what you're going to do with no warning whatsoever. Only amateurs accept help from complete strangers anyway. When the FBI/BATF/DHS finds out about real pros on the attack, it's usually after the fact while the body bags are being zipped up- oh wait, they HAVEN'T found out about any of those, so they just make them up.

  • the lion

    Why are these stings done? Because it is the only way that the FBI can get advertising that they are stopping terrorist attacks!

    The fact is that the FBI hasnt uncovered a NON sting operation. but one every six months or so makes the gullible public think that the threat is still there and growing! No way does the FBI and the alpahabet agencies want the public to think, that maybe we should pull part of their funding especially Homeland security.

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