FBI Claims Arrests Tied to Fourth of July ‘Plots,’ Declines to Offer Any Details

In new comments today, FBI Director James Comey is claiming that he “believes” plots linked to the Fourth of July may have been thwarted by a series of arrests by the FBI, and that those plots may have killed people if carried out.

The details were almost preposterously scant, as Comey said 10 people were arrested over four weeks, some tied to ISIS, some tied to the Fourth of July, all of them unnamed. He didn’t say who they were or what they were charged with, but conceded that some were charged with things that weren’t terror related.

Comey went on to say that ISIS is a lot more unpredictable than al-Qaeda was, and that officials “can’t be sure” what, if anything, these operatives are planning to do at any given time.

The FBI has been issuing reports on “terror arrests” on a fairly regular basis for years, and the stories are almost always the same; some foreign-born US citizen is approached by FBI informants, eventually given a fake explosive, and arrested for planning to fake blow something up with it.

That these sorts of dubious arrests have historically been good enough in the eyes of Comey and others to publicly trumpet, and the latest round of arrests didn’t warrant even a mention of names or a broad-brush narrative suggests that the latest “plots” are speculative indeed, and that officials don’t feel comfortable enough with these “not terror” arrests to make them public knowledge.

With most of the major news media lapping up anything even tangentially terror related, Comey likely feels perfectly safe providing an over-vague claim of some arrests of somebody related to the possibility they were going to do something untoward, and indeed the reports largely give him a pass for providing literally no details on what he’s actually talking about.

At the same time, the FBI continues to press for more powers, and likely feels the need to both retroactively justify its July 4 warnings when nothing actually happened, and its demands for new powers by claiming to have foiled something-or-other.

The latest push from Comey has been on backdoor access to all commercial encryption software, suggesting that ISIS uses such software to inconvenience FBI surveillance schemes. That everyone else is also using the same software to ward off the same unwelcome snooping appears not to enter into his calculations.

The commercial encryption effort is likely to fall flat at any rate, as even if Congress theoretically did make all commercial US companies provide deliberately broken software so the FBI could snoop on them more readily, the open source alternatives would remain as robust as ever. Given the federal government’s long history of sabotaging such encryption efforts (see the RSA fiasco), it’s hard to imagine ISIS or anyone else was trusting commercial providers at any rate for anything truly mission critical.

26 thoughts on “FBI Claims Arrests Tied to Fourth of July ‘Plots,’ Declines to Offer Any Details”

  1. "justify its July 4 warnings when nothing actually happened”

    What do you mean nothing happened? Some drunk guy put an explosive on top of his own head and lit it before reading the instructions – ‘Light fuse and get away’ He died.

  2. Let me guess. The FBI offered extra-strength fireworks to 300 Muslim teens, and one of them took the bait.

    1. Lies–lies–lies and more lies! The whole kit and caboodle [W House–congress-FBI–CIA] method of operation is to tell lies! To them there is no such word as TRUTH and to top that, there is no such word as PEACE!!

      1. Truth has really become a bad word in America. If you tell the truth about something you're a 'truther' and your going to hell. The Government has lied so much in the past 60 years that I find it hard to beleive anything they say. The FBI is rediculous is this respect. "Keep the population afraid and we can get away with anything and make billions"! The new American motto.

  3. The Federal Bureau of Intimidation : The All-American Theater Troupe , bringing security theater performances to a city near you . See their mesmerising mimes perform amazing terrorist impersonations for the masses . Just keep those billions flowing in to support our security-surveillance industry . Keeping you safe is the name of the [con]game !

  4. The real problem here is that the Congress will swallow the pitch, hook, line, and sinker…because they are fully invested in the fear mongering game.

  5. Meanwhile,Man Admits To Plotting To Massacre Muslims, Judge Sets Him Free Anyway
    "Robert Rankin Doggart, a former candidate for Congress, admitted in federal court to “plotting the annihilation” of a village in New York that is home to many Muslims. Doggart’s plans included “burning down a school, a mosque and a cafeteria,” according to the criminal complaint.

    “We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with three extra magazines, and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds,” Doggart allegedly said according to the transcript of a wiretap cited in the complaint. He also allegedly tried to recruit other individuals to participate in his plot through a Facebook group.

    As part of a plea agreement, Doggart pled guilty to “interstate communication of threats” and faces up to five years in prison. He was in jail awaiting final sentencing.

    But a federal judge, Curtis Collier, may not accept the guilty plea. He’s ordered the prosecution and defense to produce briefs proving that Doggart was a “true threat.” Meanwhile, a different federal judge, Magistrate Susan K. Lee, released Doggart from jail “into the custody of two family members.” http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/07/05/36770

    Only people who were lured ,duped by and forced into plots instigated and orchestrated by the FBI get the book thrown at them and sentenced for log time!

  6. Good thing we have our FBI and our NSA to protect us and prevent attacks like the Boston bombing. Oh, wait….

  7. Nothing happened on the 4th, shouldn't we give credit to FBI? We should give credit to FBI everyday when nothing happens so they won't have a need to come up with all these stories.

    1. That be like saying back in the mid-forties, 'Hey Gestapo, doing a real nice job'. The FBI is the most 'scary and corrupt law inforcement unit on the planet'. They started more 'terrorist' attacks the any group alive. They need to be shut down. Trouble is when someone comes up with the goods to expose the 'dept', that someone seems to disapear.

  8. I so profoundly disbelieve everything and anything this government has to say. They have a credibility of less than zero. To believe them you would have to be a complete moron.

  9. N?kdy lidé nev?dí, kdy cestovní ruch je nejjist?jší ?ešení, aby nám stát zdrav?jší. Mám nápad pro ty z vás, kte?í mohou být znud?ný s ?inností každodenního života, který je tím, že ?te ?lánky týkající se informací, cestovní, který jsem napsal a názvem nebo t?eba, pokud máte více si m?žete také poslechnout na p?edm?ty další atrakce, které jsem nazvané Doufám, že 2, co jsem dát prost?ednictvím t?chto p?ipomínek m?že dát kladnou hodnotu a stojí za to na vás všechno.

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