After the most recent mass shooting in Orlando, Florida — the worst in U.S. history — one might ask how the FBI was able to investigate the perpetrator, twice, without deciding to take any further action. This question is further confounded by the fact the perpetrator was, according to his wife, an abusive, unstable man suffering from bipolar disorder.
A more appropriate question would be: what is the role of the FBI in counter-terror operations? How were they not able to prevent this incident, despite “preventing” hundreds of high profile incidents prior to this?
This can be seen most clearly in the Newburgh Four case, which saw a combination of mental illness and an urgent need for money. One of the “Four,” James Cromitie, was a former drug addict who repeatedly tried to back out, saying “I don’t want anyone to get hurt.” In the words of a U.S. Court Judge, “only the government could have made a “terrorist” out of Mr. Cromitie.”
Another defendant in the Newburgh case, Laguerre Payan, suffered from schizophrenia to the extent he kept bottles of urine in his apartment. David Williams, another of the four, had a brother who needed a liver transplant, and he was prepared to do almost anything for the money to pay for it.
The FBI chooses the most vulnerable members of society and then coaxes a relationship between the target and an “informant,” who helps instigate the terrorist activity. There is, generally speaking, no evidence the targets would have engaged in such activity had it not been for the FBI.
The case of Rezwan Ferdaus involved a man who suffered from severe depression and seizures and had to wear adult diapers for lack of bladder control. An FBI agent told the target’s own father Ferdaus was “obviously” mentally ill. Yet Ferdaus became a target of these FBI operations: he had plans to carry out an attack on a massive scale on Capitol Hill, which the FBI could then “save” the public from — relishing in all their glory.
However, prior to this engagement with the FBI, there was, again, no evidence Ferdaus would have ever engaged in any criminal or terrorist activity. Ferdaus’ attorney argued he had repeatedly tried to back out of this activity.
In another case, this time linked to an individual reportedly inspired by the Boston bombing, it was the target’s own father who alerted the authorities of his son’s behavior; his son had created a Facebook page expressing his support for ISIS. He, too, had a long history of mental illness. The FBI evidently saw this as a great opportunity to advance their agenda and provided him with two rifles and a handgun — despite the fact he had previously expressed a desire to fight for ISIS.
Informants are also vulnerable targets of these FBI operations and usually, do the “dirty work” of the FBI in exchange for softer punishment in their own previous prosecutions. In addition, they often do it for money — or a combination of the two. An FBI informant can earn approximately $100,000 or more for a single case.
The culmination of the extent of the FBI’s interference can be seen most clearly in the infamous case of Sami Osmakac. The FBI provided the weapons he used in his propaganda videos, paid the informant who instigated his behavior, provided and assembled the car bomb he was supposedly going to detonate, and even paid his transport costs to get him exactly where the FBI wanted him to go.
This is a man who had no links to any terrorist groups, had no weapons, and could barely afford a new car battery for his 1994 Honda Accord. The FBI squad supervisor, Richard Worms, referred to Osmakac as a “retarded fool” who didn’t have a “pot to piss in.”
Osmakac’s own family stated he had become paranoid, delusional, and pale, and that he would sleep on the floor, complaining about nightmares in which he was burning in hell.
He was later diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder by a court-appointed psychologist.
If these people need help, why can’t the authorities provide it to them? Why prey on them, further radicalize them, and provide them with supplies and weaponry that put the wider public at risk — only to lock them away for decades for a crime they would not have otherwise committed?
The answer is simple. In the words of former FBI Assistant Director, Thomas Fuentes:
“If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that ‘We won the war on terror and everything’s great,’ cuz the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half. You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ Keep it alive.”
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