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FBI Blows It: Supposed Terror Plot Against NY Synagogues Is Bogus

By Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation. Posted May 23, 2009.

[quote]Turns out it is really the handiwork of a creepy FBI informant. The story strengthens the narrative that the "homeland" is under attack. It's not.

By the now, it's maddeningly familiar. A scary terrorist plot is announced. Then it's revealed that the suspects are a hapless bunch of ne'er-do-wells or run-of-the-mill thugs without the slightest connection to any terrorists at all, never mind to Al Qaeda. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle: the entire plot is revealed to have been cooked up by a scummy government agent-provocateur.

I've seen this movie before.

In this case, the alleged perps -- Onta Williams, James Cromitie, David Williams, and Laguerre Payen -- were losers, ex-cons, drug addicts. Al Qaeda they're not. Without the assistance of the agent who entrapped them, they would never have dreamed of committing political violence, nor would they have had the slightest idea about where to acquire plastic explosives or a Stinger missile. That didn't stop prosecutors from acting as if they'd captured Osama bin Laden himself. Noted the Los Angeles Times:

[quote]Prosecutors called it the latest in a string of homegrown terrorism plots hatched after Sept. 11. [quote]"It's hard to envision a more chilling plot," Assistant U.S. Atty. Eric Snyder said in court Thursday. He described all four suspects as "eager to bring death to Jews."

Actually, it's hard to imagine a stupider, less competent, and less important plot. The four losers were ensnared by a creepy FBI agent who hung around the mosque in upstate New York until he found what he was looking for. Here's the New York Times account:

[quote]Salahuddin Mustafa Muhammad, the imam at the mosque where the authorities say the confidential informant first encountered the men, said none of the men were active in the mosque. ... [quote]Mr. Cromitie was there last June, and he met a stranger. [quote]He had no way of knowing that the stranger's path to the mosque began in 2002, when he was arrested on federal charges of identity theft. He was sentenced to five years' probation, and became a confidential informant for the F.B.I. He began showing up at the mosque in Newburgh around 2007, Mr. Muhammad said. [quote]The stranger's behavior aroused the imam's suspicions. He invited other worshipers to meals, and spoke of violence and jihad, so the imam said he steered clear of him. [quote]"There was just something fishy about him," Mr. Muhammad said. Members "believed he was a government agent." [quote]Mr. Muhammad said members of his congregation told him the man he believed was the informant offered at least one of them a substantial amount of money to join his "team."

So a creepy thug buttonholes people at a mosque, foaming at the mouth about violence and jihad? This is law enforcement? Just imagine if someone did this at a local church, or some synagogue. And the imam says the people "believed he was a government agent."

Preying on these losers, none of whom were apparently actual Muslims, the "confidential informant" orchestrated the acquisition of a disabled Stinger missile to shoot down military planes and cooked up a wild scheme about attacking a Jewish center in the Bronx.

It gets even more pathetic:

[quote]The only one of the four suspects who appears to have aroused any suspicion was Payen, a Haitian native who attended the Newburgh mosque. Assistant imam Hamid Rashada said his dishevelment and odd behavior disturbed some members, said the assistant imam, Hamid Rashada.

[quote]When Payen appeared in court, defense attorney Marilyn Reader described him as "intellectually challenged" and on medication for schizophrenia. The Associated Press said that when he was asked if he understood the proceedings, Payen replied: "Sort of."

Despite the pompous statements from Mayor Bloomberg of New York and other politicians, including Representative Peter King, the whole story is bogus. The four losers may have been inclined to violence, and they may have harbored a virulent strain of anti-Semitism. But it seems that the informant whipped up their violent tendencies and their hatred of Jews, cooked up the plot, incited them, arranged their purchase of weapons, and then had them busted. To ensure that it made headlines, the creepy informant claimed to be representing a Pakistani extremist group, Jaish-e Muhammad, a bona fide terrorist organization. He wasn't, of course.

It is disgusting and outrageous that the FBI is sending provocateurs into mosques.

The headlines reinforce the very fear that Dick Cheney is trying to stir up. The story strengthens the narrative that the "homeland" is under attack. It's not. As I've written repeatedly, since 9/11 not a single American has even been punched in the nose by an angry Muslim, as far as I can tell. Plot after plot -- the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge! bombing the New York Subways! taking down the Sears Tower! bombing the Prudential building in Newark! -- proved to be utter nonsense.

by Anonymousreply 2605/24/2009

Color me surprised.

by Anonymousreply 105/23/2009

Is anyone really surprised by these revelations?

by Anonymousreply 205/23/2009

Not surprising at all. Particularly coming from New York.

by Anonymousreply 305/23/2009

Shocker.

by Anonymousreply 405/23/2009

We are a brave and mighty country. Few mentally challenged individuals will escape our surveillance. This episode should put the fear of the Great Coogamooga into those who ride special buses.

by Anonymousreply 505/23/2009

I am surprised. This caught me off-guard. I should know better. I'm 50.

You know what they say... fool me once, shame on you; fool me 100 times and my country has lost my confidence

by Anonymousreply 605/23/2009

jewish conspiracy

by Anonymousreply 705/23/2009

Thank you, Herr Ludwig. How's your latest porn novel coming?

by Anonymousreply 805/23/2009

Yeah, because "the imam at the mosque where the authorities say the confidential informant first encountered the men" is such a reliable, impartial witness...

by Anonymousreply 905/24/2009

Unsurprisingly, the author of this is a LaRouchie...

by Anonymousreply 1005/24/2009

The actual man who suggested to the Blind Sheikh that they bomb the World Trade Center was...being paid by the FBI for information. In other words, he was a provocateur.

by Anonymousreply 1105/24/2009

The FBI routinely uses employees to put the idea of a plot into the heads of losers. The agent wears a "wire." He offers to buy the losers weapons. If they say anything positive about his proposal, it is captured on the "wire." Juries always find that evidence persuasive, sentencing the hapless losers to long prison sentences.

by Anonymousreply 1205/24/2009

So they've just won the LOTTERY. Can we say wrongful imprisonment, false allegations, etc. etc.

by Anonymousreply 1305/24/2009

If Wm. Kuntsler were still around he'd already have a law suit drawn up against the Government and he'd be defending these guys pro bono. Guess Ron Kuby will have to pick up the ball now.

by Anonymousreply 1405/24/2009

It's the same scam they used to pull against PETA. I guess they decided "terrorists" were a more newsworthy target.

by Anonymousreply 1505/24/2009

The tradition of downplaying threats to the lives of Jews seems to have wandered from the right to the left since the 30s/40s, but it's obviously alive and well.

by Anonymousreply 1605/24/2009

Not at all suprised.

by Anonymousreply 1705/24/2009

On the contrary, R16, the threat was being overplayed. The so-called plotters didn't have the means to carry out an attack and the attack itself seems to have been the brain-child of an FBI employee.

One wonders if the true story will receive even half the media coverage the contrived one did.

by Anonymousreply 1805/24/2009

[quote]The headlines reinforce the very fear that Dick Cheney is trying to stir up. The story strengthens the narrative that the "homeland" is under attack.

I remember when Bush and Cheney were in office, there would be times when they'd repeatedly talk about terrorist attacks and then a few weeks later some kind of "terrorist" situation would conveniently take place. This used to happen pretty frequently and was very suspicious. When Cheney turned up and started talking about how weak our national security was, I figured something would happen. He's still doing dirty work behind the scenes.

by Anonymousreply 1905/24/2009

[italic]"On the contrary, R16, the threat was being overplayed."[/italic]

Says a LaRouche disciple, without backing it up in any significant way, and you all swallow it immediately without any reservations. Thus proving my point.

Although I have by now looked at the original post of this on the author's blog at "The Nation", and was immensely relieved to find that the comments there were much, much more critical of him than the posters here (check them out at the link - it might help you to develop some critical thinking skills). So maybe I shouldn't have aimed my criticism at "the left", but rather "the DL left".

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2005/24/2009

I was puzzled by this story from the get go. Wouldn't an effective police force care more about uncovering a military weapons smuggling operation than busting a few malcontents with big dreams? I can't believe more people couldn't see the massive hole in this plot from the start, but then again I never believed the mushroom cloud Iraq lie either.

by Anonymousreply 2105/24/2009

R9 really wanted this to be true. Poor dear.

by Anonymousreply 2205/24/2009

R16, R18 is absolutely right. It's the complete opposite of what you're saying. The local news won't cover the fact it was bogus the way they did the initial plot.

Terrorism plots + NY Jewish community = wall to wall coverage.

Exposing it as bullshit = nary a mention.

The local media is a cosmic joke. NYC is the epicenter of media, yet the local news is no better than something you'd see in the sticks.

by Anonymousreply 2305/24/2009

Wikipedia does say he was involved with the LaRouchites. I am really shocked that the Nation would employ someone associated with that cult. Has he renounced it or has the Nation changed? I am really out of I think.

Rrom Wikipedia Dreyfuss received a bachelor's degree from Columbia University. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dreyfuss was Middle East Inelligence director of the Executive Intelligence Review, the flagship journal of the Lyndon LaRouche movement.[1][2] His 1981 book, Hostage to Khomeini,, was commissioned by Lyndon LaRouche[3] and was published by the LaRouche publishing house of the time, New Benjamin Franklin House.[4][5]

by Anonymousreply 2405/24/2009

Not to sound smug (well, OK, maybe just a little), but I thought from the get-go that this case smacked heavily of entrapment.

by Anonymousreply 2505/24/2009

[italic]"The local news won't cover the fact it was bogus the way they did the initial plot."[/italic]

Because it ISN'T a "fact". This blog post, which for whatever reason you mistake for an unassailable piece of investigative journalism, is nothing but an amalgam of straw man arguments ([italic]"Al Qaeda they're not."[/italic]), unbased speculations ([italic]"Without the assistance of the agent who entrapped them, they would never have dreamed of committing political violence."[/italic]), quotes from heavily biased sources ([italic]"Mr. Muhammad said members of his congregation told him the man he believed was the informant offered at least one of them a substantial amount of money to join his "team.""[/italic]) and the bizarre assumption that "losers" can't be dangerous - penned by a man with a history of cultish involvement with the most outlandish conspiracy theories.

by Anonymousreply 2605/24/2009
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