If you are George W. Bush you are delighted: “6 Arrested in Plot to Attack Fort Dix”.
That’s from the relatively sober New York Times.
“We Dodged a Bullet- FBI Says of Foiled Ft. Dix Terror Plot” says USA Today.
That’s as much as many people will read. George W. Bush to the rescue: the Patriot Act is working! We’re safe again.
It might be that these six men were actually, truly, really plotting to attack Fort Dix with RPG’s and automatic rifles and submachine guns.
It might be that once again a paid informant found a bunch of young Islamic loudmouths who could be infiltrated and manipulated, and cajoled into shooting off their mouths and making ridiculous statements that the FBI solemnly believe are genuine threats.
The evidence against the men is truly as magnificent as can be. They acquired guns and practiced with them. Guilty. Seriously, it’s a little odd to read this part of the criminal complaint because… well, isn’t it as American as apple pie to acquire a gun and go shoot it somewhere? The complaint notes that they did so “militia-like style” while shouting “God is great”. I suppose if they had been drinking beer instead, and shouting “Go Bears”, the FBI would have ignored them.
Do I even need to point out that the U.S. is full of “militia-like” groups who wear camouflage and go to shooting ranges?
At least three of the men are illegal aliens. The men are from Albania, Turkey, Kosovo. They are not from Indiana.
Why I don’t believe the indictment. Yet. I might. But I doubt it.
1. Two men, designated as CW-1 and CW-2 are identified as “cooperative witnesses” who willingly infiltrated the group. Doesn’t that sound nice? Good citizens, I bet. The trouble is that in many of these cases, it is eventually revealed that the “cooperating witness” is actually a paid informant, with a clear incentive to provide the FBI with the goods. They are paid some money, then more, and then more, depending on whether they find a hot suspect that can eventually be prosecuted. It is clear that the gravy train stops if he doesn’t get the goods on the suspects. So what happens is, he starts to “encourage” the suspects– always young Islamic men– to make more and more provocative statements.
Consider this: the gang asked CW-1 to lead the attack. Curious, don’t you think? If CW-1 is just dropping in and listening to a group of hard-core jihadists plot a violent assault on Fort Dix— and they just happen to think he would be a fine leader, out of the blue.
2. The conspirators allowed CW-1 to record conversations in which details of the plot are discussed. Okay– that CW-1 is a very convincing infiltrator. Or these young men are exceptionally stupid. Or both.
You are seriously plotting to attack a U.S. army base. A guy you barely know joins your group and asks, “do you mind if I record the plot?” You say, “sure.” Maybe there’s an explanation for this.
3. They chose Fort Dix because one of the men, Serdar, used to deliver pizzas there. That sinister “map of Fort Dix” they acquired to plan the attack? It came from the Pizza Shop. The FBI seemed to get very aroused by this map. They recorded the actual time of the cell-phone call that CW-1 received to tell him that Tartar had acquired the map and delivered it to him. They took the map, copied it, and then returned it. This is the map from the pizza restaurant.
4. One of the FBI informants brought up the idea of getting some firearms and told the gang he knew someone who could supply them. Once again, it is the informant who initiates the first concrete step towards a real act of terrorism. That is textbook entrapment.
5. According to the criminal complaint, the suspects did not actually pay for the weapons nor acquire them. It would have been more interesting to me if they had handed over $5,000 or so for these weapons, and clearly demanded delivery of them. It would be logical to arrest them when they arrive for the weapons and charge them with…. ta da… trying to buy guns. In America. Okay. They could be charged with something like…. I don’t know. Making threats?
The truth is, they should be charged with the minor offenses that actually stick to them: overstaying their visas. Illegal possession of weapons. (Will the NRA step in here or not? Why are they so silent on the rights of these red-blooded men to own weapons?)
The truth is that if the FBI started investigating those red-blooded all-American white militia groups and their weapons and paintball and camouflage and confederate flags and so on, and decided to make them into something sinister, it would be easily done. But we know why that will never happen.
The Bush administration would like you to believe that we now live in an era where we can no longer wait for crimes to be committed before arresting the…. what? The what? The person we think might commit a crime in the future?
Bullshit. It will never be right or wise or good to arrest people for crimes they have not actually committed. Never. It only took Western civilization about 5,000 years to learn it. It has taken George Bush and his governing thugs less than six months to unlearn it.
Now we start over. Why is it wise to presume innocence?
“CW-2 [one of the informants] observed that Shnewer seemed to enjoy watching the video and smiled during the viewing.” From the criminal complaint.
When CW-1 asked Shain Duka if he was with them, Shain Duka responded, “God willing, we will see.”
Eljvir Duka stated that they would need a “fatwa” before they could proceed.
Here it is– I was waiting for it: “When CW-1 mentioned that CW-1 might have a source that could supply firearms, Shnewer expressed interest.”
I will believe that a crime is committed when a person freely and willingly commits a crime. When a female undercover cop goes after men for soliciting sex, she never offers sex for money. She just stands there and waits and lets the man talk. If she offers sex for money, and he says yes– it’s called entrapment and usually the charges won’t stick. If he says, without prompting, “I’ll give you $100 for sex”, he is soliciting for sex and can be successfully charged.
“Towards the end of the meeting, Shain Duka suggested they could also join the army and ‘do them, yes we can’. ” That’s pretty amazing to me. They planned to infiltrate the army. That’s long-range planning.
The really odd thing is this: if these men were really intent on committing terrorist acts in America, against Americans, and they really were only prevented from doing so by the chance act of asking a video store owner to copy a VHS tape to DVD for them, where are all the men who were not stupid enough to take a jihadist video to a commercial video store?
What’s with the paintball? One of the supposedly incriminating acts committed by the Canadian Terrorist Conspiracy was a game of paintball– obviously, they were training for jihad.
Is a pattern emerging? Are these groups linked? Or are the authorities linked?
I’ll bet the FBI now monitors paintball games very, very closely.
There is almost nothing in the criminal complaint about what CW-1 or CW-2 said or did. That’s not surprising. If there will be a trial– and there won’t be– I almost guarantee it (there will be a plea bargain on lesser charges so the government can claim they confessed) — but if there was a trial, we would find out just how much “encouragement” they offered to this group.
It doesn’t say they were paid– I will be very, very shocked if we find out they were not. I will guess that each of them got at least $30,000 and maybe more than $100,000, and both of them will claim that the money didn’t matter at all, and both of them will be lying through their teeth when they say that, because if it were true, I would not be so sure of myself when I tell you that you will find out they were paid.
They will have been paid. It is less likely, but also probable, that either or both of them are facing unrelated charges for petty crimes and both of them will have the charges dropped in exchange for their “objective” testimony.
Furthermore, Americans will read about their convictions with satisfaction as they sing their anthems and wave their flag in fervent admiration of the rights and freedoms generations of people fought bitterly for and which they now, with the cavalier disregard of a hunter swatting an insect, discard.