Posts tagged terrorism.

How the FBI Invents Terrorists Like the U.S. Capitol ‘Suicide Bomber’ ›


Even the authorities admit the alleged suicide bomber apprehended near the U.S. Capitol posed no threat. Mansfield Frazier on how the feds create ‘terrorists’ so they can arrest them:

If federal authorities thought Amine El Khalifi was a clear and present danger to America, they could have easily solved the problem by deporting the 29-year-old Moroccan, who had been living as an illegal immigrant in northern Virginia for years, having overstayed his visitor’s visa by a decade. Instead, he was arrested Friday in a garage outside the U.S. Capitol for allegedly planning to set off a fake suicide vest and shoot people with an inoperable automatic weapon—both provided to him by his government handlers.

As federal authorities so accurately stated after Khalifi’s “capture,” he never posed a danger to the public. In other words, at no time were any Americans in any danger whatsoever from this suspect.

Yet, if convicted, Khalifi will most likely spend the majority of the rest of his life in prison, courtesy of the American taxpayer. The only question is, will we be safer? Or, more pointedly, were we ever in danger to begin with?

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This is a significant problem. While the FBI claims to target figures like Khalifi as an attempt to catch these sorts of lone wolf figures before they prove to be truly dangerous, they clearly do this in a way to maximize the public relations coup that comes with their capture. Raise your hand if you’d like to see the FBI pass on getting the PR coup.

(via shortformblog)

Why is Nobody Calling Jared Loughner a Terrorist? ›

Well put:

Jared Lee Loughner allegedly tried to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at a meeting with constituents in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday. In the wake of the attack, the 22-year-old Loughner has been called everything from “crazed” to “unhinged.” What he’s not been called, however, at least by the media, is a terrorist.

According to the United States Law Code, terrorism is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” New evidence alleges that Loughner possibly planned for years to assassinate Giffords, a prominent politician. Sounds a lot like terrorism to me. But a whole host of major media outlets seem to disagree.

The Wall Street Journal today says Loughner “raged against the government” and “discussed terrorism,” which, when you actually think about it, is a vague, nearly meaningless sentence (who hasn’t discussed terrorism in the past decade?). In the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the main story is that Loughner was denied entry into the military because he failed a drug test, while the only talk of terrorism comes in a confusing quote from a blog posting from Loughner himself: “If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is ad hominem.” And, in the Los Angeles Timeslead story on Loughner today, the word “terror” doesn’t appear once.

Compare this nebulous coverage to that on Nidal Hasan in November 2009. If you’ll remember, Hasan is the only suspect in the Fort Hood shooting in Texas that left 13 people dead and 30 more wounded. Hasan is also Muslim, a fact every news outlet won’t let you forget, while also speculating about his terrorist ties.

Four days after the attack on Fort Hood, the Wall Street Journal published two stories suggesting that Hasan was a terrorist, one of which included the assertion that it was a terrorist act because Hasan spoke Arabic while he shot. The Los Angeles Times spoke to counterterrorism experts for this piece on Hasan. And, in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, blogger Kyle Wingfield actually gave credence to a Forbes argument claiming that Hasan “went Muslim.”

Some will argue that Hasan’s terrorist intentions were proved by communications he had with radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki, but, in fact, experts who reviewed the pair’s e-mail exchange deemed it totally innocuous.

It should be noted that the FBI Director Robert Mueller has said he’s not ruling out terrorism charges against Loughner, but nothing’s certain yet. And today in Dubai, Hillary Clinton called Loughner an “extremist,” though, like the media, she stopped short of calling him a terrorist. From the sidelines, the message this sends is pretty obvious and very insidious: When a white man executes a political attack, he’s likely crazy; when it’s a Muslim doing the shooting, he’s likely a terrorist.

This came up also with the guy who flew his plane into the IRS building, who was allowed the complexity of a guy whose patriotism had been disappointed. I was actually interested in how that was framed, because it was allowed in the media to be a little more complex than when things like this happen. And that’s important, because this is complex. And it just keeps happening with no resolutions, until we can start talking about things that are going on in ways that aren’t so two-dimensional.