Blogger Rumi (a successful medical doctor in US who came here on a student visa in the 1980s): “The outrageous, inexcusable act of The Bangladeshi Student, facilitated and influenced by an FBI undercover agent, has claimed it’s first victim – the student visa system.” Student visas concern after terror plot Grand Jury to be convened
Nafis was allegedly planning something for which he will go to jail for life. But, how far would he have actually got without help from the FBI? Below are some discussions in US blogosphere about this topic.
From comments section on ATLANTIC:
Chuñdy: No one is arguing that he shouldn’t face serious jail time. We are questioning whether the FBl and the media should be portraying this 21-year-old doofus as a terrorist mastermind. They caught a gullible wannabe jihadist who couldn’t tell the difference between an inert bomb and a real bomb. Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.
Mark Holland A man who can be so easily compelled to mass murder is a real threat. On the other hand, people in the FBI are ordinary and thus more concerned with personal goals than abstractions. This case will make a lot of people at FBI very famous and later, very wealthy. I have zero pity for the kid and few illusions about the “public” sector.The Mad Monk If they knew what he was up to why not just deport him? He’s a 21 year old idiot with bad ideas. Why not try to correct his ideas instead of letting him bring it to fruition? Seems the FBI is more keen on patting itself on the back then actually reducing terrorism.bobfrommosinee: Isn’t the first time I have questioned these headline grabbing anti terrorist operation. From start to finish, Recruiting, Targeting, Planning, Equipment, Explosives, all provided by some office of Home Land Security, trying to prove just how badly America need their services and why we as Americans need to just give up a few more rights for our own safetytexasquire these are the very questions I was contemplating as I heard this story on the radio today. I keep getting the sense that there’s a little bit of entrapment going on. it also seems that all of these would-be terrorists are a little on the slow side. are smarter terrorists just too smart to attempt such plots because they know there’s a good chance they’ll be caught? what if the FBI informant were not the only one working with the hapless terrorist? what if the guy happens to get lucky and acquire explosive material through other channels, and shows up to meet his informant accomplice with an actual bomb? if the government can find these people so easily, why are we coaxing them into carrying out a fantasy attack? why not just try them for plotting or whatever and boot them out of the country? just seems like a lot of extra effort (read, money) to push these guys to the point of pressing the trigger when it’s clear pretty early on that they intend to do harm.tito swiñeflu The statement “We haven’t seen a terrorist attack on American soil in over a decade” Is simply false. The time square bomber was a terrorist, and he was only caught because his truck didn’t blow up. The underwear bomber? Same thing. So if you’re very specific about what KIND of terrorist attack you’re talking about, then there have been attacks but they failed. If you’re not randomly limiting the scope of the terrorist attacks, then there have been plenty in the last ten years. Some guy who drove his plane into an IRS center because of his vague right-wing anti-tax stuff? I’d call that a terrorist attack. The attack on the Sikh temple by other right wingers? I’d also call that a terrorist attack. I’m sick of journalists dismissing the deeply troubling tactics of the FBI and law enforcement with the “we haven’t seen a terrorist attack” nonsense. We went 8 years between the first attack on the world trade center to the second. Was that the FBI keeping us safe, or was that just the normal period of time between attacks by actual, terrorists who weren’t coached by the FBI?wwpowell_ga Only 3 things have happened: 1] The FBI will want more money because they have ‘proven’ they can ‘stop’ the ‘terrorists’ 2] We the taxpayer have another mouth to feed in federal prison 3] We are no safer from the real terrorists of which there are very few and who are mostly abroad attacking embassys and such. Why are we no safer? Because the government spends our money on this sort of monkeyshines instead of embassy security.Edgar Swindenhauser “These aren’t easy questions” They are very easy questions: At any point, Nafis could have said No. But he wanted to be a terrorist. Everything he did was willful. He didn’t say No. If so, he’s guilty. However, if there was coaxing and entrapment involved, he’s innocent. IMO the HARD question is: should we be devoting resources to flushing out terrorist wannabees? The resources could probably be put to better use.
Sharon Kirk The bottom line is….they knew he was of terrorist mindset. If the FBI hadn’t helped him with his plans…someone else would have and the FBI would not have control of the situation. Alot of innocent people would have been killed. To do damage…all you need is a willing participant and the rest will come sooner or later. I think they did the right thing. It’s no different than a cop posing as a prostitute.Edgar Swindenhauser “no different than a cop posing as a prostitute. And both are wrong. “If the FBI hadn’t helped him with his plans…someone else would have” You have no proof of that whatsoever. Maybe he wouldn’t have found anyone, or something could happen to change his mind. Maybe he’d meet a girl and fall in love and raise a family and forget his idiocy. Same with the cop posing a prostitute.Maybe the guy wouldn’t have found one he liked, one maybe he wouldn’t have found one at all, or gotten hit with a pang of guilt or fear, or whatever. You cannot prove what might have happened, but didn’t. ‘Terrorist mindset’ does not a terrorist make. But none of that is applicable to Nafsi, because it turns out he followed through and performed actions of his own volition. It’s the actions that are criminal, not the ‘mindset’. Nafsi’s defense will likely revolve around the question of entrapment. But the Feds know the rules – he’ll probably be convicted, although I don’t particularly care for the whole business.
If FBI Both Planned & Thwarted a Terrorist Attack, Who’s the Hero? ADAM CLARK ESTES OCT 17, 2012/Atlantic
A 21-year-old Bangladeshi man tried and failed to blow up the Federal Reserve Building in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday, largely thanks to the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That “thanks” ought to be attached both to the “tried” and the “failed” parts of that sentence, since it was the FBI that not only coaxed the suspect, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, into moving forward with the bombing but also supplied him with the means to do so. Don’t worry. The Feds know what they’re doing. They do this all the time.
…These aren’t easy questions. In general, America’s response to the terror threat has been expansive,sometimes intrusive and inevitably aggressive. But we’ve been led to believe that the alternative to an aggressive defense against terrorism is, well, terrorism, and terrorism stinks. This is generally how debates against laws like the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act devolve into discussions about how much we’re willing to sacrifice civil liberties to feel safe in a fearsome world. American lawmakers have approved and renewed both of these measures, probably because they’d rather err on the side of national security.
But what about the FBI? On a regular basis, the FBI recruits, trains and compensates informants like the one that helped facilitate the attempted bombing on the Federal Reserve Building. When we say “regular basis,” we mean that there are literally thousands of informants across the country working with would be terrorists, and so far, they have a pretty good success rate. The latest issue of Mother Jonesincludes a feature about these efforts. It’s worth reading in full, but we’ll quote it at length to make one last point:
Here’s how it works: Informants report to their handlers on people who have, say, made statements sympathizing with terrorists. Those names are then cross-referenced with existing intelligence data, such as immigration and criminal records. FBI agents may then assign an undercover operative to approach the target by posing as a radical. Sometimes the operative will propose a plot, provide explosives, even lead the target in a fake oath to Al Qaeda. Once enough incriminating information has been gathered, there’s an arrest — and a press conference announcing another foiled plot.
This sounds a lot like the foiled Federal Reserve plot, but that’s not the only one:
If this sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because such sting operations are a fixture in the headlines. Remember the Washington Metro bombing plot? The New York subway plot? The guys who planned to blow up the Sears Tower? The teenager seeking to bomb a Portland Christmas tree lighting? Each of those plots, and dozens more across the nation, was led by an FBI asset.
And so we return to our original question: If the FBI both planned and thwarted a terrorist attack, who’s the hero? This is up for debate, and until we know more about what happened in this latest failed attack, we won’t know exactly how determined Nafis, the suspected terrorist, was about destroying America.