Terrorists are stupid

Funny and interesting.

Portrait of the Modern Terrorist as an Idiot

The recently publicized terrorist plot to blow up John F. Kennedy International Airport, like so many of the terrorist plots over the past few years, is a study in alarmism and incompetence: on the part of the terrorists, our government and the press.

Terrorism is a real threat, and one that needs to be addressed by appropriate means. But allowing ourselves to be terrorized by wannabe terrorists and unrealistic plots – and worse, allowing our essential freedoms to be lost by using them as an excuse – is wrong.

The alleged plan, to blow up JFK’s fuel tanks and a small segment of the 40-mile petroleum pipeline that supplies the airport, was ridiculous. The fuel tanks are thick-walled, making them hard to damage. The airport tanks are separated from the pipelines by cutoff valves, so even if a fire broke out at the tanks, it would not back up into the pipelines. And the pipeline couldn’t blow up in any case, since there’s no oxygen to aid combustion. Not that the terrorists ever got to the stage – or demonstrated that they could get there – where they actually obtained explosives. Or even a current map of the airport’s infrastructure.

But read what Russell Defreitas, the lead terrorist, had to say: “Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States. To hit John F. Kennedy, wow… They love JFK – he’s like the man. If you hit that, the whole country will be in mourning. It’s like you can kill the man twice.”

If these are the terrorists we’re fighting, we’ve got a pretty incompetent enemy.

You couldn’t tell that from the press reports, though. “The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable,” U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf said at a news conference, calling it “one of the most chilling plots imaginable.” Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) added, “It had the potential to be another 9/11.”

So these people should be locked up … assuming they are actually guilty, that is. Despite the initial press frenzies, the actual details of the cases frequently turn out to be far less damning. Too often it’s unclear whether the defendants are actually guilty, or if the police created a crime where none existed before.

The JFK Airport plotters seem to have been egged on by an informant, a twice-convicted drug dealer. An FBI informant almost certainly pushed the Fort Dix plotters to do things they wouldn’t have ordinarily done. The Miami gang’s Sears Tower plot was suggested by an FBI undercover agent who infiltrated the group. And in 2003, it took an elaborate sting operation involving three countries to arrest an arms dealer for selling a surface-to-air missile to an ostensible Muslim extremist. Entrapment is a very real possibility in all of these cases.

The rest of them stink of exaggeration. Jose Padilla was not actually prepared to detonate a dirty bomb in the United States, despite histrionic administration claims to the contrary. Now that the trial is proceeding, the best the government can charge him with is conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim, and it seems unlikely that the charges will stick. An alleged ringleader of the U.K. liquid bombers, Rashid Rauf, had charges of terrorism dropped for lack of evidence (of the 25 arrested, only 16 were charged). And now it seems like the JFK mastermind was more talk than action, too.

Remember the “Lackawanna Six,” those terrorists from upstate New York who pleaded guilty in 2003 to “providing support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization”? They entered their plea because they were threatened with being removed from the legal system altogether. We have no idea if they were actually guilty, or of what.

As stupid as they are, they might get lucky and sneak a really bad bomb into the country since we’re only checking about 1% of a containers.

Now that’s a 1% doctrine I can get behind.

Read the article. These people didn’t even get near the step of having explosives. Or a clue.

Next time some dumbshit federal agent infiltrates a bunch of poor people, he should motivate them to start a home based carpet cleaning business, instead of trying to get them to blow up the Sears Tower.

I know law enforcement officers who have a sixth sense about when a crime is occurring, and how to get to the bottom of nearly any criminality. I also know some blockheaded cunts that hide behind a badge because nobody liked them in gradeschool*, and they are obsessed with shadowboxing imagined threats. I separate them, mentally. In the middle are the officers who are not particularly gifted, but their solid good intentions guide them in their jobs to where they don’t step on too many rights and only come up with the wrong guy once in a blue moon. I am going to now put the F.B.I. in the dipshit box.

*I deal regularly with at least three officers who were hall monitors at my gradeschool, so I know this for a fact.

Speaking of stupid terrorists, it reminds me of the story recounted in Richard Clarke’s book about the attempted car bombing during GHWB’s visit to Kuwait several years back. They were going to have a big parade for him, as he’s a hero in Kuwait thanks to the gulf war.

Iraqi intelligence allegedly paid some Kuwaiti natives to drive a car full of explosives to the parade route, where they were going to leave it and detonate it remotely when the ex-prez drove by.

Everything went according to plan, except when the operatives totalled their car on the way to the parade route. I don’t know about you, but if I’m driving a car full of explosives, I’m probably gonna try really hard to avoid rear-ending some housewife on the way to ground zero.

yet even now, you question the Will of God.

I expect that in 15 to 20 years the “Sears Towers plot” will become the textbook example of government entrapment.

The FBI informant in that case (who had a criminal record, and received for his services tens of thousands of dollars and U.S. citizenship) didn’t just provided the conspirators with a target. He provided them with guns, cameras, cell phones, plane tickets to Chicago, and spending money. He also provided them with their warehouse meeting place.

This hideout was, of course, bugged by the FBI. The plotters were recorded smoking pot they had purchased with their “terrorist seed money,” and boasting about how they were going to break into the Chicago prisons, free their Muslim brothers, and start a civil war that would force the Federal Government to recognize their new Muslim state. This Muslim state would have it’s sovereignty guaranteed by an army of crack Muslim troops, who would be armed with bows and arrows, and would train for combat by jumping off bridges. Then the conspirators got into an argument, and had a big falling out. By the time the Feds moved in, they were issuing fatwas against one another, and had basically abandoned the plot.

The conspirators took absolutely no initiative at any point; they were basically taking the informants money, making vague promises to one day attack America, and smoking weed. Yet most Americans seem to believe they were days away from toppling the Sears Tower.

This reminds me of an article I read several years ago about how all the sting operations to catch people selling nuclear bomb grade materials and bombs on the black market were actually creating a demand for the stuff. Self-fulfilling prophecy, I guess.

Potheads say alot of crazy stuff and as far as I know, never actually do anything. The idea that the FBI actually bought these guys the marijuana that they were smoking is the best part of this whole thing.

“The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable,” U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf said at a news conference, calling it “one of the most chilling plots imaginable.”

It’s great that the entire world now knows one of the most chilling plots imaginable to Ms. Mauskopf. Those fools weren’t going to tell anybody (much less do it), but now the real terrorists have one more bad plan to add to their playbook. I just pray they never watch A View to a Kill, because Zorin’s plan in that was also impractical and stupid, but extremely destructive.

If the government gave them drugs on more than three separate occasions, that makes United States government liable for a RICO prosecution.

In relevant part, RICO requires three predicate acts by an organization in furtherance of a cause that would be state felonies, and that it have an effect on interstate commerce.

Distributing marijuana is a felony and it has an effect on interstate commerce, so, yeah, that makes the United States a Racketeering Influenced or Corrupt Organization within the purview of the statute. Those officers should go to prison.

Mousehead? Is that really her name?

I’m glad you pointed that out so I could edit “Mr” Mousehead to “Ms” Mousehead.

I’ve tracked down a Washington Post article about the Sears Tower dudes. Check it out! It’s a fun read.

My favorite part:

The jokes really write themselves.

Clearly, we’re winning the war on terror AND drugs by arresting these dangerous criminals!