Entrapment/Manufactured Charges/Agent Provocateurs Prosecutions

  • Arizona man accused of terrorism changes his plea to guilty

    Source: Associated Press. Mahin Khan, 18, pleaded guilty to terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and conspiracy to commit misconduct involving weapons, Maricopa County Superior Court officials said. Under a plea deal with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Khan reportedly will serve a prison term of no less than five years and no more than 10 years and three months on the conspiracy to commit terrorism charge. Khan wanted to attack a motor vehicle office in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa and allegedly instructed an undercover FBI employee to start building homemade grenades, authorities said. Khan’s parents later sent a letter to a Tucson TV station stating that their son is autistic and doesn’t have the mental capacity to carry out any of the acts he was accused of planning.

  • Held on charges of supporting ISIS, he says the FBI trapped him in its own terror plot

    Source: The Washington Post. The man at the Maryland shooting range introduced himself as a native of Iraq. He tried to be friendly with Nelash Das, telling the young man that he, too, was Muslim, by Das’s account. As weeks went by, they spent more and more time together, going to the shooting range, sharing meals and celebrating the holy holiday of Eid. Eventually, federal officials say, they also plotted to kill a member of the U.S. military. But when law enforcement intervened in suburban Washington on Sept. 30, the day of the planned attack, Das was arrested and held on charges of supporting terrorism, while the man who had befriended him went free. The purported Iraqi from the gun range, according to Das and federal court papers, was a paid confidential source working for the FBI. Nelash Das told The Washington Post he thinks he was unfairly set up and badgered into a scheme by the U.S. government. In a phone call Wednesday, Das said the informant manipulated his emotions, showed him videos sympathetic to the Islamic State and hounded him into taking part in a supposed terrorist plot targeting the military

  • Police captain’s son charged with plotting ISIS-inspired attack

    Source: Boston Globe. Alexander Ciccolo, 23, was initially charged last summer in federal court in Springfield with unlawfully possessing guns in connection with a plot to carry out an attack at an unnamed state university. On Thursday, a grand jury indicted him on additional charges of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State terrorist group, as well as the attempted use of weapons of mass destruction. Ciccolo is the son of Boston police Captain Robert Ciccolo, who set the FBI investigation in motion in the fall of 2014 when he told agents that his son has a history of mental illness and had expressed a desire to fight with the Islamic State in Iraq or Syria.

  • F.B.I. steps up use of stings in ISIS cases

    Source: The New York Times. The F.B.I. has significantly increased its use of stings in terrorism cases, employing agents and informants to pose as jihadists, bomb makers, gun dealers or online “friends” in hundreds of investigations into Americans suspected of supporting the Islamic State, records and interviews show. The increase in the number of these secret operations, which put operatives in the middle of purported plots, has come with little public or congressional scrutiny, and the stings rely on F.B.I. guidelines that predate the rise of the Islamic State. While F.B.I. officials say they are careful to avoid illegally entrapping suspects, their undercover operatives are far from bystanders. In recent investigations from Florida to California, agents have helped people suspected of being extremists acquire weapons, scope out bombing targets and find the best routes to Syria to join the Islamic State, records show.

  • Terrorism convictions will serve as a warning across the country

    Source: Star Tribune. Terrorism convictions will serve as a warning across the country
    The resounding guilty verdicts and the prospect of life sentences for the three young Somali-American men convicted Friday in Minnesota’s ISIL recruitment trial will likely serve as a stark warning to the 50 or so defendants in similar cases pending across the country: Better not go to trial. The three defendants — Abdirahman Daud, 22; Mohamed Farah, 22, and Guled Omar, 21 — were found guilty Friday of conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit murder abroad. In ISIL-related cases elsewhere, defendants who pleaded guilty before trial received an average sentence of 10 years in prison.
    But the three Twin Cities men who fought the charges and were found guilty Friday are expected to pay a steep price, perhaps life in prison for the attempted murder convictions.

  • Man whose name surfaced in Minnesota terror trial was real recruiter, says FBI informant

    Source: Joseph Sabroski. A former FBI informant wants to know why the FBI hasn’t arrested the man he believes was the mastermind recruiter in Minnesota’s ongoing prosecution of men accused of conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State, or ISIS. Tony Osman says he was assigned by the FBI to spy on Amir Meshal — a mysterious man to many in the Muslim community of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area — whose name surfaced last week in the ongoing trial for three Somali-American men in the District of Minnesota.

  • Alleged Islamic State sympathizer arrested on terror charge

    Source: Associated Press. Sajmir Alimehmeti, a onetime plumbing assistant who has studied funeral services, was arrested Tuesday on charges that he tried to support the terror organization, Islamic State. Law enforcement undercover operatives posed over the last half year as men eager to support the Islamic State. Assistant Federal Defender Sylvie Levine said her client was not unusual, and that “in many ways, he’s just like any other 22-year-old, college-age student”. She noted there was no conspiracy charge and said he had not conversed with anyone who was not a member of law enforcement. “None of these statements appear to be followed by any action,” Levine said.

  • FBI is manufacturing terror plots against Jewish-Americans, driving divisions between Jews and Muslims

    Alternet (5/11): FBI Is Manufacturing Terror Plots Against Jewish-Americans, Driving Divisions Between Jews and Muslims
    Since 9/11, the FBI and NYPD have solved dozens of terror plots that its own agents and assets manufactured, including some against synagogues. Even if the plots were less than real, the foiled “attacks” have greatly impacted both the defendants and their alleged victims, spreading fear among Jewish-Americans and triggering panicked reports about heightened threat against Jews. It’s a startling image: a group of cops or FBI agents sit around an office table and plot the details of an “attack” on Jews. The idea sounds implausible, even conspiratorial. But the FBI has previously made calculated decisions before to exploit anti-Semitism as a means of managing perceived national security threats.

  • Terror trap: it’s easy for the FBI to bust extremist plans they help create

    Source: Houston Press. Jordan Furr and her family were in Bush Intercontinental Airport, just about to board the plane to Toronto when federal agents barreled down the jetway and changed their lives forever. As one agent threw her husband, Michael Wolfe, against the narrow tunnel’s steel wall and slapped on the cuffs, two other agents pulled the couple’s infant son out of Furr’s arms and grabbed the stroller holding the couple’s daughter. As far as Furr knew, she and Wolfe were going to Turkey to help Syrian refugees fleeing President Bashar al-Asaad’s brutal regime. But now, with a quick, sinking feeling, Furr knew what had happened. Her family was never meant to make the flight to Toronto and on to Turkey, where they were planning to stay, indefinitely and rent-free, with their wealthy friend Melissa.

  • Text messages with FBI informant reveal possible entrapment

    Source: Fox 2, Khalil Abu Rayyan was accused of being an ISIS sympathizer, and in a legal complaint the FBI says he told an informant he planned a mass shooting at a Detroit church. But his lawyer says the FBI baited the 21-year-old into making terrorist statements — and that he was simply trying to impress a woman he was falling for. Abu Rayyan promised to make the woman happy in this life and the next – that was just one of many text messages he sent. Turned out, however, that he was talking with someone who worked with the FBI. FOX 2 obtained some of the text messages. The young woman said she was depressed and was dead set on committing jihad, and was trying to convince Abu Rayyan to join her.