The Snitch in the JFK Terror Case

The Associated Press reports on the inducements the drug-trafficker snitch received in the JFK Terror case. But it missed one.

As I pointed out the other day, not only is he getting a reduced sentence for his own misdeeds, according to a footnote in the criminal Complaint (pdf) filed against him, he also got money -- on an ongoing basis.

It's not that I don't believe the defendants were working on a plot to economically damage the U.S. (the complaint also stresses they wanted to do economic harm and avoid to any extent possible the deaths of innocent persons.) It's that I don't believe they had the capability of pulling it off -- without the assistance promised by our federal government through the snitch.

Terror wannabes, bumbling holy warriors again.

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    'the talking phase' (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Joe Bob on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 11:48:14 AM EST
    All the terror busts of recent memory have been of so-called plots in the 'talking' or 'planning' phases. Certainly, these people deserve the scrutiny of law enforcement but the way these cases are presented in the media is just ridiculous. Why is it a national news story when: the alleged terrorists' only connection to real terrorists is a government agent, they don't have the expertise to carry out the plot they're accused of, and they don't have the money or materiel to carry out the plot...aside from what the aforementioned agent has provided them.

    Call me crazy, but wouldn't it make more sense to just keep tabs on these people and learn who, if anyone, might really try to finance or arm them? It seems those are the people you would really want. Lastly, it seems that the more fantastical the plot the more likely the alleged terrorists are just a bunch of rubes. If they were seriously intent on killing a bunch of Americans they could legally acquire everything they need at their nearest gun shop for a few hundred dollars.

    Well said Joe..... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 12:41:24 PM EST
    people that knew this supposed "mastermind" describe him as a 2-bit hustler and con man.  Much like the Sears Tower bust, I'm more inclined to believe these clowns were trying to hustle some potential financiers out of some money.  As you pointed, you can go to the local gun shop or Home Depot and kill lots of people quite easily.

    I'm probably missing something, but all you need is a match and access to set fire to jet-fuel, no?


    Most commercial airliners use (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 01:41:45 PM EST
    a fuel call JP-4. It is apparently very difficult to start it burning in open air with a match, and usually will douse a burning match thrown into it:
    One of the demonstrations used in the Air Force's POL school was attempting to ignite JP4 in a bucket with any type of open flame. The deeper the bucket the more difficult to achieve combustion. We were encouraged to throw lit matches into a 2.5 gallon bucket with one gallon of JP4 in it. They went out before hitting the liquid fuel. The only time we could get the vapours to iginte was when we threw the match while it was still flaring immediately after being struck.

    JP-7 [for high performance military aircraft] has such a high flashpoint that a burning match dropped into a bucket of it will not cause it to ignite.


    thanks edger.... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 01:57:52 PM EST
    Make that an M-80 and access.

    Hah. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 02:01:57 PM EST
    Yeah - that might work. Kind of noisy though - someone might notice you. ;-)

    edger Wrong again (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 06:09:25 PM EST
    Hmmmm... Not only are these people invisible, but Edger would have us believe that the fuel wouldn't burn if they managed to place a bomb on the pipeline.

    Some other thoughts... First, they wouldn't be pumping JP-4...

    Militaries around the world use a different classification system of JP numbers. Some are almost identical to their civilian counterparts and differ only by the amounts of a few additives; JET A-1 is similar to JP-8, JET B is similar to JP-4.

    Jet A is the standard jet fuel type in the U.S. since the 1950s and is only available there. JET A is similar to JET-A1, except for its higher freezing point of -40° C (vs -47° C JET A-1). Like JET A-1, JET A has a fairly high flash point of 38° C, with an autoignition temperature of 410° F (210° C). Jet A

    The flash point of a flammable liquid is the lowest temperature at which it can form an ignitable mixture in air. At this temperature the vapor may cease to burn when the source of ignition is removed. A slightly higher temperature, the fire point, is defined as the temperature at which the vapor continues to burn after being ignited. Neither of these parameters are related to the temperatures of the ignition source or of the burning liquid, which are much higher. The flash point is often used as one descriptive characteristic of liquid fuel, but it is also used to describe liquids that are not used intentionally as fuels.

    It's been a long time and maybe someone can chime in on this, but basically the vapors will ignite at the flash point, and, if a source continues, they will burn at a higher tempoerature.


    The flash point is that minimum temperature at which there is a sufficient concentration of evaporated fuel in the air for combustion to propagate after an ignition source has been introduced

    If the vapors are disbursed, say in an open area subject to air movement, they may never reach the flash point, and in fact a match can be put out out by the fuel itself not reaching burn point. So you need collected vapors, fuel at flash point and an ignition source. If the collection is tight enough you get some very rapid burning in a small space and something called "explosion" occurs. Depending in where/what you also get secondary fires cased by debris burning, which in turn ignites the fuel for burning in a non-enclosed space.

    A bomb basically does the same thing except it happens faster. I would also think that it would provide a source for 410 degree F heat...and autoignition...

    As I wrote, it's been a very very long time since I even thought about such things, please feel free to comment...especially re autoignition..


    The best you are capable of (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 06:16:04 PM EST
    is lying about things I say, jim?

    Not surprising. It says more about you than anything else.


    edger (1.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 06:57:44 PM EST
    AP has an article out (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 07:01:10 PM EST

    ...I guess we're in for another round of the incompetency defense. These guys, if they exist at all, were so stupid they never would have gotten anywhere with their alleged plot...

    Hmmm... If they don't exist... wouldn't they be invisible???


    I quit playing games for 5 year olds (none / 0) (#27)
    by Edger on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 07:06:08 PM EST
    when I turned six, jim. You'll have to play by yourself today.

    edger (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 09:35:51 PM EST

    "if they exist at all?"



    Exactly (none / 0) (#22)
    by Joe Bob on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 05:41:30 PM EST
    Wasn't part of the Miami-based plot contingent on the ringleader getting $50,000...and some boots and uniforms...from the terrorism financier/government agent.

    Let's face it, The Boy Who Cried Wolf isn't just a fable anymore. Likewise, thanks to Bush, Rove, Gonzales, et al. the first word I think of when a Bush-appointed US Attorney holds a press conference is Bull#%&^!


    Reminds me of the Miami 7 (none / 0) (#1)
    by El Pinche Tejano on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 11:55:04 PM EST
    Who were supposedly gonna take down the Sears Tower, though they were still trying to figure out how to get change together to even get to the bus station.

    Or the dude was gonna take down the Brooklyn Bridge with a torch, that was like the plot of a bad episode of Aqua Teen Hunger force.

    Money and Assistance (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 06:58:16 AM EST
    without the assistance promised by our federal government through the snitch.

    Wasn't the arrests made because they were going to Europe to obtain money and assistance??

    Police informers (none / 0) (#3)
    by Daniel Millstone on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 07:20:15 AM EST
    Post 911, you may recall, many immigrants were rounded up and detained for little or no reason whatsoever. It's been my impression that many of them were offered the opportunity to go back to their everyday lives if they would become eyes and ears for the police in immigrant communities. A small army of such folk, under constant pressure to produce conspirators to justify money and continued freedom, may help to create such plots. Years ago, I hazily recall, police agents would suggest illegal plans to militants, facilitate their plans and arrests them with great éclats. Are such happy days here again?  

    Who needs.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 09:46:17 AM EST
    crazy whackjob muslim preachers to radicalize people when the FBI will pay an informant to radicalize people.

    I could see this policy of using shady informants as terror warriors blowing up in our faces...literally.  All it takes is one informant to pull the double doublecross, and people are gonna get hurt.

    Weren't they radical before they recruited him? (none / 0) (#6)
    by roy on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 10:08:10 AM EST
    Assuming the vaunted timeline is basically true, the would-be attackers were working on their plan before they approached the informant.

    re: Weren't they? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 10:20:25 AM EST
    Details, details.

    And welcome back. Move go okay?


    Move incomplete (none / 0) (#13)
    by roy on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 01:17:52 PM EST
    The 21st century means traveling halfway across the country doesn't much interfere with communications.  I won't get to Oregon 'til next week.  Now is just a long visit with my family before moving outside casual driving distance.

    I assume nothing anymore roy.... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 10:21:07 AM EST
    Don't get me wrong, if these guys are what the feds say they are I'm glad they got nabbed.  Emphasis on "if".

    My main beef is using informants to instigate whackjobs or potential whackjobs.  I think its only a matter of time before it backfires.


    Fair 'nuff (none / 0) (#14)
    by roy on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 01:23:47 PM EST
    Since they're handling this case with cops and courts so far, rather than super-secret tribunals, maybe the trial will publicize enough information that we can make a judgement.  Or maybe they'll rely on secret evidence and more non-credible witnesses and it'll be just another "he said, she said" sitatuation, where "he" goes to prison.

    What if these clowns... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 10:25:03 AM EST
    came up with a million bucks...don't you think there is a danger of the informant pulling a double doublecross?  Obviously cash and favors are the informants only motivation.  Eventually a well-financed whackjob will outbid the feds, and the feds will be responsible for putting the parties together to make an attack happen.

    Yes (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 03:39:05 PM EST
    Even the incompetent can get lucky. Just like this guy.

    "at least they caught these guys"!? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Sailor on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 09:40:51 PM EST
    Really? How do we know? By what the gov't claimed? (p.s. they said it would be worse that 9/11) and that was a lie.

    The gov't also said an American lawyer had his fingerprints on the bomb in Spain. And that was a lie.

    The gov't also said saddam had WMDs ... and that was a lie.

    Perhaps this latest revelation is true and the bush who cried wolf is right for a change.

    But maybe we should wait for the justice system to work.


    i have to admit (none / 0) (#10)
    by cpinva on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 10:25:06 AM EST
    this does seem like another "keystone kops" terrorist group. however, one of these days, some wannabe is actually going to succeed, probably beyond his/her wildest expectations.

    i'm not sure where the middle ground is on this.

    i guess the real question is: what is their real motivation, and how do we undermine that?

    Something to consider.... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 05:18:08 PM EST

    His former friend Trevor Watts recalled that he and Defreitas were transfixed by the scope of the 9/11 attacks as they watched TV for hours in his duplex in Cambria Heights, Queens....

    Defreitas, a U.S. citizen who emigrated from Guyana about 40 years ago, sat on Watts' plastic-covered, rust-colored sofa and told his pal that he couldn't understand how terrorists could kill so many innocents, Watts said....

    Defreitas also came up with a couple of get-rich-quick schemes to ship air conditioners or refrigerators to Guyana. But nothing came of the plans, and Watts questioned whether the terror plot could have been another one of Defreitas' half-baked ideas.

    "When I heard he got arrested at the diner, I was wondering who he was swindling," Watts said. "He couldn't even fix brakes. He never built bombs."

    Perfect Poster Boy (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 05:44:33 PM EST
    For the scam WOT.  Defreitas sounds just like Bush but without all the privileges, family $$$$, and power.