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Undercover Terror Sting in Kansas

The FBI is still at it -- instigating and then foiling terror plots that would never have existed but for their prodding. The latest is in Kansas.

Quoted in the article is the excellent Topeka defense attorney Dan Monnat. Without judging this case, he says of terror stings in general:

"If the fragile mental state of an otherwise upstanding individual is exploited to commit a crime that the individual otherwise would not have taken steps to commit, how does that make us safe and why spend taxpayer money on prosecution?" Monnat said Saturday.

"If that is what happened here, we have to ask ourselves is grooming terrorists the best use of our taxpayer money for security if the person otherwise would never have taken further steps in furtherance of terrorism. What is the point?"

On a related note, once charged, the Government is likely to deny discovery to these targeted defendants claiming it is classified. [More...]

Remember the case of 18 year old Abdella Tounisi in Chicago, a U.S. citizen?

He isn't charged with planning anything in the U.S. -- he had decided to go to Syria and fight with jihadists there. The FBI caught him by setting up a pretend Islamic terror recruiting website. He fell for the bait. During their online communications, Tounisi told the FBI he was very physically very small and had no fighting experience. He also told them he had no contacts in Syria. The FBI assured him his size didn't matter, they would train him, and then instructed him on how to make flight arrangements to Turkey. It even sent him a bus ticket for the next leg of his journey. He was arrested at O'Hare after checking in for his flight to Turkey.

According to the Complaint, the FBI monitored his google searches, the You Tube videos he watched, his IP address log-ins, and e-mails.

The judge recently ruled he can't see the discovery in his case because it's classified. Same thing in the case of Chicago teen Adel Daoud. The judge's order in Tounisi is here.

"The government's interest in protecting national security does not evaporate simply because a defendant allegedly involved with terrorism insists on having personal access to classified information without having the necessary security clearance. Nor does the government have to compromise national security in order to prosecute an accused terrorist."

Here's the procedure proposed by the Government and accepted by the Court for Tounisi to view the evidence against him.

Defense counsel is allowed to review material on a classified laptop in a secure area established by the Court Information Security Officer. Defense counsel may identify particular items she believes Tounisi needs to review, and inform the Government of those items.

If the requests are reasonable, the Government will then submit the items to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for declassification review. If the FBI determines that particular items should not be declassified, or any other issue arises as to the items, the parties will address the issue with the court. If the FBI declassifies a requested item, a declassified version will be provided to defense counsel to share with Tounisi.

Tounisi's lawyer says the restrictions violate his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights to effective representation, a fair and speedy trial, due process, and to meaningful participate in his defense.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Paraphrasing Pogo: "We have met the enemy... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:54:27 AM EST
    ... and he is another Three Letter Agency.

    Going to fight with jihadist in Syria (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:39:30 AM EST
    You mean the same jihadists that the Government of the United States was, in fact, also arming and supporting? Why not charge folks with "thrice cursed acts of treachery" or "dreaming different dreams?" Because too often it seems our own authorities in the protect-the-homeland game have more in common with real tyrants than they'd ever admit, understand or accept. The rise of our secret police state is astonishing in rapidity and frightening in its scope.

    I blame word processors. (4.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 09:16:30 AM EST
    The Ministry of Truth dug up all its old anti-Commie propaganda, did a global replace of Communist with Terrorist, and off the rails we went.

    Parent
    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 11:17:36 AM EST
    The dope Feds just get "better" at getting worse.

    Parent
    Phucking universal search & replace (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 11:18:23 AM EST
    Luddites unite!!!

    Ahem.

    Parent

    Some in the left (none / 0) (#6)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 11:51:25 AM EST
    are as willing to indulge in sweeping, extreme, misguided and dishonest rhetoric as the people that they claim to be against.

    The above post is a good example.

    Not everybody who protested Assad's regime at the beginning were "jihadists". The protests were initially non violent (very similar to Arab Spring protests in many other countries, including the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt that was started by many secular people). The retaliation by the Assad regime against the protesters with heavy military equipment, however radicalized the protests with the passage of time. As the fight continued, radical Islamist groups joined the war. It seems that many of the original protesters have given up.
    link
    The Obama administration has been very reluctant to support and arm the rebels strongly in a way that they can win (note the criticism from all quarters) or fight back with more fire power.

    link The reason for this reluctance is the increasing presence of jihadist factions among rebel fighters.

    However, not everybody fighting Assad's rule in Syria is a jihadist. It is very ignorant or dishonest to assign everyone opposing Assad's rule to the jihadist camp.

    Parent

    Rebal fighting in Syria (none / 0) (#7)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 12:01:22 PM EST
    Come on, my friend (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:02:00 PM EST
    Are you serious?

    We don't even bother to COUNT civilians we kill with drones or whatever else. And I'm supposed to believe this bullsh*t? Sorry, sure you're a good cat at heart, but we disagree vehemently. Such is life in a free country.

    Obama didn't possess the uncorrupted coffers, or imaginative ability, to do ANYthing for actual Americans who were victims of pure financial racketeering, has continually gotten on his knees to suck Wall Street c*ck, in the most foolish and idiotic manner, and yet you are going to try to convince me that in Syria this administration has such an astute take on things?

    Oy.

    We gave weapons to scumbags, like do time and time again, democrat or republican, give me an effing break, period. And we had no excuse except the same kind of dimestore stupidity. That Obama realized it was stupid far too late to make any excuses, come on, why are you shilling for a system that has ZERO imagination and ZERO credibility fighting for real Americans but you'd have me believe for those abroad he's astute. When all is is, IMHO, is SLIGHTLY less pitifully useless than his predecessor.

    I am sorry, my friend, but just like Clinton, Obama has proven to be, ultimately, an empty suit with a slightly more tailored fit. Do you REALLY think a guy who wanted to be mentored by Joe Lieberman, and who has never talked about how stupid and immature and ignorant it was, is really going to be a champ on complex issues. Come on.

    Can't even be bothered to give all Americans freedom of choice on healthCARE, because he had to get on his knees, yet again, and suck the c*ck of big pharma and big medical, and he had NO excuse except he couldn't figure out how to beat them at the creative game, which they have NO ability at.

    Disagree in every way. I have higher expectations for my president than cowardice, inexcusable lack of imagination, and (sorry, but this is a proven fact) financial corruption via campaign cash that has in every way imaginable harmed the potential and progress of this nation.

    Coward.

    Less of one than others, fine, I'll let people cling to that, but a coward nonetheless.

    Parent

    This (none / 0) (#10)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:47:49 PM EST
    is not about Obama entirely.

    Imagine the people living under a brutal dictatorship in Syria for many decades getting a sliver of hope of freedom with the onset of the Arab Spring.

    link
    They demonstrated peacefully at first. Their initial demand was the release of all political prisoners. The Assad regime responded in a heavy handed way. The regime arrested people, banned internet sites, opened fire on demonstrators, imprisoned and tortured people, etc. As demonstrations escalated, heavy military equipment was used to silence entire towns.

    It is shameful for people in the left to characterize the opposition to Assad as stemming from "jihadist" fervor.

    The Assad regime escalated the brutalities to such an extent that it started drawing more and more foreign fighters into the country. Now a majority of factions comprise of Islamic militants because they form the most tenacious fighting groups.

    I have never seen anybody on the left side of politics in this blog criticize Assad even a wee bit for bringing Syria to its current state. I have however heard plenty of mischaracterization of the entire opposition as Al Qaeda types.

    I hear plenty of protests in this site when cops use pepper spray on people. However, when the Assad regime used military tanks and aircrafts to silence entire villages and towns from the earliest days of protests and demonstrations (till the country was plunged into chaos making it ripe for jihadist elements to  I did not hear anybody speak up against the atrocities of the regime. Worse still, many started whitewashing the crimes of Assad by painting all opposition to the regime as "jihadist".

    The Mr Naturals, lentinels and the little coterie that left this blog a few days ago are on a moral sinkhole for being so selective with facts.  

    Parent

    Yeah, it's all my fault, because......... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 09:57:42 PM EST
    I'm a Terrrrrrorist, and I'm ok;
    I plot all night and I post all day....


    Parent
    Dadler (none / 0) (#11)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:25:16 PM EST
    Please examine the timeline of the Syrian conflict (assiduously compiled by researchers at the Univ of Washington) that I put in my previous post. I am also putting a link here.

    Parent
    reason for undercover (none / 0) (#8)
    by cassandra1313 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 01:38:50 PM EST
    If real terrorists are unsure whether or not they are dealing with someone undercover, it puts a real crimp in their operations, gumming up the works in general and at least slowing things down.  The government would be kind of dumb to unilaterally announce that they were giving up all undercover work.
    Also, fragile minds which can be groomed by the FBI can just as easily be groomed by family members or terror organizations (consider the younger Boston bomber for example).  

    Not an unexpected result (none / 0) (#13)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:39:16 AM EST
    when those in political power have no one willing to report misdeeds in the interest of party unity.

    Terrorists Are Self-Motivated (none / 0) (#14)
    by Federale on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 11:41:45 AM EST
    Muslim terrorists are not created by the FBI, but self-motivated my orthodox Muslim theology to wage war on non-Muslims.  It is in fact Islam that exploits the fragile mental state of individuals who otherwise would not think to go out and bomb a school or airport.  Islam is the religion of the homocidal maniac.  Islam justifies homocidal urges, rationalizes such ideas and thereby encourages terrorism.  The FBI is just scooping up mentally ill Muslims seeking to fulfil their religious duty to kill non-Muslims.