At a Christmas tree lighting ceremony this week in Portland, a guy had to be wrestled to the ground--shouting "Allahu Akbar!"--as he tried to detonate a car bomb. ("Somali-born teen plotted car-bombing in Oregon"
Mohamed Osman Mohamud is 19, and although he is constantly referred to as a teen, he is legally an adult.
The Yahoo feed that carried this story was written by William McCall and Nedra Pickler, of the Associated Press, and they might want to consider a refresher course in journalism--particularly, "story continuity." In the beginning of the article, they say, "According to the official, Mohamud hatched the plan on his own and without any instruction from a foreign terrorist organization, and he planned the details, including where to park the van for the maximum number of casualties."
Which is interesting, because they later say:
U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton released federal court documents to The Associated Press and the Oregonian newspaper that show the sting operation began in June after an undercover agent learned that Mohamud had been in regular e-mail contact with an "unindicted associate" in Pakistan's northwest, a frontier region where al-Qaida and Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents are strong).The two used coded language in which the FBI believes Mohamud discussed traveling to Pakistan to prepare for "violent jihad," the documents said. In June an FBI agent contacted Mohamud "under the guise of being affiliated with" the suspected terrorist. But the documents did not say how federal officials first became aware of Mohamud. An undercover agent met with him a month later in Portland, where they "discussed violent jihad," according to the court documents.
So: which is it? Mohamud acted on his own, or he hooked up with other jihadists (and he is upfront about being a jihadist) who shared his vision?
The Yahoo message board is, of course, loaded with posts that either point out that it's unfair to pin such acts on Muslims (and jihadists belong to WHAT other religions, exactly?), or posts that are so hostile that they are likely plants, or people who think it's really unfair that this naive kid was set up by our federal agents who want nothing more than to create fear and entrap the innocent. (And FYI, one person pointed out that just because this guy sought out and joined what he thought was a jihadist organization doesn't mean he was AFFILIATED with them.)
As for the entrapment idea, this is the same thing the FBI was accused of when the Chicago Wrigleyville bomb plot came to light last summer. Is it entrapment? Both of these individuals, the man in Chicago and this person, were not on the FBI's radar until they started making inquiries about bomb-making. Clearly they were moving ahead with plans to mass murder non-combatants in the name of some larger cause. They admitted to this. Our federal agents were doing their job by gathering information and collecting evidence while protecting the public from allowing such a scheme to come to fruition. What were they supposed to do, wait until the bombs exploded, killed hundreds, and THEN arrest the guy?
People watch a few seasons of legal dramas and then throw around words like "entrapment" or "profiling," and it is just beyond ridiculous. Law enforcement officers carefully avoid any hint of entrapment because they know it would taint a case to the point where it would get thrown out of court.
These accusations of entrapment by people who are supposedly standing up for the victim (in this case, Mohamud) are more islamophobic than the so-called "islamophobes." Those crying entrapment paint scenarios of the FBI suggesting terrorist attacks and then innocent, non-violent Muslims instantly feel an overwhelming compulsion to go along with that.
It seems that, in this case, "islamophobes" are the only ones saying that nobody, including Muslims, is allowed to murder other people, period.