One Reason We’re Losing the War against Terrorism

Last Wednesday, Oregon District judge Garr King sentenced Mohamed Osman Mohamud to 30 years in prison for pressing a button FBI undercover officers had led him to believe would bomb Portland’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. Mohamud’s attorneys argued that in the almost-four years since his arrest Mohamud has shown a great deal of remorse. Prosecutors suggested that by contesting his conviction by claiming he was entrapped, Mohamud showed no remorse.

So 5 years after Mohamud’s father called the FBI, asking them to help divert his son from his interest in Islamic extremism, the government put Mohamud away for the better part of the rest of his life. Even assuming Mohamud only serves two-thirds of his sentence and pretending inflation doesn’t exist, taxpayers will pay $678,600 to incarcerate Mohamud, on top of the money spent on his 4-year prosecution and the at-least 18 months of informants and undercover officers pursuing the then-teenager.

Meanwhile, as the prosecution of a young man whose father reached out for help and whom the FBI prevented from spending a summer working in Alaska draws to a close, the Administration has been rolling out — for at least the third time (2010, 2011, 2014) — an effort to “counter violent extremism.” While the government has always been squishy about what gets included in “violent extremism,” in practice it has always been an effort to work with Muslim and only Muslim communities to … well, it’s not clear what the point is, whether it’s just a renewed effort to get communities to narc out their own, or whether it’s an effort to provide alternatives to an ideology that has proven attractive to young men in such communities.

The roll-out isn’t going very well.

At a hearing in OH, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson got an earful from community leaders asking why they should trust the government.

But when Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson showed up recently at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center here to offer a sympathetic ear and federal assistance, he faced a litany of grievances from a group of mostly Muslim leaders and advocates.

They complained of humiliating border inspections by brusque federal agents, F.B.I. sting operations that wrongly targeted Muslim citizens as terrorists and a foreign policy that leaves President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in place as a magnet for extremists.

“Our relationship has to be built on trust, but the U.S. government hasn’t given us very many reasons to build up that trust,” said Omar Saqr, 25, the cultural center’s youth coordinator.

And Linda Sarsour — whose organization serving Arab immigrations was targeted by NYPD’s spying program — asks how they can trust a government that spies on them.

Muslim advocates say there is deep suspicion that, despite all the meetings and the talk of outreach, the government’s main goal is to recruit informants to root out suspected terrorists.

“I don’t know how we can have a partnership with the same government that spies on you,” said Linda Sarsour, advocacy director for the National Network for Arab American Communities.

Perhaps most telling, however, in one of NYT’s several attempts describing what CVE is, it describes spying, not community.

Among its efforts, the Department of Homeland Security provides training to help state and local law enforcement officials in identifying and countering the threat, including indicators of violent extremism and “lone wolf” attacks.

The department awarded the International Association of Chiefs of Police a $700,000 grant last year to develop training on how to prevent, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism.

DHS is going to give a police organization as much to train to spy as it’ll take to incarcerate Mohamud.

Ultimately, no matter how efficient your spying-and-sting-industry, you’re still spending around $1 million to catch and warehouse men because you’re losing an ideological battle. And the spying and stings, and the obvious bias of it, surely sets the US back in its ideological battle.

If the US can’t imagine a better response when a father calls for help but to spend 18 months catching his son a sting, we can roll out CVE programs every other month and we’re not going to earn trust among the communities we need to.

11 replies
  1. wallace says:

    The big brave FBI sociopaths do it again. ..along with DOJ prosecutors who would send their mother to a Supermax for life if it meant they got a promotion..and a Jury of the Dumbest Country on the Planet, who as his “peers” are as fucking stupid as this poor kid, and a Judge who still wears his Cherrios plastic FBI ring since he was 5 years old. If I didn’t know this was real, I’d bet $20 it was a fable concocted by a drunken meth addict who was on a binge. Living proof Murka the Ugly has hit the bottom of it’s spiral into the excrement filled cesspool of Legal Imperialism. I give it 2 years before we start seeing public beheadings to the screaming cheers of the scum of the DCOTP.

  2. Mick Savage says:

    “The department awarded the International Association of Chiefs of Police a $700,000 grant last year…”
    Same suspects, different crime. The same ASSociation which has failed to produce the report detailing police shootings from a 1994 federal law and delegated by the congresscritters?
    Thieves and liars all.

  3. ArizonaBumblebeeper says:

    I never cease to be amazed by the stupidity displayed by our political elites. They try to justify looking the other way as the IDF kills innocent children in Gaza at a UN-sponsored school or when Obama authorizes drone attacks that have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Muslim civilians, but then they become outraged when an Islamic extremist kills someone from Europe or America in a terrorist attack. And if that is not enough, the authorities in this country are now working with their counterparts in Israel to introduce in America the same draconian practices Israel employs to control its Arab population. If our government keeps treating Muslims in America as potential enemies, they will eventually start acting as if they are our enemy. If the federal government isn’t careful, it will create the very terrorist insurgency in our own country that it claims it is trying to thwart. History is replete of examples where the actions of a government helped create an insurgency in its own country: just review how the actions of the British government in its American colonies helped spark the Revolutionary War. The Muslim community will start taking the American government’s outreach programs seriously when the government starts taking its own programs seriously. Presently, the programs have more the appearance of window dressing.

  4. Anon says:

    While most reports on this subject omit this fact it is worth mentioning that the individual who recruited Osman Mohamud to the dark ideology in the first place was an FBI plant who was himself a former drug dealer that had been granted leniency and protections so long as he delivered terrorists. So they were all too willing to go soft in the war on drugs so that they could show progress in the war on terror.

  5. Reader says:

    “They complain of […] a foreign policy that leaves President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in place as a magnet for extremists.”


  6. Les says:

    It’s not all that different from this weekend’s Washington Post op-ed about the proxy war in Syria. It should be corrected to a proxy war against Syria, but it mainly complains that the many different nations need to work together to back the terrorists, I mean rebels. The leading cause of the chaos is the disjointed effort where different foreign interests compete to gain the upper hand.

    In other news, Anwar Al-Awlaki appears to have been verified as a U.S. government asset. The story seems to begaining coverage in only Fox news.

  7. Pete says:

    Last night on 60 minutes, in part 1 of 2, FBI Director James Comey said he did not like the term “lone wolf” he preferred the more descriptive, in his thinking, “lone rat”.

    Putting aside the fact that rats pre pretty smart – and cool (as are wolves) – I just have to shake my head in utter amazement at the insanity that has infected our government.

  8. Les says:

    The whole domestic counterterrorism effort has been corrupted by the need to show “results” in order to justify the budgets even if the plots are fabrications of the police. It reminds me of the Occupy Cleveland “terrorism” ring that started out with a plot to set off stink bombs and ended up with a plot to use real bombs under the direction of the FBI agents.

  9. Evangelista says:

    While imprisonment on cooked up and unjust charges through kangaroo proceedings and vindictive adjudication is not comfortable for the victim, it is extremely effective for the Cause the victim was persecuted for (whether or not the victim was in fact involved with the cause or not. Consider the United States’ sedition prosecutions of 1917-19, and the releases and exhonorations, shortly after, that the increasingly violent and antagonistic backlash unleashed, consider the Sacco-Vanzetti trial and executions, which could not be undone, and still resonate today, consider Leonard Peltier, whose incarceration by FKGBI manipulation continues today, and continues to resonate. There are more of course, in America from Nathan Hale through Sam Hill and today to Mohamed Mohamud, and if you want to choke yourself on instances, read “Fox’s Book of Christian Martyrs” and Witch Trials literature. Not comfortable for any of the victims, but none could have done as much or more to destabilize “authority” and provide as much resonance to the “anti-authority” and destabilizing had they been let live, at all or “comfortably”, meaning normally.
    Wrongful persecutions are how “authority”s foment their own destructions.

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