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Terror "Plots," FBI Tactics, and the Case of Sami Osmakac

Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He is an advocate of "impact journalism."

Julian Assange tweet

Julian Assange tweet

Following a tweet from Julian Assange saying that "Almost all 'terror' plots are created by the FBI as part of its business model," Internet sleuths have unearthed 2014 videos with fewer than a few thousand views which show an FBI agent helping a mentally disturbed man put on a suicide bomb vest, giving him what is described as an "inert" AK-47 rifle, and showing him how to load and aim it.

In transcripts of conversations between FBI agents obtained by The Intercept in a 2015 expose article, FBI agents refer to a man who was later diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder by a court-appointed psychiatrist, as a "retarded fool."

The Intercept reported:

"Osmakac was the target of an elaborately orchestrated FBI sting that involved a paid informant, as well as FBI agents and support staff working on the setup for more than three months. The FBI provided all of the weapons seen in Osmakac’s martyrdom video. The bureau also gave Osmakac the car bomb he allegedly planned to detonate, and even money for a taxi so he could get to where the FBI needed him to go."

A 2016 New York Times report revealed that about two-thirds of FBI counterterrorism operations involve the use of people who are targeted on the basis of sympathies that are revealed in their social media. Many of the targets turn out to be mentally disturbed. The New York Times reported:

"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."

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The Internet buzz comes at a time when public confidence in the Las Vegas Police Department's and the FBI's handling of the Las Vegas massacre is at a low, with media reporting incredulously on changing timelines and the slow pace of an investigation into a crime which was allegedly carried out by a single shooter, who is now dead. The LVPD has yet to release the evidence amassed in the investigation, and has announced that a final report will not be released until this October.

The FBI has a long and well-documented history of using agents and paid informants to make contact with, and cultivate, persons who, critics of the practice say, ordinarily would not have the means or mental acumen to plan and carry out destructive acts of terrorism. In 1993 NBC News, as well as the New York Times, reported that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six people, was aided and abetted by the FBI, which provided the bomb which, according to the FBI, was supposed to be fake.

In a number of recent mass-casualty attacks, such as the Orlando shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing, it has emerged that the attackers were already known to the FBI. In the 2016 Orlando mass shooting attack, which left 49 people dead, FBI Director James Comey said that the attacker, Omar Mateen, had previously been under surveillance and had been on a watch list. Mateen was able to legally walk into a gun dealership to buy semi-automatic weapons.

And in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, it was leaked that Tamerlane Tsarnaev, the older brother of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had been interviewed a number of times by the FBI and also placed on a terror watch list.

In an October 2017 tweet, Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, and a vociferous critic of the US government said:

"Almost all 'terror' plots are created by the FBI as part of its business model. What is the business of the FBI? Extracting tax. What does it need to do that? A stable threat. Prob? Real terrorists are sporadic & make FBI look weak. Solution? Make them."

Assange then linked to an article at UK Business Insider, "The FBI is 'manufacturing terrorism cases' on a greater scale than ever before."

Sami Osmakac With FBI Agent

Further Reading

FBI press release: "Florida Resident Charged with Plotting to Bomb Locations in Tampa," Jan. 9, 2012

Tampa Bay Times: "Sami Osmakac gets 40 years in prison for plotting terrorist attacks in Tampa," Nov. 6, 2014

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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